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ABQ Downs: Explosive Spy rallies to win $70K Carlos Salazar Stakes

Michael Weatherly’s Explosive Spy overcame a slow start to win Saturday‘s $70,000 Carlos Salazar Stakes (R) for New Mexico-bred Thoroughbred fillies and mares at Albuquerque Downs.

Ridden by Frank Reyes for trainer Dan Dennison, Explosive Spy went 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:16.46, and her margin of victory was 1 1/4 lengths from stablemate Mike And Trixie. The homebred 5-year-old daughter of the Saint Ballado stallion Your Eminence was winning for the sixth time in 19 starts and third time in seven races this season.

Explosive Spy was stretching out in distance off of her come-from-behind two-length victory in the July 29, 6-furlong Lincoln Handicap (R) for state-bred fillies and mares at Ruidoso Downs. The mare has enjoyed much more success this year than last, as she won just one of eight starts during her 4-year-old season and finished fifth in her lone out at Albuquerque Downs.

“She didn’t have any success at this track last year, but this year it’s been different with her,” said Simon Buechler, Explosive Spy’s trainer at Ruidoso. “Last year at Zia Park, she had a bruised foot which seemed to take forever to heal. She’s really coming into herself now.”

The $42,000 winner’s share of the Carlos Salazar purse increased Explosive Spy’s earnings to $191,900, of which $110,090 has been banked this season. Dennison indicated that the mare would make her next start during the 53-day Zia Park fall meet, which opens September 22 in Hobbs, New Mexico.

Contested annually at Albuquerque Downs, the Carlos Salazar Stakes honors the memory of Jon Carlos Salazar, the longtime sports writer who worked for the Albuquerque Tribune from 1946-96 and counted horse racing among his favorite sports. In 1987, Salazar was the first writer to be inducted in the Albuquerque Sports Hall of Fame. He passed away in ’98.

A Kiss For Mom finished third, 4 1/4 lengths behind Explosive Spy. M G Ms Golden Girl, To Satisfy You, Bryn’s Fancy Pants, Waltzing Attila, and Woodacouldadid completed the order of finish.