06/16/2009 11:00PM

Zia names race for Peppers Pride


Peppers Pride will have a stakes named for her on the richest day of racing this fall at Zia Park in Hobbs, N.M. The mare, who retired undefeated after setting a modern mark for consecutive wins, will be honored during the track's $1.8 million New Mexico Cup program on Nov. 8.

The $170,000 Peppers Pride Championship for Fillies and Mares at a mile is one of 11 stakes for New Mexico-bred Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses on the New Mexico Cup program. The card is the centerpiece of a 33-race stakes schedule at Zia, which opens for a 57-date mixed meet on Sept. 12. The season will run through Dec. 8.

Peppers Pride, who was bred in New Mexico, won the Championship for Fillies and Mares in 2007 and 2008. In all, there will be seven divisional stakes for Thoroughbreds during the New Mexico Cup program, the richest of which is the $180,000 Rocky Gulch Championship.

Other top races during the season will include the $150,000 Zia Park Derby at 1 1/16 miles on Dec. 5, and the $200,000 Zia Park Distance Championship at 1 1/8 miles on Dec. 6. The stakes program opens with the $100,000 Premiere Cup Handicap, a six-furlong race for 3-year-olds and up on Sept. 13.

Among the chief offerings for Quarter Horses are the Grade 3, $300,000 Hobbs America Futurity on Oct. 11; the Grade 1, $250,000 Southwest Juvenile Championship on Nov. 29; and the Grade 1, $175,000 Zia Park Quarter Horse Championship for 3-year-olds and up on Dec. 6.