12/08/2003 12:00AM

Sunland Park: Rocky Gulch scores off layoff

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Rocky Gulch delivered on the high expectations that followed him in the $125,000-added Red Hedeman Mile Handicap for statebred juveniles, winning by 3 1/2 lengths in 1:36.46 despite not having started since the Rio Grande Futurity at Ruidoso on July 13. Owner-breeder Larry Teague was on hand for the trophy presentation along with trainer Terry Walker.

Rocky Gulch earned a 94 Beyer Speed Figure in the Rio Grande, winning by 15 lengths after 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:02.00 - he had been pointing for this race ever since. Pressed from his flank by Jonnygetachex, Rocky Gulch covered the first three-quarters in 1:10.05 under J. Martin Bourdieu and drew clear shortly after.

Rocky Gulch, a gelded son of Dry Gulch, now has a career record of 5-4-1-0 with earnings of $163,909. Rocky Gulch's only loss was in the Copper Top Futurity here last April, when he was beaten a head while racing greenly.