01/19/2006 12:00AM

Peppers Pride faces off against two familiar rivals


Peppers Pride comes in unbeaten in three outings but hasn't raced in more than two months. Acute Angle comes here as the sharp, in-form horse, having won two straight. Bo Chime has shown she can be freaky when in the mood.

Those three clash Saturday in Sunland Park's $125,000 La Senora Handicap. The six-furlong race for 3-year-old New Mexico-bred fillies has lured a field of eight.

, trained by Joel Marr, is not only unbeaten but basically untested. She easily won her first two outings last July at Ruidoso Downs but was then idle until the New Mexico Juvenile Filly at Zia Park on Nov. 6. Despite the layoff and some solid opposition, Peppers Pride pressed the issue, took over into the lane, and drew off to again win handily. She hasn't raced since, but that run showed she can fire off a layoff and proved she's not merely a Ruidoso specialist.

Notable among those beaten by her at Zia were her two main rivals Saturday: , who finished fifth.

Carlos Madeira rides Peppers Pride, the likely favorite and co-highweight at 122 pounds.

While she lost to Peppers Pride when they met at Zia, Acute Angle has since gone on a roll. Trained by Owen Bringhurst, Acute Angle romped over maidens at Zia on Nov. 21 and then came right back to impressively beat allowance foes at Sunland on Dec. 13. It's as if a light went on, and the guy who flipped the switch may well be rider Mike Ziegler - he teamed up with her for her last two races. Ziegler has the call again.

Also tabbed at 122 pounds is Bo Chime. She has done little wrong, winning 4 of 6. And when she fires, she can fire big, as those wins have come by 18 3/4, 6 3/4, 11 1/2, and six lengths. Her most recent win was a romp in a stakes at Zia on Dec. 4. Prior to that, she was second to Peppers Pride as the even-money favorite in the New Mexico Juvenile Filly.