01/16/2009 1:00AM

Peppers Pride retires unbeaten


Peppers Pride, the New Mexico-based mare who owns the longest winning streak in modern North American history, has been retired, her trainer, Joel Marr, said on Thursday. She will be sent to Richland Hills Farm in Midway, Ky., in the next two or three weeks, where she will be boarded. Joe Allen, who bred and owns Peppers Pride, said stallion plans for her are being finalized and that her first foal would be born in Kentucky.

Peppers Pride retires undefeated in 19 career starts. She raced exclusively in her home state of New Mexico, with her final race coming on Dec. 14 in the $125,000 New Mexico State Racing Commission Handicap at Sunland Park. Allen and Marr intended to retire her following that race, but she turned in such a powerful performance they briefly considered racing her another season. Ultimately, the decision was made to stick with the original plan.

"We just felt like it was in her best interest to go ahead and retire her," Allen said. "I hope it's the right thing to do."

Peppers Pride, 6, made her career debut in a trial race at Ruidoso Downs on July 16, 2005. As the wins continued to mount Peppers Pride found herself in a position to equal the modern North American record for consecutive wins, 16, in April 2008. She rose to the occasion, overcoming a horrid trip in the $75,000 Foutz Distaff Handicap at SunRay Park and tying the mark held by Citation, Cigar, Hallowed Dreams, and Mister Frisky.

Peppers Pride then separated herself in the record books one start later, when she won her 17th straight race in a $35,000 optional claiming race at Zia Park on Oct. 4. She raced twice more, taking the $177,000 New Mexico Cup Filly and Mare Distaff at Zia on Nov. 9, and the New Mexico Racing Commission, for which she earned a Beyer Figure of 98.

"You have to quit sometime, and we'd definitely rather quit while we're ahead," Marr said. "She's sound, and it just seemed like the right thing to do."

Carlos Madeira rode Peppers Pride throughout her career, during which she won 14 stakes and $1,066,085. She is a daughter of the Fappiano stallion Desert God and the mare Lady Pepper, who is by Chili Pepper Pie.

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