Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Ruidoso Downs Racetrack opens its summer meet with a 25-race program consisting entirely of Ruidoso Futurity (G1) trials. Post time for the first race is scheduled for 10 a.m. (MDT).
A total of 248 2-year-olds – including four who were supplemented for a $15,000 fee – are entered in the 350-yard trials. The top 10 fastest qualifiers will meet in the June 9 final, which will be worth a stakes-record purse of $600,000.
The purse of last year's Ruidoso Futurity was $500,000, and a total of 201 horses were entered in 21 trial heats.
One of this year's supplemental nominees, PJ Chick In Black, is a New Mexico-bred daughter of Desirio racing for Fredda Draper and Denny and Susie Bowen from the barn of Carl Draper. The filly has earned $124,139, and her two wins in as many outs include the 300-yard, $251,359 New Mexican Spring Futurity (RG2) at Sunland Park on April 8.
The Ruidoso Futurity is the first leg of Ruidoso Downs' All American Triple Crown for 2-year-olds. The other legs are the 400-yard, $700,000-est. Rainbow Futurity (G1) on July 21, and the 440-yard, $2.4-million All American Futurity (G1) on closing day, September 3.
Ruidoso Downs' meet continues on Saturday, as the track presents an 11-race card that includes six 400-yard Ruidoso Derby (G1) trials. Among the 59 sophomores entered are AQHA champions Ochoa, the winner of last year's $2.4-million All American Futurity (G1), and Feature Mr Bojangles.
Post time for Ruidoso Downs' first race on Saturday will be 1 p.m. The 10 fastest qualifiers from the Ruidoso Derby trials will face off for a stakes-record $679,207 purse in the final on June 9.
The Ruidoso Derby is one of three lucrative stakes for 3-year-old Quarter Horses and is followed by the 440-yard, $1 million-est. Rainbow Derby (G1) on July 21, and the 440-yard, $2.3 million-est. All American Derby on September 2. As in years past, the winner of the All American Derby will earn a berth in the December 15, $750,000 Champion of Champions (G1) at Los Alamitos Racecourse in California.
One of the highlights of the Ruidoso Downs stakes schedule, the Zia Festival races, will be held on Sunday, July 29. The Zia Festival consists of 11 stakes, seven for Thoroughbreds and four for Quarter Horses.
For more information on the Ruidoso Downs meet, visit the track's website at www.raceruidoso.com.