01/19/2005 1:00AM

Sunland track report


Last Saturday's $132,450 Pepsi Cola Handicap was supposed to be a shootout between favorites Sandias Peppermint (2-1) and Leon's Bull (3-1). Instead, it was the longshots who had their day in the sun.

Dismissed at 17-1, Mr. Boomer rushed home late to capture the Pepsi Cola, a six-furlong race for 3-year-old New Mexico-breds. Cleverly ridden by Alex Jimenez, Mr. Boomer switched to the outside and swept past the pace-setting duo of C.G.'s Dollar and Abullwithapurpose during the stretch drive and drew away by 1 3/4 lengths in 1:11.19. A gelded son of In Excessive Bull, Mr. Boomer is trained by Chris Hartman.

"We broke good," said Jimenez, "and I tried to save as much horse for the end as I could. I switched to the outside and cruised home. He ran super."

Mr. Boomer's upset win was worth $79,470 for the Henderson Stables, led by William Henderson of Santa Fe, N.M. Loyal backers of Mr. Boomer received $37.60 for the win, but with the two favorites finishing out of the money, the other payoffs were a boon, as well. Mr. Boomer paid $15 to place and $11.20 to show.

C.G.'s Dollar, with Vickie Smallwood aboard, finished second at 8-1, and recent maiden winner Abullwithapurpose kept on well to finish third after forcing a brisk pace. Those two outsiders helped produce a $2 trifecta worth $2,909.

Sandias Peppermint, the Red Hedeman Mile winner, raced wide and faded to seventh. Six-time winner Leon's Bull showed little and finished 11th.

* Gov. Bill Richardson appointed Republican Eddie Fowler and Democrat David Norvell to the New Mexico Racing Commission, which oversees the industry.

Norvell is an Albuquerque lawyer and was New Mexico's attorney general from 1971-1974.

Fowler is a Ruidoso businessman and president of the New Mexico Horsemen's Association. He previously served on the Racing Commission from 1995 to 1999. The appointments are for six-year terms.