Q-Racing Blog: It's Good to be a State-Bred

Let's recognize our state-bred programs.

Quarter Racing Journal

Let's recognize our state-bred programs.

Virtually every racing state has a state-bred program and that’s a good thing.

There are about as many variations to state-bred programs as there are states that have state-bred programs, from Alabama to Wyoming.

Tracks offer days dedicated to state-bred stakes races. Then there is money-added to state-bred races, bonuses for state-bred horses in open races, breeder awards, stallion awards and on and on.

 On the final weekend of July there were more Quarter Horse stakes than on any other weekend of the year. Why? Mainly, because of the stakes dominated cards for Cal-breds at Los Alamitos and New Mexico-breds at Ruidoso Downs. The California Champions Night at Los Alamitos was for quarter horses while the Zia Festival at Ruidoso Downs offered quarter horse and thoroughbred racing. Regardless of the breed, these races provide monetary opportunity.

 The highlight for older horses during the California Champions Night was the $100,000 Spencer Childers California Breeders Championship (RG1) at 400 yards.

Paul Jones and Thompson Racing’s Flay, the only 3-year-old in the field, stepped forward with the most important of his young career. He has a big upside. He finishes with a rush and is a half-brother to champion and $1.6-million earner Foose.

 “As a trainer, you can run at a big night of races,” said Jones, who also trains Flay. “It is a special opportunity for the state-breds.

 “As a stallion owner, it provides the opportunity for their foals to run in big races. It’s a good tool for owners, trainers and stallion owners.”

 The New Mexico-bred program at Ruidoso Downs is an important part of the racing program.

Many of the open 2-year-olds and 3-year-olds are pointing at the rich triple crown races, but New Mexico-breds play a very important role in the remainder of the Ruidoso Downs’ racing program. Last summer, more than $3.6 million was paid out to New Mexico-breds at Ruidoso Downs.

 “With the Thoroughbreds, the New Mexico-breds are about everything,” said Ruidoso Downs’ racing secretary Johnny Montes. “That’s what we’ve got. The trainers support those (New-Mexico-bred) races. It’s big.”

 One of the Thoroughbred trainers who has a potent barn of New Mexico-bred thoroughbreds is Todd Fincher. He won four stakes on the Sunday portion of the Zia Festival program and saddled the top-four-finishers in the $173,171 Mountain Top Thoroughbred Futurity.

 The Quarter Horse races during the Zia Festival saw the “little guys” have their day.

 In the $409,110 Zia Futurity (RG1), Hot Indy Chick raced to a one-half length win at 18-1 odds. She was purchased for $10,000 at last summer’s New Mexico-Bred Quarter Horse and Thoroughbred Yearling Sale by Jacob Simmons III of Windsor, Colorado. The Jess A Chicks filly gave trainer Cynthia Gonzalez her first win of the meet from five starts. Hot Indy Chick earned $171,826 for winning her maiden in the Zia Futurity.

 “The small (Quarter Horse) barns had a good day (during the Zia Festival). It showed they have a chance to win a big race,” said Montes. “The New Mexico-bred program provides an opportunity for the little people and that’s huge.”

State-bred programs, get involved.

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