SUNLAND PARK — Finally, Too Flash For You has lived up to the potential.
After a pair of badly beaten efforts in stakes races last year, the Wes Giles-trained son of First Moonflash devastated his competition as an upset winner in Sunday's New Mexico Horsemen and Breeders Association Quarter Horse Stakes at Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino.
Ridden for the first time by one of the meet's leading shortline jockeys Larry Gamez, Too Flash For You was never far behind post-time favorite Woodys Allstar, but gradually put that one away in deep stretch on his way to a half-length score over another longshot Booyah Bay. The winner ran the 400 yards in a fast time of 18.99 seconds, just three-tenths of a second off the course record.
Too Flash For You, who came into the NMHBA Stakes with only one win from nine career starts, had been off the board in his two prior races against stakes competition. Last December, Too Flash Four You was seventh in the Grade 1 Sunland Winter Futurity. Prior to that, he ran last in the Grade 1 Zia Futurity last summer.
Owned by Jose Espinoza and Jim and Michelle Lair, Too Flash For You was largely dismissed at the windows, sent off at odds of 19.10-1, due in large part to the presence of both the winner and runner-up in the recent Grade 2 Shuefly Stakes.
Booyah Bay, sent off at 10.5-1 odds for trainer Harvey Baeza, came finishing strongly in the center of the track under jockey Jaime Leos to narrowly grab the place ahead of Woodys Allstar.
Woodys Allstar, coming off that win in the Shuefly last month, was sent off as the 1.6-1 favorite in the NMHBA Stakes. Ridden by L. Salvador Martinez for trainer Michael Joiner, the daughter of Woodbridge broke very nicely from the gate and had the lead midway down the straightaway before being collared by both the winner and eventual runner-up.
Kia Won, runner-up in the Shuefly last time out, got away slowly from the gate but ran evenly for a better-than-it-looked fourth-place finish in the NMHBA under jockey Sergio Becerra for trainer Gene Burden.
Behind Kia Won across the wire were Mister Blazin First, Rasberry Cola, Gonna Make You Royal, Kaydns Krusader, Royal Guardians and Queen But A King.
The win was worth $51,000 for the connections of Too Flash For You and boosts his career bankroll to over $105,000 while earning his second win from 10 starts. Bettors who backed Too Flash For You were rewarded with a $40.20 return on their $2 investment.
This Saturday, the $120,000 Mine That Bird Stakes at a distance of one and one-sixteenth miles, will be the headline race for 3-year-olds on the Triple Crown trail.
Rebranded, a very highly regarded 3-year-old son of Tiznow who was last seen winning the Riley Allison Futurity here in December, hails from the barn of leading trainer Justin Evans and is expected to be the favorite in the Mine That Bird, which will serve as the last major prep race for next month's $800,000 Sunland Derby.