09/01/2008 12:00AM

Consecutive-win bid on hold again for Peppers Pride


Peppers Pride, who was to attempt to set a North American record for consecutive wins Sunday at Ruidoso Downs in the $67,500 Lincoln Handicap, was scratched from the race about two hours before it was scheduled to be contested.

Ruidoso's track was listed as sloppy mid-card, and Joel Marr, who trains Peppers Pride, decided not to run her on the off track. Peppers Pride has never run on a wet track in her 16 career races, all of which she has won. She was seeking win No. 17 on Sunday.

Marr said he is aiming Peppers Pride at the $170,000-added New Mexico Classic Cup Filly and Mare Championship at a mile at Zia Park on Nov. 9, but that he wants to run her before that race. She has not raced since April 26. Last year, she won an allowance at Zia in October that served as a local prep for the race. The Championship, which was run at six furlongs last year, will be run at a mile in 2008. Zia opens its meet Sept. 13.

Peppers Pride was the 127-pound highweight in the Lincoln, a six-furlong race for New Mexico-bred fillies and mares in which she was to spot her rivals between 10 and 14 pounds.

"It wasn't just mud, it was the fact that she's never run in it," said Marr. "It was a lot of different factors. It was [being in] the 2 hole, knowing we were not going to be on the lead, having to hustle through carrying 127 pounds on an off track. I just wasn't going to run her on that, period.

"I'm sure it's a big letdown for her. She was ready to go two times in a row, and it will take some work to get her back ready to go for the next one."

Peppers Pride was set to run in the Lincoln on July 27, but Ruidoso was forced to cancel its entire card that afternoon after seven inches of rain flooded the track. The race was rescheduled for Sunday, but rains came early on the card and again in the sixth race, in which Marr had a starter. After ponying that horse to post himself and seeing that the track was a little slick, he made the decision to scratch Peppers Pride.

Peppers Pride is bidding to surpass the modern record of 16 consecutive wins that she shares with Cigar, Citation, Hallowed Dreams, and Mister Frisky. She races for her breeder, Joe Allen.