Zia Handle Increases

Zia Park sees second year of increases at conclusion of 2012 meet.

Press Release
December 5, 2012

Zia Park

Zia Park concluded a 54-day Quarter Horse and Thoroughbred season in which the Hobbs, New Mexico, racetrack posted an increase in total wagering handle for the second year in a row, conducted the richest state-bred card in the nation this year, and featured six-figure open stakes races that attracted horses from across the country.

“This has been another great meet at Zia Park and continues the tremendous growth the racetrack has had since it opened in 2005,” Zia Park assistant general manager Rick Baugh said.  “In just eight years Zia Park has become a destination for horses and horsemen all around the country.”

Total wagering handle increased four percent compared to 2011.  Among the stakes races featured this season, Zia Park contested 11 stakes races for New Mexico-breds worth a total of $1.9 million on New Mexico Cup Day on October 28 as part of the most valuable racing day in the country for state breds this year.

For Quarter Horses, the leading jockey was Esgar Ramirez with 37 wins. The leading trainer was Michael Joiner with 17 wins.  The leading owner was Maegan Cavasos with nine wins. The meet’s top colt/gelding was Prospect To The Top.  The Mario Sanchez-trained 4-year-old horse became the first horse since Zia Park’s opening in 2005 to sweep the track’s most prestigious open futurity, derby and older stakes races when he won Sunday’s 440 yard, $150,000 Grade 1 Zia Park Quarter Horse Championship.  He also captured the Hobbs America Futurity in 2010 and Hobbs America Derby in 2011.  The top filly/mare of the meet was A Dream to Remember.  The Paul Jones-trained 2-year-old filly won this year’s 400-yard, $300,000 Grade 2 Hobbs America Futurity on October 7 and finished second in the 440-yard, $240,000 Grade 1 Southwest Juvenile Championship on November 25.

Milestones reached by jockeys this season at Zia Park were the 1,000th career victory by Ry Eikleberry (including both Quarter Horse and Thoroughbred mounts) on November 19 and a track-record seven wins in one day by Alejandro Medellin on November 5. In nine mounts Medellin won the first seven races he rode, a national record for consecutive wins in a day, followed by a second- and third-place finish.