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Premiere top finishers return in Zia Park Express Saturday


October 10, 2006     E-mail this page to a friend!

HOBBS, N.M. – The top three finishers in the $150,000 Premiere Breeders’ Cup Handicap – Orphan Brigade, Keep on Punching and Go Kitty Go – are set for a rematch in the $60,000 Zia Park Express on Saturday, Oct. 14 at Zia Park.

The 6-1/2 furlong Zia Park Express will be the 10th race on the 11-race program. First post time is 1:15 p.m. with free parking and free grandstand admission.

Ronnie Trent’s Orphan Brigade benefited from a quick early pace in the Premiere Handicap, rallying through the lane to defeat Keep On Punching by a neck. There could be quick early fractions in the Zia Park Express with Dangerous Devon and Cajun Pepper each showing early speed in recent races. Dangerous Devon was a front running allowance winner at Zia Park in his latest race and Cajun Pepper set the early fractions in stakes race at Arapahoe Park this summer.

Trainer Robert Brewer brought Orphan Brigade to Zia Park for the Premiere after the gelding finished a close second in an allowance race at Louisiana Downs. The winner of 12 of 36 career starts would go over the $400,000 mark with a first- or second-place finish in the Zia Express.

Casey Lambert will pilot Orphan Brigade with the sixth post position.

David and Ella Sivage’s Keep On Punching shipped to Zia Park from the strong Southern California racing circuit to race in the Premiere. He reached the lead entering the stretch, but was unable to hold the lead and finished a neck behind Orphan Brigade.

Trainer Daniel Dennison has named Alfredo Juarez Jr. to ride Keep On Punching when they start from the outside post position in the 8-horse field.

Vernon and Sylvia Hauschild’s Go Kitty Go came off a win in the Ruidoso Thoroughbred Championship to finish third in the Premiere at 44-1 odds. In the Ruidoso Thoroughbred Championship he rallied to win at 1-1/16 mile and the 7-1/2 furlong distance should suit the 5-year-old from the Mac Millar barn.

Oscar Ceballos rides Go Kitty Go with the fifth post position.

Richard Lueck’s Mr. Trieste is making his Zia Park debut after winning back-to-back stakes at The Downs at Albuquerque and SunRay Park in two September starts. Each of those races were at a 1-1/8 mile and he rallied for daylight wins as the odds-on favorite. Those two well-supported stakes victories could lead to Mr. Trieste gaining the favorite’s role on the Zia Express when he starts from the third post position.

Regular rider Ken Tohill has the riding assignment on Mr. Trieste for trainer Gary Cross.