03/28/2010 12:00AM

Harissa wins first stakes in Sunland Oaks


Harissa became a stakes winner Sunday, when she tracked the pace and went on to a 3 1/2-length win in the . The 1 1/16-mile race for 3-year-old fillies was one of six stakes on a card worth more than $1.4 million. The program was topped by the Grade 3, $800,000 Sunland Derby that was won by Endorsement.

Harissa ($6.80) settled just off of Hayley's Halo as that one led the field through fractions of 23.41 seconds for the opening quarter, 46.76 for the half-mile, and 1:11.25 for six furlongs. Harissa drew even with the leader on the final turn, raced with her into the stretch, and then went on to cover the distance on a track rated fast in 1:42.90.

Tyler Baze was aboard the winner for Gem Inc. and trainer David Hofmans.

Harissa came into the Sunland Park Oaks off a runner-up finish in an $80,000 optional claimer at Santa Anita. She is a daughter of Afleet Alex. The win was her second from seven starts. She has now earned $174,520.

Hayley's Halo held second, finishing 2 3/4 lengths clear of favorite Queen Greeley.

Freedom Star wires Henson

Freedom Star delivered a front-running win as the 1-2 favorite in the , scoring by 2 1/4 lengths over Prairie Charm. It was the second straight stakes win for Freedom Star, who in her dirt debut earlier this month won the Grade 3, $150,000 Azeri at Oaklawn Park.

Freedom Star set fractions of 23.69 seconds for the opening quarter in the Henson and proceeded to lead through a half-mile in 46.98, and six furlongs in 1:11.01. Freedom Star ($3) went on to cover the mile for fillies and mares in 1:35.95.

Martin Garcia was aboard for trainer Bob Baffert.

* Favorite Flag ($7) edged King's Water Lilly by a neck in the $100,000 New Mexico Breeders' Oaks. The 1 1/16-mile race was for fillies and mares bred in New Mexico. Luis Contreras rode the winner for trainer Henry Dominguez.

* Happy Me ($6.40) led wire to wire for a head win in the $125,000 La Coneja, a 5 1/2-furlong race for fillies and mares bred in New Mexico. Ken Tohill was aboard for trainer Fred Danley.

* Desert Jack ($21.60) closed from well back for a nose win over Train Rider Blues in the $100,000 New Mexico Breeders' Derby. The 1 1/16-mile race was restricted to 3-year-olds bred in New Mexico. Carlos Madeira rode the winner for trainer Joel Marr.