12/08/2006 1:00AM

DM Shicago Returns to New Mexico


The reigning world champion, DM Shicago, will return to New Mexico, the scene of his Grade 1 wins, for the $200,000 Zia Park Quarter Horse Championship at 440 yards on Sunday afternoon.

At Ruidoso Downs, he won the 2004 All American Futurity and then earned his 2005 world championship with Grade 1 wins in the Ruidoso, Rainbow, and All American derbies. The Championship will be his Zia Park debut.

DM Shicago has not won a stakes this year, but he may be in the best form of his 2006 campaign. Two starts ago at Lone Star Park, he easily handled a short field of optional claimers who had not won a race in 2006. He then finished fourth, as the 5-2 favorite, in the Grade 1, $300,000 MBNA America Challenge Championship. He was a half-length behind This Snow Is Cold.

LDS Dash for Dylan, third in the Challenge Championship, ships from Los Alamitos for the Championship. A 17-hand, long-striding gelding, he thrives at longer distances. The only time he has been below third at 440 yards was when he was fourth in last year's Champion of Champions. Five of those six starts have been in Grade 1 or Grade 2 stakes.