Fields Set for New Mexico State Fair Futurity, La Fiesta Derby

Winerette and Jess Shantastic lead the way in trials held on a windy night at Albuquerque Downs.

Press release

MJ Farms' Winerette, a half sister to champion Astica, set the fastest qualifying time to the September 22, $300,000-est. New Mexico State Fair Futurity. PHOTO: Coady Photography

Winerette, a homebred daughter of Big Daddy Cartel owned by Mac and Janis Murray’s MJ Farms at Veguita, New Mexico, is the fastest qualifier to the September 22, $300,000-est. New Mexico State Fair Quarter Horse Futurity (RG3) at Albuquerque Downs.

Racing in the third of six trials on Friday, Winerette defeated Jess Versiontino by three-quarter of a length while covering 400 yards in against a 22-mph head wind in :20.026. The previously undefeated Jess Fire Chick, a two-time graded futurity at Ruidoso Downs this summer, finished third, a nose behind Jess Versiontino.

Alonso Rivera rode Winerette for trainer Jimmy Padgett.

Winerette was stretching out in distance off of a wire-to-wire, half-length victory in her career debut, a 350-yard, $20,000 maiden-special-weight dash for state-bred 2-year-olds at Albuquerque Downs on August 10. The filly has earned $14,820 from two outs.

Winerette’s dam, the First Down Dash mare Alice K White, was the sport’s champion 3-year-old filly in 2009. Winerette is a half sister to Astica, the champion 3-year-old filly three years ago and the current 400-yard track-record holder at Albuquerque Downs.

Jess Versiontino, the winner of the July 28 By By JJ Stakes (R) at Ruidoso, made the State Fair Futurity field, as did Jess Fire Chick. Other prominent qualifiers include CM Rowdy James, the winner of the 350-yard, $97,000 Four Corners Futurity at Albuquerque Downs on July 1.

The second-fastest qualifier, CM Rowdy James won the sixth heat in :20.048. Jaime Leos rode the homebred Jesse James Jr gelding for owner Nadine Maben of Clovis, New Mexico, and trainer Gaston Valenzuela.

Click here for a complete list of finalists.

Also on Friday, the field was set for the September 22, $150,000-est. La Fiesta Quarter Horse Derby.

Jess Shantastic, a homebred daughter of Fantastic Corona Jr racing for Stanley Forbes, set the fastest qualifying time with her half-length victory in the first of two trials. Ridden by Manuel Gutierrez for trainer Tony Sedillo, the filly went 440 yards in :21.710 while racing against a 15-mph head wind.

Jess Shantastic was bred in Texas. Raced primarily in New Mexico, she has won two of 15 starts and has banked $29,506. She was a finalist in last year’s Hobbs America Futurity (G2) at Zia Park.

Other prominent finalists include Apollitical Brooke, a graded stakes winning Apollitical Jess filly trained by Ruben Leyba Jr. for owners Samantha Leyba and Lilly Leyba. Apollitical Brooke has earned $142,611 from 10 races, and her four wins include last year’s 440-yard, $200,000 Southwest Juvenile Championship (G1) at Zia Park.

Click here for a complete list qualifiers.

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