Mister Riptide, the 5-2 favorite in a full field of 10 New Mexico-bred 3-year-olds, overcame a light bump at the break to win Saturday's 400-yard, $183,073 Zia Derby (RG2) at Ruidoso Downs.
Prepped by Charles "Duke" Shults for owners Mark and Annette McCloy, Mister Riptide defeated Close To Crazy by a neck while stopping the timer in :19.885 over a muddy and sealed track. Ricky Ramirez rode thhe sorrel son of the Dash Ta Fame stallion Woodbridge, who banked $76,891 from his second career stakes victory.
"It was just a perfect trip," said Ramirez. "About half way through, it was still a hand ride. Then I asked him for a little, and he gave me a lot."
Mister Riptide was bred by Mac and Janis Murray's MJ Farms at Veguita, New Mexico. Campaigned exclusively in New Mexico, the gelding has won six of eight starts, including last year's Zia Futurity (RG1), and he has earned $743,498.
Mister Riptide's record includes a second-place finish in last year's 440-yard, $3-million All American Futurity (G1), Quarter Horse racing's richest and most prestigious race.
"He needed the time after the All American last year, and he came back so fresh and ready," said Shults of Mister Riptide. "He's got a real heart for racing, and now we'll point him to the All American Derby."
Donelli, Flashing Moolah, First Neon Moon, Doinwhateverittakes, Bigg Jack, Stominado, Dark Moon, and Colby James completed the order of finish.
Also on Saturday, Jess A Satin Flash outran his 13-1 odds to win the $50,000 Zia Handicap (RG2) for New Mexico-bred aged runners.
Ridden by Adrian Ramos, Jess A Satin Flash covered 400 yards on a muddy and sealed track in :19.948, and his margin of victory as a head from 16-1 longshot No Mires A La Luna. Rene Saucedo saddled the 7-year-old son of champion First Moonflash for owner Bertha S. Irigoyen.
Jess A Satin Flash was making his first official start since February 22, when the gelding ran ninth with a troubled trip in the 350-yard, $100,000 Mesilla Valley Speed Handicap (RG2) at Sunland Park. Jess A Satin Flash was bred by Mike Abraham, and he broke his maiden for a $15,000 tag at Zia Park in September 2015.
Jess A Satin Flash has won nine of 38 starts, and the $30,000 winner's share of the purse from his first stakes win bumped his bankroll to $184,572.
Daddys Wine finished third, a neck behind runner-up No Mires A La Luna, and was followed by Eyes On Mollie, Woodys Copy Cat, Wahene Version, Jess To Reel, Magnifico Dragon, 5-2 favorite Diamond And A Half, and Siximoons.
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