Thursday, July 26, 2012
A total of 108 New Mexico-bred Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses have been entered in the 11 stakes on Sunday's Zia Festival program at Ruidoso Downs.
Post time for the first race is scheduled for 1 p.m. (MDT).
Fastest qualifier Junior June Bug, a sorrel colt by Jesse James Jr racing for Richard K. McGehee and trained by Jackie Riddle, drew post 2 for the richest race on the card, the 400-yard, $395,028 Zia Futurity (RG1). Junior June Bug has won three of five starts – including the June 16, $306,456 Mountain Top Futurity (R) at Ruidoso – and he has earned $186,676.
Junior June Bug is coming off of a 2 3/4-length victory in the seventh of nine Zia Futurity trials on July 23.
Other prominent state-bred 2-year-olds entered back in the Zia Futurity include David Hinkins and Ross Hinkins' Rex Hill and Gary L. Thompson's Tombstone, the winner and runner-up, respectively, of the June 3, $168,000 New Mexico Breeders' Futurity (RG3) at SunRay Park.
The Zia Futurity will be run as the 10th race, with post time scheduled for 4:54 p.m. The complete lineup, in post position order including jockey assignments – Jessiana (Saul Ramirez Jr.), Junior June Bug (Carlos Madeira), ES Dove (Cody Jensen), Runin Sixes (Jaime Leos), The Four Js (G.R. Carter Jr.), Tombstone (Esgar Ramirez), Rabbits Rabbit (Alejandro Medellin), Gonna Cha Cha (Cody Wainscott), Cmon Jesses Girl (Noe Garcia), and Rex Hill (Ricky Ramirez).
A total of $1,196,940 in purse money will be up for grabs during the day. The following is a preview of the other 10 Zia Festival races, in the order they will be run:
ZIA 870 CHAMPIONSHIP (R)
3-year-olds & older
Purse, $50,000 – 870 yards
Rollickin Red puts his five-race win streak on the line in the Zia 870 Championship (R). A 4-year-old gelding by Roll Hennessy Roll (TB) owned by a partnership and trained by Todd Fincher, Rollickin Red is coming off of a 2 1/2-length win as the 5-2 favorite in the 870-yard, $75,000 New Mexico Horsemen's Association Handicap (R) at SunRay Park on June 24.
BRT Opulence and KC Royal Flush, the respective second- and third-place finishers in the New Mexico Horsemen's Association Handicap, have also been entered in the Zia 870 Championship. BRT Opulence is an 8-year-old gelding by Real Runaway owned by Rogelio Carrasco Sr. and trainer Martin Orona Sr.. He has earned $406,806 from 39 races, and his 11 wins include a one-length score in last year's Zia 870 Championship.
A 5-year-old Sixes Royal gelding campaigned by Kathryn Maynard and Carla Feerer, KC Royal Flush won three races last season, including the $110,000 Challenger Six Handicap (R) at Sunland Park and $50,000 John Augustine Stakes (R) at The Downs at Albuquerque.
The complete lineup for the Zia 870 Championship, in post position order including jockey and weight assignments – Affluent Boy (TB) (Ry Eikleberry, 123), Kokopellis Babycakes (Tanner Thedford, 122), Rollickin Red (Casey Lambert, 125), KC Royal Flush (Tony Guymon, 124), Pakea Bay (Alfredo Juarez Jr., 122), BRT Opulence (Macario Rodriguez, 124), Bullets Brother (J. Martin Bourdieu, 123), and South Oak (G.R. Carter Jr., 122).
ZIA HANDICAP (RG2)
3-year-olds & older
Purse, $50,000 – 400 yards
Klassic Strawfly and Here Kittykittykitty, a pair of geldings by 2002 All American Derby (G1) winner Genuine Strawfly, are the 125-pound co-highweights in the Zia Handicap.
A 6-year-old gelding owned and trained by Ronald Stephens, Klassic Strawfly will be making his first start since June 10, when he scored a half-length victory in the 400-yard, $75,000 Jimmy Drake Stakes (R) at SunRay Park. Here Kittykitty, a 5-year-old gelding racing for Melvin Neugebauer and trained by Wes Giles, has won two of his last three races, including the 350-yard, $110,000 Mesilla Valley Speed Handicap (RG2) at Sunland Park on March 11.
Another contender, Fredda Draper's Genuine American, ran second, a neck behind stablemate Jenuine Joy, in last year's Zia Handicap.
The complete lineup, in post position order including jockey and weight assignments – Klassic Strawfly (Macario Rodriguez, 125), Genuine American (Esgar Ramirez, 124), Brookstone Flash (Cody Jensen, 122), De Genuine Queen (Isaias Cardenas, 122), Snow Regard (Jaime Leos, 124), Mightys Last Call (Alejandro Medellin, 123), Here Kittykittykitty (J. Martin Bourdieu, 125), and Neversaynever (Larry Gamez, 121).
ROAD RUNNER HANDICAP (R)
Purse, $50,000 – 5 ½ furlongs
A full field of 12 has been entered in the Road Runner Handicap, including 124-pound highweight That's Who.
A homebred gelding racing for Sam E. and Latane Stevens of Lamesa, Texas, and trained by Joel Marr, That's Who will be making his first start since May 27, when the son of the Carson City stallion Quinton's Gold finished third, one length behind winner Zenon's Star, in the 6 1/2-furlong, $75,000 Dine Stakes (R) at SunRay Park.
That's Who won three stakes during the 2011-12 Sunland Park meet, including the 1 1/16-mile, $110,000 New Mexico Breeders' Derby (R) on March 25. All told, the gelding has earned $360,270 from 10 outs.
The complete lineup for the Road Runner Handicap, in post position order including jockey and weight assignments – Mr. Wizard (Tanner Thedford, 115), E Bar Way (Duane Sterling, 114), Pecos Valley Wind (Oscar Ceballos, 114), Speedy Caracal (Carlos Madeira, 115), Attila's Ghost (Alfredo Juarez Jr., 116), El Gran Cognac (J. Martin Bourdieu, 118), Damascus Last Hope (Casey Lambert, 116), That's Who (Ry Eikleberry, 124), Boy Ego (Macario Rodriguez, 115), Legal Storm (Alejandro Medellin, 115), T.V. Stevie (Isaias Enriquez, 116), and Stealyndeewin (Miguel Hernandez, 116).
RIO GRANDE SENOR FUTURITY (R)
Purse, $172,026 – 5 ½ furlongs
Kiss My Hennessy and Thermal, two stakes winners from the barn of trainer Todd Fincher, top a field of 10 state-bred colts and geldings in the Rio Grande Senor Futurity.
A $19,000 buy at last year's New Mexico-Bred Yearling Sale, Kiss My Hennessy has banked $91,847 from five races for his owners, Scott Bryant and Joe Dee Brooks. The gelding by Roll Hennessy Roll's two career victories include a 1 1/2-length score in the colts and geldings division of the April 14, $120,989 Copper Top Futurity (R) at Sunland Park.
Thermal is a homebred Attila's Storm gelding campaigned by R.D. Hubbard. Thermal has won three of four starts, including the June 23, $135,000 Mountain Top Futurity (R), and he has earned $69,294.
All Rio Grande Senor Futurity entries have been assigned to carry 120 pounds. The complete lineup, in post position order including jockey assignments – Penny Ante Cat (Tanner Thedford), Worry This (Carlos Madeira), Dandy Guy (Alfredo Juarez Jr.), Ramblin' Starr (Larry Gamez), Kiss My Hennessy (Casey Lambert), Thermal (Duane Sterling), Long Route (Isaias Enriquez), Slew Up His Sleeve (Alejandro Medellin), Veil's Vengeance (Miguel Hernandez), and Marty Squall (Macario Rodriguez).
SIERRA STARLET HANDICAP (R)
Purse, $50,000 – 5 ½ furlongs
Double Kee LLC's Dashkova, a bay daughter of Attila's Storm trained by Dwain Grissom, is one of 12 state-bred sophomore fillies entered in the Sierra Starlet Handicap.
A $900 purchase at the 2010 New Mexico-Bred Yearling Sale, Dashkova has earned $166,163, of which $150,870 has been banked this season. Since she was claimed by her current connections for $12,500 on December 18, the filly has won three of seven races, including the 6 1/2-furlong, $75,000 Aztec Oaks (R) at SunRay Park on May 26, and the 1 1/16-mile, $110,000 New Mexico Breeders' Oaks (R) at Sunland Park on March 25.
Roll Bloomers Roll, a homebred chestnut filly by Roll Hennessy Roll owned by Rita Danley and trained by the owner's husband, Fred Danley, is coming off of a one-length victory in an open-condition, 5 1/2-furlong allowance sprint for state-bred 3-year-old fillies on July 4. Roll Bloomers Roll was a two-time stakes winner last season.
The complete lineup for the Sierra Starlet, in post position order including jockey and weight assignments – Vinton Row (J. Martin Bourdieu, 115), Dashkova (Jose Rivera Jr., 121), Hennessy Smash (Casey Lambert, 114), Whisper's Sister (Macario Rodriguez, 115), Easy Loving Who (Ry Eikleberry, 118), Rio Fresco (Alejandro Medellin, 116), Sandia Sonata (Isaias Enriquez, 119), Roll Bloomers Roll (Alfredo Juarez Jr., 120), Super Stormy (Enrique Gomez, 115), Little Vidalia (Miguel Hernandez, 114), Hot For You (Juan Ochoa, 117), and Gerda's Home (Miguel Fuentes, 114).
LINCOLN HANDICAP (R)
Fillies & mares, 3-year-olds & older
Purse, $50,000 – 6 furlongs
This year's Lincoln Handicap has drawn a field of nine, including Rita J. Danley's I Am Lesters Gal, a homebred 5-year-old daughter of Lesters Boy who ran second to winner Fan's Cat in last year's Lincoln.
Trained by Fred Danley, I Am Lesters Gal has banked $245,282 from 21 races, and her eight wins include a two-length victory in the 6 1/2-furlong, $85,000 Russell and Helen Foutz Distaff Handicap (R) at SunRay Park on April 21. The mare also put together a three-race win streak during the 2011 Zia Park meet.
The complete lineup for the Lincoln Handicap, in post position order including jockey and weight assignments – Stormy Canyon (Duane Sterling, 116), Cali Baby (Alejandro Medellin, 121), Naughty Storm (Alfredo Juarez Jr., 115), On Stride (Miguel Perez, 116), Vestal Virgin (Enrique Gomez, 118), Tricky R. (Nancy Summers, 119), Gossip Dome (Ry Eikleberry, 117), I Am Lesters Gal (J. Martin Bourdieu, 123), and Tularosa (Miguel Fuentes, 112).
ZIA DERBY (RG3)
Purse, $140,142 – 400 yards
Fastest qualifier Caliente Colt drew post 5 for the Zia Derby (RG3). A sorrel gelding by Corona Caliente racing for J. Patricia Gonzalez and Susan A. Kirker from the barn of trainer Juan M. Gonzalez, Caliente Colt is coming off of a three-quarter length win in the fourth of seven trials on July 14.
Caliente Colt began his career with three consecutive victories. All told, the gelding has won five of six races and has earned $71,670.
Other contenders include Jaime Dominguez's Fury Of The Storm, a graded stakes winning gelding by Furyofthewind who has won four of his last five starts, and First Blazin Love, a colt by the late Chicks A Blazin who won the January 7, $286,364 Shue Fly Stakes (RG2) at Sunland Park for owners Dwayne Johnson, Lisa Saumell, and Johnny C. Martinez.
All Zia Derby finalists have been assigned to tote 122 pounds. The complete lineup, in post position order including jockey assignments – Cheetah Woods (Jesse Levario), Fleurs Corona (Ricky Ramirez), Eye Am Blazin (Jimmy Brooks), Who Rae (Cody Jensen), Caliente Colt (Jaime Leos), Gotta Get Two (Alejandro Medellin), First Blazin Love (G.R. Carter Jr.), RCJ Major Storm (Felipe Garcia-Luna), Fury Of The Storm (Esgar Ramirez), and Angelina Fame (Roy Baldillez).
RIO GRANDE SENORITA FUTURITY (R)
Purse, $159,744 – 5 ½ furlongs
K.B.'s Princess and Lakehouse Fun, the respective winner and runner-up of the June 16, $75,000 C.O. “Ken” Kendrick Memorial Stakes (R) at SunRay Park, top the field of 10 state-bred 2-year-old fillies in this race.
A bay daughter of the Holy Bull stallion King Bull owned by Gary L. Balzano, K.B.'s Princess scored a two-length victory at odds of 9-1 in the Kendrick, a race which marked her career debut. Lakehouse Fun is coming off of a 3 1/4-length win as the even-money favorite in her Senorita trial. All told, the homebred daughter of Roll Hennessy Roll has earned $20,700 from three starts for her owners, J. Kirk and Judy Robison of El Paso, Texas.
Rita J. Danley's La La La Dandy, a homebred daughter of the Yankee Victor stallion Real Dandy, broke her maiden with an 11 ¾-length victory in her trial.
All fillies have been assigned to carry 120 pounds. The complete lineup, in post position order including jockey assignments – Desertsmagic (Casey Lambert), No Late Nights (Miguel Hernandez), Appelina (Tanner Thedford), Back Seat Roll (Enrique Gomez), Lakehouse Fun (Alejandro Medellin), K.B.'s Princess (Alfredo Juarez Jr.), Reb Can (G.R. Carter Jr.), Lisa Sue (Ry Eikleberry), Way To Go Gerda (Isaias Enriquez), and La La La Dandy (Duane Sterling).
SIERRA BLANCA HANDICAP (R)
3-year-olds & older
Purse, $30,000 – 5 ½ furlongs
Stable HMA LLC's Our Choice, a 7-year-old gelding trained by Justin Evans, is the 123-pound highweight in the Sierra Blanca Handicap.
Our Choice has won five of six races and has banked $203,910 since he was claimed by his current connections for $25,000 at Sunland Park on December 27. His season stakes resume includes a two-length victory in the 1-mile, $110,000 Jack Cole Handicap (R) at SunRay Park on April 28, and a 2 3/4-length score in the the 4 1/2-furlong, $110,000 Mt. Cristo Rey Handicap (R) at Sunland on March 10.
The complete lineup, in post position order including jockey and weight assignments – My Picasso (Juan Ochoa, 115), Vincent (J. Martin Bourdieu, 116), Lesters Secret (Enrique Gomez, 121), Comic Smarty Cat (Jimmy Coates, 116), Agiba Yulla (Macario Rodriguez, 114), Doms Flash (Alfredo Juarez Jr., 118), Our Choice (Ry Eikleberry, 123), Cowboy Hennessy (Alejandro Medellin, 116), and Bonndaddy's (Duane Sterling, 120).
RACE 10 is the ZIA FUTURITY (RG1)
LAND OF ENCHANTMENT HANDICAP (R)
3-year-olds & older
Purse, $50,000 – 7 ½ furlongs
The longest of the seven Thoroughbred stakes on the Zia Festival program, the Land of Enchantment Handicap has attracted a field of 10, including 122-pound co-highweights Brother Louie and Smash Dancer.
Brother Louie is a 5-year-old gelding by the Green Dancer stallion Emerald Jig racing for Solitaire Stable, Lisa Dominguez, and Carlos Gutierrez, and trained by Henry Dominguez. Brother Louie has won five of 33 starts and has earned $224,024, and his season stakes record includes a second-place finish to Our Choice in the April 28, 1-mile Jack Cole Handicap (R) at SunRay Park.
A homebred 5-year-old Robyn Dancer gelding racing for Barbara M. Coleman of Farmington, New Mexico, from the barn of trainer Todd Fincher, Smash Dancer ran third, four lengths behind runner-up Brother Louie, in the Jack Cole. All told, Smash Dancer has banked $306,588 from 24 outs.
The complete lineup, in post position order including jockey and weight assignments – Mi Domscat (Ry Eikleberry, 116), Brother Louie (Enrique Gomez, 122), Groushy Apadana (Macario Rodriguez, 115), Running Squall (Alejandro Medellin, 115), Smash Dancer (Casey Lambert, 122), Desert Gamble (Isaias Enriquez, 116), Lota Talent (Alfredo Juarez Jr., 117), Desert Dude (Juan Ochoa, 115), On Down The Road (Carlos Madeira, 118), and Numberoneson (Miguel Hernandez, 115).