RUIDOSO DOWNS— The only filly in the 10-horse field for Sunday's Grade 1 Zia Quarter Horse Futurity was the one standing tall at the end.
Girlonthego, the third-fastest qualifier for the $392,253 Futurity, broke well under Jaime Leos to prevail for her third career win in five starts.
The Zia Futurity was the premiere event of the two-day Zia Festival at Ruidoso Downs, showcasing some of the state's best thoroughbreds and quarter horses. A total of 11 stakes races with more than $1.24 million in purse money were held during the weekend.
Girlonthego was bet down from her 10-to-1 morning line odds and was sent off as the 3.90-to-1 third choice in the 400-yard affair for state-bred juvenile shortliners.
Girlonthego ran the 400 yards in 19.51 seconds, earning $164,476 and increasing her lifetime earnings to more than $173,000, and awarding bettors with a $9.80 return on a $2 investment.
Seeyalateralligator, dismissed by most of the 4,750-plus fans was sent off at 9-to-1 odds and battled with the eventual winner, just missing at the wire, to place ahead of Tuscan Redd.
Post time favorite De Loach, who posted the fastest qualifying time for the Zia Futurity, finished fifth under jockey Ricky Ramirez.
Rounding out the order of finish were Hard To Be Blue, Kiki Kiki, Chamiso James, Memoryflash and Jess Charm.
On Down The Road proves best in Land Of Enchantment
Ending a 19-month, nine-race losing streak, On Down The Road bested stablemate That's Who to take the $50,000 Land Of Enchantment Handicap.
On Down The Road took the lead in midstretch and won by less than a length in the seven-and-one-half furlong event.
That's Who was close behind the early leaders and appeared to be in prime position as the field raced to the top of the lane. Sent off as the even-money favorite, That's Who and jockey Alfredo Juarez, Jr., were looking for back-to-back wins in the Land Of Enchantment.
It was On Down The Road, however, who raced into contention midway around the far turn, clocking a final time of 1:32.22.
The victory ends a long drought for the 6-year-old, who hadn't visited the winners' circle since Dec. 30, 2012 when he won the Albert Dominguez Memorial Handicap at Sunland Park.
It was On Down the Road's first win in five starts at Ruidoso Downs and his sixth career win in 23 starts, bringing his career earnings to more than $394,000 after the $30,000 prize.
Attitude E Racer finished third with Casey Lambert aboard, ahead of Proud Step and jockey Jimmy Coates.
Lux rolls in eventful Senor Futurity
Trainer Todd Fincher sent out the top three finishers in the $154,381 Rio Grande Senor Futurity with Lux rolling to an easy victory under Ruby Gonzalez, galloping home to win by daylight over another Fincher trainee, Roll On Red Raider, who finished ahead of Fincher-trained Glide Path.
The complexion of the five-and-one-half furlong Senor changed right out of the gate when Born A Ruler, also trained by Fincher and the second choice on the tote board, dropped rider Aldo Arboleda a couple strides after the start.
Roll On Red Raider and Glide Path were up front early with the riderless Born A Ruler to their outside. As Lux began to distance himself from Glide Path into the far turn, Born A Ruler veered out, allowing a fast-charging Lux to go inside and get to the lead at the head of the stretch and finish seven lengths ahead of the field with a time of 1:05.17.
A three-time winner in five career starts, Lux earned $77,191 to pad his bankroll, which now stands at more than $164,000.
Lakehouse Fun rallies in Lincoln Handicap
Trainer Henry Dominguez and jockey Ry Eikleberry teamed up for another win on day two of the Zia Festival as favored Lakehouse Fun won the $50,000 Lincoln Handicap.
It's Lakehouse Fun's second straight win, and first stakes triumph in nearly a year, collaring Way To Go Gerda to win by close to a length.
Lakehouse Fun ran the six furlongs in a final time of 1:11.58.
Sent off as the 19-to-10 favorite in the Lincoln, Lakehouse Fun earned her seventh win in 21 lifetime starts, bringing her lifetime earnings to more than $216,000.
Mays Or Mantle goes deep in Road Runner
There have always been big expectations for the 3-year-old Mays Or Mantle.
Sunday, those expectations were finally realized in the $50,000 Road Runner Handicap, battling with heavy favorite Roll Out The Band to midstretch before opening up to a convincing win.
Sent off as the fourth choice on the toteboard at odds of 7.70-to-1, and attempting to end a two-race losing streak, Mays Or Mantle moved up to contend for the lead with dueling leaders Roll Out The Band and D E Love through a fast opening quarter-mile in 21.62 seconds. Mays Or Mantle stayed close to the rail through the far turn before eventually drawing off to win in 1:03.64.
Mays Or Mantle picked up his first career stakes win and third in 10 lifetime starts, earing the $30,000 winners share of the purse to bring his career earnings to more than $130,000.
Roll Out The Band was well clear of the strung out field when saving the place, with D E Lover and Outlaw In Town rounding out the top four.
Devons Ca Ching rules in Sierra Blanca
Returning from a 131-day layoff, Devons Ca Ching survived a brutal pace duel to take top honors in the $50,000 Sierra Blanca Handicap.
The 4-year-old dueled three-wide through a fast opening quarter-mile with Chica's Minister and Kiss My Hennessy. The three raced as a tandem to the top of the stretch before Chica's Minister put a short lead on the field.
Jockey Dusty Shepherd dug in aboard Devons Ca Ching, who was sent off as the 17-to-10 favorite, nipping Chica's Minister in the final strides to win for the third time in four starts this year.
Bred by Ray Simpson, owned by Lester Wright and trained to victory by Ray Ashford, Jr., It was Devons Ca Ching second win in as many starts at Ruidoso Downs, racing five-and-one-half furlongs in 1:04.08.
It is the seventh win in 14 career starts for Devons Ca Ching, who was last won the Mt. Cristo Rey Handicap at Sunland Park on March 8. The $30,000 winners share of the purse pads Devons Ca Ching's career bankroll to more than $255,000.
Chica's Minister saved ground every step of the way in saving the place, just ahead of a fast-charging Thermal, who took third place over Dandy Guy.