Balloon City Stakes Tops Busy Weekend at Albuquerque

Grade 3 winner Good Job Honey tops a full field of distaffers on Sunday.

Press release

Good Job Honey, pictured here winning the Grade 3 West Texas Derby at Sunland Park, is one of 10 fillies and mares entered in Sunday's $50,000 Balloon City Stakes at Albuquerque Downs. PHOTO: Coady Photography

Sunday’s 400-yard, $50,000 Balloon City Stakes at Albuquerque Downs has drawn a full field of 10 fillies and mares.

Good Job Honey, a 3-year-old graded stakes winning Freighttrain B filly trained by Ken Grisham for owners Shirley Grisham of Albuquerque and John T.L. Jones Jr.’s J Bar 7 Ranch of Quanah, Texas, drew post 10 and will be making her first start against older distaffers in the Balloon City. The filly has won two stakes, including the 400-yard West Texas Derby (G3) at Sunland Park on May 1.

Good Job Honey will be ridden by Victor Escobar.

Get Down Bambi, a multiple graded stakes placed 6-year-old mare owned and trained by Jaime Aldavaz Sr., drew the rail post and will be ridden by Esgar Ramirez. Get Down Bambi ran second, a neck behind winner Too Flash For You, in the 350-yard, $85,000 Mesilla Valley Speed Handicap (RG2) for New Mexico-breds at Sunland Park on March 18.

The complete lineup for the Balloon City Stakes, in post position order including jockey assignments and morning-line odds -- Get Down Bambi (Esgar Ramirez), 4-1; La Baby Jacob (Isaias Cardenas), 12-1; JM Onfire (Jose Luis Enriquez), 10-1; Pitchin Woo (Daniel Amaya), 10-1; Easily Bono (Alonso Rivera), 8-1; Cartel Rosie (Cesar Gomez), 3-1; Rum Chata (Mauro Salcedo), 8-1; Pilota On Fire (Jose Enrique Ortiz), 8-1; Prospects Smashing (Adrian Ramos), 12-1; and Good Job Honey (Victor Escobar), 5-1.

Also, Sunday’s 400-yard New Mexico State Fair Breeders’ Derby (RG3) trials have drawn a total of 17 state-bred 3-year-olds in two heats.

Princess Jesse, a homebred Jesse James Jr filly owned and trained by Vance Mikkelson of Belen, New Mexico, is the morning-line favorite in the first trial. The filly has earned $111,840 from five outs this season, and she has won two graded stakes, including the 400-yard, $50,000 Zia Handicap (RG2) at Ruidoso Downs on July 31.

Princess Jesse drew post 6 and will be ridden by Alfredo Sigala.

Trainer Fred Danley, a winner of 2,320 Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse races during his 41-year career, will send out Carson City Girl for owners David and Sandra Barrett in the second trial. A sorrel daughter of the Dash Ta Fame stallion Woodbridge, the filly has won two stakes this season, including the 400-yard, $190,119 Shue Fly Stakes (RG2) at Sunland Park in January.

Carson City Girl drew post 3 and will be ridden by Cesar Gomez.

The 10 fastest qualifiers will meet in the September 25, $200,000-est. New Mexico State Fair Breeders’ Derby final.

Friday’s nine-race program at Albuquerque Downs will be headlined by five 400-yard trials for the New Mexico State Fair Futurity (RG3) for state-bred 2-year-olds.

Ron Stephens, currently the leading Quarter Horse trainer at The Downs with 16 wins from 50 starters, will send out A Super Sonic Boom in the second trial for owner Hubaldo Solis of Peralta, New Mexico. A homebred colt by freshman sire Big Daddy Cartel, A Super Sonic Boom has won his last two starts, including the 350-yard, $101,448 New Mexico Breeders’ Futurity (RG3) at SunRay Park in Farmington.

A Super Sonic Boom drew post 2 and will be ridden by Isaias Cardenas. Other prominent juveniles entered in the New Mexico State Fair Futurity trials include Scooters Debutant and White Russsian. The third-place finisher in the July 31, $409,000 Zia Futurity (RG1) at Ruidoso Downs, Scooters Debutant is trained by Donna McArthur for owner Joyce Erickson of Albuquerque.

White Russsian will be facing New Mexico-breds for the first time off of his second-place finish in the June 19, 350-yard Four Corners Futurity at SunRay Park. Javier Roman Jr. trains White Russsian for owner Cuadra San Juditas LLC.

The 10 fastest qualifiers from Friday’s trials will meet in the September 24, $250,000-est. New Mexico State Fair Futurity final.

The New Mexico State Fair Futurity has a rich history that dates back its inaugural running in 1946. Past winners of the race include American Quarter Horse Association champions Pelican (1946), Maddon’s Bright Eyes (’48), Black Easter Bunny (’51), Now I Know (’95), and First Moonflash (2007).

On Saturday, stakes winner A Fancy La Jolla is one of 26 2-year-olds entered in three 400-yard La Fiesta Futurity trials. Trained by Jaime Aldavaz Sr. for owner Currie Maben of Clovis, New Mexico, A Fancy La Jolla is coming off of a clear 1 3/4-length victory in the June 19 Four Corners Futurity at SunRay Park.

Esgar Ramirez, who rode the winners of last weekend’s Grade 1 All American Derby (EC Jet One) and Grade 1 All American Futurity (Imperial Eagle) at Ruidoso Downs, will ride A Fancy La Jolla from post 4 in the second La Fiesta trial.

First-year trainer Seth Ferguson will send out Machismo Moon in the third heat. A homebred Heza Motor Scooter gelding racing for Ramon Alvarez, Joe Alvarez, and Ysabel Medrano, Machismo Moon is coming off of a Ruidoso summer meet during which he ran second against New Mexico-breds in the $409,000 Zia Futurity (RG1) on July 31.

Machismo Moon drew post 6 and will be ridden by Bonifacio Perez.

The 10 fastest qualifiers from the La Fiesta Futurity trials will meet in the $100,000-added final on September 25.

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