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Noconi Closes Career in Gold Cup

Champion Noconi to retire after All American Gold Cup.

August 30, 2012

R.D. Hubbard and Johnny T.L. Jones’ two-time champion Noconi will make his final career start when he tries for his third-consecutive victory in the $40,000 All American Gold Cup (G3) on Sunday afternoon at Ruidoso Downs.

First post time is noon for the 12-race card and the All American Gold Cup is the ninth race. There is free parking and free general admission.

Highlighting the Sunday program is the richest race ever contested for 3-year-old and older Quarter Horses, the $2,234,539 All American Derby (G1). If champion and probable favorite Ochoa, co-owned by Jones, wins the All American Derby then he will become the all-timed leading money earning Quarter Horse at $2,584,242.

A 7-year-old gelding, Noconi concludes a remarkable racing career. He has made 32 of his 35 career starts in New Mexico and has earned nearly $1.3 million of his career total of $1,340,100 in The Land of Enchantment. At Ruidoso Downs, he has been on the board in 14 of 17 starts with seven wins and earnings of $724,594.

The All American Gold Cup distance of 440 yards has also been his favorite distance. The Mr Jess Perry son has been on the board in 12 of 15 efforts at a quarter mile with seven wins and $883,181 in earnings.

In addition to his two wins in the latest two runnings of the All American Gold Cup, Noconi won the Grade 1 All American Derby, The Championship at Sunland Park and Zia Park Championship. He also has graded stakes win in the Higheasterjet Handicap (G3, twice), La Plata Stakes (G3), Lovington Handicap (G2), Mr Jet Moore Stakes (G3) and Hobbs America Derby (G2). He was second in the Refrigerator Handicap (G1), Hobbs America Futurity (G2), Zia Park Championship (G1), and was third in the Ruidoso Derby (G1), Rainbow Derby (G1) and Los Alamitos Winter Championship (G1).

Noconi was named the 2008 champion three-year-old gelding and the 2009 champion aged gelding.

Out of broodmare of the year My Dashing Lady, Noconi always raced against top-tier company with 33 of his 35 starts coming in graded stakes or their trials.

Trained throughout his career by Paul Jones, Noconi was managed on a daily basis by Jones’ assistant in New Mexico, Lisa Saumell.

Noconi starts from Post 6 in the seven-horse field.

Joel Tavarez’s champion Prospect To The Top, second in the 2011 All American Derby (G1) at 440 yards, is a danger starting just outside of Noconi. The Ralph Muniz-trained colt returned from an extended layoff to finish second, beaten by just a head, in the $30,000 Mr Jet Moore Stakes on August 5. Saul Ramirez Jr. rides Prospect To The Top.

Melvin and Marty Neugebauer’s Unashamed is looking for his first win of the year after being narrowly beaten in his two 2012 outs. The member of the Wes Giles barn was a neck behind Noconi for second in the La Plata Stakes and third by a neck in a Sun Ray Park allowance race. Cody Jensen rides Unashamed from the second post position.