10/19/2005 11:00PM

Mr. Trieste must spot significant weight


Mr. Trieste will spot his rivals from five to 10 pounds when he attempts to win his sixth consecutive race Saturday in the rescheduled $60,000 Kachina Handicap at Zia Park in Hobbs, N.M.

The one-mile race was to be run Oct. 15, but after heavy rains hit the area, the handicap, along with eight other races on the card, was canceled. There were 10 horses set to start in the original Kachina, and seven entered back for this week's running, including leading contender Perfect Moon, who will carry 118 pounds, seven fewer than Mr. Trieste.

"We got a really good break in the weights," said Chris Hartman, who trains Perfect Moon.

Perfect Moon, who was a Grade 2 winner at 2, has moved into the region after being claimed for $50,000 last out at Del Mar. Hartman has given the mount to Anthony Lovato.

Mr. Trieste will pick up three pounds off his last start, when he won the San Juan County Commissioner Handicap at 1 1/8 miles at Sun Ray Park on Sept. 5. The runner-up, Suspicious Minds, returned in his next start to win the $25,000 Bienvenidos at Turf Paradise.

Mr. Trieste, meanwhile, has turned in three sharp works since the San Juan. He is out to extend a streak that started in September 2004, when he won the Albuquerque Derby. From there, Mr. Trieste won allowances last November and December, and in August 2005.

Leading rider Ken Tohill has the mount for trainer Gary Cross.

* Zia has increased purses 10 percent beginning immediately, and the increase will be retroactive to races already run at the new track and slots casino, which opened Sept. 23. Officials also announced the value of the New Mexico Cup, a program of 11 stakes for statebreds Nov. 6, has been increased from $1 million to $1.2 million. Zia opened its meet for Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses with an average daily purse structure of $230,000.