Zia Futurity Heads Zia Festival

Rich futurity is headliner during New Mexico festival.

Q-Racing Journal
July 23, 2014

Terry and Irene Stennett’s fastest-qualifier De Loach heads the richest race during the two-day Zia Festival, the $392,253 Zia Futurity (RG1), on Sunday afternoon at Ruidoso Downs.

The Zia Festival features New Mexico-bred racing and starts on Saturday with the $139,493 Zia Derby (RG2), the $50,000 Zia Handicap (RG2) and the $50,000 Zia 870 Championship.

De Loach (Jessie James Jr-Famous Chapelle by Dash Ta Fame) raced to his second win from four starts when he took his Zia Futurity trial by three quarters of a length. His time of :19.471 for 400 yards was the top mark from 10 trials.

The Blane Wood-trained De Loach scored his other victory when he won his trial to the New Mexican Spring Futurity (RG2) back in March.

Raymond Gilder’s Tuscan Redd (Jesse James Jr-Alice K White by First Down Dash) stepped up for trainer Jackie Riddle by winning his maiden with the second-fastest qualifying time of :19.510. He won by one-half length after finishing third in his Mountain Top Futurity trial in his previous start.

In the 400-yard Zia Derby, Pierre and Leslie Amestoy Jr.’s Mighty Moonflash (First Moonflash-Workslikeacharm (TB) by Northern Score) is quickly rising up the class ladder. The Ross Amestoy-trained gelding won his maiden just two starts ago and then won the first of three Zia Derby trials by 1 1/4 lengths. His time of :19.465 topped the qualifier’s list.

Nahum Prieto and Joe Rios’ Kia Won (Ketel Won-Major Kia by Major Rime) set the second-fastest qualifying time of :19.582 while defeating Ruidoso Derby (G1) fourth-place finisher DM One Hot Charmer by a neck. Kia Won was second by a neck in the $252,796 Shue Fly Stakes (RG2) at Sunland Park to start his 2014 campaign.

In the 400-yard Zia Handicap, Melvin Neugebauer’s Miracle Snow (Dean Miracle-Snow Peak by Chicks Beduino) is not only defending his 2013 win at 10 years of age, but he is also saddled with high weight of 125 pounds against his younger rivals. He has made 55 starts, won 15 races, has 36 on-the-board finishes and has earned $651,978. The Wes Giles-trained gelding is in peak form after winning the $45,000 Jim Drake Stakes (R) at SunRay Park on June 1.

In the Zia 870 Championship, Victor Diaz’s Coronas Boy (Mr Houston-My First Corona by Corona Cartel) makes his return after finishing second in the $85,080 Challenger Six Handicap (R) back in December at Sunland Park at 3-5 odds. He earned that favoritism after winning the $140,240 New Mexico Cup 870 Championship by 7 lengths in his previous start.

AQHA News and information is a service of the American Quarter Horse Association. For more news and information, follow @AQHARacing on Twitter, watch the AQHA Racing Newscast and visit www.aqharacing.com.