HOBBS — When Iplaytricks won last year's renewal of the $170,000 Peppers Pride New Mexico Classic Cup Fillies and Mares for trainer Joel Marr, the daughter of Desert God was considered an outsider at odds of 11-to-1.
Today, she may go postward as one of the shortest-priced favorites of the day when she headlines a field of seven older runners in the 1-mile event, one of 12 stakes on a rich day of racing held exclusively for the best state-bred quarter horses and thoroughbreds at Zia Park in Hobbs.
Iplaytricks, coming off an allowance score in her most recent start at Zia Park, recently surpassed career earnings over $400,000 for owner Michael Stinson. Though she's posted only that one victory on Oct. 1 in six starts since her upset win in this race last year, she figures to be the controlling speed under jockey Aldo Arboleda.
Given her success over this course at Zia Park, where she has won four times from six starts, she should be considered a major player in today's renewal of the event, named in honor of the racemare who Marr trained to an unblemished campaign that ended with a 19-for-19 perfect record in 2008.
Iplaytricks is one of just of 123 horses entered for New Mexico Classic Cup day, with nearly $2 million in purse monies to be distributed on one of the richest days of racing held in the state.
First post on Classic Cup day is scheduled for 12:15 p.m.
The richest of the 12 races is the $288,000-added New Mexico Classic Futurity, a restricted Grade 2 event for 2-year-old quarter horses racing 400 yards. Kaydns Krusader, a three-time stakes-placed son of Sixes Royal and an earner of nearly $126,000 in her 7-race career is the 3-to-1 morning line favorite in the Futurity, which goes as the fourth race on the program.
Trained by Kristopher Cordova for J and M Racing and Farm, Kaydns Krusader has hit the board in three stakes races this year, the Spring Fling at Sunland Park as well as the Mountain Top and Zia Futurities at Ruidoso Downs. A two-time winner from seven starts, Kaydns Krusader will be ridden by Esgar Ramirez, who guided him to victory in his trial heat here on Oct. 12.
Also among the field for the Futurity is local stakes winner King of Pop, who scored an upset earlier this year at SunRay Park & Casino in the New Mexico Breeders' Futurity for trainer Lonnie Vaughn. Returning from a 4-month layoff when finishing third in his trial race here earlier this month behind Moonifisant, the son of Chickle Cherry Cola is again considered an outsider in the NM Classic Futurity, listed at 12-to-1 on the morning line under Felipe Garcia-Luna.
Moonifisant, who is one narrow head bob short of being unbeaten in his 5-race career, may be the horse to beat in the Futurity. Trained by Juan Gonzalez for the triumvirate of Peter Gallegos, Robert Sanchez and Patricia Gonzalez, the son of Sixes Royal won the New Mexico Spring Futurity at Sunland Park last April. A narrow loss in a trial heat for the All-American Futurity last August at Ruidoso is the only blemish on his career ledger, which also shows earnings topping $132,000.
Moonifisant, the 4-to-1 second choice on the morning line, will be ridden by Tanner Thedford, who guided him to victory in the recent trial heat.
In the day's nightcap, older thoroughbreds will race a mile in the $180,000 NM Classic Championship, named in honor of Rocky Gulch, one of the all-time richest racehorses bred in the state.
That's Who, also trained by Marr, will be seeking to win his seventh consecutive race, a streak that dates back to last April at SunRay Park & Casino when beating state-bred allowance rivals.
A recent winner in the Land of Enchantment Stakes at Ruidoso Downs, That's Who is a 4-year-old gelded son of Quinton's Gold with career earnings approaching $475,000 while having won 12 of 19 career starts for Sam and Latane Stevens.
That's Who will be ridden by Alfredo Juarez, Jr., and is listed as the 8-to-5 favorite in the NM Classic Championship, with a scheduled post time of 5 p.m.