Caliente Colt Fastest in Zia Derby Trials

Field set for one of the featured races on the Zia Festival card at Ruidoso Downs.

July 15, 2012

Patricia Gonzalez and Susan Kirker’s Caliente Colt raced to his fifth win from six starts and established the fastest-qualifying time to the $140,142 Zia Derby (RG3) on Sunday afternoon at Ruidoso Downs.

The horses with the 10 fastest times from the four trials advance to the Zia Derby during the Zia Festival on Sunday, July 29. The stakes-filled Zia Festival offers $1-million in purses to New Mexico-breds during the afternoon of racing.

Racing in the fourth of four trials, Caliente Colt pulled away from his rivals in the last half of the race to get the win in :19.730 for 400 yards under jockey Jaime Parga Leos.

Caliente Colt, a Corona Caliente gelding bred by Sam and Karen Tanner, made his career debut last fall at Zia Park and reeled off three straight wins in well-spaced races before finishing seventh in the $75,000 New Mexico Breeders’ Stakes (RG2) at SunRay Park. The New Mexico-bred came back to take a $25,000 allowance race at the Farmington track.

Berry Cox’s Gotta Get Two finished second behind Caliente Colt with the second-fastest qualifying time of :19.833. The Fred Danley-trained gelding is still a maiden after nine starts, but has stakes experience with a fourth-place finish in the $330,643 New Mexico Classic Futurity (RG2).

Fury Of The Storm won the first trial with the third-fastest qualifying time of :19.863 and could gain favoritism in the Zia Derby. The Furyofthewind colt raced to his third straight win and comes off wins in the $110,000 NMHBA Stakes (RG2) and the $75,000 New Mexico Breeders Stakes. He was second in the Shue Fly Stakes (RG2) before starting his winning streak.

For a complete list of qualifiers, click here.