11/19/2004 1:00AM

Sandias Peppermint returns home


Texas and turf apparently did not agree with Sandias Peppermint, but he appears to be back in his element as he carries high weight of 120 pounds against 11 other juveniles in Red Hedeman Mile at Sunland Park. The $125,000 event is for New Mexico-bred 2-year-olds at one mile.

Sandias Peppermint had considerable success in the New Mexico-bred ranks in the spring and summer, with stakes placings in the Copper Top Futurity here April 11 and the Ruidoso Thoroughbred Futurity on July 17. He shipped to Retama for a turf event against open foes Aug. 14, but faded badly after dueling on the pace and finished last.

Sandias Peppermint was given plenty of time to recover after that race, has worked well of late, and appears ready to get back to his previous form. Casey Lambert rides.

Sandias Peppermint's main opposition figures to come from Mojo Mundo, who was second in the George Maloof Futurity at Albuquerque Sept. 26. He carries 118 pounds and rider Clark Jones.

Bluffen Go also is a threat. He won his maiden against winners at Albuquerque on Sept. 11, then came back to be third in the George Maloof Futurity there Sept. 26, just a length behind Mojo Mundo. He also carries 118 pounds and rider Carlos Madeira.

Spelling Bee Jones may be the most interesting entrant. He finished behind many of these in the spring and early summer, but then he won by more than 12 lengths Aug. 15 in the slop at Ruidoso. Spelling Bee Jones either looks like a new horse, or simply a mud-lover. Ricardo Jaime rides at 117 pounds.