RUIDOSO DOWNS, New Mexico (July 19, 2014) – The first of two days of the Zia Festival celebrating New Mexico-bred racing begin on Saturday with trainer Todd Fincher sending out six of the 10 fillies in the $198,975 Rio Grande Senorita Futurity.
The other thoroughbred stakes on Saturday is the $50,000 Sierra Starlet. Quarter horses race in the $139,493 Zia Derby and the $50,000 Zia Handicap while both breeds compete in the $50,000 Zia 870 Championship.
Racing during the Zia Festival continues on Sunday with the festival’s richest race – the $392,253 Zia Futurity.
The Zia Festival is not just about horse racing. There is fun for the entire family with the grandstand filled with vendors offering their New Mexico and Southwestern arts and crafts.
The booths open before the races start at 1 p.m.
In the Senorita Futurity, Fincher’s six competitors include three of the four trial winners – Diabolical Dame, Missing Reba and Twixy Roll.
Owned by Joe Dee Brooks, Scott Bryant and Derrol Hubbard, Diabolical Dame rolled to a three-and-three-quarter length trial victory. The filly has stakes experience with seconds in the $155,000 Mountain Top Futurity and the filly division of the $77,000 Copper Top Futurity.
Linda Hunter’s Missing Reba is riding a three-race winning streak that includes a two-length win in the $45,000 Kendrick Memorial and then winning her Senorita trial by one-and-one-quarter lengths.
Twixy Roll makes her stakes debut off two wins from two starts. She won her maiden and then took her Senorita trial by two-and-three-quarter lengths.
In the five-and-one-half-furlong Sierra Starlet for sophomore fillies, J. Kirk and Judy Robison’s That’s The Idea carries high weight of 121 pounds and should step up after scoring a nearly 10-length victory in her most recent start while coming off a layoff. The Henry Dominguez-trained miss won last year’s Rio Grande Senorita Futurity and the New Mexico Classic Juvenile Filly. She has four wins from seven starts and has earned $246,275.
In the 400-yard Zia Derby, 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. The Ross Amestoy-trained gelding by First Moonflash won his maiden in his previous start at Ruidoso Downs.
In the Zia Handicap, Melvin Neugebauer’s ageless 10-year-old Miracle Snow defends his 2013 Zia Handicap win while carrying high weight of 125 pounds. The Wes Giles-trained veteran of 55 starts comes of a three-quarter-length win in the $45,000 Jim Drake Stakes at SunRay Park.
In the Zia 870 Championship, MCM Racing’s thoroughbred Beau Wizer is after his third-straight win over 870 yards at Ruidoso Downs, each in allowance races. He came from off the pace in each race to win by four-and-one-half lengths and then two lengths.
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