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Hasta la Vista to bring Turf Paradise meet to a close on Sunday


May 1, 2014     E-mail this page to a friend!

The Hasta la Vista Handicap, the traditional final race of the season, will bring the 58th race meet to a close Sunday at Turf Paradise.

At 1-7/8 miles, the $35,000 Hasta la Vista, which is America’s longest turf race, drew a field of ten. The co-feature, the $55,362 ATBA Spring Stakes at five furlongs, attracted a full field of 12 juveniles.

Leading trainer Robertino Diodoro’s Mambo Man, winner of the Hasta la Vista prep, the 1 3/8 mile Wildcat Handicap, April 5, will carry top weight of 125 pounds (conceding 5 to 17 pounds to his rivals), and will be the one to beat.

The 5-year-old Mambo Man proved his marathon credentials in southern California before being claimed by Diodoro off a 1¼-mile turf victory at Santa Anita, March 21. Mambo Man, who will be teamed up with Geovanni Franco, has won four of 14 efforts (all turf wins) for $170,209 in earnings.

Next in line weight wise is the British-bred Major Art at 120 pounds. The 6-year-old, winner of three of 20 efforts, has been campaigning with moderate success on the New Mexico circuit, including a recent win at Allowance win at Sunland Park, March 11. Major Art finished fifth in the Turf Paradise Handicap in his lone appearance locally, February 15.

Another New Mexico shipper is Super Candy (116), who’s coming off a Sunland Park stakes win at 1 ¼ miles.

The Chilean bred Porfido should not be overlooked, having finished second in the Hasta la Vista last year and fourth in the Wildcat Handicap. The elder of the field at 12-yeasr-old, Porfido has won 15 of 73 outings for earnings of $751,560.

Aspiring 2-year-olds will be lining up in the ATBA Spring Sales Stakes. The 12-horse field is evenly split between colts/geldings and fillies. Trainer Dan McFarlane has five entered and Molly Pearson four to dominate the entries. Pearson won this race last year with the filly Lazy Daisy May and McFarlane in 2011 with the filly Page Springs.

The McFarlane-trained filly Aggressive Beauty, a $35,000 Keeneland Sales purchase. looked sharp in winning her maiden debut, April 16. The Midnight Lute miss seized command soon after the start, dueled with intent and then cleared for a one-length victory.