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Breeders Cup 2015

Awesome Baby Never Threatened in Sunland Oaks

Awesome Baby wins 2014 Santa Ynez.
Photo: Benoit Photo
Under jockey Mike Smith, Awesome Baby cruised to an easy wire to wire win in the $200,000 Sunland Park Oaks at one and one-sixteenth miles.

The overwhelming 2-5 favorite was never in any serious jeopardy and completely controlled the pace in the distaff feature. She faced some token pressure from both Lucky for You and Empress of Midway at the quarter pole, but the popular Awesome Again pulled clear once again. She completed an amazing streak for trainer Bob Baffert who has won the last four Sunland Park Oaks. Baffert has won this race 6 times in the last 8 runnings.

Awesome Baby was coming off big stakes wins at Santa Anita in the Grade 2 Santa Ynez and the Grade 3 Santa Ysabel. The classy filly picked up a $120,000 payday for owner Kaleem Shah, Inc.  Lucky for You and Empress of Midway finished in a dead heat for second, 3 lengths behind the winner.

Warren’s Knockout (8-1 odds) held off furious challenges from both Wine Police and Isn’t He Clever to take a thrilling victory in the $75,000 Bill Thomas Memorial Stakes at six and one-half furlongs. The Justin Evans trained sprinter was in between both rivals but held safe to win by a neck in a time of 1:14.41. Justin Evans continued his torrid winning ways at Sunland Park and collected his seventh stakes win of the meet. Alfredo Juarez, Jr. rode the winner. Wine Police finished a close second followed by stable mate and defending champion Isn’t He Clever.

Mancation earned a driving win and broke his maiden in the $85,000 New Mexico Breeders’ Derby going one mile and one-sixteenth. Owned by R.D. Hubbard, the New Mexico-bred son of Going Wild picked a lucrative time to win his first race. Irwin Rosendo placed a cool ride aboard the gelding, just holding off Desert Mystery in a driving finish. The 21-1 long shot paid $45.40 to win. Bart Hone trained the winner.

Zasha pulled off a mild 4-1 upset win in the $85,000 New Mexico Breeders’ Oaks with jockey John Velazquez in the saddle. Joel Marr was the winning trainer.

African Rose went wire to wire and successfully defended her title in the $75,000 Harry Henson Handicap. Alfredo Juarez, Jr. won his second stakes of the day aboard the 11-time winner for trainer Justin Evans.

Tricky R. turned away Funnyoushouldask to take a dramatic front running win in the $85,000 La Coneja Stakes at five and one furlongs. Jockey Nancy Summers rode a perfect race for a jubilant winning trainer Camie Telford. Tricky R, a multiple stakes winner of 11 races, is owned by Ruth Summers.





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