Champion Astica Dominates New Mexico Filly & Mare Championship

Last year's champion sophomore filly scores Wednesday at Zia Park.

Q-Racing Journal

MJ Farms' Astica dominated a field of state-bred distaffers in the 400-yard, $140,000 New Mexico Filly & Mare Championship at Zia Park. PHOTO: Coady Photography

Astica, last year's champion 3-year-old filly, returned from a layoff of nearly 10 months to score a decisive win Wednesday's $140,000 New Mexico Filly & Mare Championship (RG1) at Zia Park.

A homebred 4-year-old daughter of Jesse James Jr and 2009 champion sophomore filly Alice K White, Astica covered 400 yards in :19.452, and the mare's winning margin was a clear 3 1/4 lengths from Get Down Bambi. Salvador Martinez rode Astica for owner MJ Farms of Veguita, New Mexico, and trainer Wes Giles.

Astica was making her first start since January 3, when she dominated a field of New Mexico-bred distaffers to win the 400-yard, $85,000 Lou Wooten/Sydney Valentini Handicap (RG2) at Sunland Park. All told, the mare has won nine of 13 starts, including five stakes, and the $84,000 winner's share of Wednesday's purse pushed her bankroll to $392,923.

Sweet Splenda finished third, 3 3/4 lengths behind Astica, and was followed by Teana Fay, Chickaloni, BL Corona, My Royal Highness, and JJ Jessies Girl.

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