New Mexico's Zia Day

Ruidoso hosts New Mexico-bred stakes.

July 27, 2012

Richard McGehee’s Junior June Bug should be favored to gain his second stakes win of the Ruidoso Downs season when he starts in the $395,000 Zia Futurity (RG1), the richest race during the Zia Festival program celebrating New Mexico-bred races.

The entire card is dedicated to New Mexico-bred racing, with $1,196,940 offered to American Quarter Horses and Thoroughbreds.

Junior June Bug (Jesse James Jr-Sandy June Bug by Blushing Bug) has excelled against state-bred company for trainer Jackie Riddle with three wins and two second-place finishes from five starts. He has a stakes win in the $296,456 Mountain Top Futurity (R) at Ruidoso Downs and was second in the $251,359 New Mexican Spring Futurity (RG2) behind eventual Ruidoso Futurity (G1) winner PJ Chick In Black.

An earner of $176,676, Junior June Bug won the Mountain Top Futurity by a neck and dominated the seventh of nine Zia Futurity trials when he won by 2 1/2 lengths, with the fastest time of :19.722 for 400 yards.

Gary Thompson’s homebred Tombstone (Get Down Perry-Because Shes Royal by Royal Quick Dash) has also shown consistent form, with four wins, a second and a third from six outs. He was second in the New Mexico Breeders Futurity (RG3) at SunRay Park and finished in a dead heat for third in the New Mexican Spring Futurity.

Tombstone won his Zia Futurity trial by a nose, with the third-fastest time of :19.770.

In the Zia Derby (RG3), Patricia Gonzalez and Susan Kirker’s Caliente Colt (Corona Caliente-Perfect Sevens by Major Rime) comes into the race with five wins from six starts and owning fastest-qualifiers honors. He narrowly won a $25,100 allowance race two starts ago and came back to win his derby trial by a half length with the quickest time of :19.730.

S/M Cattle Export Co. and Jaime Dominguez’s Fury Of The Storm (Furyofthewind-Bubbles Bunny by Sail On Bunny) will be dangerous with a three-race winning streak, including a pair of graded stakes wins. He won the NMHBA Stakes (RG2) at Sunland Park and then traveled to SunRay Park to win the New Mexico Breeders Stakes (RG2).

Fury Of The Storm impressed in his Zia Derby trial with a 2-length win in :19.863, the third-fastest time.

In the $50,000 Zia Handicap (RG2) at 400 yards, Melvin Neugebauer’s Here Kittykittykitty (Genuine Strawfly-One Diamond Cat by Now I Know) makes his first appearance since winning the Mesilla Valley Speed Handicap (RG2) back in March at Sunland Park. He also won the Jess Burner Handicap (RG1) in December and has accumulated $521,406 while finishing on the board in 13 of 18 career starts.

In the $50,000 Zia 870 Championship, Rollickin Red Partners’ Rollickin Red (Roll Hennessy Roll (TB)-Deeheiress by Mr Jess Perry) tries for his sixth-straight win and comes off a convincing 3-length win against state-breds in the 870-yard New Mexico Horsemen’s Handicap (R) at Sun Ray Park.