10/27/2013 8:37PM

Zia Park: Mr. Wizard denies That's Who in Rocky Gulch

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Mr. Wizard (No. 7) beats That's Who by a head in the $180,000 Rocky Gulch on Sunday.

Mr. Wizard denied That’s Who a seventh straight win Sunday at Zia Park, where, after a spirited stretch battle, he edged that one by a head in the $180,000 Rocky Gulch. The race was the centerpiece of the $2 million New Mexico Cup. The program featured 12 stakes for New Mexico-breds, with eight for Thoroughbreds and four for Quarter Horses.

Mr. Wizard ($10.20) tracked the pace in third early in the Rocky Gulch for 3-year-olds and up at a mile, as Dueling Dom and 4-5 favorite That’s Who battled through the opening half-mile in 48.18 seconds. That’s Who picked up the tempo through six furlongs in 1:10.75 and found himself hooked by Mr. Wizard at the quarter pole.

A dogfight ensued through the stretch, with Mr. Wizard losing ground in the final sixteenth, then coming back to nab That’s Who on the wire. The winner covered the distance on a fast track in 1:36.71. Dusty Shepherd rode Mr. Wizard, a 4-year-old gelding by Premeditation who is trained by Dallas Barton.

Mr. Wizard, who in January was beaten in a $10,000 conditioned claimer at Sunland Park, earned $108,000 for his first stakes win. He has a career record of five wins from 26 starts for earnings of $260,263. Mr. Wizard races for the partnership of W.D. Carson Sr., M.H. Carson, and Leach Racing. His full brother, Double Smart, won the Rocky Gulch in 2010.

Marr triple led by Iplaytricks 

Iplaytricks defended her title in the $170,000 Peppers Pride and became the third winner on the card for Joel Marr, who also trained the 19-for-19 Peppers Pride. Marr has won a record 17 races during the New Mexico Cup program since it was introduced in 2005.

Iplaytricks ($2.20) was always prominent for a 4 1/4-length win. Aldo Arboleda was aboard the 5-year-old daughter of Desert God, who races for Michael Stinson. Iplaytricks, like Peppers Pride, was bred by Joe Allen. She has won 10 of 24 starts and $516,790.

Stinson and Marr also teamed to win the $170,000 Sprint with Attitude E Racer ($22), who won by 1 3/4 lengths. Ken Tohill was aboard the horse, who covered six furlongs in 1:09.26.

Marr’s other winner was Chica’s Minister ($10), who remained undefeated in four starts when he won his stakes debut in the $140,000 Championship for 3-year-old colts and geldings. Jim Volk owns the gelding, who covered six furlongs in 1:09.42. 

• Rose’s Desert ($3) cruised by five lengths in the $120,000 Filly and Mare Sprint, a new addition to the program this year. Shepherd was aboard for Joe Peacock and trainer Todd Fincher. Fincher also struck in the $140,000 Juvenile with Reaper ($13.60), a three-quarter-length winner under Duane Sterling. Reaper races for R.D. Hubbard.

• That’s The Idea ($4) powered to an 8 3/4-length win in the $140,000 Juvenile Fillies. Enrique Gomez was aboard for J. Kirk and Judy Robison and trainer Henry Dominguez.

• Way to Go Gerda ($7.80) was a half-length winner of the $140,000 Championship for 3-year-old fillies. Francisco Giles rode the winner for Larry Strain and trainer Roy Marcom Jr.

• Jaime Leos swept the two richest Quarter Horse races on the card when he took the $198,655 Classic Derby aboard Jess Rueben James ($57.40) and one start later guided Mitey Moon ($20.40) to a neck victory in the $283,830 Classic Futurity.

• In the two other Quarter Horse races on the card, Coronas Boy ($59.60) dominated the $140,000 Championship at 870 yards by 6 3/4 lengths, while Herekittykitty ($10.80) captured the $170,000 Classic Championship.