03/22/2015 7:22PM

Unfettered heads 1-2 finish for Dominquez in Thomas Memorial

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Unfettered, with Enrique Gomez aboard, pays $23.80 for winning the 6 1/2-furlong Bill Thomas Memorial.

New Mexi It was another 3 1/2 lengths back in third to Watch Me Go.

The Bill Thomas was one of five undercard stakes supporting the Grade 3, $800,000 Sunland Park Derby and $200,000 Sunland Park Oaks. The seven stakes on the card were worth a total of $1.4 million, making the program the richest of the meet at Sunland.

Unfettered ($23.80) settled in third in the 6 1/2-furlong Bill Thomas, as Chasing the Heat and Omar dueled through an opening quarter in 21.65 seconds. Unfettered advanced three wide on the turn, took the lead through a half-mile in 43.57 seconds and went on to win on a track rated fast in 1:13.77.

The start was the eighth career race for Unfettered, a 5-year-old son of Rockport Harbor who races for Dominguez and partners and was ridden by Enrique Gomez.

“He’s a good horse, deserved a lot more than he’s done,” Dominguez said. “He’s got a lot of talent, but he’s had some issues. He just came into himself today. Everything worked out for him, couldn’t have had a better spot.”

Isn’t He Clever closed from next-to-last and quickly cut into Unfettered’s four-length lead in the stretch Sunday.

“Isn’t He Clever was [turning back] from mile and a sixteenth race and wasn’t as sharp as I wanted him to be,” Dominguez said. “He was stuck down on the inside, had to maneuver his way around and when he finally got out he came on. Maybe if he’d drawn outside there would have been different results.”

Unfettered earned $60,000 to lift his career earnings to $150,010. He has now won 5 of 8 starts. Unfettered was bred in Florida by Sally J. Andersen.

African Rose wins third straight Harry Henson

African Rose won the $100,000 Harry Henson Handicap for the third consecutive year when she fought off her late-running stablemate Belleofthebeach for a nose win in the one-mile race for fillies and mares. The third-place finisher was Prettypriceygirl, with the first three finishers all trained by Justin Evans.

African Rose first won the Harry Henson in 2013. She is a 6-year-old by Bwana Charlie.

African Rose ($11.60) tracked Ciddy’s Song through an opening quarter in 23.11 seconds, overtook the leader after a half-mile in 46.64, and then went on to cover the distance in 1:36.22. Ry Eikleberry was aboard the winner for Judge Lanier Racing.

African Rose has now won 14 of 33 starts and $418,656. She was bred in Florida by Heiligbrodt Racing Stable.

In other stakes:

Desert Tricks ($10.80) closed well to overtake pacesetter Miss E Bar and win the $100,000 New Mexico Breeders’ Oaks by 2 1/2 lengths over that one. Desert Tricks covered 1 1/16 miles for statebreds in 1:44.57. Ken Tohill was aboard for Michael Stinson and trainer Joel Marr.

Tohill and Marr struck again in the $100,000 New Mexico Breeders’ Derby with Weather Dodger ($20.20), who was a half-length winner over Streaks Bro. Weather Dodger covered 1 1/16 miles for New Mexico-breds in 1:44.39. The horse races for Lisa Rehburg.

Funnyourshouldask ($57.60) held off My Bikini Fell Off for a head win in the $85,000 La Conjea for fillies and mares bred in New Mexico. The winner covered 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:02.89. Luis Rodriguez was aboard for Terrine Ransier and trainer Jose R.  Gonzalez Sr.