09/07/2014 12:57PM

Zia puts all Thoroughbred races at 5 1/2 furlongs for Sunday card


Zia Park, which was forced to cancel after the second race on Saturday, announced it has moved the distances for nearly all of its Sunday races to either 5 1/2 furlongs for Thoroughbreds or 400 yards for Quarter Horses because the racing surface was impacted by flooding in the area. Zia does, however, plan to keep its final two Quarter Horse races at 350 yards.

The surface is listed as muddy for the Sunday card that starts at 12:15 p.m. Mountain.

“The decision was made in collaboration with our horsemen, New Mexico racing officials, and track workers in order to ensure the safety of our races as we deal with the aftermath of the flash floods in Hobbs on our track,” Fred Hutton, director of racing operations for Zia, said in a release.

“Tony Martinez, our track superintendent, and his crew have done a tremendous job getting our track in racing condition after the storms. Tony said he will be able to move the starting gate to 350 yards for the final two races.”

The feature is the $75,000 Premiere Cup Sprint Handicap for Thoroughbreds. It had been scheduled for six furlongs, but with the changes announced Sunday will be at 5 1/2 furlongs.