FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
South Florida QH Derby, Sam Abbey Memorial Cap Sunday Card
Stablemates Carters Sixty Six And Ec Jet One Dead Heat For Derby Top Spot;
Big Gray Moonin The Eagle Breaks Own Track Record In Sam Abbey Memorial Win
Hialeah, FL / February 28, 2016 – When the dust finally settled after the last two stakes races of the 2015-16 live Quarter Horse racing season at Hialeah Park, three horses ended up posing for photos in the winner’s circle.
The photo finish camera could not separate stablemates Carters Sixty Six and Ec Jet One in the $204,265 South Florida Quarter Horse Derby, resulting in a dead heat for the top spot.
And, one race later, the big gray Moonin the Eagle was all alone at the wire as he triumphed in the $150,000 Sam Abbey Memorial Invitational Championship and broke his own track record for 440 yards.
LEADING TRAINER JUDD KEARL SADDLES CARTERS SIXTY SIX AND EC JET ONE TO HIT FIVE WINS ON THE CARD
In the South Florida Quarter Horse Derby, leading trainer Judd Kearl saddled both Carters Sixty Six and Ec Jet One. Kearl sent out 3 other victors on Sunday, including 2 more stakes winners, to reach 39 wins for the season.
Ec Jet One, the 1-2 favorite ridden by jockey Rodrigo Vallejo, might have had his chances for an outright win compromised when Genovese –eventually disqualified from third and placed ninth– drifted out from the eighth post in the starting gate, bumping him and Favored Fire at the start.
Carters Sixty Six took the early lead, dug in gamely under rider Agustin Silva, and almost prevailed on her own. Both dead heat runners were timed in 21.717 seconds for 440 yards.
After the disqualification, the revised order of finish was: Carters Sixty Six (DH), Ec Jet One (DH), Sprinster, Satcha Wagoneer, Ahs Blazin Spirit, Yawls Corona, Love You Pappi, Favored Fire, Genovese, and Highway.
Carters Sixty Six, a 3YO filly by Carters Cartel out of Going Sixty Six, and Ec Jet One, a 3YO colt by The Louisiana Cartel out of Pretty Girl Perry, earned $61,280 each for their South Florida Quarter Horse Derby efforts.
MOONIN THE EAGLE FINISHES STRONGLY TO WIN SAM ABBEY AND BREAK OWN TRACK MARK FOR 440 YARDS
Gregorio Garcia Garza’s talented gray Moonin the Eagle rallied to catch Fly Thru the Fire and pull clear late to win the 3rd running of the Sam Abbey Memorial Invitational by three-quarters of a length.
In the process, Moonin the Eagle covered 440 yards in 21.192 seconds, .009 of a second better than the track record for the distance he established in his Hialeah Maturity victory on January 17.
With Ricky Ramirez in the saddle for trainer Yoani Abreu, Moonin the Eagle recorded his 6th lifetime victory and 6th win at Hialeah Park in his 13th career start.
The 4YO son of One Famous Eagle-Your First Moon, bred in California by the Vessels Stallion Farm LLC, earned top money of $90,000 for winning the Sam Abbey, upping his lifetime earnings to $399,363.
After hopping at the start, runner-up Fly Thru the Fire found his best stride under Rodrigo Vallejo, took a brief lead between calls, but couldn’t hold off the hard-charging winner.
The official order of finish in the 2016 Sam Abbey Memorial Invitational Championship was: Moonin the Eagle, Fly Thru the Fire, Ill Stop The World, Eyesa Famous Eagle, Tf Cajun Cartel, Habits Secret, Daytona B, Parti Favor, Mo Zoomo, and Dynasty of Habits.
UNDERCARD STAKES TRIUMPHS TO GAME OWN, CRUISE BY DIVA, STICK SHIFT SC, AND JESSIES FIRST DOWN
Hialeah Park’s ten-race program on the final Sunday of the season included four other stakes affairs topped by the $32,500 Miami-Dade County Stakes at 440 yards.
Jessies First Down, ridden by Rodrigo Vallejo and trained by Judd Kearl for owner/breeder Ted Abrams, drew clear in the final yards to win the Miami-Dade County by three-quarters of a length over Rc Me Leaving You.
Earlier in the day, Game Own, under Luis Guerrero for trainer Yoani Abreu and owner Yaima Grillo, got the series of six straight stakes races started with a near-six lengths victory in the $41,048 Sailfish Stakes at 1,000 yards.
Kearl also sent out the winner of the $36,950 Beautiful Prairie Stakes, contested at 250 yards, in Cruise By Diva, a 4YO son of the champion mare and AQHA Superior Race Horse Spit Curl Diva.
The $32,371 Lucky Loser Stakes at 300 yards went to Stick Shift Sc, ridden by Osdany Leal for trainer Carolina Gaytan and owner Roberto Marquez.
ATTENDANCE & HANDLE NUMBERS HIGH ON FINAL SUNDAY OF MEET, CLOSING DAY CARD SET FOR MONDAY
On a gorgeous South Florida afternoon, Hialeah Park recorded a season-high total attendance of 3,187 for the Sunday festivities. Bolstered by fans on hand for the 1st Annual “Pig Cook Off,” on-track patrons wagered a record $110,162 and the all-sources handle reached $567,546, the fourth-highest total handle figure ever tallied in the seven-year history of live Quarter Horse racing at this track.
Hialeah Park closes out the final week of its 10-week 2015-16 live racing season with nine-race card closing day card on Monday February 29. First post is at 12:35 PM ET, parking and admission are always free of charge.
JOHN HERNANDEZ / DIRECTOR OF RACING NEWS & PUBLICITY
Jhernandez@hialeahpark.com / (305) 885-8000
Hialeah Park –“The World’s Most Beautiful Race Course”– is one of Miami’s most iconic destinations.
For more information, please call 305-885-8000 or visit www.hialeahpark.com