11/10/2017 2:46PM

Proud and Fearless, Untrapped among big names for Land of Enchantment card

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Dustin Orona Photography
Untrapped wins the Oklahoma Derby in September.

Proud and Fearless will attempt to give trainer Larry Jones his second win in five runnings of the $300,000 Zia Park Oaks later this month. Jones captured the race in 2014 with Cassatt.

The Zia Park Oaks is the richest Thoroughbred offering of the Hobbs, N.M., meet. It is being showcased on a Nov. 22 card of nine stakes. The annual Land of Enchantment program is worth $1.2 million, with six of the stakes for Thoroughbreds and three for Quarter Horses.

Jones said Friday that provided Proud and Fearless comes out of an upcoming work at Fair Grounds in good order, the plan is to ship for the Zia Park Oaks. Proud and Fearless exits a fifth-place finish in the Grade 1 Cotillion on Sept. 23 at Parx Racing.

“We are planning on coming,” Jones said. “She is already in New Orleans. She got in Nov. 1.”

Jones said the Zia Park Oaks is an appealing spot for Proud and Fearless for a couple of reasons. The improving filly ran second in the Grade 3 Delaware Oaks in July and was beaten just a half-length by eventual Cotillion winner It Tiz Well.

“We’ve had good luck at Zia, and we think she’ll fit,” Jones said. “And I do like that track. The horses have come out of there really well.”

Jones said Brian Pedroza has the mount on Proud and Fearless. The daughter of Proud Citizen races for her breeder, Brereton Jones.

Entries for the Zia Park Oaks, at 1 1/16 miles, will be taken Tuesday. There were 29 nominations, led by champion Champagne Room. She set the pace and finished sixth in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff in her most recent start Nov. 3 at Del Mar.

“We’re not going to make the trip,” trainer Peter Eurton said of the Zia Oaks. “It’s just a little quick. We’re going to pass.”

Farrell, winner of the Grade 2 Chilukki on Nov. 4 at Churchill Downs, is another high-profile nomination. Trainer Wayne Catalano said Friday that she was not targeting the race “at this point,” but that he would keep an eye on how it takes shape. Catalano won the Zia Oaks last year with Family Tree.

The Land of Enchantment card also will include the $200,000 Zia Park Derby, at 1 1/16 miles, and the $150,000 Zia Park Championship Handicap, at 1 1/8 miles. The key event for Quarter Horses is the $150,000 Distance Championship, and the nomination list includes reigning world champion Jessies First Down.

Matt Crawford, racing manager and racing secretary for Zia, said the Nov. 22 program likely will be a 10-race card. First post will be 12:10 p.m. Mountain. He said that since the program has a special Wednesday placing, there will be no live card Tuesday, Nov. 21.

Crawford said weights for the Zia Park Championship were scheduled to be out Saturday. Code West won the local prep, the Veterans. Crawford said the Zia Park Championship, Zia Oaks, and Zia Distaff, which is on the same card, are all part of the Penn National Gaming Racing Challenge.

Untrapped could go favored in the Zia Derby. Mike Langford and trainer Steve Asmussen decided to target the race following the horse’s victory in the Grade 3, $400,000 Oklahoma Derby on Sept. 24 at Remington Park. Since that start, Untrapped has been flattered in a substantial way, with Oklahoma Derby runner-up Battle of Midway winning the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile at Del Mar.

The Zia Derby drew 24 nominations, including J Boys Echo, the Grade 3 Gotham winner in March at Aqueduct who in his most recent start was ninth in the Belmont Stakes on June 10. Trainer Dale Romans said Friday the race will be considered for J Boys Echo.

“We’ll see how he works this week,” he said. “The biggest appeal is to get to run with straight 3-year-olds this late in the year.”

Romans won the Zia Oaks in 2015 with Lavender Chrissie.

The list of Zia Derby nominees also includes Chief Know It All, winner of the Grade 3 British Columbia Derby and the Grade 3 Canadian Derby in his last two starts. He worked Tuesday at Turf Paradise, breezing five-eighths in 1:03 for trainer Robertino Diodoro.