12/08/2012 9:21PM

Sunland: Safe Trip turns KLAQ Handicap into third straight victory

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Coady Photography
Safe Trip, ridden by Miguel Hernandez, captures the KLAQ Handicap.

Safe Trip set a quick pace and held for a three-quarter length win over Lion Hall in the $50,000 KLAQ Handicap at Sunland Park on Saturday. The race was the first Thoroughbred stakes of the meet, and the third straight score for Safe Trip. His streak began in September in the $100,000 Premiere Cup that was held opening weekend at Zia Park.

Safe Trip ($3.20) dueled with City Sage early on in the KLAQ, as the pair disputed an opening quarter in 21.76 seconds. Safe Trip shook his pace rival through a half-mile in 44.69, and went on to cover 5 1/2 furlongs on a track rated fast in 1:03.

Miguel Hernandez rode the winner for trainer Weston Martin. Safe Trip races for Molly B. Morris and Raymond Simpson. The horse has now won 6 of 18 starts and $270,037.

Jam’n Jackson finished third in the KLAQ, a half-length behind Lion Hall.