12/15/2006 1:00AM

Latenite Special best if she's ready


Latenite Special can surpass the $500,000 mark in earnings Sunday with a win in the $125,000 New Mexico Racing Commission Handicap at Sunland Park, but the task will not be easy. Idle for five months, she gives up recency to almost all 10 of her rivals in the six-furlong race for New Mexico-bred fillies and mares.

But what Latenite Special lacks in recent form, she makes up for in class. She has won 13 of 22 starts and $461,783, with 8 of her victories coming in stakes. Latenite Special last raced at SunRay Park on July 15, and was a two-length winner of an allowance. She shows some nice five-furlong works for her return, and has run well fresh. Latenite Special won the New Mexico Cup Fillies and Mares at Zia in 2005 in her first start in three months, and also won an allowance off a two-month layoff in January 2006.

Mitch Lane trains Latenite Special, and he excels with horses returning from layoffs of 61 to 180 days. Ken Tohill has the mount on Latenite Special, who has the speed to hold position from her rail post.

Latenite Special could secure a nice stalking trip behind such quick rivals as La Mamie and Hollywood Gone, who contested the pace last out in the $196,000 New Mexico Cup Fillies and Mares. Skirt Alert, who rallied to win that race, is the co-highweight with Latenite Special at 123 pounds.