01/12/2005 12:00AM

Sunland Park track report


It's rare for a jockey from New Mexico, Texas, or Oklahoma to be recognized nationally. But that didn't prevent Sunland Park-based Casey Lambert from becoming a finalist for the George Woolf Award. The winner will be announced sometime this month, but Lambert said he is thrilled to just have his name in the hat for the honor.

Jockeys from around the country vote for the winner, with nominations coming from the Jockeys' Guild and Santa Anita.

"I'm very honored to have been nominated," said Lambert. "It was by far the biggest compliment I have ever received, or could have received."

The Woolf presentation is in March.

Riders with ties to New Mexico have had good success with the Woolf. Jerry Bailey launched his career at Sunland in 1974 before winning the Woolf in 1992, while New Mexico native Mike Smith was awarded the Woolf in 2000. Lambert, 39, won the Sunland title last year, and ranks third at the present meet. He is a native of New Mexico and has won 2,301 races in a 23-year career that began two days after his 16th birthday.

The Woolf recognizes riders who represent their profession with class. The other finalists for 2005 are David Flores, Richard Migliore, Ray Sibille, and Rick Wilson.

* Skip and Go gave trainer Ramon Gonzalez his second stakes win in three weeks last Saturday when he won the $53,900 Winsham Lad Handicap. Gonzalez, who has since moved up to second place in the trainer standings behind Steve Asmussen, won the Riley Allison Futurity on Dec. 26 with Cajun Pepper.

Gonzalez said Skip and Go could make his next start in the $50,000-added Curribot Handicap at 1 1/16 miles on Feb. 5. Gonzalez is a six-time title winner at Sunland.

* Miss Trixie, who closed for second in her comeback from a two-month layoff in her last start Dec. 26, will get an additional half-furlong to negotiate Friday in the featured 10th race. The 6 1/2-furlong allowance is for fillies and mares bred in New Mexico and drew a field of 10.

Miss Trixie exits a conditioned allowance that went in good time, as the winner of the six-furlong race covered the distance in 1:10. The race was Miss Trixie's first since she finished second in an allowance at Sunray Park on Oct. 18. She is a three-time winner, making her one of the most experienced in the field. The chief late threat could be Spirit de Azure, who cuts back from one mile.

* The Budweiser Clydesdales will appear on Sunday.