Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino
Saturday, March 12, 2022
Wish Bigg posts career best victory in $100,000 NMHBA Quarter Horse Stakes
$500,000 Sunland Derby (Gr. III) coming on Sunday, March 27
Under jockey Mario Delgado, Wish Bigg posted a career best win in the $100,000 NMHBA Quarter Horse Stakes at Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino on Saturday.
The rapidly improving New Mexico-bred 3-year-old gelding by Big Daddy Cartel generated a flawless performance in the 400-yard feature, winning by an expanding one and one-quarter
lengths. The 9-2 second choice in the betting races for the strong barn of James J. Gonzales III. In total, the Gonzales barn has won an incredible four stakes races this season. Colby James
won two stakes races and Big Dee won the Mesilla Valley Speed Handicap for the trainer earlier this meet.
Wish Bigg won for the second time in just six career outings and sped through the distance in a fast 19.589 seconds, good for a 96-speed index. He earned $60,000 for owner Sebastian
Gonzales. The winner returned $11.80 on a $2 win ticket.
JC New Dawn, this place finisher in the Shue Fly Stakes last January, improved with a second-place finish on Saturday. The runner-up ridden by Albert Medrano rallied late to gain second
Place honors. He finished a neck in front of Jesses Dinero.
2022 Shue Fly Stakes winner Wente raced as the heavy 4-5 favorite for trainer Eric Valenzuela. The grey gelding by Big Daddy Cartel and Astica did not break alertly and had to settle for
fifth place, beaten 3 lengths.
Cowboy Zulu stumbled badly at the break and lost all chance.
Live racing resumes on Sunday at 12:25 p.m. with a 10-race program.
The $500,000 Sunland Derby (Gr. III) is quickly approaching and is only two weeks away. Sunland Park’s biggest day happens on Sunday, March 27. Entries for the Kentucky Derby
prep race will be taken on Sunday, March 20.