12/06/2002 1:00AM

Star Smasher an angle play


SUNLAND PARK, N.M. - Saturday's $125,000-added Johnie L. Jamison Stakes, for New Mexico-bred 3-year-olds and up at 6 1/2 furlongs, is a new race on the Sunland calendar, named for a horseman who trained on this circuit for more than 40 years and died during the summer.

The race shapes up as a showdown between established local sprinters and 3-year-olds who are trying to make the transition to racing against older horses. Star Smasher, a 3-year-old, is a horse that Jamison used to train. Star Smasher will be making his first start since Jamison's death, and will be among the favorites.

Star Smasher has a record of 4-2-1 in seven starts this year and has won his last three races. In his last race, he won the Roadrunner Handicap at Ruidoso. Owned by The Crew of Brew, Star Smasher is now in the care of Robert Cappellucci and is expected to be one of the top sprinters at this meet. Regular rider Miguel Fuentes has the call.

The race is far from a walk in the park for Star Smasher, however, as a full field of 12 is entered, including Ciento, a 4-year-old who has won 3 of 6 starts this year. Trainer Dick Cappellucci looks to have Ciento set for a top effort off an allowance win at this meet. Leading rider Garrett Gomez has the call.

Another 3-year-old stepping up to take on older rivals is Urlacher, who comes off a strong victory at Sun Ray Park. Trainer Joel Marr's stock has been running well at this meet and veteran Sunland rider Joe Martinez has the call.

Marr's uncoupled entry includes another 3-year-old, Bulletman Jack. While Urlacher is a speedball, Bulletman Jack has run his best races at a route and will come from off the pace in this race, giving Marr a solid one-two punch.

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