11/07/2005 12:00AM

Rocky Gulch wins New Mexico Cup Classic


Rocky Gulch, while spotting his rivals from 10 to 18 pounds as the 127-pound highweight, held off a late bid from Cattleman Prospect for a three-quarter length win Sunday in the $147,200 at Zia Park in Hobbs, N.M.

The one-mile race was the richest for Thoroughbreds on the inaugural New Mexico Cup card, a program of 11 stakes for New Mexico-breds worth $1.5 million. The purses for the races were announced at $1 million when the meet began in September, but have increased three times since then in large part to the success of the 650 slot machines operating at Zia.

Rocky Gulch ($2.80) led through fractions of 24.20 seconds for the opening quarter, 47.80 for the half-mile mark and 1:12.20 for six furlongs before finishing the mile over a fast track in 1:39. Jorge Bourdieu rode the winner for trainer Terry Walker.

Rocky Gulch earned $88,320 for his 11th career stakes win, and now has career earnings of $772,358. He races for his breeder, Larry Teague, who is a resident of Hobbs.

Double for Madeira and Marr

Peppers Pride ($7) remained perfect in three career starts when she overtook pacesetter and favorite Bo Chime and went on to a two and three-quarter length win in the $115,300 Juvenile Fillies.

Carlos Madeira rode Peppers Pride for trainer Joel Marr, and the two men teamed later on the card with Desert Pride ($75), who registered the program's biggest upset with her two-length win in the $115,800 Fillies for 3-year-olds.

* In Unity ($7.80) proved much the best when he rallied for a four and a half length win in the $115,800 Colts and Geldings for 2-year-olds. Mark Villa rode the winner for trainer Raymond Ervin.

* Latenite Special ($4.20) improved her record to 10 for 15 when she drove to a two and three quarter length win over Hat Creek in the $125,800 Filly and Mare. Ken Tohill was aboard the winner for trainer Mitch Lane.

* Marrone ($21.80) drew clear to a three-length win over favorite C.G.'s Dollar in the $115,800 Colts and Geldings for 3-year-olds. Michael Ziegler rode the winner for trainer Kathie Jermain.

* Romeos Wilson ($6.60) rallied for a length and a half win in the $124,900 New Mexico Sprint, covering six furlongs in a sharp 1:09.20. Alfredo Juarez Jr. was aboard for trainer Fred Danley.

* Holy Coaly ($42) won the richest race on the card when she pulled a 20-1 upset over 3-5 favorite Blazin Nights in the $261,936 New Mexico Classic Futurity. The race was one of four stakes on the card for Quarter Horses.

* Ongoing Ta Fame ($9) rallied for a length and three quarter win in the $129,000 Quarter Horse.

* One Star Cowboy ($4.80) was a neck winner of the $117,200 New Mexico Cup at 870 yards.

* Mr. Runaway Shaker won his third straight race in the $132,160 New Mexico Classic Quarter Horse Derby.

* Handle on the program was $632,305.