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10-race program highlights ABQ Downs’ Saturday schedule

Two New Mexico-bred stakes, one for thoroughbreds today and one for quarter horses on Sunday,  highlight this weekend’s live racing action at Albuquerque Downs.

Today’s 10-race program, which gets underway at 6:05 p.m., is headlined by the 6½-furlong, $70,000 Carlos Salazar Stakes (R), which has drawn a field of eight state-bred fillies and mares, topped by 8-5 morning-line favorite Diabolical Dame. Trained by Todd Fincher for owners Joe Dee Brooks, Scott Bryant, and Derrol Hubbard, Diabolical Dame will be stretching out in distance off of her 3¾-length victory in the 6-furlong, $50,000 Lincoln Handicap (R) at Ruidoso Downs on July 30.

Diabolical Dame has won 13 of 22 starts and has earned $548,980. The 5-year-old daughter of the Artax stallion Diabolical drew post 4 and will be ridden by Roimes Chirinos. The mare’s seven opponents include Woodacouldadid, a homebred 6-year-old daughter of Minister Eric trained by Jose Gonzalez Jr. for owner Terrine Ransier of Deming.

Woodacouldadid returns to New Mexico off of her fifth-place finish in the 5-furlong, $75,000 Daisycutter Handicap on the turf at Del Mar. The mare’s season resume includes a wire-to-wire, half-length victory at odds of 34-1 in the 5 1/2-furlong, $100,000 La Coneja Stakes (R) at Sunland Park on March 26.

The Carlos Salazar Stakes honors the memory of Carlos Salazar, a longtime Albuquerque sports journalist who died in 1998. Salazar was inducted into the New Mexico Sports Hall of Fame in 1987.TESTING: All horses entering the Sept. 24, $250,000 Albuquerque Fall Quarter Horse Championship will be required to have a negative hair test. The results will need to be submitted to the New Mexico Racing Commission by Sept. 8.

Nominations for the 440-yard stakes, which will for the first time in its three-year history offer its winner a berth in the Dec. 16, $750,000 Champion of Champions (G1) at Los Alamitos race course in California, close on Sept. 15, at 5 p.m.

“We know that the vast majority of our horsemen play by the rules,” said Downs director of racing Don Cook.

“We’re implementing this policy for our major Quarter Horse race to ensure that everyone will be playing on a level field.”