01/06/2012 1:04PM

Sunland Park: Red Lead sharp for Winsham Lad


Sunland Park’s series for older horses begins Sunday, with multiple stakes winners Red Lead, Vamoose, and Quiet Again meeting in the $50,000 Winsham Lad. The race is the first of three divisional offerings that also include the $50,000 Curribot on Feb. 12 and the $100,000 Sunland Park Handicap on April 15.

Red Lead is a past winner of both the Curribot and Sunland Park Handicap. He seeks his first Winsham Lad win on Sunday and should go favored against four others in the mile and 70-yard race. Red Lead added blinkers two starts ago and has since stepped up his game. He finished second by a nose in the $217,000 Zia Park Distaff Championship on Dec. 4, then rolled home by more than seven lengths in a $25,000 optional claimer on Dec. 21. The latter win was his fifth at Sunland from eight starts at the track, and for the effort he earned one of his best career Beyer Speed Figures, a 93. The number also is the best last-race Beyer in the Winsham Lad field.

Ry Eikleberry has the mount on Red Lead for Joe Davis and trainer Chris Hartman.

Vamoose can take advantage if Red Lead, Behold de Buy, and Quiet Again make for some honest fractions up front Sunday. He closed from next to last for third in the Zia Distance Championship in his last start, and on the cutback from 1 1/8 miles again figures to be making his case in the later stages. Vamoose, who won the $55,000 Veteran over Red Lead at Zia in November, is owned by Everest Stables and trained by Henry Dominguez. He is to be ridden by Enrique Gomez.

Quiet Again, who was the Texas Thoroughbred Association’s champion older male for 2010, on Sunday will be looking for his third stakes win in his last four starts. He took a pair of handicaps at the Downs in Albuquerque in September and October, before finishing fifth last out in the Veteran. Quiet Again is a six-time winner at Sunland. He races for his breeder, Paul Thomason, and is trained by Jimmie Claridge.

The field is completed by Behold de Buy and Happy Toes, a pair of 4-year-olds.

◗ Ribald set a track record for six furlongs Tuesday, when he won a starter allowance in 1:07.60. The previous mark of 1:08.01 was set in 2009 by Rapper SS. Miguel Hernandez rode Ribald for BAM Racing and trainer Justin Evans.