Saturday, June 14, 2014
Sent to post as the 5-2 favorite in the field of 10 New Mexico-bred 2-year-olds, fastest qualifier Zuccardi responded with a three-quarter length win in Saturday’s $340,699 Mountain Top Quarter Horse Futurity (RG3) at Ruidoso Downs.
Zuccardi covered his 350-yard trip in :17.664 against a 17-mph head wind while scoring his second victory in three races and first career stakes win. Raul Herrera, who was substituting for the injured Roman Chapa, rode the sorrel colt by Jesse James Jr for owner Crowson Racing and trainer Anna Marie Crowson.
Zuccardi was acquired from breeder MJ Farms of Veguita, New Mexico, for $38,000 at last year’s New Mexico-Bred Sale at Ruidoso Downs. The colt’s sire, Jesse James Jr, is a 13-year-old stakes-winning son of 1994 AQHA champion 2-year-old Mr Jess Perry.
Racing in California and New Mexico from 2003-06, Jesse James Jr earned $167,275 from 21 outs, and he ran second in the 2004 Golden State Derby (G1) at Los Alamitos, and third in world champion Be A Bono’s Los Alamitos Super Derby (G1). Jesse James Jr is a full brother to 2006 Retama Park Derby (G1) winner Jesstified and 2011 Golden State Million Futurity (G1) runner-up Jess Lips. The stallion’s top runners include multiple graded stakes winners Osbaldo and Jess Rueben James, graded stakes winners Junior June Bug, Rex Hill, and Sandys Jesse, and Pretty Woody Jesse, the winner of the May 25, $130,000 New Mexico Breeders’ Futurity (RG3) at SunRay Park as the fastest qualifier. Jesse James Jr is owned by Mac and Janis Spencer Murray’s MJ Farms, and he stands for a $4,000 fee at MJ Farms in Veguita, New Mexico.
Zuccardi’s dam, Champagne Lane is a 20-year-old daughter of the Leinster House (TB) stallion Lanes Leinster. Campaigned from 1996-97 in Utah, Wyoming, and California, Champagne Lane earned $147,125 from 10 starts, and she won two graded stakes, including the ’97 La Primera del Ano Derby (G2) at Los Alamitos.
Zuccardi’s half sister, the Grade 1-winning First Down Dash mare Alice K White, was the AQHA champion 3-year-old filly in 2009. A half brother, the Dash Ta Fame gelding Kendall Jackson, won the ‘03 AQHA New Mexico Championship Challenge (G1) at Sunland Park and at one time held the sport’s 440-yard world record.
A $15,000 supplement to the May 30 Mountain Top trials, Zuccardi broke his maiden with a convincing wire-to-wire, 2 3/4-length victory in the sixth of 10 heats. The $143,094 winner’s share of the Mountain Top purse pushed his bankroll to $146,749 from three outs.
Zuccardi returned a $7.20 win mutuel and teamed with Fire The Queen, the third-fastest qualifier and an 8-1 longshot, for a $2 exacta payoff of $47.60. Astica, a 25-1 longshot and the 10th-fastest qualifier, finished third, one length behind Zuccardi, to complete a $1 trifecta of $530.10.
Wise Option, Mendoza, Kiki Kiki, Quemados Version, JM Blu Moonflash, Dungarees Version, and second-fastest qualifier Moonstruck Love completed the order of finish.
Fire The Queen has earned $64,926 from two outs for Evel Zubiate, who acquired the bay filly by Fighter On Fire for $4,500 at the New Mexico-Bred Sale. Fire The Queen was coming off of a 1 1/4-length win in the fourth Mountain Top Futurity trial.
Astica is a homebred filly by Jesse James Jr out of Alice K White. Racing for MJ Farms, Astica has won one of four starts -- the May 2, $7,000 Desert Classic Futurity Consolation at Turf Paradise -- and the $34,070 third-place share of the Mountain Top purse pushed her bankroll to $38,960.