Updated on 09/17/2011 10:15AM

Night Patrol best in Sunland Park Handicap


SUNLAND PARK, N.M. - Sunland Park staged two $100,000-added stakes for older horses Saturday and both featured exciting stretch duels between Steve Asmussen runners and horses owned by the Everest Stables.

Asmussen regularly ships horses here and after Saturday's races has a 39-16-7-2 record. The Everest Stables' Island Fashion won her maiden in the WinStar Sunland Park Oaks here last Saturday.

Everest Stables scored a hard-earned win in the after Night Patrol wore down the Asmussen-trained Tee Cat and edged clear inside the sixteenth pole under Ignacio Puglisi. Night Patrol, a seven-year-old gelding best known as a turf runner, returned $10.40 and was timed for 1 1/8 miles in 1:48.60. It was the tenth win of Night Patrol's fifty-race career and the $63,180 he earned put his lifetime total at $704,273 for trainer Nick Canani. Truly a Judge, favored at 3-5, raced close up three wide but came up empty in the stretch.

Cielo Girl takes Harry Henson

The one-mile Harry Henson Handicap was even more dramatic, with Rosenda Parra's Cielo Girl getting up at the wire to win by a nose over Everest Stables' Sister Girl Blues. Jockey Lonnie Meche stalked the early pace and then sent Cielo Girl after Sister Girl Blues in the stretch. Sister Girl Blues had a half-length at the eighth pole but Meche put Cielo Girl to a fierce drive and she responded with a game effort. For Cielo Girl, who paid $4.20, it was back-to-back stakes wins at Sunland, having taken the Santa Teresa Handicap here March 9. She now sports a 19-7-4-2 record, plus the Henson winnings of $62,610 give her a bankroll of $230,533. For Asmussen, it was his seventh stakes win of the meet.

Asmussen sent out 1-5 favorite Slam Bam in the $50,000-added Getaway Handicap at 870 yards for Quarter Horses and Thoroughbreds. Slam Bam had drawn the rail for the race but was beaten to the turn by eventual winner Ill do the Job and forced to check back and angle out, finishing fourth. Ill do the Job, owned by Dustin Shearer and Trey Wood, was winning his first stakes for trainer Blaine Wood and now has three wins from seven starts. Ill do the Job earned $31,920 that boosted his earnings to $49,844. Ill do the Job paid $19.