12/18/2002 1:00AM

Sunland track report


SUNLAND PARK, N.M. - Jockey John Pabon Jr. is a newcomer to Southwestern racing circles.

Pabon, 34, usually takes winters off to return to his native Puerto Rico, but with his brother Melvin stationed at nearby Ft. Bliss, he decided to try his luck at Sunland. Pabon had ridden for many years at Midwestern tracks, including Beulah, Fairmount, Hoosier, and Great Lakes. He is best known as the regular rider for the stakes mare Table the Motion, who raced throughout the Midwest in the late 1990's. Known as a strong finisher with good timing, Pabon hopes to establish himself on the New Mexico circuit.

* The veterinarian Dr. Jesse Unruh gave up his practice on the southern Illinois circuit, where he had a long relationship with horsemen, and moved here in 1996 to become state veterinarian. This year, however, Unruh returned to private practice and joined the partnership of Dr. Wes Vogt and Dr. Tony Pickard.

Unruh maintains a home near Ruidoso, N.M.

* The 10-race win streak of Quarter Horse distance specialist Kama Shootin was snapped in Sunday's $125,000-added Challenger Six handicap at 870 yards, a race he had won last year. Kama Shootin, who was heavily favored, had aim on upset winner Panzacall in midstretch but didn't display his usual closing kick.

Panzacall, ridden by Mike Clark, returned $11.40. The two could meet again on Jan. 12 in the Juarez Handicap.