Suze Returns Wins $269,527 West Texas Futurity(G2)
Suze Returns(#8) runs down All Sophia Wanted(#4) in 60th running of the $269,528 West Texas Futurity(G2) Saturday afternoon at Sunland Park Racetrack & Casino.

© Coady Photography
Suze Returns Wins $269,527 West Texas Futurity(G2)

SUNLAND PARK, NM—APRIL 14, 2018— Suze Returns surged in the final strides to win the 60th running of the $269,528 Grade 2 West Texas Futurity at Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino on Saturday.

The top qualifier validated her 2-1 favoritism with a strong effort in the finale.

Under jockey Jamie Parga Leos, Suze Returns broke well but had to play catch up on a spirited All Sophia Wanted who gave her quite a battle in the 300-yard feature. Both fillies ran magnificent races. Suze Returns found an explosive gear in the final 50 yards to eclipse All Sophia Wanted in a thrilling photo finish.

Trained by Juan M. Gonzalez, Suze Returns won by a neck and remains unbeaten in two starts. She earned a hefty $126,678 for owner Joe Rios of El Paso, Texas.

The winning connections of Suze Returns accept the West Texas Futurity trophy saddles at Sunland Park Racetrack
on Saturday. © Coady Photography
The winner is a two-year-old Oklahoma bred filly by third-crop sire High Rate Of Return out of the G3-placed Mr Eye Opener mare Brown Eye Suze. Rios purchased her from her breeder, Flag Ranch LLC, for $13,000 at the Heritage Place September Yearling Sale in Oklahoma City.

She paid $6.20 on a $2 win ticket. Suze Returns covered the distance in a fast :15.147 seconds, good for a 95 speed index into a 5 mph headwind. She could be a major threat in the summer futurities at Ruidoso Downs this year.

Two-time All American Futurity winning trainer Juan Gonzalez and All American Futurity winning jockey Jaime Leos and Juan Carlos Gonzalez with Suze Returns at Sunland Park Racetrack. © Coady Photography
Let go at 10-1 odds, All Sophia Wanted led midway through the dash and looked the part of a winner. The daughter of first-crop sire Five Bar Cartel, ridden by Jose Montoya, came up just short. The valiant gray filly ran courageously and earned second place monies of $48,515 for owner/breeder Sunset Well Service, Inc.

Michael D. Chavez trained the filly out of All I Ever Wanted by First Down Dash. All Sophia Wanted sparked a $2 exacta worth $100.20.

Eagle Coast finished with courage to gain third place. Esgar Ramirez rode the sorrel gelding for trainer Jose Luis Muela. The One Dashing Eagle gelding was only beaten a half-length. He earned $29,648 for owner Ernesto Palacio of Odessa, Texas.

Jim Streelman and Bill Dale bred Eagle Coast in Missouri from the Ocean Runaway mare Coastal Candy. Palacio paid $20,000 for the gelding from the Bielau Oaks Ruidoso Select Yearling Sale Consignment last summer.

Under Sunland Park leading Quarter Horse rider Manuel Gutierrez, Flying Eagle 07 shot to the front in the final stages to win the $50,000 West Texas Juvenile (see related story) at 300 yards.

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Live racing resumes on Sunday at 12:30 p.m. The $150,000 Sunland Park Handicap (8th race) at one mile and one-eighth and the $162,905 Copper Top Futurity (9th race) at four and one-half furlongs are the feature races.