Q-Racing JournalMarch 6, 2014
Melvin Neugebauer’s Here Kittykittykitty should be the strong choice to score his third-straight stakes win when he heads a strong Wes Giles-trained pair in the $85,000 Mesilla Valley Speed Handicap (RG2) for New Mexico-breds on Sunday afternoon at Sunland Park.
Giles also saddles the 9-year-old Bet On Ballou (Sum Fun To Bet-Ballou Thirty Two by Strait To The Bank).
Here Kittykittykitty (Genuine Strawfly-One Diamond Cat by Now I Know) is also after his fourth-straight victory. The 7-year-old gelding started his streak with a neck win in a $44,755 open allowance race at Zia Park back in September. He then won the $170,480 New Mexico Classic Championship (RG1) before moving to Sunland Park and racing to a neck win in the $85,320 Jess Burner Handicap (RG1), his latest start on December 7.
The winner of nine of 24 starts, Here Kittykittykitty won the 2012 edition of the Mesilla Valley Speed Handicap and was fourth as the favorite in last year’s renewal.
Quarter Circle Bar LLC’s Bet On Ballou has been the latest horse to defeat Here Kittykittykitty. The gelding won the 2013 Mesilla Valley Speed Handicap and then won the Jim Drake Stakes at SunRay Park last June.
This winter at Sunland Park, Bet On Ballou hopped at the start of the Jess Burner –
finishing fifth – and then was a troubled fourth in the KOFX-FM Handicap (G2) against open horses.
Here Kittykittykitty has earned $607,824 while Bet On Ballou has banked $308,485 from 53 combined starts while racing nearly entirely against New Mexico-bred competition.
Veronica Ramirez’s Stel Gone Corona (Stel Corona-Meter Her Gone by Meter Me Gone) gave Bet On Ballou a battle in last year’s Mesilla Valley before finishing second by a neck. The relative youngster at 6-years-old only made three starts last year with the runner-up finish in the Mesilla Valley his best effort. After the Mesilla Valley, he surfaced for trainer Ramon Ochoa in the New Mexico Classic Championship and was never in contention and finished ninth. He had won the New Mexico Classic Championship in 2012.
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