News - Racing January  19, 2018

Strong Rally By Tf Im That Guy Wins $350,000 Championship at Sunland Park


Tf Im That Guy (#3) defeating Once Over (#7) and Jessies First Down (#5) in the $350,000 Championship at Sunland Park(G1) Sunday afternoon at Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino.

© Coady Photography

SUNLAND PARK, NM—DECEMBER 31, 2017—In probably his last career start, Tf Im That Guy parlayed a quick getaway into a major win in the 17th running of the $350,000 Championship at Sunland Park (G1) on Sunday.

Under red hot jockey Manuel Gutierrez, Tf Im That Guy got a huge jump on 2016 World Champion Jessies First Down at the start and that was the key to victory for the 4-year-old First Down Dash stallion. Tf Im That Guy took control of the lead early and kept firing.

The 7-1 shot held off a late rally from Once Over to win by a neck. Tf Im That Guy ran a flawless race and earned a much-deserved victory for trainer Lorenzo Vega and owner Victor Diaz. He clocked the 440-yard distance in :21.493 seconds, good for a 94-speed index into a 13-mph headwind.

Bred by Vessels Stallion Farm and Tate Fams, the impressive stallion prospect earned $162,330, pushing his rich bankroll to nearly $700,000. His sterling record stands at 6 wins, 5 seconds and 5 thirds from 24 starts.

Sunland Park Director of Racing Dustin Dix presents the Championship at Sunland Park(G1) stakes trophy to the winning connections of Tf Im That Guy.
© Coady Photography
The winner paid $17.40 on a $2-win ticket. Tf Im That Guy earned a measure of revenge over arch rivals Jessies First Down and Once Over who had outrun him this year.

Out of the Special Leader mare Tf Ms Special Perry, Tf Im That Guy is slated to kick-off his stallion career in February at Tate Fams near Ville Platte, Louisiana.

Riding a three-race win streak, 2016 West Texas Maturity winner Once Over as flying in deep stretch but came up just short. He picked up $64,330 for his second-place effort. Carlos Alvidrez saddled the California-bred son of multiple stakes sire Walk Thru Fire for owner Bujanda Racing Stable.

Bred by Edward C. Allred, from the Check Him Out mare Look Her Over, Once Over won both the Lovington Stakes(G2) and James Issac Hobbs Stakes(G2) at the just completed Zia Park meet prior to today's start. Raul Herrera was aboard multiple graded winner of more than $355,000.

The 1-5 favorite Jessies First Down broke slowly and was bumped hard at the start. The rocky dispatch spelled doom for the champion son of FDD Dynasty. He was caught in a deep hole but fought bravely to make up some of the deficit. The great gelding closed with interest under jockey Rodrigo Vallejo and mustered a third-place finish, beaten a shoulder.

Trainer James Padgett, II conditions the champion for owner/breeder Ted Abrams. Jessies First Down has won five of seven starts this season, two Grade 1 races, including the All American Gold Cup(G1), Zia Park QH Championship(G1), Sam Houston Championship Challenge(G2) and the Downs at Albuquerque Fall Championship. He was also second in the Remington Park Invitational Championship(G1).

Bred in Texas from the Mr Jess Perry mare Jess A Classy Lassy, Jessies First Down has compiled a (34) 15-11-2 record and today's $39,830 payday brings his earnings total to $1,050,864.

Refrigerator Handicap(G1) winner Colbalt Creek finished fourth followed by Marseille, De la Eagle, Jm Mister Destiny and Don Quixote.

Live racing resumes on Tuesday at 12:30 p.m.


Courtesy Ses