Magnifico Dragon Leads New Mexico Cup Derby Finalists

The homebred Zulu Dragon gelding wins the first of three trials at Zia Park.

New Mexico Horse Breeders' Association

Three New Mexico Cup Derby trials were contested at Zia Park on Sunday.

Daniel Balderrama’s Magnifico Dragon is the fastest qualifier to the October 29 New Mexico Cup Derby (RG2) for state-bred 3-year-olds at Zia Park.

Ridden by Mauro Salcedo for trainer Cynthia Gonzalez in the first of three 440-yard trials on Sunday, Magnifico Dragon defeated Princess Jessie Jane by 1 3/4 lengths in :21.547. The Zulu Dragon gelding was winning for the seventh time in 13 starts and pushing his bankroll to $300,821.

Magnifico Dragon was bred by Balderrama, and his resume includes a victory in last year’s New Mexico Cup Futurity (RG2).

Flash Em The Jewels, the second-fastest qualifier, won the third heat by three-quarters of a length in :21.613. Ricky Ramirez rode the bay daughter of champion First Moonflash for owner Bobby Simmons of Midland, Texas, and trainer Trey Wood.

Flash Em The Jewels was bred by Coronas Black Diamond Partnership and was a $35,000 purchase at the 2015 Ruidoso Select Yearling Sale.

Click here for a complete list of qualifiers to the $200,000-est. New Mexico Cup Derby.

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.