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Junior June Bug tops Zia Trials

Jesse James Jr runner will aim for second futurity win at Ruidoso Downs.

July 13, 2012

Richard McGehee’s Junior June Bug continued to build his case for being one of the premier New Mexico-bred 2-year-olds when he set the fastest-qualifying time from nine 400-yard trials to the $395,028 Zia Futurity (RG1) on Friday afternoon at Ruidoso Downs.

The New Mexico-breds with the 10 fastest times from the trials qualify to compete in the $395,028 Zia Futurity on June 29 at Ruidoso Downs. It is the largest purse in the history of the Zia Futurity, and the Zia Futurity is the richest race during the Zia Festival program, a day filled with stakes races for state-breds.

Junior June Bug thoroughly dominated the seventh trial when he effortlessly pulled away to win by 2 3/4 lengths under jockey Carlos Madeira. The son of Jesse James Jr was timed in :19.722.

The Jackie Riddle-trained Junior June Bug has excelled since his first start and now has three wins and a pair of seconds from five starts. He is gunning for his second futurity win in the Zia Futurity. In his previous start, he scored a game neck win in in the $296,000 Mountain Top Futurity (R).

At Sunland Park this spring, Junior June Bug was second behind Grade 1, $600,000 Ruidoso Futurity winner PJ Chick In Black.

David Barrett and J&SM Inc.’s The Four Js won his maiden when he took the eighth trial with the second-fastest qualifying time of :19.747 under G.R. Carter Jr. The Fred Danley-trained gelding by Get Down Perry concluded his Sunland Park campaign with a fourth-place finish in the New Mexican Spring Fling Futurity (R).

David and Ross Hinkins’ Rex Hill ran his winning streak to four races with a neck win in the sixth trial under Ricky Ramirez. The Jesse James Jr son raced the to the sixth-fastest qualifying time of :19.870. He has won the New Mexican Spring Fling Futurity and the New Mexico Breeders’ Futurity (RG3) during his winning streak.

The horses who did not qualify for the Zia Futurity could compete in the $20,000 By By JJ (R) on July 28.

For a complete list of Zia Futurity qualifiers, click here.

For more information about Ruidoso Downs racing, go to www.raceruidoso.com and current news may be obtained by subscribing to Ruidoso Downs Press Box (@RuiPressBox). The top-three finishers in each Zia Futurity trial were tweeted within minutes after the times were approved by the Ruidoso Downs’ stewards.

On Saturday, Zia Derby (RG3) qualifying times will be tweeted as soon as possible.