12/09/2011 4:47PM

Sunland: Fincher stablemates square off in Racing Commission Handicap


Comicsperfectstorm, who has won her last five races, and Rose’s Desert, a winner of her last three starts, are stablemates who will meet for the first time Sunday in the $110,000 New Mexico Racing Commission Handicap at Sunland Park.

“We couldn’t avoid it anymore,” trainer Todd Fincher said.

The Racing Commission Handicap is a six-furlong race for fillies and mares bred in New Mexico. It will share a card with another statebred stakes, the $110,000 Johnie L. Jamison Handicap.

Comicsperfectstorm and Rose’s Desert, both 3, each made their last starts on the New Mexico Cup card at Zia Park on Oct. 30. Fincher kept Comicsperfectstorm sprinting in a $150,000 race restricted to 3-year-old fillies and sent Rose’s Desert two turns for the first time in the $182,000 Filly and Mare. The fillies each dominated, and with no upcoming stakes for either until February or March, they have landed in the same spot Sunday.

“All you can do as a trainer is hope they run to their ability, and whatever happens after, that is horse racing,” Fincher said.

Comicsperfectstorm has used her good speed to win four stakes during her current streak, which began in July 2010. Her effort in the New Mexico Cup was one of her strongest, Fincher said.

“Her last race was the most pressure she’s ever had on her,” he said.

Comicsperfectstorm, while racing along the rail, withstood a serious stretch bid from a rival, yet managed to separate herself and go on to a 1 3/4-length win.

“She pulled back away from her,” Fincher said. “That was impressive. She fought that filly off. She’s got heart.”

Comicsperfectstorm could get a different trip in the Racing Commission, when she breaks from post 8 in the field of 10.

“She can sit just off them if the pace is too hot, and she drew a good spot to be able to do that,” said Fincher, noting pace rivals Tricky R. and I Am Lesters Gal will both break inside of Comicsperfectstorm.

Ry Eikleberry will be aboard Comicsperfectstorm for the first time, with her regular rider, Juan Ochoa, deciding to continue to team with Rose’s Desert. Fincher said Eikleberry had a chance to work Comicsperfectstorm on Dec. 3, when the filly drilled five furlongs in a bullet 1:01.40 at Sunland. Comicsperfectstorm races for her breeder, Helen Nave.

Rose’s Desert will be cutting back from a front-running score at a mile for the Racing Commission and, on account of the distance move, might find herself stalking the pace Sunday.

“I definitely think the further the better for her, but she is ultra-talented,” Fincher said. “She’s a really, really nice filly. We’ve worked her many times in the morning behind horses, so she’s eaten dirt. She’s handled it.”

Rose’s Desert began her streak in September, with a maiden special weight sprint win at Zia. She proceeded to win a first-level allowance by more than 11 lengths before defeating older horses in the Filly and Mare. She races for her breeder, Joe Peacock.

◗ Cross Chris Run, who captured the $192,000 New Mexico Cup Classic, will be cutting back to one turn for the Jamison, a 6 1/2-furlong sprint for 3-year-olds and up. Ken Tohill has the mount for trainer Joel Marr.