RUIDOSO DOWNS, New Mexico (July 27, 2014) – Jimmy Negrete and Jimmy Vasquez’s Girlonthego prevailed in a prototypical quarter horse noses-on-the-wire finish to win the restricted Grade 1, $392,253 Zia Quarter Horse Futurity on Sunday afternoon at Ruidoso Downs.
The Zia Futurity offered the largest purse during the two-day Zia Festival celebrating New Mexico-bred racing. The first day of Zia Festival was on Saturday.
Girlonthego finished a head in front of Seeyalateralligator and it was a nose back back to third-place finisher Tuscan Redd. The top-seven finishers crossed the line within three necks, two noses and a head.
The Jaime Parga Leos-ridden Girlonthego was timed in :19.516 for the 400 yards.
A daughter of Manonthemove, Girlonthego raced to her third-straight win in the Zia Futurity. She started her Ruidoso Downs’ campaign with a non-qualifying win in her Mountain Top Futurity trial. She then won her Zia Futurity trial by a head with the third-fastest qualifying time of :19.547 for trainer Juan Gonzalez.
Ezra Elton Lee and Jason Giles’ runner-up Seeyalateralligator, trained by Wes Giles, was third in the New Mexico Breeders’ Futurity at SunRay Park and then won his Zia Futurity trial by three quarters of a length.
Raymond Gilder’s Tuscan Redd was the second-fastest qualifier to the Zia Futurity for trainer Jackie Riddle with a time of :19.510. The gelding won his trial by one-half length.
The other stakes races on the card also were for New Mexico-breds.
Land Of Enchantment Handicap
It was as easy as one-two-three for trainer Joel Marr in the $50,000 Land of Enchantment when horses he trained took the top-three positions in the seven-and-one-half furlong stakes for older horses.
Lisa Rehburg’s On Down The Road took the win over even-money choice That’s Who while Attitude E Racer finished third.
On Down The Road, ridden by Carlos Madeira, made a four-wide move on the final turn to take the lead and raced through the stretch with his ears pricked to win by three quarters of a length. He was timed in 1:32.22.
That’s Who, winner of the 2013 Land of Enchantment, finished one-and-one-quarter lengths ahead of Attitude E Racer.
A six-year-old gelding by Desert God, On Down The Road was making his first start since a second-place finish in the New Mexico State University Handicap back in March at Sunland Park. He was also third in the Albert Dominguez Memorial Handicap during the Sunland Park season.
Rio Grande Senor Futurity
Trainer Todd Fincher swept the top-three places in the afternoon’s richest thoroughbred race, the $154,381 Rio Grande Senor Futurity, with Lux, Roll On Red Raider and Glide Path.
The Rio Grande Senor Futurity is for two-year-old colts and geldings.
Roll On Red Raider set the early pace and Lux, with Ruby Gonzalez aboard, made a strong move from third place to get the impressive seven-length win in 1:05.17 for the five-and-one-half furlongs. Glide Path followed Roll On Red Raider for most of the race and finished third.
Owned by Steve and Bessie Prather with E. Dwayne Taylor, Lux scored his second futurity win of the summer season at Ruidoso Downs. The Quinton’s Gold son won the $156,000 Mountain Top Futurity by one-and-one-half lengths two starts before the Senor Futurity.
Runner-up Roll On Red Raider qualified for the Mountain Top Futurity and the colt division of the Copper Top Futurity at Sunland Park.
Third-place finisher Glide Path won his maiden in his second start when he took his Senor Futurity trial by one length.
On Saturday, Fincher sent out the top-two finishers, Twixy Roll and Diabolical Dame, in the $198,975 Rio Grande Senorita Futurity.
J. Kirk and Judy Robison’s Lakehouse Fun lived up to her 2-1 favoritism when she benefitted from her stalking trip to rally and win the $50,000 Lincoln Handicap for fillies and mares over six furlongs.
Way To Go Gerda and Little Vidalia went to the front in a speed duel while the majority of the field stayed within striking distance. Way To Go Gerda disposed of Little Vidalia, but could not handle the closing charge of the Ry Eikleberry-ridden Lakehouse Fun.
Lakehouse Fun was timed in 1:11.58 for the expanding one-length win over Way To Go Gerda. Little Vidalia held on for third place, another length behind Way To Go Gerda.
Lakehouse Fun, from the Henry Dominguez stable, prepared for the Lincoln Handicap by winning a Ruidoso Downs allowance race in similar fashion. The 4-year-old daughter of Diabolical defeated Way To Go Gerda by one-and-one-half lengths in that five-and-one-half furlong test.
Road Runner Handicap
Mays Or Mantle, at 7-1 odds, ran away from favored Roll Out The Band to take the $50,000 Road Runner Handicap for three-year-olds over five-and-one-half furlongs.
Roll Out The Band sprinted to lead from the outside post position in the eight-horse field. The Todd Fincher-trained gelding repelled several challenges before Mays Or Mantle mounted his closing charge and caught Roll Out The Band in the stretch.
J. Kirk and Judy Robison’s homebred Mays Or Mantle, ridden by Ry Eikleberry, won by three lengths in 1:03.64. Roll Out The Band was second by one-and-three-quarter lengths over DE Lover.
The Henry Dominguez-trained Mays Or Mantle gained Zia Festival revenge over Roll Out The Band. During last year’s Zia Festival, Roll Out The Band won the $191,000 Rio Grande Senor Futurity by a neck over Mays Or Mantle.
A gelded son of Diabolical, Mays Or Mantle was second to DE Lover in the $45,000 Dine Stakes at SunRay Park in May.
Sierra Blanca Handicap
Devons Ca Ching won a front-running battle with Chica’s Minister for the entire five-and-one-half furlongs to win the $50,000 Sierra Blanca Stakes for the best older New Mexico-bred sprinters.
Lester Wright’s Devons Ca Ching hooked up with Chica’s Minister and Kiss My Hennessy and the trio raced side-by-side until the top of the stretch when Kiss My Hennessy, who was between horses, dropped back. Devons Ca Ching then battled with Chica’s Minister before prevailing by a neck.
Thermal rallied from last to finish third, one-half length behind Chica’s Minister.
Devons Ca Ching was timed in 1:04.08.
A four-year-old gelding by Devon Lane, Devons Ca Ching was making his first start since winning the $85,000 Mount Cristo Handicap for trainer Ray Ashford. A year ago, he won the $50,000 Road Runner Handicap by three-and-one-quarter lengths during the Zia Festival.