angle-left Zia Derby Trials Preview

Zia Derby Trials Preview

Forty-nine New Mexico-bred sophomores are entered in Saturday's trials at Ruidoso Downs.
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Forty-nine New Mexico-bred 3-year-olds have been entered in Saturday’s 400-yard Zia Derby (RG2) trials at Ruidoso Downs.

Jess Fire Chick, a graded stakes winning daughter of Jess A Chicks trained by Wes Giles for owners Mike Abraham and Paul Blanchard, will make her second start of the season off of a half-length victory in a 350-yard, $13,000 allowance dash at  Ruidoso Downs on June 1. The filly has earned $160,841 from seven races, and her three wins include last year’s 350-yard, $346,000 Mountain Top Futurity (RG3).

Jess Fire Chick drew Post 5 and will be ridden by Adrian Ramos in the fourth of five trials.

“That race put her back on her game,” said Giles of Jess Fire Chick’s allowance win. “Hopefully, that race is what she needed.”

Two graded stakes winners — Legend Of The Vine and Woodys Copy Cat — will match strides in the first heat. Trained by Fred Danley for owner J & SM Inc. of Fort Stockton, Texas, Legend Of The Vine was a $57,000 purchase at last year’s Ruidoso Select Yearling Sale. The gray daughter of Big Daddy Cartel has banked $170,802 from eight outs, and her two wins include a neck victory in last year’s 400-yard, $325,000 New Mexico State Fair Futurity (RG3) at Albuquerque Downs.

Legend Of The Vine drew Post 6 and will be ridden by Ricky Ramirez.

Woodys Copy Cat has earned $288,374 from 12 races for owner Enrique Barrera, who purchased the brown Woodbridge filly for $4,700 at last year’s New Mexico-Bred Sale at Ruidoso Downs. Woodys Copy Cat has won four races, including last year’s 400-yard, $315,000 New Mexico Cup Futurity (RG2) at Zia Park.

Woodys Copy Cat drew Post 10 and will be ridden by Manuel Gutierrez for trainer Cynthia Gonzalez.

The 10 fastest qualifiers will meet in the July 28, $197,725 Zia Derby final.

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