Souris Likely Choice in Rich WinStar Oaks

Saturday's $256,400 WinStar Sunland Park Oaks at one mile drew a top notch field of nine runners to the New Mexico oval.

Nelson Bunker Hunt's stakes-winning Souris should be a top contender in the rich race for 3-year-old fillies.

Trained by Steve Asmussen, the nation's leading conditioner in terms of wins, Souris has competed well against elite stakes horses. The Dehere filly won the Top Flight Handicap at Arlington Park last fall. She was stakes placed in three subsequent efforts at Churchill Downs, Sam Houston and Delta Downs.

Souris has compiled lifetime earnings of $213,410. She will be ridden by Corey Lanerie, last year's leading rider at Lone Star Park and currently in second place at the Fair Grounds. Saturday's Oaks would be Lanerie's Sunland Park debut.

Speedy Santa Anita shipper Himalayan will also merit serious consideration for trainer Ted West.

The Kentucky-bred daughter of Mountain Cat has four career wins at Santa Anita and Hollywood Park and a bankroll of $150,566.

Himalayan was a creditable third behind Elloluv in the Santa Ynez (gr. II) at Santa Anita after setting a brisk pace. She was subsequently third in the La Habra Stakes on the Santa Anita downhill turf course. Southern California rider G.F. Almeida will ride the likely pacesetter.

Valid Pulpit is the second Asmussen-trained entrant in the field. The multiple stakes-winning daughter of Pulpit has won three of her last four starts. Casey Lambert rides the winner of $137,820, including a pair of Sunland stakes.

$256,400 WinStar Sunland Park Oaks, 3-year-old fillies, 1 mile
PP. Horse, Rider
1. Ela Ela Martin Boudieu
2. Valid Pulpit, Casey Lambert
3. Souris, Corey Lanerie
4. Isit Still Legal, Nena Matz
5. Sa Moken, Carlos Madeira
6. Fatal Caper, Ricardo Jaime
7. Island Fashion, Iggy Puglisi
8. Manzotti Queen, Miguel Fuentes
9. Himalayan, G.F. Almeida
All carry 122 pounds.