12/04/2003 12:00AM

Will Dry Gulch be gasping going one mile?


SUNLAND PARK, N.M. - On a circuit dominated by sprinters, a field of nine New Mexico-bred 2-year-olds, none of whom has raced beyond 6 1/2 furlongs, will be asked to negotiate a two-turn mile in Saturday's $125,000-added Red Hedeman Mile at Sunland Park.

Thursday morning, trainer Henry Dominguez, who will start Youareaggravatin' in the Hedeman, evaluated the past performances of the field and said what many observers believe. "I can't remember seeing a New Mexico-bred as good as Rocky Gulch in some time," he said.

Indeed, Rocky Gulch looks impressive on paper, having won the Rio Grande Futurity at Ruidoso on July 13 by 15 lengths. He has not run since that 5 1/2-furlong race, however, leading to Dominguez's next comment. "My hope is that he is not going to be fit enough."

By Dry Gulch and out of an Allen's Prospect mare, distance would not seem to be a problem for Rocky Gulch, at least by New Mexico breeding standards. Rocky Gulch breezed six furlongs in 1:12.20 on Nov. 26.

Youareaggravatin' is not without credentials of his own, having won the George Malloof Futurity at Albuquerque by nearly seven lengths on Sept. 21. Youareaggravatin's sire, Alyhuista, has had progeny able to get a distance before and Youareaggravatin' has also turned in a solid series of works here.

Many New Mexico horseman hold back on their stock in late summer and fall waiting for the big purses Sunland offers, and consequently runners with a recent out have an advantage early in the meet.

With that in mind, beware of Jonnygetachex, an easy winner of the 6 1/2-furlong Totah Futurity at Sun Ray Park on Nov. 21.