12/15/2008 1:00AM

Peppers Pride wins No. 19; may be retired


Peppers Pride is still perfect.

She won what was likely the final start of her career with style on Sunday, when she pulled away by 5 3/4 lengths in the $125,000 New Mexico State Racing Commission Handicap at Sunland Park. With the victory, Peppers Pride remained undefeated in 19 starts, and pushed her earnings past $1 million.

"We're just nearly positive we're going to [retire her]," Joe Allen, who bred and owns Peppers Pride, said shortly after the win on Sunday. "It's been pretty hectic the last couple of days. We will know what our definite plans are tomorrow."

Peppers Pride ($3.80) broke with the field in the New Mexico State Racing Commission, but was content to sit several lengths off the pace as Negotiablafections moved to the lead and was dogged by Complete Pride. The pair raced through an opening quarter in 22.36 seconds, after which Negotiablafections shook free of pace rival, just as Peppers Pride began to launch her bid midway on the turn. The eventual winner moved to the lead in the stretch and pulled away in the final sixteenth, covering the six furlongs on a fast track in 1:09.54.

"She exploded late when I asked her," said Carlos Madeira, who has ridden Peppers Pride in each of her starts for trainer Joel Marr. "I had as much horse as I could have ever wanted."

Peppers Pride, 5, earned $75,000 for the win, which pushed her career bankroll to $1,066,085. With the win, Peppers Pride padded the modern North American record she holds for consecutive wins, a mark she set when she won her 17th race Oct. 4 at Zia Park.

Peppers Pride has raced exclusively in New Mexico. She won her career debut at Ruidoso Downs in July 2005.

Negotiableafections held second in the New Mexico State Racing Commission Handicap finishing 3 3/4 lengths in front of third-place finisher Hang Glide.