New Mexico Cup Derby Trials Draw 30 Entries

Graded stakes winners Magnifico Dragon, Running Dragon headline Sunday's three 440-yard heats at Zia Park.

New Mexico Horse Breeders' Association

Running Dragon, pictured here winning the Shue Fly Stakes at Sunland Park, is one of 30 state-bred sophomores entered in Sunday's New Mexico Cup Derby trials. PHOTO: Coady Photography

Graded stakes winners Running Dragon and Magnifico Dragon are among the 30 state-bred 3-year-olds entered in Sunday’s 440-yard New Mexico Cup Derby (RG2) trials at Zia Park.

Running Dragon will be making her first start since July 30, when the homebred daughter of Zulu Dragon finished second, one length behind winner Percyjones, in the 400-yard, $176,000 Zia Derby (RG2) at Ruidoso Downs. Trained by Juan Carlos Gonzalez for owner By By JJ LLC of El Paso, Texas, the gray filly won three stakes during the 2016-17 Sunland Park meet, including the January 15, $205,974 Shue Fly Stakes (RG2).

Running Dragon drew the rail post and will be ridden by Adrian Ramos in the third of three trials.

Magnifico Dragon is a sorrel son of Zulu Dragon trained by Cynthia Gonzalez for owner Daniel Balderrama. The gelding has won six of 12 starts, including last year’s 400-yard, $310,000 New Mexico Cup Futurity (RG2) at Zia Park, and he has banked $296,021.

Magnifico Dragon drew post 9 and will be ridden by Mauro Salcedo in the first heat.

The 10 fastest qualifiers will meet in the October 29, $200,000-est. New Mexico Cup Derby final.

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