03/22/2004 1:00AM

Sunland: 'Lord' changes tactics

Eric Alwan
Lord Imajones wins the $103,800 City of Las Cruces Handicap at Sunland Park on Saturday.

SUNLAND PARK, N. M. - In her last two races, Lord Imajones had chased Ghost Chatter home, but Saturday, trainer Bob Noel decided to have jockey Martin Bourdieu send Lord Imajones to challenge from the get-go in the $103,800 City of Las Cruces Handicap. Noel got the desired results, with a 3 3/4-length victory. Ghost Chatter weakened to finish third at odds of 3-5.

Lord Imajones's final time for the two-turn mile was 1:37.69.

"I told Bourdieu that we couldn't beat her unless we applied some pressure early," Noel said after the race.

Owned by Noel's wife, Wynona, and bred by the couple, the 5-year-old Lord Imajones ($25.80) won for the fifth time. She now has earnings of $228,890 from 24 races.