Mon. Jan 18th, 2021

Francisco Colorado Cessa’s Fly First Down, a $300,000 yearling purchase, set the fastest-qualifying time of 17.502  to the Grade 1, $500,000 Ruidoso Futurity on Friday at Ruidoso Downs.

The 10 fastest 2-year-olds from the 21 trials are eligible for the 350-yard Ruidoso Futurity, the first leg of the All American Triple Crown, on June 12.

A First Down Dash son from the stable of 9-time national champion trainer Paul Jones, Fly First Down dominated the 11th trial. The 2010 Ruidoso Select Sale purchase sprinted to the lead from the outside post position and then drew out to a 3-length victory under jockey G.R. Carter.

Fly First Down
Fly First Down

“I’ve really like him since he arrived in our barn about three months ago,” said Lisa Saumell, who heads the Jones operation in New Mexico. “He’s built like (2-time champion) Noconi. He’s not too big, he’s not too small, and he’s smart. He’s built for this mountain and should like to run further (than 350 yards).”

Jones won last year’s Ruidoso Futurity with American Runaway, who went on to be named the 2010 champion 2-year-old and champion 2-year-old colt.

Jones also has the leading 2-year old at Los Alamitos this season with Separate Fire, winner of the Grade 1 Kindergarten last Sunday night in stakes-record time.

TMF Cash Dynasty, owned by Sunset Well Service and trained by Albert Franco, stepped up as 12-1 outsider to win the 19th trial with the second-fastest qualifying mark of :17.602. The FDD Dynasty-sired colt was overlooked after crossing the finish line in seventh place in his only other start. He pulled away for a one-and-one-quarter length Ruidoso Futurity trial victory.

Trainer John Stinebaugh has two solid prospects, Sure Shot B and Tex Cartel B, in the Ruidoso Futurity.

Charles Forbes Jr. and Tommy Hays’ Sure Shot B, a son of Stoli, raced to his second win from as many starts when he won his Ruidoso Futurity trial by a neck as the 3-5 favorite. Jacky Martin, who qualified four finalists, rode the gelding raced to the third-fastest qualifying mark of :17.605.

Sure Shot B made his debut in the West Texas Futurity trials and won his trial, but his time was not quick enough to reach the finals. “He was in the 10 hole and ran green,” said Stinebaugh. “It gave us more time to bring him up to this race.”

Tex Cartel B, also ridden by Martin, took the 15th division by three quarters of a length and his time of :17.670 is the eighth-fastest qualifying mark.

The Corona Cartel son also made his only other start in the West Texas Futurity trials and finished sixth in his heat. “He lost a shoe at the start and that caused him to drift out,” Stinebaugh said.

“These are each two big stout boys who look the part,” Stinebaugh said.

Silver For Me, the lone $15,000 supplemental nominee to the Ruidoso Futurity, reached the finals with a three-quarter length win in the 14th trial for trainer Jackie Riddle. He turned in a :17.629 mark for the fourth-fastest qualifying time under jockey Carlos Madeira.

The gelding by Corona For Me was second in the Sam Houston Juvenile at Sam Houston Race Park in his previous out.

West Texas Futurity fourth-place finisher Valiant Valor returns for the Ruidoso Futurity by winning his trial after bobbling at the start and bumping with a rival. The Valiant Hero gelding from the Blane Wood barn then rallied to win by one-half length in :17.674, the ninth-fastest qualifying time.

Unofficial qualifiers:

Horse/Trial # Trainer Jockey Wind Time
Fly First Down/11 Paul Jones GR Carter 14h 17.502
Tmf Cash Dynasty/19 Albert Franco Abdel Torres 8h 17.602
Sure Shot B/17 John Stinebaugh Jacky Martin 9h 17.605
Silver For Me/14 Jackie Riddle Carlos Madeira 11h 17.629
Ochoa/6 Dwayne Gibreath Jacky Martin 8h 17.630
Back in the Pack/17 Bradley Bolen Cody Wainscott 9h 17.634
Separate Cartel/6 Felipe Quintero Esgar Ramirez 8h 17.666
Tex Cartel B/15 John Stinebaugh Jacky Martin 15h 17.670
Valiant Valor/5 Blane Wood Ricky Ramirez 8h 17.674
Feature This Cold/16 Luis Villafranco Jacky Martin 10h 17.697