12/03/2011 8:34PM

Zia Derby: Recent claim First Strike outruns multiple stakes winner Thirtyfirststreet

Coady Photography/Jeff Coady
First Strike, making his first start off a $40,000 claim, captures the Zia Park Derby.

First Strike is getting good in a hurry. In his first start since being claimed for $40,000, he overtook multiple stakes winner Thirtyfirststreet in the stretch and went on to a 1 1/2-length win in the $150,000 Zia Park Derby on Saturday.

The race was the first of four high-end stakes being run over the final weekend of racing at the Hobbs, N.M. track. The season closes Sunday with three of those races, led by the $200,000 Zia Park Distance Championship.

First Strike ($14.40) tracked Thirtyfirststreet in second for much of the 1 1/16-mile Zia Derby, shadowing that one through an opening quarter in 23.81 seconds and an opening half-mile in 48.34. First Strike then moved even with Thirtyfirststreet through six furlongs in 1:12.29, took the lead  into the stretch, and covered the distance on a track rated fast in 1:44.86. Thirtyfirststreet safely held second, finishing well clear of third-place finisher Half Dome Dude.

Alfredo Juarez Jr. was aboard First Strike for trainer Robertino Diodoro.

First Strike, who is owned by Charles Garvey and T G Racing, was claimed for $40,000 at Santa Anita on Nov. 4. He won that afternoon in what was his second straight score following a $40,000 starter allowance at Del Mar in August. The Zia Park Derby was the stakes debut for First Strike, who was winning for the first time at two turns. He is a son of Vindication and a half-brother to stakes winner Miss Bridget Jones