08/28/2016 9:39AM

Desert Gambler a 66-1 upset winner in Carlos Salazar

Coady Photography
Desert Gambler paid $135.60 with his win in the Carlos Salazar Stakes.

Desert Gambler pulled a 66-1 upset Saturday night when she darted to a 1 3/4-length win over My Bikini Fell Off in the $60,000 Carlos Salazar. It was another three-quarters of a length back to 1-10 favorite Diabolical Dame in third.

The Salazar was a 6 1/2-furlong race for fillies and mares bred in New Mexico. It honored the late sports editor of the Albuquerque Tribune.

Desert Gambler ($135.60) was returning to the statebred ranks for the Salazar after an eighth-place finish against open company stakes foes. She pushed an opening quarter in 23.71 seconds, dueled through a half-mile in 46.57 and went on to cover the distance on a fast track in 1:18.07.

Gonzalo Nicolas was aboard Desert Gambler for trainer Todd Fincher, who recently resumed training Diabolical Dame after she returned to his barn following a Del Mar start. Diabolocal Dame had trouble early on in the Salazar.

“She broke horribly and got wiped out right away,” Fincher said in a release from Albuquerque. “Desert Gambler had a great break, went straight to the lead and had a clear trip. She’s a talented filly, she’s multiple stakes-placed, but I think she was overlooked tonight. She’s more of a route horse, but she got a great break and a good ride from Gonzalo.”

Desert Gambler has now won four of 16 starts for earnings of $175,355. She is a 4-year-old by Desert God and races for the partnership of Dale Taylor, Carey Taylor, and Jon Hogg.

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