04/19/2009 11:00PM

Song of Navarone comes through


SUNLAND PARK, N.M. - Displaying the kind of grit and determination that has produced two hard-earned stakes wins already this meeting, favored Song of Navarone kept coming down the stretch Sunday to prevail in the $100,000 Sunland Park Handicap. Longshot Lobo Country looked poised to pull off the upset but was forced to settle for second followed by Quiet Again.

Antonio Castanon had Song of Navarone ($3.40) within striking distance along the inside through much of the 1 1/8-mile affair but was not making much headway on the leaders until switched to the far outside turning for home.

"I had to swing him outside, it was the only way he was going to win," Castanon said.

Trained by Henry Dominguez, Song of Navarone won for the eighth time in 11 starts and for the fifth time in six local starts. The son of Sultry Song has now earned over $623,000.

Also on Sunday, outsider Varsity Girl ($64.80) won the Grade1, $252,000, West Texas Futurity for Quarter Horses. Shake Em Money finished second followed by favorite Mark It Famous.

Varsity Girl is trained by Ralph Muniz and was ridden by Ricky Ramirez.