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MM Fourinthemorning clear winner of Rainbow Futurity

Sunday, July 22nd, 2018

July 22, 2018, Ruidoso Downs, NM

Sent off at odds of 8-1, MM Fourinthemorning drove clear from post position #10 to win the $1,000,000 Rainbow Futurity wire-to-wire by three-quarters of a length. Ridden by Ricky Ramirez for trainer Blane Wood, the gelded son of Mr Jess Perry covered the 400-yard distance in 19.537.

Lethal Lil, with Jose Alvarez, finished second, and Flying Cowboy 123, under Raul Ramirez, placed third. Suze Returns, the 6-5 favorite, who finished as runnerup in the $1,000,000 Ruidoso Futurity, drifted in at the start from post position #3 and finished eighth by three and three-quarters lengths.

MM Fourinthemorning, a $50,000 Ruidoso Yearling Sale graduate, owned by Mark and Annette McCloy, Tatum, New Mexico, won his Rainbow Futurity trial in 19.887, after finishing seventh in his Ruidoso Futurity trial, his only other start.

“He was too inexperienced for the Ruidoso (Futurity trials),” said trainer Wood, who qualified three horses for the Rainbow Futurity, including, in addition to MM Fourinthemorning, third-placed Flying Cowboy 123. “So we worked with him in the gate. He was green, but he had outworked everything at the ranch.”

Lethal Lil, ridden by Jose Alvarez for trainer Joel Valeriano, Jr., won her Rainbow Futurity trial by one and one-quarter lengths and had previously qualified for the West Texas Futurity. The Corona Cartel filly out of Lethal Delight, is a half-sister to 2014 All American Futurity winner JM Miracle,  and owned by La Feliz Montana Ranch.

Flying Cowboy 123, sired by Apollitical Jess and half-brother to world champion Cold Cash 123, was a $100,000 Ruidoso Select Yearling Sale purchase and is owned by Paragon Farms, Conroe, Tex.

 

 

Political Attraction wins Rainbow Derby

Sunday, July 22nd, 2018

July 21, 2018, Ruidoso Downs, New Mexico

Political Attraction, trained by Josue Ponce for Rogelio Marquez Jr. and Kathy Robinson, Claremore, Okla., survived an extended inquiry and rider’s objection to win the $750,000 Rainbow Derby by one length over Hes Limitless. Ridden by James Flores, the 8-5 favorite covered 440 yards in :21.092, the fastest time of the current meet.

“I was a little surprised at the inquiry,” said Flores. “I looked over and never saw another horse and I didn’t hear another horse.”

The inquiry and an objection by Papaws Paint’s rider Bonifacio Perez was raised because at one point Political Attraction moved close to Papaws Paint. But an isolation shot from a video camera showed that Political Attraction never touched Papaws Paint.

A gelded son of Apollitical Jess, Political Attraction, winner of the $283,000 Black Gold Futurity and the $214,000 Speedhorse Futurity, was a $40,000 supplement to the Rainbow Derby, which paid $336,657 for his win.

Runner-up Hes Limitless, a gelding by Corona Cartel, was making his first stakes appearance since finishing fourth in the $3,000,000 All American Futurity last September. The John Stinebaugh-trained gelding, ridden by Agustin Silva, is owned by Jack Smith Farms, Comber, Ontario, and also finished second in the $100,000 Rainbow Futurity Juvenile.

Papaws Paint, a gelding by Pyc Paint Your Wagon, trained by Todd Fincher for RH Resources, Graham, Tex., won last fall’s $202,000 Hobbs America Futurity.

Jess Move You, winner of the $795,000 Ruidoso Derby on June 9th, was sent off at odds of 7-2 in the Rainbow, but finished seventh following a poor start.

Triple Crown winner Mike Smith at Ruidoso Downs

Tuesday, June 19th, 2018

Triple Crown winners Mike Smith and Justify.

Triple Crown winning jockey and New Mexico native Mike Smith will make a celebratory appearance at Ruidoso Downs on July 8 and lead the post parade for the seventh race.

Born in Roswell, NM, Smith won this year’s Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes on Justify, the 13th Triple Crown winner in Thorouhbred racing history. At 52, the oldest jockey to win the Triple Crown, Smith mentioned Ruidoso Downs while Justify was returning to the Belmont Park winner’s circle.

“He left (the gate) like he was at Ruidoso going 440 yards.” said Smith, who was also the primary rider for the famous champion mare Zenyatta and the all-time leading money earner Arrogate.

Raised on a farm outside of Dexter, NM, Smith was riding in Quarter Horse match races by the time he was 11. In 1982, he acquired his jockey’s license and recorded the first win of his career at The Downs at Santa Fe. Known at “Big Money Mike,” for his success in the world’s premier races, Smith has won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness twice, the Belmont three times, and captured a record 27 Breeders’ Cup wins. He has also won the Irish 2,000 Guineas and the Dubai World Cup.

The winner of 5,400 over races and $313 million, Smith had his best year in 2017 when his horses earned $20,540,871 with an average earnings per start of $74,694. His one official start on a Quarter Horse was in 2002, when he finished finished third in the $156,800 El Primero Del Ano Derby at Los Alamitos, on Check Him Out.

“Mike is a global celebrity and we are honored by his willingness to come to Ruidoso Downs to share his Triple Crown celebration with us,” said Ruidoso Downs president and general manager Jeff True. “He is a wonderful ambassador of our sport and he never forgets where he came from.

“He told me his family will fill half the grandstand, so we are going to welcome them and all the other racing fans in New Mexico (on July 8) to celebrate his amazing accomplishments.”

Custom made posters of Smith winning the Belmont Stakes will be for sale at Ruidoso Downs on July 8, and Smith will be on hand for a special autograph signing session, where he will personally sign 100 posters. All proceeds for poster sales will go to the Permanently Disabled Jockey Fund.

For additional Ruidoso Downs information, go to the new www.raceruidoso.com

Clean sweep for Padgett as Fly Baby Fly wins $3 million All American Futurity

Monday, September 4th, 2017

Fly Bay Fly, photo courtesy Ruidoso Downs

Over-looked with odds of 11-1, Fly Baby Fly, owned by Fly Baby Fly Partnership, Waverly, Texas and trained James Padgett II, powered past 8-5 favorite Bigg Daddy, on Monday, September 4 at Ruidoso Downs, New Mexico to win the $3 million All American Futurity by one and a-half lengths,  in :21.492.

“The filly always has trouble with the break and it takes a little while to start her running,” said Fly Baby Fly’s rider Jose Vallejo. “But today she put everything together. We knew she could run 440 and she proved it today. She got the lead probably at about 250 yards and then just pulled away.”

The 440-yard All American Futurity has the largest purse of any two-year-old race in North America.

“My horse beat the doors open,” said Bigg Daddy’s rider G.R. Carter Jr. “I couldn’t have dreamed that he could have left the gate any better and he ran a really good strong race. Give Fly Baby Fly credit. She just run me down and beat me. I’m real proud of my horse because he ran really well.”

Bigg Daddy, a New Mexico-bred gelding and $25,000 Ruidoso Yearling Sale graduate, is owned by Too For Too, Vado, N.M., and trained by Wes Giles. Hotstepper, a neck behind Bigg Daddy for third under Cody Jensen, is owned by Hubbard, Cope, Willis and Southway, and trained by Sleepy Gilbreath.

Fly Baby Fly, a daughter of One Famous Eagle, was a $180,000 Ruidoso Select Yearling Sale graduate, bred by Julianna Hawn Holt, Blanco, Tex., out of champion two-year-old Higher Fire, the earner of $1.3 million. Fly Baby Fly, winner of the fourth of 14 All American Futurity trials, came into Monday’s race with three wins from five starts, and a fourth-place finish in the $1 million Rainbow Futurity.

On Saturday, prior to the All American Futurity, Fly Baby Fly’s half-brother, A Galaxy Guardian, by Corona Cartel, topped the All American Select Yearling Sale at $320,000. He was consigned by Julianna Hawn Holt and purchased by Judd Kearl.

The Labor Day Weekend at Ruidoso Downs offers Quarter Horse racing’s richest three-day venue. This year, trainer James Padgett broke the bank with wins in the All American Futurity; the $1.3 million All American Derby (Hold Air Hostage); the $200,000 All American Gold Cup (Jessies First Down); and the $200,000 All American Juvenile Jesse Lane).

Dominating win for Hold Air Hostage in All American Derby

Sunday, September 3rd, 2017

Hold Air Hostage, Ruidoso Downs photo

Hold Air Hostage showed why he is the number-one-ranked older American Quarter Horse in the nation with total domination of his rivals in the Grade 1, $1,365,908 All American Derby on Sunday, September 3, at Ruidoso Downs, New Mexico.

Owned by Darling Farms, Lamont, Okla., Hold Air Hostage powered away from the 10-horse field to win by an easy two-and-one-quarter lengths in :21.231. One Sweet Racy, owned by Johnny Trotter, Hereford, Tex. and trained by Trey Wood, finished second by a neck over Duponte, owned by Bobby Cox and Homero and Kristen Paredes.

Hold Air Hostage’s win gave trainer James Padgett II and jockey Rodrigo Sigala Vallejo their second Grade I win of the afternoon. Two races earlier on the program, Padgett and Vallejo combined to win the Grade 1, $200,000 All American Gold with Jessies First Down.

“I don’t want to sound too confident or like I’m bragging, but as soon as he broke in front, it was over,” said Padgett of Hold Air Hostage, the fastest qualifier for the 440-yard race in :21.109. “The horse is a monster. He’s the fastest I’ve ever seen.”

The All American Derby was the fifth consecutive victory for Hold Air Hostage, a gelded son of Apollitical Jess and a $50,000 supplemental nominee to enter the Derby trials. He started his winning streak by taking the Grade 2, $297,000 Heritage Place Derby on June 3 and moved to the number-one position, after his one-and-three-quarter-length victory in the Grade 1, $1,150,000 Rainbow Derby on July 22. The All American Derby winner’s share of $573,681 boosted Hold Air Hostage’s career earnings to $1,214,143.

Third-place finisher Duponte, also from James Padgett’s barn, has been a force in the Grade 1 ranks since his two-year-old season. Last year, the American Runaway son won the Grade 1, $1-million Heritage Place Futurity. Duponte, the second fastest All American Derby qualifier with :21.441, was ridden by Jose Amador Alvarez.

James Padgett also has two entrants in Monday’s $3 million All American Futurity: Hawkeye, with a qualifying time of :21.807 and owned by Bobby Cox, Fort Worth, Tex., and Fly Baby Fly, with :21.902, owned by the Fly Baby Fly Partnership, Waverly, Tex.

For complete Ruidoso Downs’ information, go to www.raceruidoso.com.

 

First Valiant Sign wins Ruidoso Futurity

Monday, June 8th, 2015

The day after American Pharaoh won the thoroughbred Triple Crown, First Valiant Sign took the first step towards a possible Quarter Horse Triple Crown, when he won the Grade 1, $750,000 Ruidoso Futurity at Ruidoso Downs on June 7.

“This is the year of the Triple Crown,” First Valiant Sign’s co-owner Derrol Hubbard said. “You’ve got to win the first one. We are very fortunate and very lucky.”

“I got all I could ask for,” said winning jockey Larry Payne. “He left the gate honest and was right there (with the leaders). About halfway through I was still behind, but knew I had the winner. I don’t want to sound arrogant, but he was making up a neck with each stride.”

To win the All American Triple Crown at Ruidoso Downs, First Valiant Sign must now win the Grade 1, $1 million Rainbow Futurity and the Grade 1, $3 million All American Futurity, which has the largest purse of any two-year-old race in the world.

If First Valiant Sign takes the All American Triple Crown, he will earn $2,235,000 in purse money and the $4 million All American Bonus for a total of $6,235,000. American Pharaoh earned a total of $2,640,000 for winning the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes.

The last Quarter Horse to win all three Grade 1 futurities at Ruidoso Downs was world champion Special Effort in 1981, four years after Affirmed won the thoroughbred Triple Crown. American Pharaoh was the first thoroughbred Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978.

First Valiant Sign, a $100,000 purchase at the Ruidoso Select Yearling Sale, ran the 350-yard Ruidoso Futurity in :17.310, earning $315,000 for the win.

“He’ll like more distance,” Payne said, referring to the 400 yards of the Rainbow Futurity and the 440 yards of the All American Futurity.

Owned by Hubbard with Scott Bryant, Joe Dee Brooks and R. Lee Lewis, First Valiant Sign, a gelded son of Valiant Hero, finished a neck in front of Jess Burnin, who was disqualified and placed last for interference. The disqualification moved Fine Oak Corona from third place to second place, and One Fabulous Eagle was moved from fourth place to third.

Jess Burnin’s disqualification cost Mike Joiner, also First Valiant Sign’s trainer, a one-two finish. And although First Valiant Sign was 31-1 long shot, Joiner was not surprised by his win.

“In his training race, he ran green, but he closed strongly,” said Joiner. “And the one hole was the perfect place for him today.”

First Valiant Sign finished second with a time of :17.786 in his Ruidoso Futurity trial and was the only finalist who did not win his trial. Jose Sanchez’s Fine Oak Corona, trained by Paul Jones, had the fastest time (:17.648) on the same trial day as First Valiant Sign. L. Salvador Martinez was aboard the Coronas Prospect son.

Darling Farms’ One Fabulous Eagle, a son of One Famous Eagle, was a $75,000 Ruidoso Select Yearling Sale purchase. Trained by Kasey Willis, One Fabulous Eagle made his racing debut with a one-length win and the second-fastest time (:17.687) on the first day of trials.

Market stability marks Keeneland Yearling Sale

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

Lexington, Ky – The Keeneland September Yearling Sale, the world’s premier Thoroughbred auction, closed Sunday, Sept. 21, 2014, with results nearly equal to 2013, continuing a healthy trend toward market stability.

Gross receipts for the 13-day sale, held Sept. 8-21, totaled $279,960,500. A total of 2,819 yearlings were sold versus 2,744, for $280,491,300, in 2013. The average price of $99,312 was down 2.8 percent from $102,220 last year. The median remained the same as last year, at $50,000.

“The success of this sale flows from the fact that we continue to operate in a fair, realistic market,” said Keeneland vice president of sales Walt Robertson. “We had a significant improvement in results the last two years. Now we’re seeing consistency and stability in the market, which fuels optimism, heightens buyer confidence, and spurs competition.”

Trade in the upper middle market, defined as horses sold for $400,000 or more, proved exceptionally strong despite 113 fewer horses cataloged. Thirteen yearlings sold for $1 million or more, including two for the sale-topping price of $2.2 million each, compared to 18 last year. Altogether, 121 yearlings brought $400,000 or more each versus 105 sold in that price range in 2013.

Further indication of the sale’s strong performance lies in the fact that during the first weekend and week 2 of the sale, the highest-priced yearling of each session exceeded the top price for the corresponding session in 2013. In each of those sessions, a yearling sold for $100,000 or more.

“There was all-out competition for horses from start to finish, and buyers were more determined to go home with horses,” said Keeneland director of sales Geoffrey Russell.

In addition to the U.S., Europe and Dubai, buyers from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Japan, Korea, Russia, and Central and South America were also active at the sale.

John Ferguson, bloodstock adviser to Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum of Dubai, was the sale’s leading buyer, acquiring 22 yearlings for $7.88 million. The second-leading buyer was Ben Glass, agent for leading U.S. owners Gary and Mary West, who purchased 29 horses for $7,805,000.

This year colts by two of the world’s most successful stallions each brought the sale-topping price of $2.2 million. The first was a son of War Front consigned by Claiborne Farm and purchased by M.V. Magnier. Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s Shadwell Estate Company Ltd. bought the second top-priced yearling, a half-brother by Tapit to Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) winner New Year’s Day, consigned by Clearsky Farms, agent.

For the third consecutive year, Tapit, who stands at Gainesway, in Lexington, was the sale’s leading sire, with 36 yearlings that grossed $21,725,000. The average price for his yearlings was $603,472, the highest average for a sire at the September Sale since 2007, when 23 yearlings by A.P. Indy sold for an average of $858,043.

Moyglare Stud Farm paid $1.5 million for the sale’s top-priced filly, a daughter of Medaglia d’Oro and a half-sister to Grade 1 winner Nereid. She was consigned by Royal Oak Farm.

During Sunday’s final session, Keeneland sold 178 horses for $1,913,300, for an average of $10,749 and a median of $6,000. There was no comparable session for last year’s 12-day sale. Lisa Orth paid the day’s top price of $120,000 for Fort Hope, a colt by Fort Prado out of the Vindication mare Zindi. The colt was consigned by MJK Bloodstock, agent.

Keeneland’s next sale will be the November Breeding Stock Sale, to be held Nov. 4-14.