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Winners Face Off in King Rick Rack

Stakes winners meet in King Rick Rack Stakes at Zia.

November 14, 2012

The winners of Zia Park’s two 870-yard Quarter Horse stakes races this season will meet in the track’s final 870 yard stakes race this Sunday in the  $55,000 King Rick Rack Stakes.  That one of the previous stakes winners is a committed frontrunner and the other a closer who is usually last early creates a stylistic matchup for this season’s 870-yard bragging rights at Zia Park. Im Royal Quick led every yard of the 870-yard$55,000 Herman Jefferson Stakes (G3) for a dominant win by 5 1/2 lengths on October 13.  KC Royal Flush closed to win the 870-yard, $140,000 New Mexico Cup 870 Championship (R) by a neck on New Mexico Cup Day on October 28.
 
The Herman Jefferson was an open stakes race, and the New Mexico Cup 870 Championship was restricted to New Mexico-breds.  The King Rick Rack is an open stakes race that is expected to have a full field of eight after nine horses, including one also-eligible, were entered.  The race is named for 870-yard specialist King Rick Rack, who competed from 1999 to 2007 and won 23 of 74 lifetime starts, including multiple stakes races, for $364,237 in earnings.
 
Im Royal Quick’s win in the Herman Jefferson Stakes where he was the 9-5 favorite was his first in a stakes race.  The 5-year-old gray gelding bred in Texas also has two second-place finishes in allowance races this season at Zia Park.  Alejandro Medellin, the winning jockey of last year’s King Rick Rack Stakes aboard De Passem Okey, will ride the Ramon Ronquillo-trainee.

KC Royal Flush, a 5-year-old sorrel gelding bred in New Mexico, was a 7-1 upset winner in the New Mexico Cup 870 Championship.  In that victory the Dominic Duree-trainee snapped the six-race win streak of then 3-5 favorite Rollickin Red and also defeated three horses that had previously finished ahead of him in a Zia Park allowance contest last month.  Brian Theriot rode KC Royal Flush in the New Mexico Cup 870 Championship, and Ken Tohill will be aboard on Sunday.

The field for this year’s King Rick Rack Stakes also includes the second- and third-place finishers from last year’s race in Tango Blue and Git Er Done.  Tango Blue, who is trained by Tony Sedillo and will be ridden by Tanner Thedford, comes in off a fourth-place finish in a claiming race at 1,000 yards at Zia Park on November 10.  Git Er Done was third most recently in an 870-yard Zia Park allowance race on October 30 for trainer Martin Orona, Sr., and jockey Alfonso Perez.

In other Zia Park news, jockey Ry Eikleberry won two races at the track on Monday to put him two wins away from his 1,000th career victory.  Eikleberry, 23, began riding in 2005.  He won three consecutive jockey titles at Turf Paradise in Arizona in 2009, 2010 and 2011 before starting to ride full-time in New Mexico.