12/20/2012 1:28PM

Sunland: African Rose threatens to snap Hennesey Smash's streak in Bold Ego

Coady Photography
African Rose earned a career-high 84 Beyer Speed Figure for her most recent win in the the Zia Park Distaff.

African Rose landed in a stakes brimming with opposing speed in her last start, yet still managed to pull off a front-running win. She will attempt to duplicate the impressive effort on Saturday, when she takes on the sharp speed horse Hennesey Smash in the $50,000 Bold Ego at Sunland Park.

African Rose and Hennesey Smash, a winner of her last four starts, should start as the top two choices in the Bold Ego. They are co-highweighted at 120 pounds in the 5 1/2-furlong handicap for fillies and mares, and they have a combined record of 10 wins from 17 starts.

African Rose picked up the fifth win of her 11-race career in last month’s $55,000 Zia Park Distaff. She set a pressured pace of 21.80 seconds for the opening quarter, 44 for the half-mile, and 55.60 for five furlongs. African Rose moved clear in the later stages to cover six furlongs in 1:09.80.

“She’s always had talent, [but] that was a breakout performance,” said Justin Evans, who trains African Rose for Judge Lanier Racing.

The win was the first in a stakes for African Rose, and she earned a career-high Beyer Speed Figure of 84. The number is also the best last-race Beyer in the Bold Ego. Isaias Enriquez has the mount on African Rose, a daughter of Bwana Charlie who drew post 5.

Hennesey Smash will break to African Rose’s immediate outside, in post 6. She will be seeking her fifth straight win Saturday in a streak that began in the $50,000 Chief Narbona Stakes at Albuquerque on Aug. 26. Hennesey Smash proceeded to win three races during the Zia meet, topped by the $140,000 New Mexico Cup Fillies. She is a half-sister to Some Ghost, a four-time winner of the Albert Dominguez Memorial at Sunland who earned $899,144. Casey Lambert has the mount on Hennesey Smash for Barbara M. Coleman and trainer Todd Fincher.

The field for the Bold Ego also includes Raucous Lady, who was second to African Rose in the Zia Distaff. One start earlier, she had defeated African Rose in an allowance, also at Zia. Enrique Gomez has the mount for trainer Henry Dominguez.

◗ Nuggets Please is being pointed for the Albert Dominguez Memorial at Sunland on Dec. 30, said trainer Justin Evans. The horse became a stakes winner over opening weekend in the $85,000 Johnie L. Jamison.