03/06/2002 12:00AM

Sunland: Wild Bill R on a streak

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SUNLAND PARK, N.M. - Wild Bill R, a late-developing 4-year-old, proved on Tuesday that he is among the top sprinters on this circuit by winning his fourth consecutive race in track-record time at Sunland Park.

Wild Bill R set fractions of 21.68 and 44.12 seconds under regular rider Chris Zamora, en route to tying a 30-year-old track record for 5 1/2 furlongs of 1:02.69.

Wild Bill R, who was 1 for 9 in his career before beginning his current streak, paid $21 on Tuesday, something that is unlikely to happen again any time soon.

While Wild Bill R appears ready to face tougher competition, owner-trainer Ramon Gonzalez on Sunday sent out the 9-year-old mare Bates Again to win her third consecutive race since he dropped her to the bottom claiming level. The win gives Bates Again a 40-10-6-9 record.

Jockey Daryl Montoya, who rode Bates Again, and Gonzalez are always a dangerous team and they once again top the standings here. With 19 racing days left, Gonzalez holds a 31-16 lead in wins by trainers over his closest competitor, Carlos Sedillo. In the jockey standings, Montoya leads Nena Matz 39 to 28.

Saturday's $30,000-added Bill Thomas Memorial Handicap at 6 1/2 furlongs has drawn a wide variety of horses. Brew will try shortening up in distance as he leads the local contingent, which includes Beehay, Pack and Drift, and Dos Amigos.

Horses new to the circuit include recent New Jersey transplant Shooter, a 4-year-old who two years ago won Monmouth's Sapling Stakes. Shooter scored in his first out at Sunland on Feb. 24 in allowance company while coming off an eight-month layoff for trainer Jon G. Arnett. Lester's Boy, a restricted stakes winner on the Southern California circuit, comes to trainer Henry Dominguez's barn for his first start in New Mexico.