12/07/2012 4:58PM

Sunland: Hennesey Smash challenges older in bid for fifth straight win

Coady Photography
Hennesey Smash, winning the New Mexico Championship Cup for fillies at Zia Park in October, will come back on short rest Sunday.

Hennesey Smash will be seeking her fifth consecutive win when she takes on older rivals Sunday in the $85,000 New Mexico State Racing Commission Handicap at Sunland Park. The race is one of two sprint stakes on the card for New Mexico-breds. The $85,000 Johnie L. Jamison Handicap is led by New Mexico Cup Sprint winner Attitude E Racer.

Hennesey Smash will be coming back just six days after she won a Zia Park allowance. She led throughout for a 3 3/4-length win, and now moves back to the six-furlong distance of her last stakes score, the $140,000 New Mexico Cup Filly for 3-year-olds at Zia on Oct. 28. Derek Bell has the mount for trainer Todd Fincher.

Fincher will also send out the race’s defending champ, Rose’s Desert. She enters off a runner-up finish in the $170,000 New Mexico Cup Filly and Mare Championship at Zia. Casey Lambert has the mount on Rose’s Desert.

The Jamison is for 3-year-olds and up over 6 1/2 furlongs, and it will be Attitude E Racer’s first start since his Oct. 28 win in the $170,000 New Mexico Cup Sprint at Zia. Ken Tohill has the mount for trainer Joel Marr.

Justin Evans, who is coming off the training title at Zia, will counter with a pair of off-the-pace specialists, Our Choice, who has won four stakes this year, and Nuggets Please, who comes off an optional $20,000 claiming win at Zia.

“Both of their styles fit the race pretty good,” said Evans.

Our Choice was a $25,000 claim a year ago at Sunland for Stable s M A and Evans.

“We claimed him last December here and the horse has made almost $270,000 since the claim,” said Evans. “He tailed off a little at Zia. He was fourth last time, but that horse isn’t a big fan of the Zia track. Sunland is the track he likes the best. He really likes Sunland a lot. He worked a bullet here the other day.”