Updated on 09/17/2011 10:04AM

Cielo Girl wins Santa Teresa Handicap


Sunland Park, N.M. - Steve Asmussen is a force wherever he goes, and even though he is not stabled at Sunland Park he makes his presence felt here in a powerful way. After sending Cielo Girl out to take Sunday's $50,000-added Santa Teresa Handicap for older fillies and mares, Asmussen is 15 for 31 at the meet, good for fifth in the standings. More importantly, he has now won six of the thirteen non-restricted stakes run here.

The way the Santa Teresa shaped up however, lent a bit of spice to this saga. On January 10 Asmussen sent a four-year-old filly named Take Out the Trash to Sunland for her first race off a brief break. Entered for $12,500, the freshened filly won as the favorite that day despite a troubled trip. She was claimed by Carlos Sedillo for his primary client, M. J. Hand's Three H Racing and now has two wins and a second for Sedillo.

In the Santa Teresa, Sedillo instructed Jorge Bourdieu not let second choice Devious Ways have things her way on the lead. Take Out the Trash and Devious Ways battled through a quarter in 21.64 and a half in 43.70 with Cielo Girl setting comfortably off the action. Turning for home, Devious Ways had had enough, leaving Take Out the Trash as the horse for Cielo Girl to catch. By midstretch Cielo Girl put a head in front, then soon drew off under a strong hand ride from jockey Sal Gonzalez Jr., covering the 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:15.17.

Cielo Girl, a four-year-old by Conquistador Cielo, improved her career record to 18-6-4-2 and has now earned $167,923 for owner Rosenda Parra.

Take Out the Trash hung on for second and long shot Waveband was third.