World Champion JRC Callas First Returns in Zia Park Championship

The Grade 1, 440-yard race is one of two Quarter Horse stakes at the southeastern New Mexico track on Wednesday.

Zia Park in Hobbs, New Mexico, will run two graded Quarter Horse stakes during its "Land of Enchantment" Day program on Wednesday.

JRC Callas First, Quarter Horse racing’s reigning world champion, drew post 6 for the 440-yard, $150,000 Zia Park Championship (G1), one of two graded Quarter Horse stakes to be run at Zia Park on Wednesday.

A 5-year-old Winners Award gelding racing for Dana Stroud and trainer Brian Stroud, JRC Callas First brings a three-race win streak into the race that includes a head victory as the 2-1 favorite in the September 27, $200,000 Downs at Albuquerque Fall Quarter Horse Championship. Damian Martinez will ride the gelding on Wednesday.

Other contenders include Pierre and Leslie Amestoy’s Major Moonflash, a 3-year-old First Moonflash gelding trained by Wes Giles, and Oscar Moreno’s Dashin For A Prize, a Grade 1-placed 4-year-old son of Heza Fast Dash trained by Mario Loza.

Major Moonflash will be facing older horses for the first time off of his one-length victory as the 2-1 choice in the 440-yard, $178,000 New Mexico Cup Derby (RG2) at Zia Park on November 1. The gelding drew post 3 and will be ridden by Adrian Ramos.

Dashin For A Prize is coming off of a third-place finish, three-quarters of a length behind JRC Callas First, in the Albuquerque Fall Championship. The gelding ran second, a neck behind winner Rock You, in the 440-yard, $200,000 All American Gold Cup (G1) at Ruidoso Downs on September 5.

Dashin For A Prize will be ridden by Esgar Ramirez from post 9.

The complete lineup, in post position order including jockey assignments--Jesscuzican (Larry Payne), Quick Dynasty (Jesse Levario), Major Moonflash (Adrian Ramos), Mad About The Moon (Manuel Gutierrez), Pure D Spit (Jesus Salazar), JRC Callas First (Damian Martinez), Streak Hitter (Jaime Leos), Alis Jumpn (Sergio Dominguez), Dashin For A Prize (Esgar Ramirez), Eagle On The Fly (Larry Gamez), GRC Justplainazoom (Salvador Martinez), BP Hit The Bigtime (Felipe Garcia-Luna).

New Mexico Filly and Mare Championship
An overflow field of 12, including two also eligibles, has been entered in Wednesday’s 400-yard, $140,000-added New Mexico Filly and Mare Championship (RG1) for state-bred distaffers.

Astica, a homebred daughter of Jesse James Jr and champion Alice K White racing for Mac and Janis Murray’s MJ Farms of Veguita, New Mexico, drew post 4 as she faces aged sprinters for the first time. Trained by Jason Giles, Astica has won all five of her starts this season, including three stakes, and she has earned $182,603.

Astica will be ridden by Adrian Ramos on Wednesday.

The complete lineup, in post position order including jockey assignments--Watch For Corona (Jose Ortiz), Averyspecialsouthern (Sergio Becerra Jr.), BL Corona (Edgar S. Martinez), Astica (Adrian Ramos), Regal First Moon (Omar Reyes), Genuine Kiss (Sergio Dominguez), AJ Hardwood (Ruben Calderon), Pretty Woody Jesse (Ivan Carnero), Penny Snatchin (Esgar Ramirez), Bankie Bay (Manuel Gutierrez), Lady Secret Dash (Alejandro Medellin), CD Tight Rope (Esgar Ramirez).

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