Updated on 09/16/2011 6:46AM

Yulla Yulla stretches out again


SUNLAND PARK, N.M. - Sunday's $100,000-added New Mexico State University Handicap will test Yulla Yulla, the queen of the New Mexico circuit, as she attempts to stretch her speed around two turns while facing male rivals.

The NMSU Handicap, a mile race for older statebreds, will be Yulla Yulla's second career try at a route, her first being a disappointing fourth-place effort Jan. 2.

But that race can easily be tossed out since Yulla Yulla, who entered the race with a phenomenal career record of 24-20-2-1 as a sprinter, had an outside post, broke poorly, suffered traffic problems, and was beaten less than six lengths.

Yulla Yulla, who is owned by Frank Macaron, returned from that race to demolish an allowance field sprinting, and trainer Johnie Jamison believes she is up to the task.

Though she has never won a two-turn race, Yulla Yulla has beaten males on several occasions and commands so much respect that racing secretary Norm Amundson has assigned the 7-year-old co-highweight of 122 pounds in the 11-horse field. Although Yulla Yulla is known as a speedball, she rates kindly, has drawn the rail, and is the horse to beat.

Ciento, a winner of five of 11 starts last year at age 3, including four stakes, will also shoulder 122. Ciento is a versatile type with good tactical speed who already has two stakes wins against older horses. Ciento, who drew post 10, hasn't run since winning the 6 1/2-furlong Viva El Paso Handicap here Dec. 8. Trainer Dick Cappellucci has been pointing for this race and Ciento looks to be a horse entering his prime.

Leading trainer Ramon Gonzalez's Pack and Drift is coming off an impressive wire-to-wire win at the NMSU's distance against allowance company Jan. 13 and gets in at 117. Breaking from post 8, Pack and Drift could steal the race if left alone on the lead, but there is other early speed in the lineup.

The field, from the rail out: is Yulla Yulla, Miguel Fuentes the rider; Live Show, Adan Fuentes; I'm Not Bluffing, Perry Whetstone; Coastal Jig, Nicky Madrid; Show Me Your World, Nena Matz; Sharethetime, Alfredo Jaurez Jr.; April Baby, Quyet Bui; Pack And Drift, Daryl Montoya; Runmore Mema, Jorge Bourdieu; Ciento, Mike Clark; and San Felipe's King, A. J. Martinez.

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