Updated on 09/16/2011 8:54AM

Pair of 3-year-olds are the value play


SUNLAND PARK, N.M. - Ciento will be the heavy favorite in Thursday's $75,000-added City of Sunland Park Handicap for New Mexico-bred 3-year-olds and up. But Ciento is likely to be overbet, adding value to the race's other contenders.

Trainer Dick Cappellucci has managed Ciento's career judiciously. The 4-year-old Ciento has compiled an 11-3-2 record in 22 starts, winning 4 of 7 races and earning more than $175,000 this year, which has been his best. He brings a three-race winning streak that includes the Johnie Jamison Handicap here less than three weeks ago into Thursday's 1 1/16-mile race. Jockey Ricardo Jaime rides Ciento on Thursday. Garrett Gomez, who has been riding Ciento, has headed back to Southern California to ride at Santa Anita.

Runmore Mema, trained by Fred Danley, is a consistent 5-year-old gelding who has earned almost $400,000 on this circuit during a career in which he has been in the money 37 of 46 times. Runmore Mema's has finished behind Ciento in his last three races and he is in receipt of only four pounds.

The value in this race lies with a pair of 3-year-olds. Trainer Robert Cappellucci will be trying to upset Ciento, who is trained by his son, Dick, with Star Smasher. Star Smasher was coming off a four-month break in the Johnie Jamison Handicap earlier this month. In that race he made a midstretch bid for the lead but weakened in the final furlong. Star Smasher has won a stakes at a route.

Bulletman Jack is the race's dark horse. A 3-year-old trained by Joel Marr, Bulletman Jack won the New Mexico Thoroughbred Derby at Albuquerque in September at this distance and could to turn into a top route horse in the coming year.

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