07/25/2008 12:00AM

Tall Order brings zip to Zia Futurity


Tall Order tries to back up his impressive fastest-qualifying trial win in the Grade 1, $345,260 Zia Futurity on Sunday afternoon at Ruidoso Downs.

The Zia Futurity is the richest race on the Zia Festival program, with 10 stakes races for New Mexico-bred Quarter Horses and Thoroughbreds.

Tall Order has been the fastest qualifier for each of the two futurities for statebreds at Ruidoso Downs this summer. He was the top qualifier to the Ruidoso Quarter Horse Sale Futurity and then finished third in the finals behind Hearts Runaway, who passed the Zia Futurity, and Victoria Hotpants, who is in the Zia Futurity.

Trainer Mike Joiner brought Tall Order back in the Zia Futurity trials and he impressed with a three-length win in 19.620 seconds, the fastest time from 12 trials.

Victoria Hotpants has finished second behind stablemate Hearts Runaway in two futurities, but could be ready for a win while Hearts Runaway stays in Blane Wood's barn and points to the All American Futurity trials. Victoria Hotpants was second in the New Mexican Spring Futurity and then held the lead in the Ruidoso Quarter Horse Sale Futurity before being passed by Hearts Runaway.

In the Grade 2, $132,032 Zia Derby, Uncovered Regard tries to improve on his third-place finish in last year's Zia Futurity. He scored his first win in a year when he won his Zia Derby trial with the fastest-qualifying time of 19.509 seconds. He won by a length over second-fastest qualifier Gold Zime.

Gold Zime was among the best New Mexico-bred juveniles early in his career when he ran an impressive second in the 2007 Ruidoso Quarter Horse Sale Futurity after a troubled start.

The $55,000 Zia Handicap at 400 yards brings together three classy geldings trying to regain their younger form.

The 6-year-old Gotta Get was the 2006 champion aged gelding by virtue of a 7-for-7 season capped by a win in the Grade 1, $400,000 The Championship at Sunland Park. This year, he is winless from three starts and comes off a fourth-place run in an allowance race on July 6.

The 5-year-old Arealstraitheart won the 2006 Grade 1 All American Derby at Ruidoso Downs and is also winless from three 2008 starts. He was third in the $50,000 KFOX Handicap at Sunland Park two starts ago.

The 4-year-old Gun Battle finished second in the 2006 All American Derby to No Secrets Here after winning that year's Zia Futurity. He has three second-place efforts and a pair of thirds from five 2008 starts. He comes off a third in the Tom Smith Handicap at SunRay Park.

Devons Easy Lane, with four wins and a second in his latest five starts, heads the $55,000 Zia 870 Championship when he starts from the advantageous inside post position. The 7-year-old Devons Easy Lane has earned $112,600 of his career bankroll of $215,437 this year with his 5 wins, 2 seconds and 2 thirds from 9 starts.

He comes off a victory against similar company at SunRay Park when he went to the front of the 870-yard New Mexico Horseman's Handicap and drew out to a three-length