All American Futurity winner Heartswideopen made a sensational 2008 debut at Ruidoso Downs on Saturday, May 24, posting the fastest qualifying time to the G1 Ruidoso Derby.

“It went easy,” said jockey Larry Payne, who picked up the mount for trainer Carl Draper, after regular rider Oscar Hernandez was injured on Friday afternoon. “I just turned the whip over and tapped her twice to keep her attention.

Heartswideopen outclassed her rivals by easily winning the fourth of four 400-yard trials in :19.628 for owners Manny and Javier Rodriguez. The trial, her seventh win from eight career starts, was her first start since she won $1 million for winning the All American Futurity last year, on Labor Day. The Feature Mr Jess daughter prepared for her return with two best-of-the-day works.

“Everything went as expected,” said Draper. “That should set her up well for the finals.” Draper also sent out the two fastest qualifiers – Jess Significant and Misty Blue Mercedes – to the G1 Ruidoso Futurity on Friday afternoon, opening day of the Ruidoso Downs meet.

Heartswideopen was the overwhelming selection as 2007 champion two-year-old and champion two-year-old filly. She won last year’s Ruidoso Futurity in a stakes-record :17.089, then raced to the fastest 440 yards ever by a female, when she won her All American Futurity trial in :20.921. Sent off as the 9-10 favorite in the All American Futurity, she responded with a neck win over longshot SF Royal Bank.

Ruidoso Derby Qualifiers

Horse Trial Trainer Jockey Time
Heartswideopen 4th Carl Draper Larry Payne 19.628
Boys All Jacked Up 2nd Paul Jones Freddie Martinez 19.667
Noconi 4th Paul Jones Freddie Martinez 19.862
Eye Of Glory 1st Blane Wood Ricky Ramirez 19.914
Shy Ann Jess 2nd Tony Sedillo Noe Garcia 19.985
Strong Hope 1st Fred Danley G.R. Carter Jr. 20.009
Arealshaker 4th Roy Marcom Salvador Martinez 20.042
Funparty 1st Bob Williams Esgar Ramirez 20.137
Saturday Night Ride 2nd Mike Joiner Sam Thompson 20.150
Hawkin Had It 2nd Paul Jones Mark Villa 20.152