Thursday, September 06, 2012
Zia Park opens its 54-day season with a 12-race program on Saturday. Post time for the first race will be 12:15 p.m. (MDT).
Zia Park's opening day card features two stakes-quality allowance races for New Mexico-bred Quarter Horses and Thoroughbreds. Bill McCarty's Quatro Menudos, a homebred 4-year-old gelding by Furyofthewind, heads a field of seven in the fifth race, a 350-yard, $44,100 allowance sprint for state-bred Quarter Horses. Quatro Menudos will be making his first start since December 10, when he ran second to Here Kittykittykitty in the $110,000 Jess Burner Memorial Handicap (RG1) at Sunland Park.
Quatro Menudos' six opponents include Caliente Colt, a 3-year-old Corona Caliente gelding racing for J. Patricia Gonzalez and Susan Kirker who is coming off of a second-place finish as the fastest qualifier in the July 29, $140,000 Zia Derby (RG2) at Ruidoso Downs.
T.V. Stevie is one of seven New Mexico-bred Thoroughbreds entered in the 11th race, a 6-furlong, $42,400 allowance-optional claiming ($40,000) sprint. A homebred 3-year-old gelding by Quinton's Gold campaigned by Steve Prather and Dwayne Taylor, T.V. Stevie has earned $69,996 from six starts, and his three wins include the 5 1/2-furlong, $50,000 Road Runner Handicap (R) at Ruidoso Downs on July 29.
Located in Hobbs, New Mexico, Zia Park will present live racing primarily on a Saturday-Tuesday schedule through closing day, December 4. The track's lucrative stakes schedule features 31 Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse races worth more than $3.5 million in purses. New Mexico Cup Day, one of the richest cards for state-breds in the nation, will be held October 28.
Zia Park's stakes schedule gets underway with the 6-furlong, $100,000 Premiere Cup Handicap for 3-year-olds and older. Racing secretary Fred Hutton has received 26 nominations for the Premiere Cup, headed by Alsvid. A 3-year-old Kentucky-bred gelding by Officer racing for the Black Hawk Stable of James Rogers and trained by Chris Hartman, Alsvid has won three stakes this season, including the 6-furlong, $103,000 David M. Vance Sprint Stakes at Remington Park on August 11.
Also, there will be a new announcer at Zia Park this season. Jonathan Horowitz, 27, began announcing when he was 14 and became the youngest person ever to call a horse race in the United States at Los Alamitos Racecourse in 1999. In addition to announcing at Zia Park, Horowitz will write articles for the track's program and conduct handicapping classes.
For more information on Zia Park's meet, visit the track's website at www.ziaparkcasino.com, and click on the “Racing” link at the top of the homepage, or call the track at 1-888-ZIA-PARK.