Astica Sets Track Record at Albuquerque

New Mexico track held three stakes for state-breds on Sunday.

News Release

Astica, a homebred filly racing for Mac and Janis Murray’s MJ Farms, broke The Downs at Albuquerque’s 400-yard track record with her convincing three-length victory in Sunday’s $60,000 Pelican Stakes (R) for New Mexico-bred 3-year-old fillies.

Ridden by Salvador Martinez for trainer Wes Giles, Astica stopped the timer in :18.912, breaking the previous track record of :19.090 set last year by Downwiththequickness in a New Mexico State Fair Breeders’ Derby (R) trial. The filly was making her first start since July 11, when she won a Zia Futurity (RG1) trial at Ruidoso Downs but failed to qualify for the final.

Astica is a daughter of Jesse James Jr and 2009 champion 3-year-old filly Alice K White.

Astica’s victory was her third in six outs, and the $36,000 winner’s share of the Pelican Stakes purse pushed her earnings to $77,660. The filly was coming off of a 2-year-old campaign in which she ran third in the $340,699 Mountain Top Futurity (RG3) at Ruidoso Downs.

Fire The Queen ran second and was followed by Bankie Bay, Winning Merlot, Flash On A Dream, Pretty Woody Jesse, Flashy Moon Stepper, Bet The Sixes, and Perry Tees Jet.

Fire The Queen is a daughter of Fighter On Fire from the Invisible Injun mare Quintessential Queen. Also bred by MJ Farms, the bay miss races for Evel Zubiate and is trained by Mario Sanchez. Jesse Levario had the riding call.

Bankie Bay is a Brookstone Bay filly out of Jess Brenda, by Mr Jess Perry. Barbara and Kim Saunders are the breeders, and Esgar Ramirez rode for trainer Felipe Flores Jr.

Two other New Mexico-bred stakes were held at The Downs on Sunday. RCJ Major Storm, a 6-year-old Brookstone Bay stallion owned and trained by Alfredo Sanchez, ran his win streak to four with a 1 1/4-length score in the 400-yard, $60,000 Lineage Championship Stakes (RG3).

Under jockey Esgar Ramirez, RCJ Major Storm went 400 yards in :19.007 and earned a 108 speed index. The stallion’s victory was his 10th in 32 races and his fifth stakes win, and it increased his bankroll to $548,779, of which $363,722 was earned during a 5-year-old campaign in which he won three stakes, including the $350,000 Championship at Sunland Park (G1) against a field that included eventual world champion JRC Callas First.

Mr. and Mrs. R.C. Jones bred the son of Brookstone Bay from the Major Rime mare Major Kia. Jess Got Issues finished second and Downwiththequickness was three-quarters back in the show position.

Jaime Leos rode Jess Got Issues for owners Debra and Joseph Meridyth Jr. Guadalupe Munoz Jr. conditioned the Jesses James Jr gelding out of Yo Mamma Got Issues, by Chicks A Blazin. Kathleen Sellers is the breeder.

Downwiththequickness is a homebred son of Be Real Quick racing for Terry G. Smith. Tejay B. Smith trains with Alonso Rivera riding. The brown gelding is out of One Desperate Lady, by Lanes Leinster.

Miracle Snow, Grant The Star, Patrick James, Stuben, Monkey Lion, and JJs Fast Cash RF completed the field.

Also on Sunday, the Thoroughbred Beau Wizer won the 870-yard, $60,000 Lobo Championship (R) for state-bred American Quarter Horses and Thoroughbreds. Ridden by Ry Eikleberry for owner Duane Cugnini and trainer Wes Giles, Beau Wizer crossed the wire second, three-quarters of a length behind Quarter Horse Rollickin Red, but was moved up to first following a stewards’ inquiry and the subsequent disqualification of Rollickin Red.

Cugnini claimed Beau Wizer for $15,000 at Sunland Park on March 15. The 7-year-old gelding by Premeditation has won both of his starts since then, including the seven-furlong, $60,000 O.D. McDonald Handicap at The Downs on April 18.

All told, Beau Wizer has won 12 of 51 starts -- including four of six at the 870 distance -- and he has earned $488,282.

D E Lover, Infinite Bull, Cbbrookstonespecial, Miss Tessmocker, Coronas Boy, and Rollickin Red completed the official order of finish.

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