12/15/2004 12:00AM

Sunland Park track report


Cajun Pepper stamped himself as the early favorite for the $161,324 Riley Allison Thoroughbred Futurity on Dec. 26 after his 7 1/2-length win in the second of two trials for the 6 1/2-furlong race. His chief competition in the finale should be Expect Will, who won his trial by three-quarters of a length. The winner of the Riley Allison gets a berth into the $500,000 WinStar Derby at Sunland on April 2.

Cajun Pepper remained perfect in four starts with the trial win, in which he earned an 89 Beyer Figure.

Expect Will, a three-time stakes winner trained by Steve Asmussen, earned a 73 Beyer for his trial win.

The remaining qualifiers for the Riley Allison are Voronin, Takin Issue, C.G.'s Dollar, Canaveral Affair, Railroad, Aristocat O'Malley, Tudor Caper, and Leverage. The race will share a card with the $400,000 Championship, a Grade 1 race for Quarter Horses that is expected to draw starters from the recent Champion of Champions at Los Alamitos.

* Among the seven fillies and mares entered in the featured 10th race Friday at Sunland, there are four state breeding programs represented: California, Colorado, Kentucky, and Texas.

A six-furlong conditioned allowance, the feature appears to be a match-up between the Texas-bred Comeawaywithme and California-breds Good Charlotte and Erin.

Comeawaywithme cleared her nonwinner-of-two-lifetime condition last out at Sunland, when she scored a two-length victory. She is trained by Asmussen, who is winning at a 40 percent rate at Sunland.

Jon Arnett trains Good Charlotte, who was third at this level in her last start. Erin won an entry-level allowance at Turf Paradise two starts ago for trainer Kory Owens.

* Sunland will run a rare Wednesday and Thursday card Dec. 22-23 because there will be no live racing next Friday and Saturday in observance of Christmas Eve and Christmas.