03/23/2012 5:47PM

Sunland: Twelve Twenty Two poised for repeat in Harry Henson

Coady Photography
Twelve Twenty Two will bring a 6-for-6 record in her races at Sunland Park into Sunday's Harry Henson Handicap.

Twelve Twenty Two is a former California girl who has made herself at home in New Mexico. She has compiled a 6-for-6 record at Sunland Park, and on Sunday will attempt to extend her streak when she defends her title in the $100,000 Harry Henson Handicap.

The Harry Henson is a one-mile race for fillies and mares and the first of seven consecutive stakes on Sunland Derby Day. Together the races are worth more than $1.6 million, making the program the biggest of the season at the slots-rich Sunland. Other key races on the card, which features 13 races for Thoroughbreds, include the $200,000 Sunland Park Oaks.

Twelve Twenty Two is the 120-pound highweight in the Harry Henson, which drew a field of five, including three runners who flew in from Southern California early Thursday morning: Remit, Kayce Ace, and Pick and Pray. Twelve Twenty Two started her career at Del Mar, back in August 2007. She made six more starts out West, all on synthetic surfaces, and after being claimed for $25,000 at Hollywood Park in December 2010 turned up at Sunland Park.

“It seems like dirt has really helped her,” said Henry Dominguez, who trains Twelve Twenty Two for J. Kirk and Judy Robison and Solitaire Stable. “She’s a big, stout mare and I think a firm dirt track really holds her up. She loves it.”

Twelve Twenty Two’s latest Sunland win came in her last start Feb. 11, when she was prominent throughout in the $50,000 El Diario. Since that race, three horses she defeated have come back to win their next starts, all in allowances at Sunland with Beyer Figures ranging from 65 to 73. Twelve Twenty Two will be stretching back out to two turns after racing over 6 1/2 furlongs, and she figures to be prominent under Luis Contreras. She will be looking for her third consecutive win Sunday.

“She’s on home ground, it’s her turf,” said Dominguez. “She’s doing well, and we’re hoping for and expecting the best.”

Remit is moving back to the main track after placing in two turf sprint stakes in her last three starts at Santa Anita. She is a multiple stakes winner on dirt, with both of those wins coming at two turns, in the $60,000 Panthers at Prairie Meadows in 2010 and the $60,000 Wild Rose at the same track in 2011. Remit, who is a full sister to Retap, a past winner of the Riley Allison Futurity at Sunland Park, is owned by Winchell Thoroughbreds, trained by Steve Asmussen and is to be ridden by Julien Leparoux.

Kayce Ace is a full sister to Colonel John, a multiple Grade 1 winner of more than $1.7 million. Martin Garcia has the mount for Casner Racing and trainer Eoin Harty. Pick and Prayer just missed in a $62,500 optional claimer at Santa Anita in her last start Feb. 17.

Past winners in Bill Thomas

The $100,000 Bill Thomas Memorial, a 6 1/2-furlong race for 3-year-olds and up, is new to the Sunland Derby Day lineup of stakes this year. However, the race has drawn two past winners in Quiet Again and Ducky Drake. Between them, the two horses have won 37 races and thus rank as leading contenders to win a second Bill Thomas.

Quiet Again, who is a 7-year-old by Real Quiet, will be seeking his 10th career stakes win. He will be cutting back from 1 1/16 miles for the Bill Thomas, off a third-place finish in the $50,000 Curribot. The 10-year-old Ducky Drake is returning to Sunland after finishing fourth last out in the $75,000 Phoenix Gold Cup Handicap at Turf Paradise on Feb. 18. He is an eight-time stakes winner.

◗ Rose’s Desert, a winner of 4 of 6 starts, leads the $110,000 La Coneja, a 5 1/2-furlong race for fillies and mares bred in New Mexico. Casey Lambert has the mount on the filly, who is a multiple stakes winner for her breeder, Joe Peacock, and trainer Todd Fincher.

◗ The undefeated Dawn Is Affirmed makes both her two-turn and stakes debut in the $110,000 New Mexico Breeders’ Oaks. Ry Eikleberry has the mount for trainer Joel Marr.

◗ Jockey Rafael Bejarano has the mount on May Weather in the $110,000 New Mexico Breeders’ Derby.