08/21/2002 12:00AM

Ruidoso star Zip First surfaces at Sam Houston


Three-time futurity winner Zip First, who was not entered in the trials to the $2 million All American Futurity at Ruidoso Downs on Aug. 15, will run in the trials to the Grade 1, $316,000 Sam Houston Futurity at 400 yards on Friday night at Sam Houston Race Park.

Zip First, owned by Gary Hartstack, won the Grade 1, $565,000 Ruidoso Futurity on June 9 and was second in the Grade 1, $640,225 Rainbow Futurity on July 21 at Ruidoso Downs. Earlier this year he won the Grade 2, $191,080 Manor Downs Futurity and the Grade 2, $119,200 Longhorn Futurity.

The Leon Bard-trained Zip First, with Jim Brooks aboard, will start in the eighth of nine trials and face Chicks Cartel.

Chicks Cartel, owned by Teddy Abrams Jr. and trained by Janet VanBebber, is making his first start since dead-heating for the win with Hail Corona in the $165,400 Lazy E Futurity at Remington Park April 7.

Texas Quarter Horse Association Sale Futurity runner-up Shiney Sign is in the third trial. Shiney Sign was only a head behind Oak Tree Special in the $276,100 TQHA Sale Futurity.

The 400-yard finals to the Sam Houston Futurity will be held Sept. 7.

Shining Sky in derby trials

Shining Sky, the 2001 champion 2-year-old gelding, headlines the three trials to the Grade 1, $95,000 Sam Houston Derby over 440 yards on Saturday at Sam Houston.

Shining Sky, owned by B and B Joint Ventures, is trying for his first 2002 stakes win. Shining Sky won three stakes last year, including the Grade 1 Retama Park Futurity and the Grade 1 Sam Houston Futurity. He was second in the Grade 1 Texas Classic Futurity on Dec. 1, his final 2001 start.

This year, the Ron Gilmer-trained Shining Sky made his season debut on June 8, winning his Retama Park Derby trial. He then ran eighth in the finals on June 22, his most recent start.

The derby trials also attracted Lazy E Derby winner Bens Rarin and Gottabenuts, second in the Classic Chevrolet Stakes on July 27. The derby finals will be held on Sept. 7 at 440 yards.

Claimers get money chance

Three-year-old claimers will compete for the biggest purse of their careers in the $31,210 Professional's Choice New Mexico Challenge over 350 yards on Sunday afternoon.

The winner qualifies to compete for a larger purse, the $50,000 Professional's Choice Challenge Championship, Nov. 2 at Lone Star Park.

This series of races is for 3-year-olds who have raced for a $7,500 or lower claiming price in the past 12 months.

Disappear has won three of his last four starts, including setting the fastest qualifying time to the New Mexico Challenge. He won his trial in 17.716 seconds for the 350 yards.