04/21/2007 12:00AM

Don't Strike out delivers at Sunland


Don't Strike Out's form had not been all that sharp in recent months, but he picked the right time for a rebound as the 7-year-old gelding finished strongly to post a 22-1 upset in the $100,000 Sunland Park Handicap on Saturday.

Owned by Richard Kasuda and trianed by Ray Carlisle Jr., Don't Strike Out raced sixth early in the 1 1/8-mile event, made a strong run to circle the field on the far turn, and continued on smartly to prove an easy 2 3/4-length winner under Mark Villa.

Don't Strike Out paid $47 for his first win in six starts this years. Overall the win pushes his record to 16 wins from 53 starts for earnings of $363,401. He ran the distance in 1:50.50.

Keep on Punching, another longshot, pressed the pace, put away the other speed and kept on well while unable to stay with the winner in the final furlong to finish second. Rollicking Caller rallied for third in the field of eight. Favorite Guiding Hand (6-5) set the pace but faltered to fourth, while Real Dandy (5-2) was last early and never mustered a run, finishing seventh.