The classy Rose’s Desert goes for her 8th career win in 11 starts against an elite field of New Mexico-bred fillies in mares in Saturday’s $85,000 Peppers Pride Handicap (10th race) at Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino. She is one of two major contenders racing for trainer Todd Fincher.
Rose’s Desert is coming off a rousing 5 length win in the New Mexico State Racing Commission Handicap on Dec. 9. Jockey Casey Lambert never asked the superior mare for her best as she defended her title in the 6 furlong sprint win. Rose’s Desert carries the most earnings in the field with a $420,000 bankroll. She is listed as the 2-1 favorite.
Bold Ego Handicap winner Hennesey Smash will be the pace enforcer in the feature for Fincher. The sensational filly by Roll Hennessy Roll has won 6 of 7 career races and defeated open company in the Bold Ego. Jockey Alfredo Juarez will try and ration her speed over a mile distance for the first time.
Defending champion Iplaytricks rates highly at the distance. She defeated Rose’s Desert last year in this race and defeated the favorite at Zia Park. Veteran rider Ken Tohill helps her chances for trainer Joel Marr. Iplaytricks has won 8 of 18 races in her career.
Devon’s Spirit, a mile winner in a time of 1:36.69 is also in the field along with Soaring Goddess, Gossip Dome and Desert Avenue.
Shue Fly winner Slew by You runs in Sunday’s $85,000 NMHBA Quarter Horse Stakes (4th race) at 400 yards. The 9-1 upset winner of the Shue Fly takes on fast company including An Absolut Diamond and One Blazin Kimbo. Post time on Saturday and Sunday is 12:25 p.m.