11/10/2006 12:00AM

Danley loaded for New Mexico Cup


The depth of trainer Fred Danley's stable will be on display Sunday in the $2 million New Mexico Cup at Zia Park in Hobbs, N.M. He has starters in seven of the 11 stakes on the card, with leading contenders in races for both Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses.

Danley, who operates one of New Mexico's most successful stables, is in position to take full advantage of the richest program of races ever run for horses bred in New Mexico.

"I don't really think the money can get any better than what it is on this day right here," he said.

Danley springs into action in the first race, the $160,000 Juvenile Colts, with stakes winner Colorofrun, who will start as one of the top choices in the 6 1/2-furlong race. He has won his last two starts by a combined 13 lengths, and is a half-brother to stakes winners Shemoveslikeaghost and Romeos Wilson, who will start later on the card for Danley.

Danley's highest-profile 2-year-old on the program, however, is a Quarter Horse. Gun Battle was second by a neck in the Grade 1 All American Futurity on Sept. 4, and was favored for the race after winning his trial by 5 1/4 lengths. He will go off favored in the $332,350 Futurity, the richest race on the card for Quarter Horses.

"He's got a lot of heart, and he's got a terrific mind," said Danley. "He's laid back. He doesn't worry about much."

Danley's other top Quarter Horse on the card is Gotta Get, who will be aiming for his fifth straight win when he starts in the $200,000 Championship.

The older Thoroughbred sprinters in the Danley barn include Romeos Wilson, who could get a nice pace setup in the $185,000 Sprint, and Hollywood Gone, who looks like the one to beat in the $185,000 Championship Fillies.

"Right now, she's really training super," Danley said of Hollywood Gone. "I think she'll run a big race."

Romeos Wilson will break from post 11 in the Sprint.

"I'm looking for him to lay about fourth or fifth, about three lengths off of them, and then make a large run at them," said Danley.

The chief threat could be Gulchrunsweet. In his last start, he was prominent in an 870-yard allowance and finished second, and in March he set a track record for 4o1/2 furlongs at Sunland.

"Our horse doesn't have to be on the lead, but he is really fast," said trainer Bart Hone.

Hone noted that the Quarter Horse who won the allowance, One Star Cowboy, is to run in the $160,000, 870-yard Championship, one start before the Sprint.

Perfection on line for Peppers Pride

Peppers Pride, who has won all five of her starts, including three stakes races, headlines the $160,000 Fillies. The 6 1/2-furlong race is for 3-year-old fillies. Peppers Pride comes into the race off a nose win in an allowance at Zia on Oct. 17, which was her first start since January.

"She's got a pretty big heart," said Joel Marr, who trains Peppers Pride. "She wants to win, and she's found a way to win every time so far."

Peppers Pride will break from posto8.

"I would look for her to be sitting right off the pace, second, third, fourth somewhere, depending on how fast they go," said Marr. "I'd like to be close enough that when the running starts, we can sure catch them."

The chief threat is Theregoesdancer, who was second by a nose to Peppers Pride in the allowance at Zia in her first start since July.

Prep for Champion of Champions

Arealstraitheart, who won the Grade 1 All American Derby, is the horse to beat in the $160,380 Derby for Quarter Horses. A winner of 9 of 12 starts, he was the fastest qualifier for the race on Sunday.

"He's just a racehorse," said trainer Ben Torres, who said a goal with Arealstraitheart is the Grade 1 Champion of Champions at Los Alamitos in December.

* Silver Expression, an 11 1/2-length maiden winner last out at Zia, will take on undefeated stakes winner Dumpsey Jean in the $160,000 Juvenile Fillies.

* Matchstick Man, a stakes winner in open company in June, will start as one of the top contenders in the $160,000 Colts and Geldings, for 3-year-olds at 6 1/2 furlongs. He won an allowance last out at Zia.