03/20/2016 8:28PM

Thrilled delivers as favorite in Plum Pretty

Coady Photography
Thrilled, ridden by Javier Castellano, scores by two lengths in the $200,000 Plum Pretty.

Thrilled won a thrilling stretch battle with Family Tree to get her 3-year-old season off to a rousing start Sunday in the $200,000 Plum Pretty at Sunland Park. The race was one of seven stakes worth a cumulative $1.1 million. The main event was the $415,000 Sunland Park Festival of Racing Stakes, won by Collected.

The Plum Pretty replaced this year’s Sunland Park Oaks, which was canceled after Sunland’s stable area was put under quarantine due to an outbreak of equine herpesvirus. The quarantine was lifted March 9. There were no Kentucky Oaks eligibility points attached to the Plum Pretty.

Thrilled ($4) and Family Tree put on a show from the quarter pole home in the Plum Pretty, battling near shoulder-to-shoulder with Thrilled getting the upper hand in the later stages for a two-length win. It was another 7 1/4  lengths back in third to K P Wildcat.

Thrilled stalked the pace in second, settling a length off Family Tree as she took the field through an opening quarter-mile in 24 seconds, a half-mile in 47.72, and six furlongs in 1:11.42. Thrilled engaged Family Tree coming to the quarter pole, and the pair battled, with Thrilled going on late to cover 1 1/16 miles on a fast track in 1:43.35 to win her first stakes.

Following the race there was a stewards’ inquiry, but no change was made to the order of finish.

Javier Castellano was aboard Thrilled for Michael Tabor and trainer Todd Pletcher. She is a daughter of Uncle Mo and was bred in Kentucky by Chelston.

Caviar Kitty at 53-1 in Harry Henson

Caviar Kitty came rolling down the center of the track to win the $100,000 Harry Henson at 53-1. She was a length winner over She’s Reddy and paid $108.

Caviar Kitty trailed early as Sky Rant took the field through an opening six furlongs in 1:12. The winner covered the mile for fillies and mares in 1:38.19.

Francisco Duran was aboard Dream Walkin Farms and trainer Paul Smith. Caviar Kitty is by Kitalpha and was bred in Kentucky by Dream Walkin Farms.

Triple for trainer Weston Martin

Trainer Weston Martin had a stakes triple on the card, when he won the opener, the $100,000 New Mexico Breeders’ Oaks, with Tipsy Tea ($5.60); the third race, the $85,000 La Coneja, with Tea Light ($16); and the sixth race, the New Mexico Breeders’ Derby, with Ten Penny Cents ($50.80). 

Tipsy Tea won by 1 1/4 lengths over Kimbell and covered 1 1/16 miles in 1:47.67.  Tea Light  held for a half-length win over My Bikini Fell Off, while covering 5 1/2 furlongs for New Mexico-bred fillies and mares in 1:04.25. Ten Penny Cents was a 2 1/2-length winner over True Heat, and covered 1 1/16 miles  in 1:45.61.

Christian Santiago Reyes was aboard Ten Penny Cents, one of two stakes wins he had on the card. He also rode Tea Light. Both horses are by Right Rigger, while Tipsy Tea is by Seeking the Cat.

Elsewhere on the undercard, Redneck Humor rallied for a half-length win over Forin Sea in the $100,000 Bill Thomas Memorial. The winner covered 6 ½ furlongs in 1:15.19. Martin Garcia was aboard the winner for Earl Neugebauer and trainer Justin Evans. Redneck Humor is by Da Stoops and was bred in Florida by Jacks or Better Farm.