Updated on 09/17/2011 12:54PM

Rocky Gulch's reputation grows


SUNLAND PARK, N.M. - Owner-breeder Larry Teague's Rocky Gulch more than lived up to expectations in Saturday's $125,000-added , drawing off in the stretch under Mike Clark to win by 2 1/2 lengths while covering six furlongs in 1:09.16 despite a poor break.

Breaking last in the field of six, Rocky Gulch literally dragged Clark to the front and set fractions of 21.79 and 44.12 seconds with Jonnygetachex all out to keep up. Nearing the stretch, Clark loosened the reins a bit and Rocky Gulch took over and won with only mild urging.

Rapidly gaining a reputation as the best New Mexico-bred since 1981 Preakness runner-up Bold Ego, Rocky Gulch graduated from state-restricted races in the Pepsi Cola. "We'll go for the Borderland next and see how he does," trainer Terry Walker said after the race. "If all goes well, we'd like to take a shot at the WinStar."

The $100,000-added Borderland is a one-mile race on Feb. 29 that serves as the local prep for the $500,000 WinStar Derby on March 28.

The win was Rocky Gulch's fifth in six tries, with his only loss coming in the Copper Top Futurity here last spring when he raced greenly in the stretch. Rocky Gulch returned $2.20 to win.