Updated on 09/17/2011 9:51AM

Ciento takes New Mexico State University


In a race run during a depression-era dust storm, Ciento dueled his arch rival Star Smasher into submission at the sixteenth pole and drew off by 3 1/4 lengths to win the $125,000-added and take a 2-1 advantage in their battle for division honors at this meet.

Ciento, owned by Arden Hawkins, Glen Robertson, and John Terry, stalked Star Smasher, who was vying for the lead with longshot Piute, from inside down the backstretch while full of run and under a tight hold. At times it looked as if Ciento would be trapped along the rail, but jockey Sal Gonzalez deftly eased his mount out three wide on the far turn and went after Star Smasher. Although Star Smasher battled gamely, by midstretch it was apparent that Ciento was going to be the winner.

Six-year-old Runmore Mema once again finished third to his younger foes.

The rivalry between five-year-old Ciento and Star Smasher, who is four, goes beyond the horses in this case, as Ciento is trained by Dick Cappellucci and Star Smasher by his father, Robert, and both are stabled in the same barn. A very happy Dick Cappellucci commented on the rivalry after the race. "They are both good horses, and today mine was the best because I know I can't out-train my dad."

Ciento won the first time the two met on December 8 in the 6 1/2 furlong Johnie L. Jamison Handicap, then Star Smasher came back 18 days later to take the 1 1/16 mile City Of Sunland Park Hadicap. The next race on their schedule is the $75,000-added City of Las Cruces Handicap, again at one mile, on March 15.