RUIDOSO DOWNS, New Mexico (July 12, 2014) – Pierre and Leslie Amestoy’s homebred Mighty Moonflash set a high standard in the first of four Zia Derby trials when he raced 400 yards in :19.465 and that time stood up as the quickest mark on Saturday afternoon.
The $139,483 Zia Derby is one of the premier races during Zia Festival weekend on July 26-27 at Ruidoso Downs. The weekend showcases New Mexico-bred races and awards more than $1 million in purses. The fans during this popular weekend can also shop for New Mexico-based arts and crafts throughout the grandstand.
Mighty Moonflash impressed in the first trial when he easily drew out to a one-and-one-quarter-length victory under Tanner Thedford. The Ross Amestoy-trained gelding by First Moonflash won his maiden in his previous start at Ruidoso Downs.
Nahum Prieto and Joe Rios’ Kia Won raced to a neck win in the third trial to record the second-fastest qualifying time of :19.582. Second-place finisher Dm One Hot Charmer came in with the fourth-fastest time of :19.627.
Kia Won made his first start since February at Sunland Park. In his two starts before his rest, the Ketel Won gelding was second in the $290,656 Shue Fly Stakes and fourth in the $85,320 NMHBA Stakes.
Bobby Simmons’ Foxy Moonflash won the second trial with the third-fastest time and gave jockey Thedford his second trial score. The Sleepy Gilbreath-trained Foxy Moonflash won by one length with a :19.584 time. He came into the trials off a close second-place run in a $21,100 allowance race at Remington Park.
Zia Quarter Horse Derby Qualifiers
Horse/Trial # Trainer Jockey Wind Time
Mighty Moonflash/1 Ross Amestoy Tanner Thedford 8t 19.465
Kia Won/3 Gene Burden Sergio Becerra 4t 19.582
Foxy Moonflash/2 Dwayne Gilbreath Tanner Thedford 4t 19.584
Dm One Hot Charmer/3 Gerald Reed Alonso Rivera 4t 19.627
Jet Version/4 Ramon Alvarez Larry Gamez 7t 19.655
Threedeewoodee/1 Emilio Cadena Manuel Gutierrez 8t 19.662
Mister Blazin First/4 Paul Jones Esgar Ramirez 7t 19.690
Heza Wild Dragon/3 Umberto Belloc Ricky Ramirez 4t 19.708
Royal Guardians/4 Gene Burden Sergio Becerra 7t 19.726
Watch for Corona/4 Martin Orona Jaime P Leos 7t 19.735