Updated on 09/17/2011 9:53AM

Devious Ways's speed kills in Czaria


SUNLAND PARK, N. M. - Devious Ways confirmed one of horse racing's greatest truths in Sunday's at Sunland Park, that being bet the lone speed. And Devious Ways would have been favored but for another of those truths, and that is bet the hot trainer.

Though Devious Ways was obviously the speed of the race, she was trumped in the

wagering by the bettors regard for Steve Asmussen, who is 11 for 20 at this meet. His trainee, the stakes winning closer Cielo Girl, was bet down to $1.30 as opposed to $1.60 for local star Devious Ways. Devious Ways nearly met disaster at the break as she took a hop and then bumped into Cielo Girl, who was in the next stall over. Devious Ways landed on her feet, however, and quickly cruised to the lead with little urging from jockey Casey Lambert. The race was effectively over after a 22.31 quarter-mile, albeit racing into a wind that was gusting up to 30 MPH, with Devious Ways a length in front with Lambert sitting chilly. Cielo Girl put in a valiant late rally but it was too late.

For trainer Todd Fincher, who ponies his horses to the gate himself, it was somewhat more dramatic. Unable to see the board from behind the gate, all he knew was that his horse did not break sharp and was in front heading for home, and he heard track announcer Robert Gellar's call that Cielo Girl was closing fast. "I felt pretty confident going into the race because she has been training well and loves this track." Fincher was not coy about the plans for his speedy filly, who has never run long, laying his cards on the table. "We'll run her back in the Santa Teresa here at 6 1/2 on March 9.

Casey (Lambert) feels she will do well around two turns and if she wins

we'll go back in the ($100,000-added) Henson Handicap at one mile April 5."

Devious Ways, a Texas-bred four-year-old daughter of Devious Course, was winning for the seventh time in 17 career starts and now has bankrolled over $135,000. Fincher owns her in partnership with Brad King, who has been a patron of Fincher's from the begining of his training career five years ago.

Devious Ways stopped the timer in 1:09.29 while beating Cielo Girl three-quarters of a length. It was another 1 1/2 to Waveband.