Too For Two’s Bigg Daddy, the 9-5 favorite, ran a perfect race and humbled his rivals in the $370,820 Zia Futurity, the largest purse offered during the Zia Festival program at Ruidoso Downs that provided nearly $900,000 in stakes purses.
The Zia Festival celebrates New Mexico racing with all of the stakes races for New Mexico-bred quarter horses and thoroughbreds.
Bigg Daddy, a $25,000 Ruidoso yearling sale purchase, started on top and then easily increased his advantage throughout the 400 yards under all-time everything jockey G.R. Carter Jr. The strapping gelding won by three quarters of a length in :19.929.
Jesse Lane was second and Hy Ho Harvey finished third, one length behind Jesse Jane.
A son of Big Daddy Cartel and champion three-year-old filly Alice K White, Bigg Daddy was third in the $393,000 Mountain Top Futurity at Ruidoso Downs and then Carter picked up the mount in the Zia Futurity trials.
The Wes Giles-trained Bigg Daddy won his Zia Futurity trial by one length with the sixth-fastest qualifying time of :20.124.
Bigg Daddy has earned $209,018 from six starts.
Zia Quarter Horse Derby
Terry and Irene Stennett’s Percyjones outclassed his rivals with an easy win in the $176,005 Zia Quarter Horse Derby.
Running Dragon was second, one length behind Percyjones. There was a dead heat for third between Moonshine Milly and Mitey Man. They were three quarters of a length behind Running Dragon.
The 11-10 favorite, Percyjones took command of the 400-yard dash by the midway point and cruised to the win under jockey Ricky Ramirez.
The Jesse James Jr-sired gelding, a $35,000 Ruidoso yearling sale purchase, was the class of the race. Back in November, he was third, beaten by only a neck, in the Grade 1, $1-million Texas Classic Futurity at Lone Star Park against open horses.
Percyjones easily won his Zia Derby trial by one length with the fastest-qualifying time of :19.791.
The Trey Wood-trained Percyjones has six wins from eight starts and $241,000 in earnings.
Jose Luis Ozuna’s First Kool Moon was able to withstand a late challenge by Seeyalateralligator to win the $50,000 Zia Handicap for older horses by a neck.
Major Bites was third, a neck behind Seeyalateralligator.
The First Moonflash-sired First Kool Moon was timed in :20.078 for the 400 yards and gained his first win in nearly a year.
An 11-1 longshot from the Judd Kearl barn, the three-year-old First Kool Moon had a three-race winning streak last summer at Ruidoso Downs. His win in his All American Futurity trial last August was his most recent win before the Zia Handicap.
Rodrigo Sigala Vallejo was aboard First Kool Moon.
Zia 870 Championship
Victor Diaz’s homebred Coronas Boy crossed the finish line first in last year’s $50,000 870 Championship and was disqualified, however he made up for it this year by holding off DE Wagons Strawfly in the stretch and reaching the winner’s circle.
Coronas Boy, with Jose Enrique Ortiz aboard for trainer Martin Orona Jr., covered the 870 yards in :46.298 to get the diminishing neck win over the Tony Sedillo-owned and -trained DE Wagons Strawfly.
3L Racing Partners’ Tag Your It was one-and-one-quarter lengths back in third.
An eight-year-old son of Mr Houston, Coronas Boy does his best work in big races. This was his first win since taking the $140,000 New Mexico Cup 870 Championship last fall at Zia Park.