Handsome Jack Flash Wins Richest Zia Festival Race
Four stakes for New Mexico-bred Quarter Horses highlight Ruidoso card.
July 28, 2013
Handsome Jack Flash pushed his record to three-for-three with his first stakes win while easily taking the $409,442 Zia Futurity (RG1) on Sunday afternoon at Ruidoso Downs.
The 400-yard Zia Futurity had the largest purse from the 11 stakes races offered for New Mexico-bred American Quarter Horses and Thoroughbreds during the afternoon card. More than $1.25 million was paid out to horsemen during the Zia Festival program.
Racing from the inside post position, Handsome Jack Flash hugged the inside rail in the early going and then moved out several paths without bothering any rivals. He went on to score the convincing one-half length win for owners Norma Alvarez, Brenda Alvarez and breeder/co-owner Debra Laney.
A gelding by First Moonflash, Handsome Jack Flash won his maiden in his first start and then impressed in his Zia Futurity trial when he dominated by four lengths for trainer Juan Gonzalez.
J and M Racing and Farms’ Kaydns Krusader finished second by 1 1/4 lengths over the Kristopher Cordova-owned and -trained Heza Wild Dragon.
The Cordova-trained Kaydns Krusader had finished a close third in the $357,030 Mountain Top Futurity (R) and the $50,000 New Mexican Spring Fling (R).
Heza Wild Dragon suffered his first defeat after three wins, including the Mountain Top Futurity.
$128,375 Zia Derby
Richard McGhee’s Junior June Bug raced to his third straight win and first stakes win in more than one year when he took a neck decision in the 400-yard Zia Derby (RG3).
A son of Jesse James Jr, Junior June Bug was timed in :19.551 on the sloppy, sealed track to defeat Taleas Liberty. Storm Chasor was another neck back in third.
Carlos Madeira has been aboard Junior June Bug for each of his three straight wins.
Junior June Bug was sharp early in his juvenile season when he won three of his first five starts with two second-place efforts. He won the $296,456 Mountain Top Futurity and was second in the $251,359 New Mexican Spring Futurity (RG2).
After a winter layoff, Junior June Bug was second in a derby trial at Sam Houston Race Park at 9-1 odds and then won his two Ruidoso Downs starts before taking the Zia Derby for trainer Jackie Riddle. He won an allowance race and then his Zia Derby trial.
$50,000 Zia Handicap
Mary and Melvin Neugebauer’s homebred 9-year-old Miracle Snow raced to his 14th win and fifth stakes win in his 51st start when he narrowly won the 400-yard Zia Handicap (RG2).
Racing from the inside post position on the sealed, sloppy track, Miracle Snow broke well from the inside post position and battled with First Blazin Love in the second post position. RCJ Major Storm was making a strong run with those two sprinters while racing from the eighth post position.
The Jorge Martin Bourdieu-ridden Miracle Snow showed his class in the final jump when he surged to get the nose win over RCJ Major Storm. First Blazin Love was a neck back in third.
The Dean Miracle-sired Miracle Snow was timed in :19.414.
Miracle Snow, trained by Wes Giles, has now won or placed in 18 stakes races and has earned $602,991. He was second in the 2010 Zia Handicap and a close third in the 2007 Zia Derby.
$50,000 Zia 870 Championship
Refugio Monarez’s D E Wagons Strawfly took to the off going and defeated odds-on choice Rollickin Red by 2 1/4 lengths in the Zia 870 Championship (R).
On the sealed, sloppy track, D E Wagons Strawfly was timed in :45.466 for his first win since February.
Brookstone Flash finished third in the full eight-horse field.
Trained by Richard Sedillo, D E Wagons Strawfly was sent off at 9-1 odds after finishing off the board in his two previous starts, each on a fast track.
Rollickin Red, looking for his fourth straight win, raced on the lead and then appeared to try to avoid a puddle of water entering the turn and lost momentum. He then rallied, but could not catch D E Wagons Strawfly.
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