FARMINGTON – The Jack Cole Handicap, one of the premier thoroughbred stakes races of the SunRay Park and Casino season, will be run in two divisions Saturday afternoon, part of a 10-race program with a first post time of 2:15 p.m.
The Cole Handicap, worth $100,000 and to be run at 6½ furlongs, drew 18 nominees. Since most races at SunRay Park can only be run with 10 entrants, management decided to split the race into two divisions, each with nine-horse fields and each race to be worth the same purse money.
The first division of the Cole, to be run as the eighth race with a scheduled post time of 5:03 p.m., features Massive Roar, who won an allowance race at SunRay Park on April 8 for trainer Todd Fincher. The 4-year-old son of Sway Away has won five times in 17 career starts and has earnings of more than $270,000.
Owned and bred by The Quarter Co. LLC, Massive Roar drew the outside post in the nine-horse field and has been installed as the 7-to-2 morning line favorite in the first division of the Cole. He will be ridden by his regular pilot Alfredo Juarez Jr.
The likely threats to Massive Roar in the first division are drawn just to his inside. Jet N G, second in his most recent pair of starts at Sunland Park, is an eight-time winner and earner of more than $472,000 from 50 career starts. Trained by Gary Cross, Jet N G will be ridden by Jorge Carreno.
Just to Jet N G’s inside is Attilianno, who couldn’t get past Massive Roar when they last met over this course earlier this month. The second choice on the morning line at odds of 4-1, Attilianno is also trained by Fincher and will be ridden by Felipe Valdez.
The second division of the Cole will go as the ninth race on the card with a scheduled post time of 5:27 p.m.
The field will be led by morning line favorite Evacuee, who posted a big upset win last time out in the Mount Cristo Rey Handicap on March 12 at Sunland Park. Trained by Fincher and owned by B4 Farms LLC, Evacuee snapped a long losing streak with his most recent win. The son of Abstraction has won four times from 25 starts with earnings of more than $329,000. Evacuee will be ridden by Valdez and will break from post 7 in the nine-horse field.
Bye Bye Matty P could be the danger in the second division of the Cole under jockey Christian Ramos. The son of Attila’s Storm caved in under pace pressure last time out in the Mount Cristo Rey Stakes, finishing fourth that day. Trained by Andres Gonzalez, Bye Bye Matty P already owns a win over the SunRay course and will likely be forwardly placed yet again.
Listed at 9-to-2 on the morning line, Bye Bye Matty P is a four-time winner from 12 lifetime starts and will break from post 5.
Racing is held Friday through Sunday afternoons at SunRay Park and Casino through closing day, May 21.