12/08/2002 12:00AM

Ciento best in Johnie L. Jamison


Completing a perfect four-for-four day, jockey Garrett Gomez guided Andre Hawkins, Glen Robertson and John Terry's Ciento to a popular win in the first running of the $125,000 Johnie L. Jamison Handicap. With a rare rainstorm falling on southern New Mexico during the race, Gomez allowed his mount to settle off the pace, then launched a six wide rally on the turn. Runmore Mema, with Jorge Bourdieu up, had slipped through two wide entering the lane to take a brief lead as Star Smasher, formerly trained by Jamison, and Miguel Fuentes loomed into contention four wide, setting three rivals abreast in midstretch. Gomez asked his horse for a little more and took over shortly thereafter, edging away to win by just under two lengths after six and one-half furlongs in 1:17.21.

The win places Ciento firmly atop the New Mexico-bred sprint division as the new year approaches. Trained by Dick Cappellucci, Ciento now sports a 7-4-1-1 record on the season and the $79,320 winner's share of the Jamison puts his yearly bankroll at $155,985. The four-bagger gives Gomez 22 wins from just 43 mounts through just twelve days of racing. Gomez plans to go back to his home base in Southern California in time for Santa Anita's traditional December 26 opening.

The Jamison is named for the locally legendary trainer who died last summer. Jamison is revered for the patient way he handled the careers of his star horses such as Brew and Yulla Yulla. In the winner's circle after the race members of his family presented a trophy to the winning owners.