Zia Festival Set for Sunday

Sunday's New Mexico-bred stakes extravaganza at Ruidoso Downs features four Quarter Horse stakes.

New Mexico Horse Breeders' Association

Running Dragon, pictured here winning the New Mexican Spring Futurity at Sunland Park, is one of 10 state-bred juveniles entered back in Sunday's $409,110 Zia Futurity at Ruidoso Downs. PHOTO: Coady Photography

New Mexico-bred Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses will be in the spotlight during Sunday’s Zia Festival races at Ruidoso Downs.

A total of 91 state-breds are entered in 10 stakes -- six for Thoroughbreds and four for Quarter Horses -- worth nearly $1.1 million in purses. Following is a preview of all four Quarter Horse stakes.

Zia 870 Championship (R)
A full field of eight state-bred Quarter Horses and Thoroughbreds, headed by multiple stakes winner and 3-1 morning-line favorite Coronas Boy, has been entered in the $50,000 Zia 870 Championship.

A homebred 7-year-old Mr Houston gelding trained by Martin Orona Jr. for owner Victor M. Diaz, Coronas Boy is coming off of a 1 1/4-length victory in an 870-yard, $29,000 open-condition allowance for New Mexico-breds at Albuquerque Downs on July 6. Coronas Boy drew post 3 and will be ridden by Jose Enrique Ortiz.

Infinite Bull (TB), a homebred 5-year-old King Bull gelding trained by Greg Green for owner Gary Balzano’s Tucumcari Thoroughbreds, drew post 2 and will be ridden by Miguel Perez. Infinite Bull will be making his first start since June 17, when he scored a neck victory as the 2-1 favorite in the 870-yard, $30,000 New Mexico Horsemen’s Association Handicap (R) at SunRay Park.

The complete lineup, in post position order including jockey and weight assignments and morning-line odds:
El Tormenta Perfecta (Tanner Thedford, 121), 12-1
Infinite Bull (TB) (Miguel Perez, 123), 7-2
Coronas Boy (Jose Enrique Ortiz, 124), 3-1
Weappear (TB) (Roimes Chirinos, 120), 4-1
Tag Ur It (Ruby Gonzalez, 121), 6-1
An Absolut Diamond (Salvador Martinez, 122), 5-1
Dm Ada Kat (Oscar Cordova, 121), 10-1
Swiss Chris (Adrian Ramos, 122), 8-1.

Zia Handicap (RG2)
William G. McCarty’s Cinco Menudos will risk his four-race win streak in the 400-yard, $50,000 Zia Handicap (RG2).

A homebred 6-year-old Jesse James Jr gelding trained by H.G. “Poppy” Aldavaz, Cinco Menudos ended his 2015 season with a neck score in the November 1, 440-yard Namehimastreaker New Mexico Cup Championship (RG1) at Zia Park. The gelding has won 11 of his 21 outs and has earned $331,887.
Cinco Menudos drew post 3 and will be ridden by Esgar Ramirez.

The complete lineup, in post position order including jockey and weight assignments and morning-line odds:
Princess Jesse (Alfredo Sigala, 123), 10-1
Dm Nate Dog (J.R. Valenzuela, 119), 20-1
Cinco Menudos (Esgar Ramirez, 126), 9-5
Osbaldo (Ivan Carnero, 124), 3-1
Booyah Bay (Oscar Cordova, 121), 4-1
Grant The Star (Salvador Martinez, 122), 12-1
Royally Cute (Edwuin Lujan, 122), 15-1
Major Moonflash (Adrian Ramos, 124), 8-1.

Zia Derby (RG2)
Fastest qualifier Jess Cruzin On By is one of 10 state-bred sophomores entered back in Sunday’s $163,843 Zia Derby (RG2).

A homebred colt by Jesse James Jr racing for Yaneth Cabrera from the barn of trainer Ron Stephens, Jess Cruzin On By is coming off of a clear 2 1/2-length win as the 8-5 favorite in the last of four trials on July 16. Jess Cruzin On By earned $164,480 from six outs during his 2-year-old campaign, and his four wins included a three-quarter length score in the 300-yard New Mexican Spring Futurity (RG2) at Sunland Park.

Jess Cruzin On By drew post 2 and will be ridden by Ivan Carnero. The colt’s nine opponents include Datona Doll, a sorrel daughter of Jesse James Jr trained by Blane Wood for owners Mark and Annette McCloy. The filly won both of her outs as a 2-year-old, and her sophomore season includes a third-place finish, a head behind winner Gyr Jammer, in the 400-yard, $370,000 Heritage Place Derby (G2) at Remington Park on June 4.

Datona Doll drew post 9 and will be ridden by Ricky Ramirez.

The complete lineup, in post position order including jockey assignments and morning-line odds:
A Blazin Flash (Jose Enrique Ortiz), 6-1
Jess Cruzin On By (Ivan Carnero), 3-1
Jess Beer Money (Cody Jensen), 12-1
Blazin Moon Force (Efrain Gonzalez Vigi), 10-1
Sic Em Sixes (Adrian Ramos), 8-1
Mahallo Moonflash (Fernando Castillo Jr.), 15-1
Play Misty Forme (Sergio Becerra Jr), 15-1
Datona Doll (Ricky Ramirez), 7-2
Super Star Smith (Felipe Garcia-Luna), 9-2
Hard Streaker (Esgar Ramirez), 20-1

Zia Futurity (RG1)
Fastest qualifier Big Spurs and the undefeated Running Dragon will renew their rivalry in the 400-yard, $409,110 Zia Futurity (RG1).

A gray son of Big Daddy Cartel trained by Ron Stephens for owner Astorga Racing LLC, Big Spurs is coming off of a 1 1/4-length win as the 4-5 choice in his Zia Futurity trial on July 16. The colt has won three of five starts and has earned $75,619, and his resume includes a second-place finish to Running Dragon in the April 24, 300-yard New Mexican Spring Futurity (RG2) at Sunland Park.

Big Spurs drew post 3 and will be ridden by Ivan Carnero.

The second-fastest qualifier, Running Dragon has won all five of her outs, including the New Mexican Spring Futurity and 350-yard, $364,000 Mountain Top Quarter Horse Futurity (RG3) at Ruidoso Downs on June 18. The homebred Zulu Dragon filly drew post 10 and will be ridden by Jose Enrique Ortiz for owner By By JJ Limited Partnership and trainer Juan M. Gonzalez.

The complete lineup, in post position order including jockey assignments and morning-line odds:
Regards Miracle (Salvador Martinez), 8-1
Machismo Moon (Bonifacio Perez), 15-1
Big Spurs (Ivan Carnero), 7-2
Scooters Debutant (Cesar Gomez), 20-1
Major Alligator (Sergio Becerra Jr.), 6-1
Starz Power (Esgar Ramirez), 9-2
Cartels Star Daddy (J.R. Valenzuela), 12-1
Hot Indy Chick (Jaime Parga Leos), 30-1
Flash For Corona (Ricky Ramirez), 15-1
Running Dragon (Jose Enrique Ortiz), 2-1

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