Once Over Returns in West Texas Maturity Trials

The defending champion races in the second of three heats on Friday.

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Once Over, pictured here winning last year's West Texas Maturity, is one of 31 aged sprinters entered in Friday's West Texas Maturity trials. PHOTO: Coady Photography

A total of 31 aged sprinters, topped by defending champion Once Over, has been entered in Friday’s 400-yard West Texas Maturity (G2) trials at Sunland Park.

Trained by Jose Luis Marquez for owner Jaime Bujanda, Once Over will be making his first official start since April 24, when the 8-year-old Walk Thru Fire gelding scored a nose victory at odds of 2-1 in the West Texas Maturity. Once Over drew post 8 and will be ridden by Raul Herrera in the second of three trials.

Other prominent runners entered include Roberto Marquez’s Stick Shift Sc, a graded stakes placed 9-year-old son of Get Down Perry trained by Alfredo Sanchez and the 3-1 morning-line favorite in the second heat. Stick Shift Sc is coming off of a second-place finish, a neck behind winner Memphis D Nasty, in the 350-yard, $50,000 KOFX-FM Handicap (G2) on January 29.

Jaime Parga Leos will ride Stick Shift Sc from post 7.

The 10 fastest qualifiers will meet in the March 10, $100,000-est. West Texas Maturity final.

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