11/10/2008 12:00AM

Peppers Pride does it again, now 18 for 18


Peppers Pride extended her modern North American record for consecutive wins on

Sunday, when she won her 18th straight race in the $177,615 Filly and Mare Champonship at Zia Park in Hobbs, N.M. She comfortably held off La Sopresa for a one-length win in the race, which has long been a goal for her because it is the richest offering of the year for her New Mexico-bred division. The win thrilled her connections.

"It feels as good as the rest of them, maybe better," said Joel Marr, who trains the undefeated Peppers Pride for Joe Allen.

Marr said no decisions have been made yet as to whether Peppers Pride will race next year or be bred. He said the mare, who is 5, could make her next start on Dec. 14, in the $125,000 New Mexico State Racing Commission Handicap at Sunland Park.

The Filly and Mare Championship was the featured race on the annual $2 million New Mexico Cup card. Peppers Pride ($2.80) broke with the field in the one-mile race under regular rider Carlos Madeira and settled in fourth down the backside after taking the first turn about four wide. She moved up on the final turn and took the lead coming into the stretch. She covered the distance on a fast track in 1:38.31.

For the win she earned $106,500, which pushed her career winnings to $991,085. Peppers Pride has raced exclusively in New Mexico-bred company since winning her career debut in a trial race at Ruidoso Downs on July 16, 2005.

Peppers Pride was one of three stakes winners on the New Mexico Cup card for Marr, who also won both 2-year-old races for Thoroughbreds. Lefty Who ($4.80) remained undefeated in three starts in the $140,000 Colts and Geldings, while Blue Eyed Bella ($5.80) won the $140,000 Juvenile Fillies.

Another big winner on the card was Ky’s Quest ($10.20), who took the $180,000 Classic.