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This weekend at Arapahoe Park: Family Fun Day, $40K Columbine Stakes

July 18, 2013     E-mail this page to a friend!

New Mexico shippers have won the last two runnings of the Columbine Stakes at Arapahoe Park, and Ize In Trouble will represent the Land of Enchantment when a full field of 12 lines up for this year’s renewal of the 1-1/16-mile, $40,000 stakes race for fillies and mares on Sunday. The Colorado contingent includes all six runners from a June 29 allowance race that served as a prep for the Columbine Stakes. Lady Contender, the winner of that race, finished second as the favorite in last year’s Columbine.

Ize In Trouble, a 4-year-old filly owned by Gaylon McGee, is coming off an eight-length victory in the 7½-furlong, $20,000 Zenyatta Stakes at Ruidoso Downs on June 23. She was also third in last year’s $200,000 Sunland Park Oaks over the Columbine’s 1-1/16-mile distance as a 3-year-old. After being trained by Weston Martin in New Mexico, Ize In Trouble will be saddled in the Columbine by Colorado-based trainer B.J. Stivers. She will be ridden by New Mexico-based jockey Casey Lambert, who was aboard two starts ago when finishing third to Wizardry in the 6-furlong, $50,000 First Lady Handicap at Ruidoso Downs. Wizardry went on to win the 6-furlong, $40,000 Molly Brown Stakes at Arapahoe Park in her next start.

Lady Contender, who was second to New Mexico-based Unloch The Fury in the 2012 Columbine, is coming off a two-length win in a June 29 allowance race at Arapahoe Park for jockey Kelly Bridges and trainer Stacey Rushton. All six runners from that prep race—Lady Jila in second, Hindu Kush in third, Be Quiet Lady in fourth, Sweet Dixie Van in fifth, and Jet Blue Girl in sixth—will race in the Columbine.

Lady Jila, who will be ridden by Michael Ziegler for trainer Sharlot Martinez, was competing in $5,000 claiming races at Arapahoe Park last year. This year she was third in the Molly Brown Stakes. She has finished in the top-three in 10 of 11 career races at Arapahoe Park. Jet Blue Girl was second in the Molly Brown.

Sweet Dixie Van won the Ingrid Knotts Stakes for Colorado-breds earlier this season at Arapahoe Park. Sweet Dixie Van’s owner, Bill Vanlandingham, won the Columbine Stakes with Vannacide in 2006, 2008, 2009, and 2010 (there was no running in 2007), the last time a Colorado-based horse captured the Columbine before New Mexico’s Queen Greeley in 2011 and Unloch The Fury in 2012.

Angel Of The Wind also made her most recent start in New Mexico, a fourth-place finish in a June 23 allowance race at SunRay Park. Another out-of-state shipper to the Columbine Stakes is Miss Hockaday, who was fifth in the Iowa Distaff and third in the Wild Rose Stakes in her last two starts at Prairie Meadows in Iowa. She is a stakes winner on turf in the Holiday Spirit Stakes at Remington Park in Oklahoma in November 2011. The Jearl Hare-trained 6-year-old mare will be ridden by leading Arapahoe Park Thoroughbred jockey Russell Vicchrilli.

Family Fun Day on Saturday

Arapahoe Park will host Family Fun Day on Saturday. Family Fun Day will include pony rides and a dunk tank. Proceeds will benefit the Jockey Club Safety Net Foundation for injured jockeys.