Locally owned Isn’t He Clever rolled to a jaw dropping 11 and 3/4 length victory in the 49th running of the Riley Allison Futurity at Sunland Park Racetrack & Casino on Friday.
Isn’t He Clever may have stamped his ticket to the $800,000 Sunland Derby (Gr. III) to be run on Sunday, March 25, 2012. Running under the colors of J. Kirk and Judy Robison of El Paso, Isn’t He Clever looked like monster racing past the front running Alsvid at the quarter mile marker. The two-year-old Smarty Jones gelding roared to the front and opened up a wide margin in upper stretch. The even money favorite continued to roll up the score while being hand ridden through the stretch by jockey Alejandro Medellin.
The winner stopped the clock for the six and 1/2 furlongs in a stakes record 1:15.10. Trained by Henry Dominguez, Isn’t He Clever has won 3 races from 4 starts. His lone defeat was a game second place in the $100,000 Clever Trevor Stakes at Remington Park last fall. He appears to be the leading open two-year-old Thoroughbred in New Mexico and could be pointed to the enriched $150,000 Borderland Derby at Sunland Park on Feb. 25. The Borderland Derby is the main local prep for the $800,000 Sunland Derby (Gr. III). Isn’t He Clever picked up a $62,520 prize for winning the Allison Futurity.
Stable mate Flame Broiled picked up steam late to overhaul a tiring Alsvid and gain second. Under jockey Enrique Portillo Gomez, the second Henry Dominguez trainee showed courage to gain the runner-up spot. He is also owned Robison. The son of Henny Hughes earned $22,924.
Alsvid did some of the early heavy lifting by setting the pace under Ken Tohill. When asked the question, he had no response against the winner. The third place finisher is trained by Chris Hartman.