02/25/2008 1:00AM

Sunland Park: Broke Sharply up to the task

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Broke Sharply took another significant step forward as he captured Sunland Park's $50,000 Curribot Handicap.

Owned by Richard Lueck and trained by Gary Cross, the 6-year-old gelding came back from a layoff here Jan. 8 and romped over $20,000 claimers. He was given a significant step up here as he faced five rivals going 1 1/16 miles.

Broke Sharply bided his time in midpack under Duane Sterling, made a strong, wide run on the far turn and into the lane, then took the lead and gamely battled back to keep the hard-charging 4-5 favorite, Red Rock Creek, at bay in the final yards to win by a neck. Red Rock Creek finished four lengths ahead of third-place finisher Takin Issue.

Rollicking Caller, expected to be a big player here, was scratched.

Broke Sharply covered the distance in 1:43.19 and paid $17.80 for the upset. The winner's share of $30,000 pushes his career bankroll to $160,787 from six wins in 27 starts.