03/15/2006 12:00AM

Sunland Park track report


Warning to Rocky Gulch: Don't look behind you; someone may be gaining.

For a while, Ciento was at the top of the heap. At the time he was injured in August 2004 following a win in the New Mexico Breeders Association Handicap at SunRay Park, he was the richest New Mexico-bred of all time, with earnings of $776,014.

He was gone for 17 months and was passed by Rocky Gulch, who now has a bankroll of $813,608. But Ciento, now 8, resurfaced in an allowance sprint at Sunland on Jan. 28 and rallied from last to end up fifth, beaten four lengths, pushing his career earnings to $776,660.

Ciento returned in Tuesday's featured 11th race at Sunland Park, a 6 1/2-furlong allowance sprint for New Mexico-breds, and showed there's still plenty of gas in the tank. He again lagged back early, but made a nice run to reach contention entering the stretch and battled gamely to the wire to win a four-horse photo by a neck as the 4-5 favorite. Ridden by Ken Tohill, Ciento covered the 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:16.20. The winner's purse of $21,120 pushed his career bankroll to $797,780.

The effort shows that Ciento is far from washed up, and it may propel him back into stakes ranks in the future.