Zip First, a racing American Quarter Horse who was featured in USA Today because of his claustrophobia, is gearing up for the second leg of the All American Triple Crown. Zip First is a 2000 brown gelding by First Place Dash out of Zippy Zanza.
Beginning with the Ruidoso Futurity and followed by the Rainbow Futurity, the All American Triple Crown focuses on three races-all conducted at Ruidoso Downs in Ruidoso, New Mexico. The All American Triple Crown concludes with the Labor Day All American Futurity (G1), American Quarter Horse racing's richest purse of $2 million estimated.
The first and only American Quarter Horse to accomplish such a feat was Special Effort who captured all three racing titles in 1981.
Zip First's next challenge is the Rainbow Futurity-the second leg of the series-set for Sunday, July 21. The 2-year-old gelding qualified for the Rainbow Futurity trials run on July 5.
ZIP FIRST experienced some difficulty in the trials for the Ruidoso Futurity in June and his trainer Leon Bard, along with owner Gary Hartstack of Waller, Texas, became concerned.
As reported in USA Today, ZIP FIRST had his first career loss in the trials for the Ruidoso Futurity but his time was good enough to qualify for the finals. After the trails, Bard hauled the 2-year-old back to Bryan, Texas. Still concerned about the horse's unusual behavior, Bard set up an infrared camera in the horse's stall and a 19-inch monitor in his bedroom. After watching the horse undetected it became obvious that the horse was claustrophobic and needed to see out all four sides of his stall.
To fix the problem, Bard purchased a 12-by-12-foot portable stall and set it up in the stall area at Ruidoso Downs. A now content ZIP FIRST is completely aware of his surroundings and winning again-the Ruidoso Futurity netted more than $233,000. Should ZIP FIRST win the Rainbow Futurity, he could take home the winner's share of $635,470.
For continuous coverage of the All American Triple Crown, log on to aqha.com/racing or contact AQHA at (806) 376-4811.
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