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“Champions” Juvenile At Zia impact national scene


May 5, 2006     E-mail this page to a friend!

Hobbs, New Mexico (May 5) — There is a major addition to the national Quarter Horse racing calendar and possible year-end championship titles with the announcement of the Southwest Juvenile Championship, set for Zia Park in December.

The 440-yard event—similar to the Grade 1 Champion Of Champions at Los Alamitos—is for 2-year-olds and projected to have a $200,000 purse, but that purse could be increased to as much as $300,000.

The tentatively named Southwest Juvenile Championship will bring together the premier horses from nine Grade 1 futurities held outside of California. They are, in chronological order, the West Texas Futurity, Remington Park Futurity, Heritage Place Futurity, Ruidoso Futurity, Retama Park Futurity, Rainbow Futurity, All American Futurity, Sam Houston Futurity and Dash For Cash Futurity.

The winners of those futurities will receive an automatic berth in the Southwest Juvenile Championship and the second- and third-place finishers in those races will be invited to compete in a trial race or races to fill the open berth or berths.

Two horses already have qualified for the Southwest Juvenile Championship—West Texas Futurity winner Jess Destined and Remington Park Futurity winner First Prize Robin.

The Southwest Juvenile Championship, which will probably be held on December 10, is part of a Quarter Horse stakes schedule at Zia Park offering $1.3 million in added money. The $200,000-added Zia Park Championship and the $150,000-added New Mexico Classic Derby are also major fixtures on the stakes schedule.

With added-money among the highest in Quarter Horse racing, these important stakes attract horsemen and horses to Zia Park and solidify Zia Park’s position as a strong contributor to the national Quarter Horse racing calendar in the track’s second year of racing.

The Zia Park season starts on September 23 and runs through December 12 on a Saturday through Tuesday schedule.