Stage is Set for $2-Million New Mexico Cup Day

Four state-bred Quarter Horse stakes will be featured Sunday at Zia Park.

New Mexico Horse Breeders' Association

Running Dragon, pictured here winning the New Mexican Spring Futurity, is one of 10 state-bred juveniles entered back in Sunday's $310,143 New Mexico Cup Futurity at Zia Park. PHOTO: Coady Photography

A total of 131 New Mexico-bred Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses -- two more than last year -- has been entered in Sunday’s New Mexico Cup races at Zia Park.

Purses for the 12 races -- eight for Thoroughbreds and four for Quarter Horses -- will total $2,046,046, once again making New Mexico Cup day the richest state- or province-bred day of racing in North America.

Of the 131 horses entered in the New Mexico Cup races, 89 are Thoroughbreds and 42 are Quarter Horses.

Here is a preview of all four Quarter Horse races. Post time for the first race is scheduled for 12:15 p.m. (MST).

RACE 1 -- Post time, 12:15
NEW MEXICO CUP 870 CHAMPIONSHIP (R)
3-year-olds & older
Purse, $140,000-guaranteed -- 870 yards

Victor M. Diaz’s Coronas Boy, a homebred 7-year-old gelding by Mr Houston and a two-time winner of this race, is one of 10 distance specialists entered in the 870-yard, $140,000 New Mexico Cup 870 Championship (R).

Coronas Boy has run in this race the last three years, and he won it in 2013 and ’14. Trained by Martin Orona, the gelding is coming off of a neck victory against open company in the 870-yard, $55,000 Herman Jefferson Stakes at Zia Park on October 2.

Coronas Boy drew post 5 and will be ridden by Alejandro Medellin.

The complete lineup, in post position order including jockey assignments and morning-line odds -- Tag Yur It (Ruby Gonzalez), 9-2; Streakin Disre (Ken Tohill), 10-1; Fine Fine Borrachito (Jaime Leos), 8-1; Dark Brook (Alfredo Sigala), 6-1; Coronas Boy (Alejandro Medellin), 3-1; Swiss Chris (Ricardo Jaime), 7-2; Jess Excessive (Jose Enrique Ortiz), 15-1; Dm Ada Kat (J.R. Valenzuela), 12-1; AE-Tormenta Perfecta (Salvador Martinez), 15-1; and Blu Envy (Ruby Gonzalez), 20-1.

RACE 7 -- Post time, 2:51
NEW MEXICO CUP QUARTER HORSE DERBY (RG2)
3-year-olds
Purse, $205,903 -- 440 yards

Datona Doll, a $45,000 yearling buy at the 2014 New Mexico-Bred Sale and the fastest qualifier, is one of 10 state-bred 3-year-olds entered back in this race, run at the classic Quarter Horse distance of 440 yards.

Datona Doll is trained by Trey Wood for owners Mark and Annette McCloy. The Jesse James Jr filly is coming off of a neck victory in the last of three trials on October 16.

Datona Doll has banked $85,248 from five starts this season, and the filly’s resume 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. She drew post 8 and will be ridden by reigning AQHA champion jockey Ricky Ramirez.

Other contenders include Salvador Nava-Nava’s Air Force Won, a son of champion Ketel Won trained by Guadalupe Chavez. The two-length winner of the June 4, 400-yard Adequan Arapahoe Derby Challenge, the gelding made his New Mexico debut with a second-place finish to Datona Doll in his New Mexico Cup Derby trial.

Air Force Won drew post 9 and will be ridden by Jaime Leos.

The complete lineup, including jockey assignments and morning-line odds -- Chickaloni (Jose Enrique Ortiz), 6-1; Mahallo Moonflash (Raul Hernandez), 15-1; Play Misty Foreme (Esgar Ramirez), 5-1; Flash Theory (Felipe Garcia-Luna), 30-1; A Blazin Flash (Jose Amador Alvarez), 20-1; Frank N Jesse (Adrian Ramos), 12-1; Jess Cruzin On By (Alejandro Medellin), 8-1; Datona Doll (Ricky Ramirez), 3-1; Air Force Won (Jaime Leos), 4-1; and Blazin Moon Force (Edwuin Lujan), 10-1.

RACE 10 -- Post time, 4:09
NEW MEXICO CUP FUTURITY (RG2)
2-year-olds
Purse, $310,143 -- 400 yards

Running Dragon, a multiple graded stakes winning Zulu Dragon filly owned by the By By JJ Partnership and the second-fastest qualifier, will be seeking her third stakes victory in this race.

Trained by Juan M. Gonzalez, Running Dragon has won six of seven starts and has earned $318,196, and the filly’s record includes victories in the April 24, 300-yard New Mexican Spring Futurity (RG2) at Sunland Park, and the 350-yard, $364,000 Mountain Top Futurity (RG3) at Ruidoso Downs in June. Running Dragon drew post 10 and will be ridden by Adrian Ramos.

The sire Zulu Dragon will also be represented by fastest qualifier Magnifico Dragon, a gelding trained by Cynthia Gonzalez for owner Daniel Balderrama. The runner-up to Mitey Man in the September 24, 400-yard New Mexico State Fair Futurity (R) at Albuquerque Downs, Magnifico Dragon is comign off of a 1 1/2-length win in the sixth of eight trials on October 15.

Magnifico Dragon drew the rail post and will be ridden by Mauro Salcedo.

This year’s New Mexico Cup Futurity purse is 10 percent higher than last year’s purse of $280,801. The complete lineup, in post position order including jockey assignments and morning-line odds -- Magnifico Dragon (Mauro Salcedo), 9-2; Es Runnin (Edwin Pena), 30-1; Mitey Man (Edwuin Lujan), 4-1; Jess A Glance (Oscar Cordova), 12-1; You Can Do It Regard (Jaime Leos), 20-1; Scooters Debutant (Benito Baca), 8-1; Cartels Star Daddy (J.R. Valenzuela), 8-1; Kama Strawfly (Salvador Martinez), 20-1; Big Spurs (Alejandro Medellin), 6-1; and Running Dragon (Adrian Ramos), 3-1.

RACE 11 -- Post time, 4:35
NAMEHIMASTREAKER NEW MEXICO CUP QH CHAMPIONSHIP (RG1)
3-year-olds & older
Purse, $170,000-guaranteed -- 440 yards

An overflow field of 12, including two also-eligible entries, has been entered in this race at the classic Quarter Horse distance of 440 yards.

The 3-1 morning-line favorite, Yaneth Cabrera’s Klassic Strawfly will be seeking his fifth consecutive win. Trained by Ernest Fennell, the 10-year-old son of Genuine Strawfly has a four-race winning streak that includes a 1 1/2-length victory in the 400-yard, $30,000 Jimmy Drake Stakes (RG3) at SunRay Park on May 17, and a 1 1/4-length score in the August 28, 440-yard First Moonflash Maturity (R) at Albuquerque Downs.

Klassic Strawfly drew post 6 and will be ridden by Alejandro Medellin. The gelding’s opponents include Whatever Bill, a 9-year-old Southern Corona stallion who brings a three-race winning streak into this stakes. Owned and trained by Jose F. Ramirez Jr., Whatever Bill is coming off of a neck victory in a 400-yard allowance-optional claimer ($40,000) at Zia Park on October 2.

J.R. Valenzuela will ride Whatever Bill from post 5.

The complete lineup, in post position order including jockey assignments and morning-line odds -- Mad About The Moon (Edwuin Lujan), 12-1; Jess Got Issues (Jose Enrique Ortiz), 10-1; Booyah Bay (Oscar Cordova), 15-1; Osbaldo (Ricky Ramirez), 8-1; Whatever Bill (J.R. Valenzuela), 4-1; Klassic Strawfly (Alejandro Medellin), 3-1; Seeyalateralligator (Salvador Martinez), 6-1; Cinco Menudos (Esgar Ramirez), 5-1; Fire Stones (Felipe Garcia-Luna), 20-1; Hot Authorization (Patrick Valenzuela), 20-1; AE-Dungarees Version (Salvador Martinez), 30-1; and Major Bites (Efrain Vigi), 30-1.

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