HOBBS, N.M. — It was an easy win for Peppers Pride. About three lengths, in fact.
With the victory Saturday in a six-furlong allowance race at Zia Park, the New Mexico Thoroughbred put herself into the record books. She has now won 17 times in as many starts, setting a modern North American record.
Peppers Pride crossed the line in 1:10.20.
"We just tried to get away well and then stalked the two speed horses," said jockey Carlos Madiera, who let the 5-year-old mare run past the two pacesetters on the turn.
Madiera has been on Peppers Pride for every stride of her record-setting journey spanning four racing seasons.
"This is a thrill I can't explain," he said in the winner's circle. "I'm still numb."
Before Saturday, Peppers Pride shared the mark of 16 straight victories with Triple Crown winner Citation, two-time Horse of the Year Cigar, Mister Frisky and Hallowed Dreams.
Peppers Pride has won more than $867,000 in her career. Owner Joe Allen, a steak and barbecue restaurateur in Abilene, Texas, estimated she's added about $50,000 under New Mexico breeders incentives.
Peppers Pride may go after her 18th straight win in the $170,000 New Mexico Cup Filly and Mare Championship on Nov. 9 at Zia Park.
Peppers Pride has raced exclusively in New Mexico against state-bred females.
Marsh Side pulls shocker
TORONTO — Marsh Side, a 25-1 shot, won the $2 million Canadian International turf race Saturday, beating 35-1 shot Spice Route by 1¾ lengths at Woodbine.
Marsh Side, trained by Neil Drysdale and ridden by Javier Castellano, ran 1½ miles in 2:28.73 on the firm turf.
The International was a Breeders' Cup Challenge "Win and You're In" race, meaning Marsh Side also earned a berth in the Breeders' Cup Turf
Pyro upset in Hoosier
ANDERSON, Ind. — Tin Cup Chalice took the lead right out of the gate and held on to upset Pyro by a length in the Grade II, $500,000 Indiana Derby Saturday at Hoosier Park.
Tin Cup Chalice, a 9-1 shot with Pedro Rodriguez aboard, got toward the rail early on and never lost the lead in the 11⁄16-mile race.
Pyro, with Shaun Bridgmohan aboard, was stuck in heavy traffic at about the halfway point and had to be forced outside to make a run at the leader. The one-time Kentucky Derby favorite made a final run at the end, but it was only enough to catch third-place finisher Acai by a head.
2-year-olds earn BC berths
NEW YORK — Vineyard Haven and Sky Diva raced to impressive stakes wins Saturday at Belmont Park to earn berths in the Breeders' Cup.
Vineyard Haven, partially owned Los Angeles Dodgers Manager Joe Torre, fended off strong early challenges to win the Champagne by 5¾ lengths over Munnings. Sky Diva won the Frizette for fillies by 3¾ lengths over even-money favorite Persistently.
The two $400,000 stakes for 2-year-olds were both Breeders' Cup Challenge "Win and You're In" races. With the victories, Sky Diva is headed to the $2 million Juvenile Fillies on Oct. 24 while Vineyard Haven has a slot in the $2 million Juvenile on Oct. 25.