FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Trainer Almanza & Jockey Sanchez Get Pair Of Major Stakes Wins
Duo Wins 3 Sunday Stakes Races, Including South Florida QH Derby & Sam Abbey Memorial,
Hialeah Park Sets Record All-Sources Live Quarter Horse Handle Mark Of $580,372
Hialeah, FL / March 1, 2015 – Trainer Rolando Almanza and jockey Ramon Sanchez had themselves a day to remember at Hialeah Park on Sunday afternoon, combining to win three of the five stakes races on the ten-race card, including two of the most important races of the season.
Sanchez, riding at Hialeah Park for the first time, guided Moonin the Eagle to a convincing victory in the $200,125 South Florida Quarter Horse Derby at 440 yards and piloted multiple-stakes winner Daytona B to a thrilling win over rival Jessies First Down in the $100,000-guaranteed Sam Abbey Memorial Invitational, also at 440 yards. Almanza saddled both winners for owner Gregorio Garcia Garza.
At the finish line, Moonin the Eagle (One Famous Eagle-Your First Moon), the 6-5 wagering favorite in a field of 10, was 1 ¼ lengths ahead of runner-up Louisiana Legends. Moonin the Eagle covered 440 yards in 21.438 seconds. He earned $84,052 for the victory and increased his lifetime earnings to $177,215.
In the 2nd running of the Sam Abbey Memorial Invitational, even-money favorite Daytona B (First Down Dash-Dashing Pana) opened up a clear early lead and held off the furious charge of runner-up Jessies First Down to win by a neck. Daytona B ran 440 yards in 21.399 seconds, earned $60,000, and upped his career earnings to $261,867.
The Almanza-Sanchez tandem scored its first victory of the afternoon in one of three other stakes races on the card when owner Wade Helton’s Sweet N Salty rallied for a half-length win in the $22,500 Beautiful Prairie Stakes for three-year-olds and up at 250 yards. The triumph earned Sweet N Salty’s connections $9,000 in additional earnings over the winner’s share of $13,500 as the champion of the 2015 Hialeah Park Sprint Series.
In the final race of the 2015 Hialeah Park Marathon Series, the $42,000 Sailfish Stakes at 1,000 yards, Roman Correa’s The Star Alert, ridden by Yordanis Amaro and trained by Ricardo Martinez, recorded his second straight victory “around the big hook” to earn $25,200 and an extra $12,000 for his connections as this year’s series champ.
For the second time this season, Hialeah Park established a new all-sources wagering handle record. Sunday’s total topped out at $580,372 for the day, $54,202 better that the previous mark of $526,170 set on February 2, 2015.
FRANK FIORE / VP MARKETING & ENTERTAINMENT
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.