Q-Racing Blog: New Mexico-Breds Off and Running

Q-Racing Blog: New Mexico-Breds Off and Running

It’s time to enjoy watching the horses of the Mountain Top.

Heza Classy Now 2020 Mountain Top Futurity trials. PHOTO: Jake Rogers/Ruidoso Downs

text size

By Ty Wyant

Sissie and Bob McClure’s homebred Heza Classy Now looks to take another step forward when he starts as the fastest qualifier in the year’s first New Mexico-bred futurity — the $358,950 Mountain Top Futurity (RG2) — at Ruidoso Downs on June 13.

The New Mexican Spring Futurity at Sunland Park is traditionally the annual start to the New Mexico-bred futurity season. That race was cancelled when the Sunland Park season was cut short because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Trainer Harvey Baeza has made all the right calls to get Heza Classy Now to this point in his career. 

Early this year he was still a colt and the ultimate equipment change was required. “He was pushing his weight around and needed to be gelded,” Baeza said.

That was when he was still at Sunland Park and since that track was closed Baeza decided to take him to Remington Park for his first start. The Sunday races were held during the day and Baeza wanted to start him on a Sunday. Then the Sunday races were changed to night racing, so Heza Classy Now made his debut under the lights.

Heza Classy Now drew the second post position in that maiden race. The horse inside of him got off to a quick start while Heza Classy Now was beaten away from the gate. Then Heza Classy Now decided to go and check out the inside rail. He lost any chance at a decent finish, but showed potential with a solid late run.

Then it was off to Ruidoso Downs to prepare for the Mountain Top Futurity trials. Baeza gave Heza Classy Now a couple of light gate works and they paid off in his trial.

The son of Rock Solid Jess got off to a tardy start in the fifth of 13 Mountain Top Futurity trials. Then, at about the halfway point, he acted like he knew this racing game. He extended his stride and in a matter of a few jumps there was little doubt he was on his way to a convincing victory.

“We knew he had speed,” Baeza said. “He really closed well and we were lucky to have a path.”

He raced to an expanding 1 3/4-length win and his time of :17.712 was easily to top qualifying mark. Jessies Allstar is the second-fastest qualifier with a:17.859 mark.

Heza Classy Now came back ready for the finals. “The first time we took him to the track he was jumping and playing,” Baeza said. “He’s really doing well.”

The dam of Heza Classy Now is the stakes winning 870-yard competitor Shez Classy Now. Heza Classy Now has the running style and the breeding to excel at longer distances, which will be on his itinerary. He is expected to run in the trials to the 400-yard Zia Futurity (RG1) on July 10 at Ruidoso Downs.

Heza Classy Now has constantly improved since he was gelded. Look for that progress to continue, especially as the distances increase.

AQHA News and information is a service of the American Quarter Horse Association. For more news and information, follow @AQHA Racing on Twitter, "like" Q-Racing on Facebook, and visit www.aqha.com/racing.