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With a jet propelled start, Tf Featured Effort scored a mild upset win in the 26th running of the $95,423 West Texas Maturity (Grade 2) at Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino on Saturday.
The 2012 West Texas Derby winner reversed his slow breaking habits with a fast start in the Grade 2 400 yard dash. The four-year-old stallion by Feature Mr Jess broke like a bullet and was in full command 100 yards away from the gate. Jockey Alonso Rivera was thrilled with the start. He said, “He blew out of the there. He was really ready today. I tried to make sure he was straight and relaxed.”
Tf Featured Effort parlayed the great start to an impressive 1 and 1/4 length win against stellar competition. He sped through the feature in a fast 18.925 seconds, good for a 97 speed index. The fast winner was let go at over 5-1 odds and paid a generous $13.20 to win. Winning trainer Jaime Dominguez was pleased with the performance.
“He hadn’t been breaking for us for a while. He is a really fast horse but has had no luck at the gates. We won last year’s West Texas Derby with him. Now, we will get him ready for Ruidoso.”
Tf Featured Effort improved his career mark to 5 wins, 3 seconds and 4 thirds from 17 starts. He picked up a $45,008 payday for owner-trainer Jaime Dominguez of Peyton, Colorado.
Jess Cuervo, the 6-5 favorite, made a late bid to finish second, a head in front of 2012 Sunland Winter Quarter Horse Derby winner Our First Corona. The runner-up was one of three finalists trained by Victor Rodriguez-Flores. The other two were top qualifier Jump Down Azoom and Bugsy B. They finished sixth and eighth, respectively.
Defending champion First Corona Call wound up a well beaten seventh.
Live racing resumes on Sunday at 1 p.m. Future wagering on the Kentucky Derby (Pool #2) and the Kentucky Oaks concludes on Sunday.
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