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.