11/16/2007 12:00AM

Streaking filly has hidden class

EmailLEXINGTON, Ky. - With 13 victories in a row, the unbeaten 4-year-old filly Peppers Pride is becoming a legend in New Mexico racing, and owner-breeder Joseph Allen of Abilene, Texas, believes that his racehorse is something special and would like to keep winning races with her.

In her most recent start, Peppers Pride won the New Mexico Cup Championship Fillies and Mares Stakes at Zia Park on Nov. 11. That victory has brought her increasing attention, as she approaches the modern benchmark for consecutive victories in North America.

That mark is 16 and is held by Cigar, Citation, Mister Frisky, and Hallowed Dreams among relatively recent racers.

Hallowed Dreams is the only filly in that group, but the champion filly Personal Ensign is one of the few others who won 13 races in a row. She retired unbeaten after her 13th victory, which came over Kentucky Derby winner Winning Colors in the Breeders' Cup Distaff.

As a result of winning 13 races, Peppers Pride is attracting attention to the breeding industry of New Mexico and especially to her breeder and parents. When a fan reads that Peppers Pride is by Desert God out of Lady Pepper, by Chili Pepper Pie, there is a certain unfamiliarity with the pedigree.

That disappears with a closer inspection of the sire of Peppers Pride. She is a daughter of the stallion Desert God, who is a son of the important Mr. Prospector stallion Fappiano and is out of the Kentucky Oaks winner Blush With Pride.

Desert God is the sixth foal of his famous dam and was born in 1991, one year before Group 2 winner Smolensk and five years before Grade 2 winner Better Than Honour.

Better Than Honour has become the one of the most famous broodmares in the world after producing the last two winners of the Belmont Stakes, Jazil (by Seeking the Gold) and Rags to Riches (A.P. Indy).

In contrast to his famous siblings, Desert God was unraced. But with such a good pedigree, the bay horse went to stud and spent time as part of the breeding program at the University of Arizona.

Allen said, "I have a cousin at the University of Arizona, and when they had put Desert God up for sale, I bought him."

Although Allen initially intended to stand Desert God at his ranch in Texas, he was racing in New Mexico and decided to stand the stallion there.

Desert God has stood five seasons at the A & A Ranch of Fred Alexander in Anthony, N.M. Alexander said, "We have 40 acres and stand six Thoroughbred stallions and two Quarter Horse stallions, with around 70 year-round broodmares."

The A & A Ranch Thoroughbred stallions are Roll Hennessy Roll, Premeditation, Suave Prospect, Lazy Lode, Crafty Player, and Desert God.

Alexander said that Desert God is owned in partnership by Joseph Allen and his cousin Ron Allen and noted that the Allens "basically proved the horse themselves, and now he has picked up quite a few outside mares."

According to statistics from the Jockey Club, Desert God covered 57 mares in 2007.

For the 2008 season, Alexander said that the Allens are "only going to breed 20 outside mares to him."

"His stud fee is $6,000, and he is already book full," Alexander said.

The Allens own more than two dozen mares and will breed many of them to Desert God, as they have in the past. These are all boarded at A & A Ranch.

Lady Pepper is the dam of Peppers Pride. This is where the pedigree becomes even less familiar, because the dam is by Chili Pepper Pie, a stakes-winning son of Red Gar. Red Gar is a full brother to Beau Purple (by the Count Fleet stallion Beau Gar), who won the Suburban Handicap and Man o' War Stakes in 1962, defeating the Horse of the Year Kelso. Red Gar also was a stakes winner and ran second in the Carter and Vosburgh in 1964.

Joseph Allen purchased Lady Pepper with her filly by the Valdez stallion Captain Len in 1994. He said, "I got her from a friend of mine named Oscar Johnson, who got her from Bob Kimbrough after her racing career was over."

Lady Pepper produced only four named Thoroughbred foals, but two of them are stakes winners: the full sisters Desert Pride and Peppers Pride.

The breeder said that Peppers Pride is "more like Desert God."

"The dam was not really a pretty mare," he said. "She was a little coarse and sway-backed. She had some speed, but you wouldn't expect her to produce something like Peppers Pride."

The filly began her success at 2, winning all three of her starts, including the New Mexico Cup Championship Juvenile Fillies Stakes, and the next year she won all four of her starts, including the New Mexico Cup Championship Fillies Stakes. This season, Peppers Pride has added a half-dozen more victories.

Despite the uncommon success of Peppers Pride, Allen has experienced some bad luck with this family. The dam of Peppers Pride was put down because of complications of laminitis in 2003, and the full sister, Desert Pride, died from colic before being bred.

The mare's only other daughter is Pepper's Angel, and she has been bred to Desert God.

Peppers Pride is likely to make her next start in the New Mexico Racing Commission Handicap at Sunland Park on Dec. 16. Allen said that "trainer Joel Marr makes all the calls. I just enjoy the ride."