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Zia Festival Races Set for Sunday at Ruidoso Downs
RSS Feeds Thursday, July 28, 2016
New Mexico-bred Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses will be in the spotlight during Sunday’s Zia Festival races at Ruidoso Downs.

A total of 91 state-breds are entered in 10 stakes -- six for Thoroughbreds and four for Quarter Horses -- worth nearly $1.1 million in purses.

Following is an exclusive preview of all 10 stakes, listed in the order they will be run on Sunday.

RACE 1
ZIA 870 CHAMPIONSHIP (R)
New Mexico-bred 3-year-olds & older
Purse, $50,000 -- 870 yards


A full field of eight state-bred Quarter Horses and Thoroughbreds, headed by multiple stakes winner and 3-1 morning-line favorite Coronas Boy, has been entered in the $50,000 Zia 870 Championship.

A homebred 7-year-old Mr Houston gelding trained by Martin Orona Jr. for owner Victor M. Diaz, Coronas Boy is coming off of a 1 1/4-length victory in an 870-yard, $29,000 open-condition allowance for New Mexico-breds at Albuquerque Downs on July 6. Coronas Boy drew post 3 and will be ridden by Jose Enrique Ortiz.

Infinite Bull (TB), a homebred 5-year-old King Bull gelding trained by Greg Green for owner Gary Balzano’s Tucumcari Thoroughbreds, drew post 2 and will be ridden by Miguel Perez. Infinite Bull will be making his first start since June 17, when he scored a neck victory as the 2-1 favorite in the 870-yard, $30,000 New Mexico Horsemen’s Association Handicap (R) at SunRay Park.

The complete lineup, in post position order including jockey and weight assignments and morning-line odds -- El Tormenta Perfecta (Tanner Thedford, 121), 12-1; Infinite Bull (TB) (Miguel Perez, 123), 7-2; Coronas Boy (Jose Enrique Ortiz, 124), 3-1; Weappear (TB) (Roimes Chirinos, 120), 4-1; Tag Ur It (Ruby Gonzalez, 121), 6-1; An Absolut Diamond (Salvador Martinez, 122), 5-1; Dm Ada Kat (Oscar Cordova, 121), 10-1; and Swiss Chris (Adrian Ramos, 122), 8-1.

RACE 2
ZIA HANDICAP (RG2)
New Mexico-bred 3-year-olds & older
Purse, $50,000 -- 400 yards


William G. McCarty’s Cinco Menudos will risk his four-race win streak in the $50,000 Zia Handicap (RG2).

A homebred 6-year-old Jesse James Jr gelding trained by H.G. “Poppy” Aldavaz, Cinco Menudos ended his 2015 season with a neck score in the November 1, 440-yard Namehimastreaker New Mexico Cup Championship (RG1) at Zia Park. The gelding has won 11 of his 21 outs and has earned $331,887.
Cinco Menudos drew post 3 and will be ridden by Esgar Ramirez.

The complete lineup, in post position order including jockey and weight assignments and morning-line odds -- Princess Jesse (Alfredo Sigala, 123), 10-1; Dm Nate Dog (J.R. Valenzuela, 119), 20-1; Cinco Menudos (Esgar Ramirez, 126), 9-5; Osbaldo (Ivan Carnero, 124), 3-1; Booyah Bay (Oscar Cordova, 121), 4-1; Grant The Star (Salvador Martinez, 122), 12-1; Royally Cute (Edwuin Lujan, 122), 15-1; and Major Moonflash (Adrian Ramos, 124), 8-1.

RACE 3
LINCOLN HANDICAP (R)
New Mexico-bred fillies and mares, 3-year-olds & older
Purse, $50,000 -- 6 furlongs


C. Donnell Echols’ Zasha, a 5-year-old daughter of Desert God trained by Joel Marr, is one of seven distaffers entered in Sunday’s $50,000 Lincoln Handicap (R).

Zasha has banked $51,835 from two outs this year, and her season resume includes a head victory at odds of 12-1 in the 1-mile, $85,000 Peppers Pride Handicap (R) at Sunland Park on February 26. The mare drew the rail post and will be ridden by Jesiere Medina.

Tilla Cat, the lone 3-year-old filly entered, drew post 3 and will be ridden by Ruby Gonzalez for trainer Todd Fincher. The runner-up to Bryns Fancy Pants in the 6-furlong, $85,000 La Senora Stakes (R) at Sunland Park on December 26, the filly prepped for this race with wire-to-wire, 6 1/2-length win in a 5 1/2-furlong, $22,000 non-winners-of-two allowance at Albuquerque Downs on June 29.

The complete lineup, in post position order including jockey and weight assignments and morning-line odds -- Zasha (Jesiere Medina, 122), 7-2; My Dandy Girl (Francisco Giles, 119), 8-1; Tilla Cat (Ruby Gonzalez, 117), 3-1; Stormy Day (Alfredo Juarez Jr., 118), 6-1; Sassy Silk Pet (Glen Murphy, 115), 12-1; Muy Rapido (Ry Eikleberry, 121), 10-1; and Renewed Vows (Roimes Chirinos, 122), 5-2.

RACE 4
ZIA QUARTER HORSE DERBY (RG2)
New Mexico-bred 3-year-olds
Purse, $163,843 -- 400 yards


Fastest qualifier Jess Cruzin On By is one of 10 state-bred sophomores entered back in Sunday’s $163,843 Zia Derby (RG2).

A homebred colt by Jesse James Jr racing for Yaneth Cabrera from the barn of trainer Ron Stephens, Jess Cruzin On By is coming off of a clear 2 1/2-length win as the 8-5 favorite in the last of four trials on July 16. Jess Cruzin On By earned $164,480 from six outs during his 2-year-old campaign, and his four wins included a three-quarter length score in the 300-yard New Mexican Spring Futurity (RG2) at Sunland Park.

Jess Cruzin On By drew post 2 and will be ridden by Ivan Carnero. The colt’s nine opponents include Datona Doll, a sorrel daughter of Jesse James Jr trained by Blane Wood for owners Mark and Annette McCloy. The filly won both of her outs as a 2-year-old, and her sophomore season includes a third-place finish, a head behind winner Gyr Jammer, in the 400-yard, $370,000 Heritage Place Derby (G2) at Remington Park on June 4.

Datona Doll drew post 9 and will be ridden by Ricky Ramirez.

The complete lineup, in post position order including jockey assignments and morning-line odds -- A Blazin Flash (Jose Enrique Ortiz), 6-1; Jess Cruzin On By (Ivan Carnero), 3-1; Jess Beer Money (Cody Jensen), 12-1; Blazin Moon Force (Efrain Gonzalez Vigi), 10-1; Sic Em Sixes (Adrian Ramos), 8-1; Mahallo Moonflash (Fernando Castillo Jr.), 15-1; Play Misty Forme (Sergio Becerra Jr), 15-1; Datona Doll (Ricky Ramirez), 7-2; Super Star Smith (Felipe Garcia-Luna), 9-2; and Hard Streaker (Esgar Ramirez), 20-1.

RACE 5
LAND OF ENCHANTMENT HANDICAP (R)
New Mexico-bred 3-year-olds & older
Purse, $50,000 -- 7 1/2 furlongs


Michael Stinson’s Proceed will make his first start in more than a year in Sunday’s $50,000 Land of Enchantment Handicap (R).

The 9-5 morning-line favorite and 124-pound highweight, Proceed is a homebred 5-year-old Desert God stallion trained by Joel Marr. Proceed has won seven of his eight outs and has earned $399,429, and he has won two stakes against open company, including last year’s 1 1/8-mile, $75,000 Sunland Park Handicap in a track-record 1:47.37.

Proceed drew post 5 and will be ridden by Alfredo Juarez Jr.

The complete lineup, in post position order including jockey and weight assignments and morning-line odds -- The Waki Rapper (Christian Santiago Reyes, 121), 6-1; Hush’s Storm (Alfredo Juarez Jr., 117), 15-1; Streaks Bro (Francisco Giles, 121), 10-1; Atillas Gift (Ruby Gonzalez, 122), 3-1; Proceed (Miguel Fuentes Jr., 124), 9-5; Weather Dodger (Ry Eikleberry, 120), 12-1; Chico The Man (Mauro Salcedo, 112), 20-1; and That’s Who (Jesiere Medina, 122), 4-1.

RACE 6
ROAD RUNNER HANDICAP (R)
New Mexico-bred 3-year-olds
Purse, $50,000 -- 5 1/2 furlongs


Eleven state-bred 3-year-olds have been entered in the 5 1/2-furlong Road Runner Handicap.

R.D. Hubbard’s Forger, a homebred son of Attila’s Storm trained by Todd Fincher and the 3-1 morning-line favorite, drew post 5 and will be ridden by Alfredo Juarez Jr. The gelding has won his last two starts, including the 6 1/2-furlong, $36,000 Dine Stakes (R) at SunRay Park on June 6.

Forger’s opponents include Sam Stevens’ Jonesey Who, a homebred Quinton’s Gold gelding trained by Joel Marr. Jonesey Who banked $69,700 from three outs during the Sunland Park meet, and his record included a clear five-length victory in the 6-furlong, $85,000 Pepsi Cola Stakes (R) on January 10.

Jonesey Who drew post 6 and will be ridden by Miguel Fuentes.

The complete lineup, in post position order including jockey and weight assignments and morning-line odds -- Back Seat Hero (Enrique Gomez, 119), 12-1; Storm Warrior (Ry Eikleberry, 121), 6-1; Seasalt N Vinegar (Glen Murphy, 119), 15-1; E Bar Gold (Francisco Giles, 119), 12-1; Forger (Alfredo Juarez Jr., 122), 3-1; Jonesey Who (Miguel Fuentes Jr., 122), 5-1; Hit A Lick (Ruby Gonzalez, 120), 4-1; Stormin The Jewels (Oscar Ceballos, 121), 8-1; Naevussquall (Christian Santiago Reyes, 119), 15-1; E J’s Gold (Roimes Chirinos, 118), 20-1; and Get Er Done (Miguel Perez, 121), 12-1.

RACE 7
SIERRA BLANCA HANDICAP
New Mexico-bred 3-year-olds & older
Purse, $50,000 -- 5 1/2 furlongs


Citizen Geller, a homebred 4-year-old son of Pro Prado racing for Larry and Denise Nichols of El Paso, Texas, drew the rail post for Sunday’s 5 1/2-furlong Sierra Blanca Handicap (R).

The 122-pound highweight, Citizen Geller is trained by Vance Mikkelson. The gelding is coming off of a one-length victory at odds of 20-1 in the 7-furlong, $60,000 O.D. McDonald Stakes (R) at Albuquerque Downs on June 25.

Alfredo Sigala will ride Citizen Geller on Sunday.

Not My Note, the runner-up to Citizen Geller in the O.D. McDonald, will be ridden by Glen Murphy from post 3. A homebred 4-year-old Fusaichi Zenon (JPN) gelding trained by Simon Buechler for owner Mike Weatherly of Anthony, New Mexico, Not My Note won two of his three starts during the Sunland Park meet, both against New Mexico-bred allowance company.

The complete lineup, in post position order including jockey and weight assignments and morning-line odds -- Citizen Geller (Alfredo Sigala, 122), 4-1; Attitude E Racer (Miguel Fuentes Jr., 120), 8-1; Not My Note (Glen Murphy, 121), 9-2; Thermal (Alfredo Juarez Jr., 120), 8-1; D E Lover (Christian Santiago-Reyes, 120), 5-1; Beaumont Time (Larry Gamez, 118), 12-1; Golly Gee (Enrique Gomez, 118), 15-1; Lonnie Ton (Francisco Giles, 121), 7-2; Reeser (Roimes Chirinos, 116), 20-1; Storm Dust (Ruby Gonzalez, 115), 20-1; and Devons Ca Ching (Ry Eikleberry, 118), 12-1.

RACE 8
MOUNTAIN TOP THOROUGHBRED FUTURITY (R)
New Mexico-bred 2-year-olds
Purse, $173,171 -- 5 furlongs


Ignored is the 3-1 morning-line favorite for Sunday’s 5-furlong Mountain Top Thoroughbred Futurity (R).

Trained by Todd Fincher for owners Steve Prather and Bessie Prather, Ignored has earned $74,254 from four races, and his two wins include a 2 1/2-length score in the May 3, 4 1/2-furlong Copper Top Futurity (R) at Sunland Park. The gelded son of The Way Home drew post 7 and will be ridden by Francisco Giles.

The complete lineup, in post position order including jockey assignments and morning-line odds -- Que Pasa (Miguel Fuentes Jr.), 10-1; El Tule (Ricardo Jaime), 6-1; Cowboy Drive (Miguel Perez), 15-1; Stormtown Heat (Enrique Gomez), 15-1; Stilts Mcgee (Christian Santiago Reyes), 20-1; Toll Free (Jesiere Medina), 8-1; Ignored (Francisco Giles), 3-1; Heat Stroke (Alfredo Juarez Jr.), 9-2; Another Brother (Glen Murphy), 7-2; and Storming Back (Ruby Gonzalez), 12-1.

RACE 9
ZIA QUARTER HORSE FUTURITY (RG1)
New Mexico-bred 2-year-olds
Purse, $409,110 -- 400 yards


Fastest qualifier Big Spurs and the undefeated Running Dragon will renew their rivalry in the $409,110 Zia Futurity (RG1) on Sunday.

A gray son of Big Daddy Cartel trained by Ron Stephens for owner Astorga Racing LLC, Big Spurs is coming off of a 1 1/4-length win as the 4-5 choice in his Zia Futurity trial on July 16. The colt has won three of five starts and has earned $75,619, and his resume includes a second-place finish to Running Dragon in the April 24, 300-yard New Mexican Spring Futurity (RG2) at Sunland Park.

Big Spurs drew post 3 and will be ridden by Ivan Carnero.

The second-fastest qualifier, Running Dragon has won all five of her outs, including the New Mexican Spring Futurity and 350-yard, $364,000 Mountain Top Quarter Horse Futurity (RG3) at Ruidoso Downs on June 18. The homebred Zulu Dragon filly drew post 10 and will be ridden by Jose Enrique Ortiz for owner By By JJ Limited Partnership and trainer Juan M. Gonzalez.

The complete lineup, in post position order including jockey assignments and morning-line odds -- Regards Miracle (Salvador Martinez), 8-1; Machismo Moon (Bonifacio Perez), 15-1; Big Spurs (Ivan Carnero), 7-2; Scooters Debutant (Cesar Gomez), 20-1; Major Alligator (Sergio Becerra Jr.), 6-1; Starz Power (Esgar Ramirez), 9-2; Cartels Star Daddy (J.R. Valenzuela), 12-1; Hot Indy Chick (Jaime Parga Leos), 30-1; Flash For Corona (Ricky Ramirez), 15-1; and Running Dragon (Jose Enrique Ortiz), 2-1.

RACE 10
SIERRA STARLET HANDICAP (R)
New Mexico-bred 3-year-old fillies
Purse, $50,000 -- 5 1/2 furlongs


Bryns Fancy Pants, an undefeated daughter of the Gone West stallion Southwestern Heat, is the 9-5 morning-line favorite for Sunday’s 5 1/2-furlong Sierra Starlet Handicap.

Conditioned by Todd Fincher for owners Dale Taylor, Carey Taylor, and Jon Hogg, Bryns Fancy Pants has won all three of her outs, including the open 5 1/2-furlong, $50,000 Petticoat Stakes for sophomore fillies at Albuquerque Downs on July 2. The filly drew post 8 and will be ridden by Alfredo Juarez Jr.

The complete lineup, in post position order including jockey and weight assignments and morning-line odds -- Lightly Toasted (Christian Santiago Reyes, 119), 15-1; Tijuana (Francisco Giles, 121), 3-1; Beautys Rap (Enrique Gomez, 119), 10-1; Quinton’s Princess (Miguel Fuentes Jr., 119), 12-1; Sunday Rose (Ry Eikleberry, 120), 7-2; Indian Tiva (Glen Murphy, 120), 6-1; Bloss (Roimes Chirinos, 120), 12-1; and Bryns Fancy Pants (Alfredo Juarez Jr., 122), 9-5.

In The News

Sunday, October 15, 2017
Daniel Balderrama’s Magnifico Dragon is the fastest qualifier to the October 29 New Mexico Cup Derby (RG2) for state-bred 3-year-olds at Zia Park.
Sunday, October 15, 2017
RC Racing LLC’s A Passion For Flashn won the second of seven New Mexico Cup Futurity (RG2) trials at Zia Park on Saturday, and the First Moonflash colt is the fastest qualifier to the October 29, $325,000-est. final.
Thursday, October 12, 2017
Graded stakes winners Running Dragon and Magnifico Dragon are among the 30 state-bred 3-year-olds entered in Sunday’s 440-yard New Mexico Cup Derby (RG2) trials at Zia Park.
Wednesday, October 11, 2017
Moneys A Maker, a graded stakes winning son of Sixes Royal owned by Enrique Barrera, is one of 62 state-bred 2-year-olds entered in Saturday’s 400-yard New Mexico Cup Futurity (RG2) trials at Zia Park.




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