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Under a masterful ride from Alfredo Juarez, Jr., Hennesey Smash won her sixth straight race in the $85,000 Peppers Pride Handicap at Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino on Saturday. The sensational stakes star by Roll Hennessy Roll led every step of the way in her first attempt at one mile.
Coming off a rousing win against open company in the Bold Ego Handicap, the New Mexico-bred four-year-old filly was at the top of her game. The only question was the distance, and Juarez made sure it was a comfortable journey for her going 2 turns. She relaxed very nicely and was never pressured early setting tepid fractions of 24.03 and 47.94 seconds for the first two calls.
By the time Rose’s Desert and Iplaytricks came calling at the quarter pole, Hennesey Smash had plenty left and turned the distaff feature into a sprint. She dug in determinedly throughout the stretch run and defeated favored stable mate Rose’s Desert by one and one-quarter lengths in a smashing performance. The Todd Fincher trained winner clocked the one mile in a sharp 1:37.59. She adds the Peppers Pride title to her glossy resume which includes stakes wins at Ruidoso Downs, Albuquerque and Zia Park.
The latest champion out of the blue chip mare Some Smash earned $30,000 for owner Barbara Coleman. Hennesey Smash has won 7 times from 8 starts with earnings moving past $231,000. A $2 win ticket on the Peppers Pride winner was worth $8.20. Hennesey Smash is a half sister to the New Mexico-bred champion gelding Some Ghost.
Multiple stakes winner Rose’s Desert tried her best for Fincher but could not overhaul her speedy stable mate in deep stretch. The even money favorite was coming off a big 5-length win in the New Mexico State Racing Commission Handicap on opening weekend. Rose’s Desert kicked into high gear but had to settle for second place under jockey Casey Lambert. Fincher saddled the top two finishers.
Defending champion Iplaytricks ran a solid race under jockey Ken Tohill. Joel Marr’s charge found her best strides too late and finished third, beaten two and one-half lengths. Devon’s Spirit, Soaring Goddess, Gossip Dome and Desert Avenue rounded out the order of finish.
Live racing resumes on Sunday at 12:25 p.m. The $85,000 NMHBA Quarter Horse Stakes (4th race) at 400 yards is the featured event.
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