11/28/2002 12:00AM

Hasty Gus vs. Bubba Hyde in battle of win streakers


SUNLAND PARK, N.M. - Saturday's $125,000-added Red Hedeman Mile for New Mexico-bred 2-year-olds features two horses with three-race winning streaks. It was only a matter of time before they crossed paths.

Hasty Gus, trained by Joe Cordova, comes into the race after winning three straight at Sun Ray Park's recently concluded fall meet, including a small stakes in his latest start, on Nov. 15. Victor Escobar, the regular rider of Hasty Gus, will attempt to ration the gelding's speed Saturday in order to negotiate the two-turn mile.

Bubba Hyde also is on a three-race win streak, but he hasn't raced for two months. He won his three races at Ruidoso and Albuquerque in late summer. Trained by Todd Fincher, Bubba Hyde is also speedy, and the time between starts will make it all the more interesting as to how he will handle his first route.

Carlos Madeira will ride Bubba Hyde.

The Hedeman will be the first route race for all 10 starters, making the possibility of finding an overlay who will be able to handle the distance a handicapping challenge.

The lightly raced Casperino could be the horse. Casperino had failed in his first two races at short distances but on opening day here he won his maiden by five lengths going 6 1/2 furlongs under hot rider Ricardo Jaime. Casperino is trained by Henry Dominguez.

The Red Hedeman Mile is a new race on the Sunland schedule, named in honor of the former Sunland clerk of scales who died last year.

* Sunday's feature, the $125,000-added Jess Burner Memorial for statebred Quarter Horses, 3 and up, at 400 yards, has drawn the best of the division. Chicks Goes Steppin, a 3-year-old, will be the likely favorite based on his outstanding season. Chicks Goes Steppin has a 7-4-2-0 record in 2002. His only off-the-board finish was via disqualification.

Chicks Goes Steppin faced older rivals for the first time in his most recent race, the Grade 3 New Mexico Handicap at Sun Ray Park on Nov. 9, and won by a neck against many of the horses he will face on Sunday.

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