01/27/2005 1:00AM

Hecamefromaclaim red hot


Hecamefromaclaim, a fast son of In Excessive Bull, has found success against both Quarter Horses and Thoroughbreds, and is the horse to beat in Saturday's $53,400 Budweiser Handicap at Sunland Park.

Hecamefromaclaim, the 121-pound highweight in a field of seven, comes into the five-furlong stakes in razor-sharp form. He has won 4 of his last 5 and his versatility has carried him past both breeds. After an 870-yard allowance win at Ruidoso last July, he faltered in an 870-yard stakes there. Hecamefromaclaim moved to a longer trip at five furlongs for a stakes at Ruidoso on Aug. 20 and bounced back with a strong wire-to-wire win. He backed it up with a powerful rallying score in the Grade 3, Brigand Handicap over 1,000 yards at Ruidoso on Sept. 4.

Hecamefromaclaim took two months off and returned here in the Grade 2 Challenge Six Handicap on Dec. 5 at 870 yards. He was slow into stride but put in a powerful rally to win going away. That form and this distance make him a major player, and a couple strong recent local drills appear to have him set up well. Alfredo Juarez Jr. rides.

Hecamefromaclaim's main challenge figures to come from the amazingly quick Russian Elite, who carries 119 pounds. He has been beaten to the pace call only once in is last 10 starts and to the stretch call only once in his last 10 starts. Russian Elite comes off a smart allowance win here Dec. 21 and was second in the Sunland Park Fall Derby here Nov. 10 in the mud, behind multiple stakes winner Two Down Automatic. Perry Whetstone rides.

Rockin the Ship, also assigned 119 pounds, comes off a game win over allowance foes here on Jan. 9. Prior to that he finished fourth behind Russian Elite on Dec. 21, and before that was fourth behind Two Down Automatic and Russian Elite in the Sunland Park Fall Derby. Ken Tohill rides.

The filly Sandia's Flicka takes a swing at the boys here for trainer Rick Terry. Assigned 114 pounds, she showed good speed in the Jan. 2 Bold Ego before succumbing to multiple stakes winner Souris, who came right back to win again. She has speed but facing males is a big hurdle. Ricardo Jaime rides.