02/15/2006 12:00AM

Sunland Park track report


Robert Cappellucci apparently has a good eye for the claiming game. Slightly more than a month ago, he claimed Innocent Appeal for $12,500 at Sunland Park, taking her from top trainer Steve Asmussen. Not only was Cappellucci's confidence rewarded as his new acquisition won at 17-1 in last Saturday's El Paso Times Handicap, but the filly she beat, the heavily favored Shimmering Sunset, is trained by Asmussen.

Innocent Appeal showed enough speed to keep the pacesetting Shimmering Sunset in her sights, and gradually wore her down and edged by in the lane to win the event for 3-year-old fillies by 1 1/2 lengths.

Jockey Carlos Madeira had never ridden Innocent Appeal before the 6 1/2-furlong stakes.

"I didn't know that much about her," said Madeira. "I did know that Bob Cappellucci was working on her breathing problem. She got away well. My main intent was to keep her close to the pace. She did everything nicely. We really moved on the favorite."