03/03/2004 1:00AM

Get Solid can reward a believer


Get Solid, who was supplemented to the American Quarter Horse Association Racing Challenge program for $20,000 in January, will try to earn some of that investment back when he starts in the last of three trials to the MD Barns New Mexico Challenge on Friday at Sunland Park.

The eight fastest finishers from the 870-yard trials qualify to run in the $50,000-added finals on March 21.

Owner Fred Yamaguchi's $20,000 supplemental fee makes Get Solid eligible to nominate for any Racing Challenge race for life. He put up the money after Get Solid, a 5-year-old gelding, won three 870-yard stakes at three different tracks in his last four starts.

Get Solid won the Governor's Cup Marathon at Sam Houston, ran second in the Pat Hyland Handicap at Los Alamitos, and comes into the trials off wins in the Lone Star Park Distance Championship and the Juarez Handicap at Sunland Park.

In the Juarez, Get Solid defeated 2003 co-champion distance horse Sterling Sport, who returns in Friday's trials. Sterling Sport earned the championship with wins in the Grade 1, $100,000 John Deere Distance Championship and the John Deere New Mexico Distance Challenge, the precursor to the MD Barns New Mexico Distance Challenge. Sterling Sport will run in the first trial.

Heza Wicked Man, third in the Juarez on Jan. 11, is looking for his first win at 870 yards in the second trial. In 2003, he was second in the Grade 1, $100,000 New Mexico Challenge Championship at 440 yards and won the Ruidoso 550 Championship.