Magnifico Dragon Headlines Shue Fly Stakes

The graded stakes winner draws post 9 for Sunday's stakes at Sunland Park.

New Mexico Horse Breeders' Association

Fastest qualifier Magnifico Dragon is the morning-line favorite for Sunday's Shue Fly Stakes. PHOTO: Coady Photography

Magnifico Dragon, a graded stakes winning son of Zulu Dragon and the fastest qualifier, drew post 9 for Sunday’s 400-yard, $205,960 Shue Fly Stakes (RG2) for New Mexico-bred 3-year-olds at Sunland Park.

Trained by Cynthia Gonzalez for owner Daniel Balderrama, Magnifico Dragon ended his juvenile campaign with a wire-to-wire, 1 3/4-length victory in the fourth of five Shue Fly trials on December 23. The sorrel gelding, who has raced exclusively in New Mexico, has earned $254,146 from eight outs, and his four wins include a 1 3/4-length score in the 400-yard, $310,000 New Mexico Cup Futurity (RG2) at Zia Park on October 30.

Mauro Salcedo will ride Magnifico Dragon in the Shue Fly. The gelding’s nine opponents include Running Dragon, a homebred multiple graded stakes winning Zulu Dragon filly trained by Juan M. Gonzalez for owner By By JJ LLC. The second-fastest qualifier, Running Dragon is coming off of a 2-year-old season during which she won the April 24, 300-yard New Mexican Spring Futurity (RG2) at Sunland Park, and the 350-yard, $364,000 Mountain Top Futurity (RG3) at Ruidoso Downs in June.

Running Dragon drew post 10 and will be ridden by Adrian Ramos.

Other contenders include Jose Luis Ozuna’s First Kool Moon, a gelded son of champion First Moonflash conditioned by perennial AQHA champion trainer Paul Jones. During his Ruidoso Downs summer campaign, First Kool Moon won trials for the All American (G1) and Rainbow (G1) futurities.

First Kool Moon drew post 2 and will be ridden by Manuel Gutierrez.

The complete lineup, in post position order including jockey assignments and morning-line odds:
Flash Em The Jewels (Edwuin Lujan), 8-1
First Kool Moon (Manuel Gutierrez), 6-1
A Sure First (Ricky Ramirez), 5-1
Altitude Project (Oscar Cordova), 15-1
Higher Noon (L. Salvador Martinez), 15-1
Rockin N Scootin (Benito Baca), 12-1
Moon River (Jose Enrique Ortiz), 12-1
Mighty B Dragon (J.R. Valenzuela), 15-1
Magnifico Dragon (Mauro Salcedo), 5-2
Running Dragon (Adrian Ramos), 3-1

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