08/23/2007 11:00PM

15-year-old racing into sunset


Hermosilla, a 15-year-old gelding believed to be the oldest Thoroughbred racing in North America, is scheduled to make the final start of his career on Sunday at the Elko County Fair in Elko, Nev. He is the 2-1 morning-line favorite in the second race, a $2,500 claiming sprint at 5 1/2 furlongs. Hermosilla comes into the race off a second-place finish at the same level at Wyoming Downs on Aug. 5. He finished three lengths behind a class dropper, and earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 51.

"I hope he can win," said Shaun Story, who owns and trains Hermosilla. "It would be nice to win his last one and quit a winner."

Hermosilla began racing in 1994, his maiden score coming at Hollywood Park. He has won 14 races during his 73-race career, with seven of those victories coming since the age of 13. As a 3-year-old, Hermosilla finished fourth in the 1995 running of the $100,000 Pomona Derby.

Story plans to retire him to his farm in Utah.

"He'll be around the house," he said, noting he will ride Hermosilla.

Hermosilla has raced at Elko twice in the last three years. He finished fourth in a $3,000 claiming race on Sept. 6, 2006. The year before, Hermosilla won a $2,500 claiming race at 5 1/2 furlongs, on Sept. 4, 2005. His last win came five starts ago, in a $2,000 claiming race on Sept. 17, 2006.