Zia Opens Sept. 6
Track celebrates 10 years.
September 4, 2014
Zia Park Racetrack and Casino will kick off its 10th season of Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing on Saturday with a mixture of looking to the future and paying homage to the past.
In terms of the future, the Hobbs, New Mexico track will build on the boost it received with last year’s new addition, Land of Enchantment Day. In conjunction with the opening of a 154-room hotel last month that overlooks the track and paddock area, Zia Park has also made approximately $1 million in renovations on the racing side, including a redesigned Turf Club with 65 new high-definition televisions, new seating areas, a repainted grandstand, and improvements to the stable area.
In terms of the past, Zia Park will continue the tradition it began in its first season in 2005 by hosting the richest day of state-bred stakes races in the country on New Mexico Cup Day on October 26. The 12 stakes races for New Mexico-bred Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses will feature purses totaling more than $2 million. For its 10th season, the track will welcome back Robbie Junk as its racing secretary. Junk was racing secretary for Zia Park’s inaugural meet in 2005. He also serves as racing secretary at Sunland Park.
“These are exciting times at Zia Park,” said Director of Racing Operations Fred Hutton. “We’ve made great improvements in the last few years in our quality of racing and with our facilities. It’s rewarding to look at how far we’ve come in 10 years while also building toward a bigger future to start the next decade,” Hutton added.
The 2014 season will take place from this Saturday until December 2 with racing on Saturdays, Sundays, Mondays, and Tuesdays, as well as all Wednesdays in November. Post time for the first race each day will be at 12:15 p.m.
Land of Enchantment Day on Thanksgiving Eve, November 26, will include the 440 yard, $150,000 Zia Park Quarter Horse Championship (G1) and the 400-yard, $140,000 New Mexico Quarter Horse Fillies and Mares Championship (RG1).
The Land of Enchantment Day races — along with the Thanksgiving Eve Racing Festival that night at Zia Park’s sister racetrack, Penn National — will conclude the nationwide $5 million Penn Gaming Racing Challenge launched this year and will receive national television exposure through HRTV.
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