10/02/2010 3:34PM

Chuchuluco prepping for New Mexico Cup


Trainer Todd Fincher won four of the seven Thoroughbred stakes on last fall’s $2 million New Mexico Cup program at Zia Park and will be prepping for another run at the series on Monday.

Fincher will send out Chuchuluco in the featured seventh race, a $35,000 optional claiming allowance sprint for 3-year-olds and up bred in New Mexico. The 5 1/2-furlong race will be the horse’s final prep for the $140,000 New Mexico Cup for 3-year-olds at Zia on Oct. 31.

Chuchuluco won the New Mexico Cup Juvenile last year, while his stablemate, Glory Be Mine, took the Juvenile Fillies. Glory Be Mine prepped for this year’s New Mexico Cup last week at Zia and won an allowance over older rivals in her first start since January. Monday will be Chuchuluco’s first race back since February.

“I prepared them together, worked them both together,” Fincher said. “She showed up on race day, and I think he will, too. He’s fit and ready. I would expect a really good race from him.”

Chuchuluco, a winner of 3 of 6 starts, including two stakes, was freshened with the goal of returning for the New Mexico Cup.

“He had a pretty rough campaign, ran in a lot of big races, and in the summer months there’s not a whole lot for him,” Fincher said. “We wanted to have him ready for the fall, and that’s what we’re doing with him.”

Chuchuluco will be cutting back to one turn after a rare two-turn start in the $100,000 Borderland Derby at Sunland Park in his last start Feb. 27. He finished eighth in the race, one start after cruising in the $125,000 Pepsi Cola at six furlongs at the track in January.

“Mentally, he would not relax going a mile for us,” Fincher said. “He just tries too hard. He doesn’t want to relax, which will be fine for the sprint.”

Isaias Enriquez has the mount on Chuchuluco for West Texas Racing Partners.

The race Monday is also expected to produce starters for the $170,000 New Mexico Cup Sprint Championship for 3-year-olds and up. Others in the optional claimer include Lesters Secret, a winner during last year’s New Mexico Cup, and Romeos Wilson, a 12-year-old who won the $40,000 Pony Express at Albuquerque in August.

The New Mexico Cup card also offers several major stakes for Quarter Horses. The races are all for statebreds and the program is the richest of the meet at Zia.