The field is set for this year’s New Mexico Cup Derby (RG2), and Classy Moon is the fastest qualifier to the October 30, $225,000-est. final at Zia Park.

Trained by Fred Danley for owners Bob and Sissie McClure and aided by a reported 10-mph tail wind, Classy Moon on October 9 won the second of three 400-yard trials by one length in :19.570. Noe Garcia Jr. rode the homebred First Moonflash gelding.

Classy Moon was coming off of a seventh-place finish in a 400-yard New Mexico State Fair Derby (R) trial at Albuquerque Downs on September 10. The gelding is out of Shez Classy Now, a multiple graded stakes winning daughter of champion Now I Know, and he is a half brother to Heza Classy Now, the winner of the 870-yard, $50,000 Bill Reed Memorial Stakes at Ruidoso Downs on September 3.

Classy Moon has won four of 15 races — including two of four at Zia Park — and he has earned $99,824, of which $70,589 has been been banked from nine outs this season. The gelding’s record includes second-place finishes in last year’s Southwest Juvenile Championship Stakes (G2) at Zia Park, and the August 6, $174,000 Zia Derby (RG2) at Ruidoso Downs.

Second-fastest qualifier Wine Dont Lie won the third heat by a head in :19.637. Francisco Calderon rode the Big Daddy Cartel filly for owners Haskell E. Rich and Jacque M. Rich, and trainer Casey Lambert.

Wine Dont Lie was bred by Mac and Janis Murray’s MJ Farms at Veguita, New Mexico, and he was purchased as a yearling for $24,000 at the 2020 New Mexico-Bred Sale at Ruidoso Downs. The filly has won three of 11 races and has earned $57,252.

JC New Dawn, the third-fastest qualifier, won the first trial by a half of a length. Prepped by Edgar Moreno for owners Telma Meraz and Federico Gonzalez and aided by a reported 10-mph tail wind, the gelded son of the Dash Ta Fame stallion Woodbridge tripped the timer in :19.641. Daniel Torres rode JC New Dawn.

JC New Dawn was bred by Cynthia Guadalupe Gonzalez, and he was coming off of a second-place finish, a neck behind winner River Flash, in the 400-yard, $288,000 New Mexico State Fair Derby (R) at Albuquerque Downs on September 25. The gelding has won four of 12 races and has banked $165,907, and his record includes a third-place finish in the Januarry 29, 400-yard Shue Fly Stakes (RG2) at Sunland Park.

The complete list of qualifiers appears below:

Horse (Sex, Pedigree)OwnerBreeder (State)TrainerTime
G, First Moonflash-Shez Classy Now by Now I Know
Bob & Sissie McClureBob & Sissie McClure (NM)Fred Danley:19.570
F, Big Daddy Cartel-Fine Wines by First Down Dash
Haskell E. Rich and Jacque M. RichMJ Farms (NM)Casey Lambert:19.637
G, Woodbridge-Fly Stolis Chick by Stoli
Telma Meraz and Federico GonzalezCynthia Guadalupe Gonzalez (NM)Edgar Moreno:19.641
F, Big Daddy Cartel-Jenna James by Jesse James Jr
Julie Schoenhofer and Maricela VasquezMJ Farms (NM)Eric Valenzuela:19.655
G, Zulu Dragon-First Cowgirl Flash by First Moonflash
Fred Danley and Chuck SonnenbergFred Danley (NM)Fred Danley:19.708
F, Big Daddy Cartel-First Prize Amanda by DMNV Mountable
Ezra LeeEzra Lee (NM)Wes Giles:19.723
G, Big Daddy Cartel-Physical Touch by Heza Fast Dash
William R. Robertson and Mary RobertsonWilliam or Mary Robertson (NM)Jackie Riddle:19.730
F, Big Daddy Cartel-Hot Indy Chick by Jess A Chicks
Aldai Transport and Samuel LeonJacob J. Simmons III (NM)Marc Jungers:19.804
G, First Moonflash-Zoobie Cartel by Corona Cartel
Curtis Crenwelge, Jim Laird, and Jose R. EspinosaCrenwelge, Laird and EspinosaWes Giles:19.816
F, Big Daddy Cartel-Woodys All Star by Woodbridge
Denis & Julie SchoenhoferMJ Farms (NM)Eric Valenzuela:19.859