Originally posted by Mary Rampellini, reporting for ESPNPeppers Pride now stands alone in the record books.
She set a modern North American mark for consecutive wins Saturday at Zia Park in Hobbs, N.M., when she won her 17th straight race in a $35,000 optional claimer. Peppers Pride had previously shared the modern Thoroughbred record for consecutive wins with Cigar, Citation, Hallowed Dreams, and Mister Frisky.
Peppers Pride was scheduled to attempt to break the record in the Lincoln Handicap at Ruidoso Downs in July, but floods canceled that day's card. When the Lincoln Handicap was rescheduled in August she was re-entered, but when the track came up sloppy Peppers Pride was scratched. It was thought at that time that her trainer, Joel Marr, would not run her again until November's New Mexico Cup Filly and Mare Championship (Peppers Pride having won the prior year's version of that race); however, doing so would have meant having an almost six month gap between starts for the five year old mare (Peppers Pride last victory having come on April 26, 2008). So trainer Joel Marr seized the opportunity to prep her for the November stakes race in today's $38,200 Allowance Optional Claiming, and Peppers Pride did the rest, grabbing the lead at second call and holding on to win by a length and three quarters.
By the way, that was no mean feat on Marr's part, finding an Allowance race for a horse with sixteen consecutive wins to enter. No doubt the racing secretary at Zia Park deserves an assist for carding such a race (state bred F&M 3&Up non-winners of two since 4/1/08 other than maiden, claiming, starter or trial, or $35k tag) as I'm sure they were more than happy to have Peppers Pride break the record at their racetrack.
The full story may be viewed here (sports.espn.go.com) while the official DRF Chart of the race can be found here (drf.com)
I am not a huge Mickelson fan, but damn it that was some of the best ball striking I have seen in a tournament in a long time. The shot out of the trees on 13 and inside 6 feet was nothing short of amazing!