10/29/2017 7:37PM

Diabolical Dame repeats in New Mexico Cup Distaff Sprint Championship

Coady Photography
Diabolical Dame wins the New Mexico Cup Distaff Sprint Championship on Sunday.

Diabolical Dame won a New Mexico Cup stakes for the third year in a row Sunday at Zia Park, rallying for a head victory over stablemates Tijuana and Bryn’s Fancy Pants in the $140,000 Distaff Sprint Championship. The three horses are trained by Todd Fincher.

The race was one of 12 stakes on the card, with purses for the races totaling $2 million. The stakes were all restricted to horses bred in New Mexico. The program was the richest of the meet at Zia.

The Distaff Sprint was the first of eight Thoroughbred stakes on the card, with the remaining races for Quarter Horses. Diabolical Dame won the race a year ago and before that captured the New Mexico Cup Oaks. She broke last in the field of seven on Sunday and moved up quickly down the backside as Woodadouldadid ran the opening quarter in 22.13 seconds and a half-mile in 44.65. Diabolical Dame advanced four wide on the final turn and rolled through the stretch under Roimes Chirinos to win in a photo in 1:09.85.

“She loves what she’s doing,” Fincher said. “She tries hard every time. She really wants to win. Even working in the morning, if you put her behind a horse, she’s trying to drag the rider to that horse. She’s a winner.”

Diabolical Dame ($3.60) was winning the 10th stakes race of her career Sunday and her 15th overall race from 24 starts. The first-place check of $84,000 improved her career bankroll to $674,980. Diabolical Dame is a 5-year-old by Diabolical and races for Joe Dee Brooks, Scott Bryant, and Derrol Hubbard. Fincher bred Diabolical Dame in partnership with Fred Alexander and Brad King.

Fincher and Chirinos also teamed to win the $170,000 Sprint with Forger, who held off a surging Citizen Geller by a head in the six-furlong race. Forger ($4.20) stalked Way Nifty through an opening quarter in 21.46 seconds and a half-mile in 44.02 before going on to cover the distance on a fast track in 1:09.77. R.D. Hubbard bred and owns Forger, a son of Attila’s Storm who earned $102,000 for the win Sunday.  

Fincher’s wife, trainer Lauren Fincher, sent out Tag Yur It ($15.20) to capture the first race on the card, the $140,000, 870-yard Championship for Quarter Horses and Thoroughbreds.

Hute leads parade of longshots

Hute, at 25-1, held on for a neck win over Shining Source in the $180,000 Rocky Gulch Classic Cup as one of a number of longshot winners Sunday. He paid $53.80.

Hute was facing older rivals off a fourth-place finish in a local allowance for 3-year-olds. He stalked the pace set by Long Stormy Trip, who was clear through fractions of 23.94 seconds for the opening quarter and 46.99 for the half-mile. Hute advanced on the final turn, took the lead after six furlongs in 1:11.65, and proceeded to cover the mile in 1:38.44.

Miguel Fuentes Jr. was aboard for trainer Joel Marr. Hute earned $108,000 for the win for his breeder and owner, Michael Stinson. The horse has now won four of nine starts and $208,960. Hute is a son of Western Gambler.

Stinson and Marr teamed up with another longshot winner in Kimbell ($34.20), who rallied to win the $170,000 Peppers Pride over Bobbies Flight. There was a lengthy stewards’ inquiry into the start, looking at Kimbell, but no change was made to the order of finish. Kimbell covered the mile in 1:39.70. Tracy Hebert was aboard the winner for Marr, who also trained the race’s namesake, the undefeated New Mexico-bred millionaire who went 19 for 19. Kimbell is a daughter of Western Gambler who was bred by Susan Vescovo.

In other upsets, Sidewinder Sally ($41.40) rallied for a three-length win over Waltzing Attila in the $140,000 Oaks, with comebacking favorite Sippin finishing a troubled fifth. Sidewinder Sally covered six furlongs in 1:10.55. Frank Reyes was aboard for trainer Dan Dennison. Sidewinder Sally is a daughter of Mr. Gold Mover and races for Robert Driggers and Ben Lee Ivey.

In the $140,000 Derby, the always-prominent My Mirage won by two lengths and returned $25.60. The winner covered six furlongs in 1:10.08. Ry Eikleberry was aboard for breeder and owner Bauer Farm and trainer Dick Cappellucci. My Mirage is by Diabolical.

P J’s Gold ($61.60) was a nose winner over favorite Hollywood Henry in the $140,000 Juvenile, covering six furlongs in 1:11.31. Miguel Perez was aboard for breeder and owner Paul Jenson and trainer Henry Dominguez. P J’s Gold is a son of Mr. Gold Mover.

Dominguez had a much shorter-priced winner on the card in Fast Gator ($6.60), who improved her career record to 3 for 3 when she wired the field in the $140,000 Lassie. She won by 3 1/2 lengths and covered six furlongs in 1:10.58. Eikleberry was aboard for J. Kirk and Judy Robison, who also bred the daughter of Diabolical.

The upsets extended to some of the Quarter Horse stakes, with Yudes Jess Dashin ($41.80) accounting for the $219,817 Derby and Major Bites ($23.60) winning the $170,000 Quarter Horse Championship.

A Passion for Flashn ($6) won the richest race on the card, the $306,841 Classic Futurity for Quarter Horses.