11/03/2011 9:50AM

Zia Park: Imco Spirit good short and long


Just call him Mr. Versatile.

Imco Spirit holds Zia Park’s track record for both six furlongs and 1 1/8 miles and on Saturday he will be racing somewhere in between those distances in the $55,000 Veteran.

The Veteran, at a 1 1/16 miles, is Zia’s prep for the $200,000 Distance Championship Handicap on Dec. 4.

Imco Spirit won the Distance Championship at year ago, covering the 1 1/8 miles in a track-record time of 1:49.63. Saturday, he comes into the Veteran off another standard-setting performance. Imco Spirit established a track record for six furlongs at Zia on Sept. 11, when he won the $100,000 Premiere Cup in a blazing 1:07.13. The win came in his first out since April.

“He’s real versatile,” said Henry Dominguez, who trains Imco Spirit for Judy and Kirk Robison and Solitaire Stable. “He’s anywhere from a late-running sprinter to a good router.

“He came out of that last race remarkably well. We had backed off of him this spring, and he came back a bigger and stronger horse than we had last year. We have high hopes for him. The horse is really doing well.”

Imco Spirit, who is a 5-year-old Irish-bred by Invincible Spirit, has turned in some strong works of late, including a bullet five-furlong move in 59.80 seconds Oct. 24. For his win in the Premiere Cup, he earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 93, which is the best last-race number in the field Saturday.

Imco Spirit will be facing six others, including stakes winner Red Lead, who is back in New Mexico after running second in an allowance at Remington Park in Oklahoma City. Vamoose, meanwhile, will be seeking his second stakes win at 1 1/16 miles in the Veteran, behind his Sept. 5 score in the $50,000 Ruidoso Downs Thoroughbred Championship.

The field also includes Quiet Again, who is coming off back-to-back stakes wins at the Downs at Albuquerque. He could get a tracking trip behind Imco Spirit, who will break from post 5 under Miguel Perez, and McKenna’s Justice, who in his last start won a sprint allowance at Zia.