10/29/2010 3:29PM

Glory Be Mine goes for seven in a row


Glory Be Mine’s bid to win her seventh straight race will be one of the focal points of the $2 million New Mexico Cup at Zia Park on Sunday. The program is comprised of 11 stakes, with seven for Thoroughbreds and four for Quarter Horses. All of the races are for horses bred in New Mexico, and with its purse structure, the restricted series is the richest card of its kind in North America.

“There’s a lot of money at stake there,” said Henry Dominguez, a perennial leading trainer in New Mexico who will send out Lesters Secret in the $180,000 Classic. “It’s a day everybody looks forward to, anybody that’s involved in the New Mexico program. It’s a big, exciting day for us.”

Glory Be Mine goes in the $140,000 Fillies. She will attempt to continue a winning streak that began in her third career start in July 2009. She has won four stakes since, one of them against open company in the $60,000 Permian Basin last fall at Zia. She also won on the New Mexico Cup program a year ago, taking the $149,000 Juvenile Fillies. In more recent times, Glory Be Mine won her first start in eight months in an allowance for statebreds at Zia on Sept. 26.

“She beat older mares, running a good time,” said Todd Fincher, who trains Glory be Mine for Bobby McQueen and Dale Taylor. “Coming off the bench, it was pretty impressive. You can always count on her to give a good effort.”

Glory Be Mine has a few things to overcome to keep her streak alive. For one, she drew an inside post in gate 3, and Fincher would have preferred to be outside in the six-furlong race for 3-year-old fillies. Glory Be Mine also faces a sharp I Am Lesters Gal, who won a recent statebred stakes with a Beyer Spedd Figure of 86, the best career number in the Fillies.

A.J. Martinez has the mount on Glory Be Mine.

Fincher, who won four of the seven Thoroughbred stakes on last year’s New Mexico Cup card, will send out two other capable 3-year-olds on the card. Chuchuluco goes in the $140,000 Colts and Geldings for 3-year-olds at six furlongs, while recent stakes winner Smash Dancer will meet elders in the $170,000 Sprint.

“I put Smash Dancer in the older race because I thought there was less front-end speed in that race, and Smash Dancer is a speed horse,” Fincher said.

Chuchuluco rallied from midpack to win last year’s $152,000 New Mexico Cup Juvenile. He made his first start since February in an allowance at Zia on Oct. 4 and rallied for a more than three-length win to earn a 78 Beyer.

“He’s only been forward since his race,” Fincher said.

‘Outlaw’ defends title in Classic

Enchanted Outlaw will defend his title in the Rocky Gulch Classic at a mile, but he won’t be coming into this year’s race under the same circumstances as a year ago. On Sunday, he will be making his first start since May.

“We gave him a break,” Fincher said. “He campaigned hard.

“It will be tougher this time around. Last year, when he came into it, he was on top of the world. He had a little win streak going.”

Lesters Secret has recency in his favor as he last raced in September and was second in a $40,000 optional claiming sprint at Zia. A stakes winner at one turn and two, he won the Colts and Geldings last year on the New Mexico Cup card. Aaron Gryder has the mount on Lesters Secret.

“He’s going to be close up early,” Dominguez said. “I don’t think he necessarily has to be on the lead. He’s an older, more mature horse now.” ◗ Cali Baby will have to overcome the outside post to win her third straight stakes in the $170,000 Peppers Pride for fillies and mares at a mile. She drew post 12. Trainer Eric Mikkelson has given the mount to A.J. Juarez Jr.

◗ Squall Wilbud gets back to racing with statebreds in the $140,000 Juvenile Fillies after finishing third to win machine Fastation in this year’s Permian Basin. The chief threat could be recent stakes winner Shamrock Girl.

◗ Russian Lane, whose lone loss in four career starts came by a nose to Verny in the $75,000 Totah at SunRay Park in July, gets a rematch with that one in the $140,000 Juvenile.

◗ Trainer Juan Gonzalez will start five horses in the richest race on the card, the $294,200 New Mexico Classic Futurity for Quarter Horses.