Several state-bred fillies have taken advantage of restricted programs to run up some impressive win streaks in recent years. Louisiana-bred Hallowed Dreams won her first 16 starts, 10 of which came in events contested only by state-breds. Another Louisiana-bred — Happy Ticket, foaled four years after Hallowed Dreams — took nine straight, the first seven against state-breds. None of these, however, can match the record of Peppers Pride, who took her lifetime record to 19 wins in 19 starts — all against fellow New Mexico-breds — with a triumph in the New Mexico State Racing Commission Handicap at Sunland Park on December 14. In what may well be her farewell performance, Peppers Pride produced what may have been her finest effort, tallying by 5 3/4 lengths, while conceding between eight and 13 pounds to her rivals. In the process she took her earnings to $1,066,085, becoming only the third New Mexico-bred to pass that landmark. She also has sole ownership of the modern day American record for consecutive wins, passing the total of 16 achieved by Citation, Cigar, Hallowed Dreams, and Mister Frisky, with a win in an Optional Claiming Allowance contest as Zia Park on October 4.
Peppers Pride is a daughter of Desert God, who stands at A & A Horse Ranch in Anthony, N.M., as the property of Peppers Pride’s owner/breeder Joe Allen and his brother Ronald. Desert God never ran, but there is no knocking his pedigree. A son of Fappiano out of Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) heroine Blush With Pride, Desert God is half-brother to group/graded winners Turnberry Isle (IRE), Smolensk, and Better Than Honour, dam of back-to-back Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winners Jaziland Rags to Riches. Desert God has done a very useful job within his region, getting 149 foals, 81 starters, 56 winners (69% winners to starters) and 10 stakes winners (12.3% stakes winners to starters) from his first 12 crops.
Peppers Pride is out of Lady Pepper, a four-time winner, who was also third in the Bluebonnet Stakes at Bandera Downs. She is also dam of Desert Pride, a year older sister to Peppers Pride, who earned black-type with a win in the New Mexico Cup Filly Stakes. Lady Pepper was by Chili Pepper Pie (a great-grandson of Triple Crown hero Count Fleet), who started 40 times over four season, winning eight races including the El Paso Times Handicap, his efforts netting just $20,370. Chili Pepper Pie’s sire, Red Gar, was a smart sprinter (stakes winner and second in the Carter and Vosburgh Handicaps) and was a brother to Hobeau Stable’s frequently brilliant Beau Purple, three times conqueror of the legendary Kelso.
Peppers Pride’s granddam, Lady Chanel (by the Never Bend horse Draconic), is a sister to Draconic’s Lady. Something of a standout in the region, Draconic’s Lady won 10 of 61 starts and four stakes events, including the Rio Grande Futurity, the Pan Zareta and Delicada Stakes, and the Fair Queen Handicap, and took second in the New Mexico Derby. There are no other black type winners under the next three dams — Fair Perfume (by the My Babu horse Pack Trip); Fair Bonnie (by champion 3-year-old Phalanx); Bonnie Basket (by Fair Task, a son of English sire Fair Trial); and Basket Dinner (by Brilliant, a modestly performing son of Broomstick out of a sister to Man o’ War). The seventh dam, The Vestal II, was imported from France in the 1920s. It is curious to note that the female line traces back to Vivandiere (GB), a sister to the great English racehorse of the mid-1800s, Voltigeur (GB). Peppers Pride’s 10th dam has the full siblings Voltigeur and Vivandiere 4 x 4 in tail-male (through St. Simon) and tail-female ancestry.
The broad cross of Mr. Prospector over Beau Gar line mares, which Peppers Pride represents, is one that has out-performed opportunity and from limited crossings it has produced the Demoiselle Stakes (gr. II) winner Fortunate Faith and graded-placed and listed scorer Gold Crest Express. There are actually significant pedigree similarities between Red Gar, grandsire of the dam of Peppers Pride, and Gold Digger, dam of Mr. Prospector. Red Gar is a grandson of Count Fleet out of a mare by Johnstown, and Gold Digger is by Nashua (dam by Johnstown) out of a mare by Count Fleet, and both combine the brothers Sir Gallahad II and Bull Dog. Additionally, Gold Digger is a reverse Nasrullah/Count Fleet cross to Peppers Pride’s dam.