ALBUQUERQUE— Avenging last year's loss at the Albuquerque Downs, Miracle Snow and jockey Martin Bourdieu proved best in a thrilling rendition of the $63,500 Lineage Championship, the highlight race of the Down's final day, Sunday afternoon
The 10-year-old son of Dean Miracle, winning for the 17th time in his 57-race career, broke smartly from the four-post, grabbed the lead out of the gate and dueled with Rex Hill to his inside before holding off the late charge of runner-up Jess Got Issues to prevail by an outstretched neck.
Miracle Snow, the 3-to-2 favorite among the crowd of more than 4,500 fans on hand for the Championship, won the same race in 2012, but was eliminated at the start last year when he hopped out of the gate.
There was no mistake this time, with Miracle Snow running the 400 yards in a fast time of 19.35 seconds and returning his backers with a $5 payoff for their $2 investment.
It's the third win in a row for the Wes Giles trainee, who won the restricted Grade 2 Zia Handicap at Ruidoso Downs last month the Jimmy Drake Stakes at SunRay Park and Casino on June 1.
The Lineage Championship is also the fourth win from 10 starts at Albuquerque Downs.
Owned by Melvin Neugebauer, who, along with his wife Mary, bred the veteran racehorse, Miracle Snow has now surpassed $718,000 in career earnings.
Jess Got Issues and jockey Jaime Leos finished ahead of You Sexy Fame and jockey Alonso Rivera for the place, with My Big Chief and Alejandro Medellin rounding out the top four.
Rex Hill finished fifth, just ahead of last year's Lineage Championship winner Osbaldo. Cinco Menudos, Klassic Strawfly, Outlaw Ducky and Jess Reuben James completed the order of finish.
Storm Chasor gutsy winner in Lobo
Tenaciously snapping a four-race losing streak, Joan Dale Hubbard's Storm Chasor proved best in a thrilling edition of the Lobo Championship under jockey Dusty Shepherd.
Trained by Todd Fincher, who picked up his second stakes win in two days during Lineage weekend, Storm Chasor broke well from his two-post in the eight-horse field, quickly moved up to assume the lead on the far turn and battled with Super Quintons for the length of the stretch to narrowly prevail.
"I really had to see how much fight he had in him," Fincher said after the race. "He showed some real tenacity late in the going."
Storm Chasor, the second choice in the wagering at odds of 3.40-to-1, ran the 870 yards in 44.75 seconds, earning his seventh win from 17 career starts.
The last time Storm Chasor visited the winner's circle was in March at Sunland Park, winning a trial race for the New Mexico Distance Challenge.
The $33,000 winner's share of the purse increases Storm Chasor's lifetime earnings to more than $138,000. Backers of Storm Chasor were rewarded with an $8.80 return for their $2 wager.
Super Quintons and jockey Esgar Ramirez held the place over a fast-charging Beau Wizer, the post-time favorite under Casey Lambert. El Gato Azul rounded out the top four with Enrique Garcia aboard.
Coates rides Dustychampion to victory
Jockey Jimmy Coates, who won the title of leading rider at the Albuquerque Downs last year, re-established himself as one of the leading jockeys on the circuit with a strong ride aboard mild-upsetter SC Dustychampion in the $60,000 First Moonflash Stakes.
Coates, who has been battling with some of the leading riders this season, jumped back aboard SC Dustychampion after getting outheaded last time out at SunRay Park and Casino.
Drawn in the nine-post in the field of 10 state-bred 3-year-olds, SC Dustychampion rallied quickly down the center of the course to prove best in the final yards over Jet Version, who ran too well to lose under Omar Reyes.
"All I had to do was keep him in a straight line," Coates said after the race. "He did it all on his own late."
Sent off at odds of 8.20-to-1, SC Dustychampion ran the 400 yards in 19.52 seconds and returned $18.20 to his backers. The win adds $33,000 to his bankroll for owner Pedro Carrillo and breeders Sepulveda Corporation, increasing his lifetime earnings to more than $59,000.
SC Dustychampion won for the third time in 10 career starts for trainer Tony Gallegos.
Jet Version finished just ahead of Kia Won and jockey Sergio Becerra for the place, with Sandia Fria finishing fourth under Albert Medrano.
Post-time favorite Heza Wild Dragon, trying to snap a three-race losing streak, lost all chance when breaking slow as the gates opened under G.R. Carter, winding up eighth.
Penny Snatchin steals Pelican
Jill Giles' Penny Snatchin earned her second stakes win in 2014 with a dominant performance under Martin Bourdieu in the $60,000 Pelican Stakes.
Owned, bred and trained by Giles, Penny Snatchin, a 3-year-old daughter of Gone To The Mountain, broke from her mid-pack post, put away her early pace rival AJ Hardwood and inched clear in the final strides to win by nearly a length. Penny Snatchin entered the race as the second choice by bettors with 3.60-to-1 odds.
Penny Snatchin, making her Albuquerque debut in the Pelican, won the Tommy "Duke" Smith Stakes on June 21 at SunRay Park and Casino. Prior to her win on Sunday, she was off the board in a Rainbow Derby trial heat at Ruidoso Downs last month.
In wire-to-wire fashion, Penny Snatchin returned $9.20 to her winning backers after running the 400-yard race in 19.52 seconds, while picking up her third win in 12 career starts. The $33,000 winner's share of the purse increases her lifetime earnings to more than $105,000.
Sparkling Heart and jockey Jose Rodriguez edged out AJ Hardwood and Tanner Thedford for the place, with My Memory Lane rounding out the top four.
Post-time favorite One Lethal Blaze got tangled up a bit at the break under Sergio Becerra and finished last in the 10-horse field.