02/12/2004 12:00AM

Sunland Park: Spoiled is the key


SUNLAND PARK, N.M. - Saturday's $50,000-added El Paso Times Handicap at 6 1/2 furlongs for 3-year-old fillies comes up wide-open, having only two stakes winners in a field of eight. The race offers an interesting mix of shippers, and might well be won by an overlay.

Trainer Steve Asmussen's horses are always key in handicapping Sunland races, specifically in trying to determine a fair price on them and their realistic chances of winning. Asmussen leads the nation's trainers in both wins and earnings, and is atop the local trainer standings with 37 wins from 122 starts. His horses are routinely sent off as odds-on choices here.

In the El Paso Times, Asmussen sends out the promising if inconsistent Spoiled. She won her maiden first time out at Keeneland last October, then was soundly defeated in a Churchill allowance. On Dec. 19, Spoiled finished second in allowance company at Fair Grounds. Then on Jan. 4, she was fifth in a minor stakes at Delta Downs. Spoiled worked a slow half-mile in 53.40 at Fair Grounds on Feb 10.

Trainer Henry Dominguez has three horses in the El Paso Times, including the Speedy Falcon and an Everest Stables entry of So Silent and Wish for Gold.

Speedy Falcon, the highweight, is a winner of 4 of 5 lifetime starts, including a small stakes at Sun Ray Park last fall and an allowance here on Dec. 30, when she ran the 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:15.58 and beat the talented Homemaker. So Silent won her maiden here on Dec. 14., then won an entry-level allowance on Jan. 14.

Wish for Gold will be making her first start for Dominguez, Sunland's second-leading trainer, after spending most of her career on the Chicago circuit. She won her maiden at Hawthorne on Oct. 15 in a race limited to Illinois-breds.

Rockin On will be making her first start away from Turf Paradise. She won back-to-back sprint stakes late in 2003, then came up short in the one-mile Sun Devil there last month.