Page 62 - NMHBASummer2019
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                                SUNLAND PARK
  by Michael Cusortelli
Mesilla Valley Speed Handicap (RG2)
Jesse James Jr
 Mr Jess Perry
 Loose Lips
Dyna Mo Rime
Major Rime
 Dynamic Ego
   A sharp break from post 2 helped Israel Bordier’s Major Bites score a wire-to-wire, three- quarter length win in the $85,000 Mesilla Valley Speed Handicap (RG2) at Sunland Park on March 16.
Ridden by Hector Aldrete, Major Bites went 350 yards in :17.485 while posting a 91 speed index. Jimmy Guerra prepped the 6-year-old bay son of the Mr Jess Perry stallion Jesse James Jr.
Major Bites was bred by Carlos Paez, and the gelding was coming off of a second-place finish, one length behind winner Marcus Medallion, in the January 19, 440-yard Dona Ana County Handicap (R). His sire, Jesse James Jr, earned $167,275 from 21 starts while racing in California and New Mexico from 2003-06.
Jesse James Jr has sired the earners of more than $16.4 million from nine crops, including 2015 AQHA champion 3-year-old filly Astica, and multiple graded stakes winners Osbaldo, Princess Jesse, and Cinco Menudos. A stakes- winning and Grade 1-placed full brother to Grade 1 winner Jesstified, the stallion died from laminitis on August 24, 2017.
Major Bites is out of Dyna Mo Rime, a winning New Mexico-bred daughter of the Rime stallion Major Rime. His third dam, the Kentucky-bred Master Hand (TB) mare Western Hand, won her first four starts in ’79, including the Riley Allison Futurity at Sunland Park.
Major Bites’ fourth dam, the Best Turn mare Penny Two, was a half sister to Highland Penny, a daughter of Highland Blade who won two Grade 3 stakes from 1990-91, including the $100,000 Gallorette Handicap (G3) at Pimlico Racecourse.
Raced exclusively in New Mexico, Major Bites has won 11 of 29 starts, and the $51,000 winner’s share of the purse from his sev-
enth stakes victory increased his bankroll
to $771,012, of which $698.868 has been pocketed since the start of his 4-year-old season. The gelding won four stakes last year, including the 440-yard, $150,000 Zia Park Championship (G1) on December 2, and the Mesilla Valley Speed Handicap.
Magnifico Dragon finished second and was followed by Marcus Medallion, Moon River, CD Mamas Boy, Daddys Blushing, Jesse Lane, Regard The Rose, and Mr Klee.
Magnifico Dragon is a 5-year-old sorrel son of the First Down Dash stallion Zulu Dragon campaigned by Daniel Balderrama. The gelding has won eight
of 24 outs, including the 2016 New Mexico Cup Futurity (RG2) at Zia Park, and the $17,000 runner- up share of the Mesilla Valley Speed Handicap purse pushed his earnings to $375,072.
Marcus Medallion was shortening in distance off of his victory over Major Bites in the Dona Ana County Handicap. Owned by Karina Aldavaz, the 6-year-old Jesse James Jr gelding has won four of 15 starts, and the $8,500 third-place share of the purse boosted his bankroll to $141,968.
Taylor Racing LLC. Hennessy Express has won five of 18 outs, including two stakes during the 2017-18 Sunland Park meet, and the $17,000 runner-up share of the Peppers Pride purse increased her bankroll to $239,859.
A 4-year-old daughter of McKenna’s Justice, McGlorious has earned $85,472 from 20 outs for Judge Lanier Racing, which also bred the dark bay or brown filly. McGlorious ran third, 3 1/4 lengths behind winner Susans Violette, in last year’s New Mexico Cup Oaks (R) at Zia Park.
Peppers Pride Handicap (R)
McKenna’s Justice
Medaglia D’oro
  Lady Ruthie
 Mr. Greeley
Phi Beta
Making just her second start against older dis- taffers, McWend rallied to win the 1-mile, $85,000 Peppers Pride Handicap (R) for New Mexico-bred fillies and mares at Sunland Park on April 7.
McWend covered her 8-furlong trip in 1:37.61 while sent to post as the 9-2 second choice in
the field of eight, and her winning margin was a head from 9-5 favorite Hennessy Express. Elvin Gonzalez rode the 3-year-old filly for Tom and Sandy McKenna’s Judge Lanier Racing of Taiban, New Mexico, and trainer Miguel Hernandez.
McWend was shortening in distance off of her one-length score in the March 26, 1 1/16-mile New Mexico Breeders’ Oaks (R) for state-bred 3-year-old fillies. McWend is one of one of 13 winners from 18 starters sired by McKenna’s Justice, a stakes- winning 12-year-old son of the El Prado (IRE) stal- lion Medaglia d’Oro and a half-brother to multiple listed stakes winner Wholelottabourbon.
McWend is also one of five winners from six starters produced by Lady Ruthie, a 17-year-old daughter of Mr. Greeley. McWend is a half- sister to Dueling Dom, a winning and multiple stakes placed son of Dominique’s Cat . Her
second dam, the winning Horatius mare Phi Beta, ran second in the ’94 Landaura Stakes
at Laurel Park, and she foaled Fifty Proof, a half-brother to Lady Ruthie who won the 2011 Eclipse Stakes (G3) at Woodbine.
McWend’s third dam, the unraced Kentucky-bred Majestic Prince mare Carefully Taught, was a half-sister to two graded stakes winners, including Accipiter, the winner of the Saranac Stakes (G2) at Aqueduct and Withers Stakes (G2) at Belmont Park in 1974.
Raced exclusively in New Mexico, McWend has won three of 10 starts and has banked $138,740, of which $123,055 has been pocketed this season. The filly’s resume includes a fourth-place finish, 8 1/2 lengths behind winner Fast Gator, in the 6-furlong, $85,000 La Coneja Stakes (R) in February.
McGlorious finished third, three-quarters of a length behind runner-up Hennessy Express. Bobbies Flight, Wedding Dance, I’m A Dancin Who, Pink Cadillac, and Movin On completed the order of finish.
Hennessy Express is a homebred 4-year-old Roll Hennessy Roll filly campaigned by Dale F.
 60 New Mexico Horse Breeder
Coady Photgraphy Coady Photgraphy

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