Updated on 09/18/2011 1:41AM

Mr. Trieste out to make amends


Mr. Trieste, a dominant handicap horse in New Mexico, will make the penultimate start of his career on Sunday, defending his title in the $200,000 Zia Park Distance Championship in a field that includes the up-and-coming Majestic Stream.

The 1 1/8-mile race is one of two major stakes on the card. The other is the $200,000 Championship for Quarter Horses, which drew reigning world champion DM Shicago. Jim Helzer, who co-owns both Mr. Trieste and DM Shicago, said Mr. Trieste will likely close out his racing career next month, then head to stud at JEH Stallion Station in Hondo, N.M.

"We think we might run one more time," he said. "That would be at Sunland in early January."

Mr. Trieste has won 13 of 15 starts in New Mexico since coming to the state in September 2004.

"He's awesome, because he's been on 'Go' for three years now around here," said Gary Cross, who trains Mr. Trieste.

Mr. Trieste is the 124-pound highweight in the Distance Championship, and will spot his rivals between two and 12 pounds. In his last start, Mr. Trieste finished second to Majestic Stream in the $66,000 Veterans at Zia on Nov. 11. He did not handle the surface that day, Cross said.

"He was just swimming around," Cross said. "He didn't like it at all."

Mr. Trieste has since worked well, Cross said. He will break from the rail under regular rider Ken Tohill.

To his immediate outside is Majestic Stream, who was entered in the $150,000 Zia Park Derby on Saturday but will run instead in the Championship, his owner and trainer, Clyde Veltmann, said Friday.

Majestic Stream, weighted at 117, has stepped up his game lately. He is looking for his fourth straight win, with his most recent start a wire-to-wire romp in the Veterans.

"He's wanting to run more up on the front end," said Veltmann. "We let him do that the other day, and he handled it real well. We'll probably do the same thing. We'll just let him get out there and let him relax and just let him run his race."

Majestic Stream is a May foal by Fusaichi Pegasus.

"He's starting to put it together now," said Veltmann, who has given the mount to Chris Zamora.

* DM Shicago is the class of his race, and with a win in the Championship would secure an invitation to the Grade 1, $400,000 Championship for Quarter Horses at Sunland Park on Dec. 30, which is the goal, Helzer said.