12/15/2012 1:46PM

Sunland Park: Hartman runner leads Tuesday feature

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Shelly McShane/Coady Photography
Trainer Chris Hartman is pointing Alsvid for the King Cotton at Oaklawn on Jan. 26.

Runge could get an ideal setup Tuesday in the featured eighth race at Sunland Park in New Mexico. There are a number of front-runners entered in the six-furlong allowance, which is restricted to fillies and mares that have never won two races.

Runge can take advantage if the leaders falter. She has done her best work from off the pace, including in a maiden special weight win at Prairie Meadows in May.

Jockey Derek Bell, a new face at Sunland who is winning at a 33 percent rate, has the mount for Black Hawk Stable and trainer Chris Hartman.

Hartman, a 39-year-old native of Phoenix, is a multiple title winner at Sunland. In addition to the division of horses he has at the young New Mexico meet, he is setting up a 30-horse stable at Oaklawn. It will be the first time he has had horses in Arkansas since 2007. Hartman said Saturday that plans were to send his first load of horses to Oaklawn on Sunday, Dec. 16.

“The first shipment will be from Remington Park,” he said Saturday. “We’ll take 10. Then we’ll wait to the turn of the year and bring the rest in there.”

Hartman’s runners at Oaklawn will include Red Lead and Alsvid, both of whom placed in stakes at Zia Park in Hobbs, N.M., in their last start. Red Lead, who was second in the $200,000 Zia Distance Championship, is being pointed for the Grade 3, $200,000 Connally Turf Cup at Sam Houston Race Park in Houston on Jan. 26, said Hartman.

As for Alsvid, the third-place finisher in the $150,000 Zia Derby, he is to run next in the $60,000 King Cotton at Oaklawn on Jan. 26, said Hartman. Earlier this year, Alsvid defeated older rivals in the $200,000 Remington Park Sprint Championship.

◗ Preferred Mandate will be seeking his second straight win when he starts as a strong favorite in Tuesday’s sixth race at Sunland. The $20,000 optional claimer at six furlongs carries second-level allowance conditions. Miguel Hernandez has the mount for trainer Justin Evans, who has won with four of his first 10 starters this meet at Sunland.

◗ Hines Ward, the retired wide receiver for the Pittsburgh Steelers and a past winner of Dancing With the Stars, will be the keynote speaker during a benefit gala the week of the Sunland Park Derby in March. The annual gala tied to the big race raises funds for United Blood Services.