10/17/2009 12:00AM

Going Ballistic pointing to Zia Championship

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Dustin Orona/Reed Palmer Photography
Orientate gets up late to win the $150,000 Remington Green. His next start may come in Kentucky.

Going Ballistic is on top of his game right now, and he could soon be taking his show to New Mexico. The $200,000 Zia Park Distance Championship on Dec. 6 is a possible target for the Remington Park based horse, said his trainer, Donnie Von Hemel.

Going Ballistic has put up two of the best Beyer Figures of his career in his last two starts. He won the $150,000 Governor's Cup at Remington on Sept. 7 with a 96, then equaled the number earlier this month when he closed from 15 lengths back to finish third to Awesome Gem in the Grade 2, $500,000 Hawthorne Gold Cup.

"We were pleased with his race up there," Von Hemel said of the Gold Cup. "He's put together two good races in a row and hopefully we can keep things going this fall. The race at Zia looks interesting."

The Championship is at a mile and an eighth, the distance over which Going Ballistic won both the Grade 2, $500,000 Super Derby and $300,000 Oklahoma Derby in 2007. A millionaire, the horse races for Kindred Thoroughbreds of Dallas.

Vacation over for Semaphore Man

Semaphore Man, who in April won the Grade 3, $150,000 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap at Oaklawn Park, is back from vacation and has resumed training at Remington Park. He last ran on June 27, finishing third in the $125,000 Iowa Sprint Handicap at Prairie Meadows.

"We just got him back up," said Kelly Von Hemel, who trains Semaphore Man. "He looks good and is doing good."

Von Hemel said Semaphore Man spent his down time at Calumet Farm. There is no specific race picked out for his first start back, which could come at either Fair Grounds or Oaklawn.

"He'll tell us when he's ready to go," said Von Hemel.

Semaphore Man won the $50,000 Chuck Taliaferro Memorial last November at Remington. In all, he has won 9 of 29 starts and $564,104. A 7-year-old, the gelding races for Double Bogey Stable.

Orientate Express may go to Churchill

Orientate Express, who got up for a neck win over Steve's Double in the $150,000 Remington Green on the Oklahoma Derby undercard Oct. 11, will be considered for a start in the Grade 3, $100,000 River City Handicap at a mile and an eighth on turf at Churchill Downs on Nov. 27, according to his trainer, Kelly Von Hemel.

"We're looking around and seeing what our options are," he said. "Right now, there's nothing specific."

Von Hemel said dirt races are also an option for Orientate Express. Back in July, the horse won the $51,000 Omaha at Horsemen's Park. Orientate Express races for Prairie Lane Farms.

New entry schedule for Remington

Remington will move to a 72-hour entry schedule beginning on Oct. 26, for the program of Oct. 30. The earlier draw schedule will remain in place through the close of the meet Dec. 14.

Under the new schedule, Friday night cards will be drawn on Mondays; Saturday night cards will be drawn on Wednesdays; Sunday cards will be drawn on Thursdays; and Monday night cards will be drawn on Fridays.

Noconi possible for Zia

Noconi, who was second by a half-length in the Grade 1, $100,000 Refrigerator Handicap for this month at Lone Star Park, is being considered for a start in the $175,000 Zia Quarter Horse Championship, said his trainer, Paul Jones. The 440-yard race will be run Dec. 6.

Noconi, the champion 3-year-old gelding of 2008, was a two-time graded winner this summer at Ruidoso Downs. Last year, he won the Grade 1 All American Derby.

w Trainer Steve Asmussen won two races Friday night at Remington to pull within 15 wins of equaling Joe Petalino's record for trainer wins in a season at the track. Petalino set the Remington mark in 1998, with 69 wins. Asmussen was at 54 wins through Friday. Earlier this year, Asmussen set a new standard for trainer wins in a season at Lone Star Park.

w Couple Whiles, a 16-time winner who missed by a neck in the Claiming Crown Tiara in 2008, has been retired and sold to Diamond G Ranch in Oklahoma, said her longtime trainer, Bernell Rhone. The mare, who is 8, is by Storm Creek.