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Jones set for big afternoon Saturday at Zia Park

October 17, 2006     E-mail this page to a friend!

dog races at Zia Park
(photo by Zia Park)
It’s a Dog Day on Saturday
HOBBS, N.M. (Oct. 17, 2006) – Four-time defending national champion trainer Paul Jones could be poised to win two stakes on Saturday afternoon at Zia Park with dangerous entrants in the $60,000 Herman Jefferson Stakes and the $40,000 Real Wind Overnight Stakes.

The 870-yard Herman Jefferson runs as the 10th race and the Real Wind for 3-year-old fillies goes as the eighth race on the 11-race program. First post time is 1:15 p.m. with free parking and free grandstand admission.

It’s going to be a doggone good time at Zia Park this weekend with the second-annual Top Dog Challenge featuring a long-awaited showdown between “weiner dogs” and Chihuahuas. On Saturday, the dogs will race in qualifying heats against their own breed and then, on Sunday, is the big match race with the fastest members of each breed vying for the Top Dog title. Saturday’s dog races start at 11 a.m.

There is also a special – and very important – race for dogs residing at the Lea County Humane Society. In this “claiming race” all the dogs will be available for adoption, including one friendly fellow who has been at the shelter for four years.

While the dogs race for amusement, and hopefully a home, the horses will be racing in the two important stakes race on Saturday’s card.

The Jones stable, managed by Lisa Saumell at Zia Park, is well represented in those two stakes with probable favorite Tricky Dust in the Herman Jefferson, and the Grade 1 competitors Coco Corona, Shesnowlady and Mia Jones in the Real Wind.

Joan Dale Hubbard’s Tricky Dust is contending for the 2006 national champion distance horse title with three wins from three 2006 starts among his 6-race winning streak that dates over 13 months.

Tricky Dust dominated his division at Zia Park last year with wins in the Herman Jefferson and the 1000-yard Black Gold Casino Stakes. He continued his spotless form at Ruidoso Downs last summer when he was named distance horse of the meet following wins in an allowance race, the Master Salls Handicap and the Brigand Handicap.

While Tricky Dust ranks as the favorite, the Herman Jefferson attracted a strong field.

The crack thoroughbred sprinter Bang has two wins and two seconds from four 2006 starts, including wins in the Budweiser Handicap and the Special Hank Handicap. Also in the Herman Jefferson are Grade 1 Marathon National winner Roto Rooster, Red Cell New Mexico Distance Challenge winner Sherrys Aria, Fine Loom Handicap winner Curlys Fortune and Red Cell Central Distance Challenge winner GHF Kool Kotton.

In the 350-yard Real Wind, Coco Corona, Shesnowlady or Mia Jones could gain their first stakes win. But they will have to deal with probable favorite Striking Bully in the deep field.

Striking Bully, trained by Abraham Jaquez, is in peak form with a 4-race winning streak. In her most recent start, she defeated the highly regarded Bullions N Garters by one length to take the $60,000 Lubbock Stakes. She has four wins and two seconds from seven 2006 starts.

Coco Corona was sent off as the 5-2 favorite in the Grade 1 Ruidoso Derby after winning her trial by an easy two-and-a-quarter lengths. Last fall at Zia Park, Coco Corona showed her affection for the track with a close third-place finish in the Corona Cartel Stakes.

Shesnowlady, making her 3-year-old debut, was one of the top 2-year-old fillies at Ruidoso Downs in 2005. The earner of $172,486 was fourth in the Grade 1 Rainbow Futurity and fifth in the Grade 1 All American Futurity.

Mia Jones was a close third in the La Pacifica Handicap at Los Alamitos and then fourth in the Grade 1 Ruidoso Derby at Ruidoso Downs.

Also in the Real Wind are Bayer Legend New Mexico Derby Challenge third-place finisher Miss Breann, John Deere New Mexico Distaff Challenge runner-up Grants Gold Strike and Belles Stakes winner Crazy About Corona.