Hot Indy Chick scored an 18-1 upset win in the $409,110 Zia Quarter Horse Futurity(RG1) while Ignored led the Todd Fincher-trained domination of the $173,171 Mountain Top Thoroughbred Futurity during Zia Festival Sunday at Ruidoso Downs.
The annual Zia Festival celebrates New Mexico-bred racing with a stakes-filled 10-race card for New Mexico-breds.
Jacob Simmons III’s Hot Indy Chick won her maiden at an opportune time in the Zia Futurity. The Jess A Chicks-sired filly raced with the leaders and then was the best horse in the final 100 yards of the 400-yard futurity. She was timed in :20.162 under Jaime Parga Leos while winning by a handy one-half length for trainer Cynthia Gonzalez.
Hot Indy Chick was second by a nose in her Zia Futurity trial after finishing fourth and fifth in her first two starts.
Ramon Alvarez, Joe Alvarez and Ysabel Medrano’s Machismo Moon was second for trainer Seth Ferguson and jockey Bonifacio Perez. The Heza Motor Scooter-sired gelding was second in a maiden race when he made his debut and then won his Zia Futurity trial.
Joyce Erickson’s homebred Scooters Debutante was another one-half length back for third. The Donna McArthur-trained miss was second in her Zia Futurity trial.
The undefeated Running Dragon, the 7-10 favorite, never had a chance after a troubled start. She had won her five previous starts, including two futurities.
The Zia Quarter Horse Derby
Robert Smith’s Play Misty Foreme prevailed by a scant nose over Datona Doll to win the $163,843 Zia Quarter Horse Derby.
Play Misty Foreme rallied in the last half of the 400-yard test and then scored in the final strides. The Jesse James Jr-sired gelding was timed in :19.857 for his third career win.
Mahallo Moonflash was one-and-one-quarter lengths back for third.
Sergio Becerra Jr. rode Play Misty Foreme for trainer Shae Cox.
Play Misty Foreme won his Zia Derby trial by a nose at 30-1 odds.
The field was reduced to six horses after the stewards scratched four horses on Sunday morning following out-of-competition drug testing. The scratched horses are trained by Ronald Stephens (three horses) and Juan Gonzalez (one horse).
$50,000 Zia Handicap
The Vance Mikkelson-owned, -bred and -trained Princess Jesse humbled her rivals with an easy win in the 400-yard Zia Handicap.
Princess Jesse burst from the inside post position under Alfredo Sigala, went to the front and was never challenged on her was to the one-and-one-half length victory over Cinco Menudos. Osbaldo finished third.
Princess Jesse was timed in :19.766.
The daughter of Jesse James Jr, Princess Jesse won the Sunburst Stakes two starts ago and then was a close second in the New Mexico Breeders Stakes.
Zia 870 Championship
Ruth Summers’ thoroughbred Weappear took the $50,000 Zia 870 Championship after Coronas Boy was disqualified and placed last.
Weappear is trained by Nancy Summers, winning jockey of the 1993 Rainbow Futurity on Treacherously.
Swiss Chris finished second and Dm Ada Kat was third.
Weappear, a gelding by Devon Lane (TB), came into the Zia 870 Championship after three-straight runner-up efforts, including the $30,000 New Mexico Horse Breeders Handicap in his previous start.
Mountain Top Thoroughbred Futurity
Trainer Todd Fincher, who qualified six horses to the Mountain Top Futurity, came through in the five-furlong futurity with the top-four finishers – Ignored, Another Brother, Storming Back and Heat Stroke.
Steve and Bessie Prather’s Ignored, the even-money favorite, won by the shortest of margins after a long look at the finish photo.
The Francisco Giles-ridden Ignored had the lead entering the stretch and Another Brother made an impressive late run to get within a short nose of his first stakes win.
Another Brother is sired by Attila’s Storm as is third-place runner Storming Back.
Ignored earned his favoritism with a win in the $110,000 Copper Top Futurity and then taking his Mountain Top Futurity trial by 11 lengths. The gelded son of The Way Home has three wins and two second-place runs from five starts.
R.D. Hubbard’s homebred Another Brother was second in his debut and then stepped up to take his Mountain Top trial by four-and-three-quarter lengths. He has been ridden by Glen Murphy in each of his three starts.
Trainer Todd Fincher, who won four races on the program, also took the top two spots in the $50,000 Sierra Starlet for three-year-old fillies at five-and-one-half furlongs.
Dale Taylor, Carey Taylor and Jon Hogg’s Bryn’s Fancy Pants remained unbeaten from four starts. She made a five-wide move off the turn and then drew out to the one-length victory in 1:04.80 under jockey Alfredo Juarez Jr.
Tijuana cut the final turn, but was unable to match Bryn’s Fancy Pants in the lane. The Devon Lane-sired filly had crossed the finish line first in her three previous starts.
Quinton’s Princess was four-and-one-half lengths behind Tijuana for a non-threatening third-place finish.
Bryn’s Fancy Pants won her three previous career outs, including defeating open horses in the $50,000 Petticoat Stakes in her prior out.
Sierra Blanca Handicap
Tony Sedillo and Leroy Martinez’s DE Lover rallied from a striking position on the turn to take the $50,000 Sierra Blanca Handicap for three-year-old and older horses over five-and-one-half furlongs.
The Christian Santiago Reyes-ridden DE Lover was along the rail on the turn and then moved out and rallied to pick up the one-and-one-half-length score. Thermal was second and Golly Gee finished third.
The So Long Birdie-sired DE Lover was timed in 1:04.08.
De Lover, trained by Sedillo, was primed for the win after going gate-to-wire to win an allowance race at Ruidoso Downs by six-and-one-quarter lengths. This year the gelding also picked up seconds in the $40,000 Jack Cole Stakes and the $85,000 Mt Cristo Rey Stakes.
Road Runner Handicap
J&SM Inc.’s Stormin The Jewels, a $30,000 Ruidoso Sale purchase, received a heady ride from Oscar Ceballos to score a one-and-three-quarter-length win in the $50,000 Road Runner Handicap over five-and-one-half furlongs.
Stormin The Jewels was timed in 1:04.31.
Ceballos placed Stormin The Jewels on the lead and then controlled the pace. When Hit A Lick made a late run, Ceballos had saved enough of his mount to secure the win.
The top-two finishers are each sired by Attila’s Storm.
Get Er Done was two-and-one-half lengths back for third place.
The Fred Danley-trained Stormin The Jewels won the Camino Real Futurity last September and was third in the Rio Grande Senor Futurity last summer at Ruidoso Downs.
Land of Enchantment Handicap
Hush’s Storm ran down frontrunner Weather Dodger on the backstretch in the $50,000 Land Of Enchantment Handicap over seven-and-one-half furlongs and then Hush’s Storm drew off to score at 10-1 odds.
The Land Of Enchantment is for three-year-old and older horses.
Hush’s Storm won by an easy four-and-one-quarter lengths over The Waki Rapper and it was another three quarters of a length back to third-place runner Proceed.
A gelding by Attila’s Storm, Hush’s Storm is owned by Dale Taylor, Joe Dee Brooks, Carey Taylor and Jon Hogg. He is conditioned by Todd Fincher.
Hush’s Storm returned to the stakes division in his previous start after an easy win at the $7,500 claiming level. He was second in last year’s $85,000 New Mexico State University Handicap.
$50,000 Lincoln Handicap
R.D. Hubbard’s homebred Stormy Day won an exciting stretch duel with Tilla Cat to win the $50,000 Lincoln Handicap for fillies and mares over six furlongs.
The Alfredo Juarez Jr.-ridden Stormy Day took control in the final sixteenth of a mile and won by three quarters of a length. It was five-and-one-half lengths back to third-place runner Sassy Silk Pet.
The Bart Hone-trained Stormy Day was timed in 1:11.21.
The Attila’s Storm-sired Stormy Day won her fifth race in her latest six starts. The Lincoln Handicap is her first stakes win and sixth win from 10 outs.