10/30/2011 7:13PM

Zia Park: Marr, Fincher dominate New Mexico Cup with three wins apiece


Trainers Joel Marr and Todd Fincher accounted for six of the seven Thoroughbred stakes run Sunday at Zia Park as part of the $2 million New Mexico Cup card. Each horseman saddled three winners, with Marr taking the afternoon’s richest Thoroughbred stakes with Cross Chris Run in the $180,720 Rocky Gulch Classic and Fincher sending out Rose’s Desert to win the biggest offering for females, the $170,600 Peppers Pride.

There were 11 stakes in all Sunday, with four others for Quarter Horses. Together the races, which were restricted to horses bred in New Mexico, made for one of the most lucrative statebred championship cards in North America.

Rose’s Desert ($3.60) established herself as a New Mexico-bred with a promising future in the Peppers Pride, when she pulled way to a three-length victory. She was making her two-turn and stakes debut in the one-mile race, and tracked Elvira Who through fractions of 24.51 and 49.07 seconds. Rose’s Desert launched a three-wide bid on the final turn, and went on to cover the distance in 1:38.24. It was the third consecutive win for the 3-year-old Rose’s Desert, who defeated older rivals in the Peppers Pride.

“She’s ultra-talented,” said Fincher, who trains Rose’s Desert for her breeder, Joe Peacock.

Juan Ochoa rode Rose’s Desert, and was also aboard the Fincher-trained Comicsperfectstorm ($3.60), who won her fifth straight race in the $140,480 Filly. She raced with the pace throughout to take the six-furlong race for 3-year-old fillies by 1 3/4  lengths, in 1:10.45. Fincher trains Comicsperfectstorm for her breeder, Helen Nave. The win was the fourth in a stakes for Comicsperfectstorm, who is now 6 for 7 with earnings of $258,511.

Fincher’s other winner came in the $170,480 Sprint, when Chuchuluco ($17.20) closed fast to get up by a neck. Ry Eikleberry was aboard the horse, who covered six furlongs in 1:09.54. Chuchuluco races for West Texas Racing Partners.

Marr’s run of success was capped by Cross Chris Run’s upset of the Rocky Gulch for 3-year-olds and up. Cross Chris Run ($23.20) raced off the pace early, came well wide into the stretch, then ran down Brother Louie nearing the wire for a neck win. He covered the mile in 1:37.73, with Ken Tohill aboard for owner Cleber Massey.

Marr and Massey also won the $140,720 Colts and Geldings for 3-year-olds with Desert Hennessy ($8.20). He tracked the pace for a 1 ½-length  win over Texas Silver, while covering six furlongs in 1:10.60. Carlos Madeira was aboard Desert Hennessy, and also guided the Marr-trained That’s Who ($7.60) to a front-running victory in the $140,600 Juvenile. That’s Who races for Sam and Latane Stevens.

Our Flying Angel ($3.60) remained undefeated in three starts when she rallied for a three-quarter length win in the $140,720 Juvenile Fillies. She covered six furlongs in 1:10.66 under jockey Jimmy Coates, who was aboard for trainer Ross Amestoy. Our Flying Angel races for the partnership of Mike Abraham and Leslie and Pierre Amestoy Jr.

Call Me a Blazn Chick ($6.60) won the richest race on the card for Quarter Horses, the $330,641 Futurity.