Zoomin Racer Earns Trip To California With Victory In AQHA Albuquerque Distance Challenge
Zoomin Racer, under jockey Jansen Melancon, puts Mahoney N Tacklebery (inside) away in Sunday's $53,370 Albuquerque Distance Challenge Championship at The Downs.

© Coady Photography
Zoomin Racer Earns Trip To California With Victory In AQHA Albuquerque Distance Challenge

ALBUQUERQUE, NM—JULY 29, 2018—Zoomin Racer, a 5-year-old son of Jess Zoomin owned and trained by Jesus Carrete of Albuquerque, broke sharply and sprinted to a three-quarter length victory in Sunday’s $53,370 AQHA Albuquerque Distance Challenge Stakes (G3) at Albuquerque Downs.

Ridden by Jansen Melancon, a newcomer to the local jockey colony, Zoomin Racer covered 870 yards in :44.809. In addition to earning the $25,621 winner’s share of the purse from his third stakes victory, the gelding secured a spot in the November 17, $105,000 AQHA Distance Challenge Championship (G1) at Los Alamitos Racecourse near Los Angeles, a race he won last year when it was held at Prairie Meadows near Des Moines, Iowa.

The winning connections of Zoomin Racer, owner-trainer Jesus Carrete and jockey Jansen Melancon accept the Albuquerque Distance Challenge stakes trophy at The Downs in Albuquerque. © Coady Photography
The fastest qualifier, Zoomin Racer was coming off of a two-length victory in the first of two trials on July 13. The gelding came from slightly off the pace in that race but broke a little more sharply in the final.

"In the trial, there were two horses outside of us that were being sent to the lead early, and I decided to just sit off the pace and make one quick late run," Melancon said. "Today he broke more sharply and was going easily, so I left him where he was. I have a lot of confidence in this horse and his trainer, and everything worked out."

Zoomin Racer has won eight of 20 starts, including all four of his races at Albuquerque Downs. He made his season debut at Remington Park, winning an 870-yard allowance-optional claiming race on May 18 by 1 3/4 lengths. In his next out on June 2, Zoomin Racer ran second, 1 1/4 lengths behind winner Blazen Panther, in the 870-yard, $50,000 Remington Park Distance Championship (G2).

"He got shuffled back in that race," said assistant trainer Jesus Carrete Jr. "He tried to make a run at the end, but he was too far back early to make up the ground he’d lost. "At Remington, he was coming back from a break," he added. "This horse has just been getting better and better with every race this year."

Jerry Windham bred the Grade 1 winner in Texas from the Runaway Winner mare Racing Winner.

Zoomin Racer returned a $3.20 win mutuel as the 3-5 favorite in the full field of eight. Mahoney N Tacklebery, the 3-1 second choice, ran second to complete a $2 exacta payoff of $13.

Ben Peterson's Mahoney N Tacklebery finished second for trainer Todd Fincher. Isaias Enriquez rode the Utah-bred son of Favorite Cartel from the Jess Louisiana Blue mare Fountain Bleu. The 4-year-old stakes winner picked up $10,940 for his effort. Spencer Peterson bred the $158,959 earner.

For the second straight year Jess A Hilbily Bone finished third. Tammy Johnson trains the 7-year-old Rock Solid Jess gelding out of Imaginiff by Game Patriot. Ridden by Alejandro Medellin, Jess A Hilbily Bone eared $5,337 for the effort.

Madewell, Let There Be Sound, Rock A Billy, Fire Thorn and El Chirrionero completed the field.

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