12/14/2007 1:00AM

Big burden for Peppers Pride

EmailPeppers Pride will spot her rivals between nine and 14 pounds when she attempts to push her unbeaten streak to 14 in Sunday's $125,000 New Mexico Racing Commission Handicap at Sunland Park.

The six-furlong race for fillies and mares is one of two New Mexico-bred stakes on the card. Rocky Gulch, the all-time richest New Mexico-bred Thoroughbred with earnings of $1,151,100, will take on New Mexico Cup Classic winner Some Ghost in the $125,000 Johnie Jamison Handicap.

But first up will be Peppers Pride, who will carry high weight of 127 pounds. Her record of 13 wins from 13 starts places her just three victories from tying the modern mark of 16 consecutive wins shared by Citation, Cigar, Hallowed Dreams, and Mister Frisky.

Peppers Pride defeated nine others in her last start, the $182,000 New Mexico Cup Filly and Mare at Zia Park, but has just five rivals Sunday. One of them, however, is Hang Glide, a closer who finished second by two lengths in the Filly and Mare. She is weighted at 118 pounds, nine less than Peppers Pride.

"We were equal weights in our last out," said Joel Marr, who trains Peppers Pride for her breeder, Joe Allen.

Peppers Pride is picking up four pounds off the Filly and Mare, but will be carrying the same amount she did three races back when she won the $45,000 Lincoln Handicap at Ruidoso in July. The runner-up in that race, Theregoesdancer, toted 121. Marr said the weight spread in the New Mexico Racing Commission is his biggest concern.

"She's training well, feeling good," he said of Peppers Pride. "I feel good about her. I don't feel good about having to carry nine more pounds than the next-weighted horse."

Peppers Pride will break from posto5, under regular rider Carlos Madeira.

"I'm definitely happy with the post, outside of all the speed," Marr said. "Hopefully, we'll sit right off the pace."

Hollywood Gone and Complete Pride figure to be prominent, while Hang Glide will be a stretch threat. Hang Glide won an allowance at Zia one start after finishing second to Peppers Pride in the Filly and Mare. Bart Hone trains Hang Glide for R.D. Hubbard and has given the mount to Mark Villa.

* Rocky Gulch will attempt to win the Jamison for the first time since 2004, when he captured the 6 1/2-furlong race with a career-best Beyer Figure of 100.