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Ruidoso Downs Meet Opens With Futurity Trials
RSS Feeds Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Ruidoso Downs in southeastern New Mexico will open its 61-day meet with a 12-race program on Thursday. Post time for the first race is set for 1 p.m. (MDT).

Thursday’s card will feature the first day of trials for the Grade 1, $700,000-est. Ruidoso Futurity. The trials continue with 12 heats on Friday.

A total of 225 2-year-olds, including Grade 1 winner Boi George, have been entered in the Ruidoso Futurity trials. A Texas-bred gelding by champion and 2005 All American Futurity (G1) winner Teller Cartel, Boi George has won both of his starts, including the April 13, $267,651 West Texas Futurity (G2) at Sunland Park, for owners Miguel Y. Gallegos and Mauricio Gallegos.

Boi George is trained by Gene Burden. The gelding will be ridden by Sergio Becerra Jr. in the fourth trial on Friday.

Graded stakes winner Kiss My Hocks, a homebred son of 2009 AQHA champion 2-year-old colt Tempting Dash racing for Tyler Graham and Conda Maze, drew the rail post in Thursday’s seventh heat. Trained by Toby Keeton, Kiss My Hocks won the April 19, $563,950 Sam Houston Futurity (G2) and was named horse of the meet during the Sam Houston Race Park spring Quarter Horse season.

There are four registered New Mexico-breds entered in the Ruidoso Futurity trials: The Lincoln Lawyer, Brookstones Queen, June Bug Junior, and Flash That Money. A $28,000 buy at last year’s Ruidoso Select Yearling Sale, June Bug Junior races for Ezze Racing from the barn of James J. Gonzales Jr. The gelded son of Jesse James Jr is a full brother to graded stakes winner Junior June Bug.

Junior June Bug will be ridden by Esgar Ramirez from post 6 in the third trial on Friday.

The 10 fastest qualifiers -- five from each day of trials -- will meet in the Ruidoso Futurity final on Sunday, June 8.

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Jockey G.R. Carter Jr. has 18 mounts in the 24 Ruidoso Futurity trials, and he is expected to break the all-time record for wins by a Quarter Horse jockey currently held by Alvin “Bubba” Brossette. A 10-time AQHA champion jockey, Carter currently has 3,629 wins, two fewer than Brossette.

The Ruidoso Futurity trials also mark the return of jockey Joe Badilla Jr. to the track. Badilla, a four-time champion jockey, has enjoyed much of his success at Ruidoso Downs, as he has won the Rainbow Futurity (G1) three times, the All American Derby (G1) twice, and the Ruidoso Futurity and All American Futurity once each.

Badilla made his return to the saddle with a victory aboard 21 Partnership’s Zoomin Away in the $26,550 Zoetis SunRay Starter Allowance Challenge at SunRay Park on May 11. He has six mounts in the Ruidoso Futurity trials.

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Ruidoso Downs’ meet continues with the 870-yard, $30,000 Fine Loom Handicap and 10 400-yard Ruidoso Derby (G1) trials on Saturday. Storm Chasor, a registered New Mexico-bred 4-year-old Attila’s Storm (TB) gelding owned by Joan Dale Hubbard, drew post 7 in the Fine Loom.

There is one New Mexico-bred, DM One Hot Charmer, entered in the Ruidoso Derby trials. The gelded son of Corona Caliente recently broke his maiden at Remington Park for owners Reed Land and Cattle Co. LLC and Bill Moler.

The 10 fastest qualifiers will meet in the $800,000 Ruidoso Derby final on June 7.

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Ruidoso Downs’ stakes schedule is topped by Quarter Horse racing’s richest race, the 440-yard, $2.6-million All American Futurity (G1) on closing day, September 1. Other noteworthy Quarter Horse stakes during the 61-day season include the 440-yard, $2.3-million All American Derby (G1) on August 31, the 400-yard, $900,000-est. Rainbow Futurity (G1) on July 20, and the 440-yard, $1-million Rainbow Derby (G1) on July 19.

Ruidoso’s Thoroughbred stakes schedule includes the 1 1/16-mile, $60,000 Ruidoso Thoroughbred Championship on closing day.

This year’s Zia Festival, a showcase of New Mexico-bred Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses, will take place over a two-day period, July 26-27. The richest races during the Zia Festival include the 400-yard, $400,000-est. Zia Futurity (RG1) for Quarter Horses, and the 5 1/2-furlong, $175,000-est. Rio Grande Senor Futurity (R) for Thoroughbred 2-year-old colts and geldings, and the 5 1/2-furlong, $175,000-est. Rio Grande Senorita Futurity (R) for 2-year-old fillies.

For more information on the Ruidoso Downs meet, visit www.raceruidoso.com.

In The News

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