Undefeated Peppers Pride put herself in the record books when she defeated an allowance field at Zia Park in Hobbs, N.M., for her 17th consecutive victory Oct. 4.
The 5-year-old New Mexico-bred mare broke the North American modern-day Thoroughbred record for consecutive wins that she held jointly with Citation, Cigar, Mister Frisky and Hallowed Dreams.
Peppers Pride was ridden to victory in the $38,200 six-furlong optional claiming allowance race by Carlos D. Madeira, who has been aboard for all of her races. Sent off at odds of 1-5 against five rivals, she stalked the pace in third before challenging for the lead on the turn. Three wide coming into the stretch, she opened up a clear lead in the lane and held sway over Silver Expression by 1 3/4 lengths.
Peppers Pride, a homebred daughter of Desert God, is owned by Joe Allen and trained by Joel Marr. She is scheduled to be retired at the end of the year and is expected to race at least once more, in the New Mexico Cup Filly/Mare Championship at Zia Park Nov. 9.
The race was the first in five months for Peppers Pride, who had been entered to make her record bid twice this summer but was prevented from doing so by extreme weather. A flood closed down Ruidoso Downs July 27 when she was to run in the Lincoln Handicap. When the rescheduled Lincoln came up sloppy August 31, Marr opted to scratch her.
"I feel great, relieved," Marr told TVG after Peppers Pride finally got the chance to run. He said the layoff was a big concern.
"She has been training well," he said. "It was a mental issue more than a physical issue."
Under allowance conditions, Peppers Pride raced at equal weights with her rivals, and even received four pounds from one, third-place finisher Miss Possibility.
She broke on the lead on the outside and settled on the outside. Mega Dome and Complete Pride went to the front, completing the opening quarter mile in :22 2/5. By the time they reached the quarter pole Peppers Pride had a head in front in :45 2/5. She drove clear in the lane under mild urging and came home in 1:10.20.
"She had a little time off and we wanted her to come back good," Madeira noted. "It's a thrill I can't explain. I'm still numb."
Peppers Pride increased her career earnings to $884,585. All of her wins have come against state breds, including 12 stakes victories.
She paid $2.40 and $2.10. Silver Expression returned $3.60. There was no show wagering.