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).