FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Ochoa Dominates With Charge
In Richest All American Futurity
RUIDOSO DOWNS, New Mexico (September 5, 2011) – Favorite and fastest-qualifier Ochoa humbled his rivals with a devastating late charge to win the Grade 1, $2.4-million All American Futurity before 22,650 fans on Monday afternoon at Ruidoso Downs.
The All American Futurity is North America’s richest race for a two-year-old racehorse of any breed and it is the world’s richest quarter horse race. The $1.2-million winner’s share is the largest in quarter horse racing.
The 2013 purse will raise to $2.6 million with $1.3 million going to the winner.
Ochoa broke well from the ninth post position and raced into contention within the first 100 yards. His late charge surpassed his rivals and he won by a widening one-and-one-half lengths with a :21.058 time for the 440 yards, the fourth-fastest time in the race’s 53 runnings.
Jess Send Me finished second by a neck over Tee Cos.
“It was a perfect trip. He stood in the gates perfect,’ said winning rider Roy Balidillez. “He broke on top. He was gone.”
It was the third All American Futurity win for trainer Dwayne “Sleepy” Gilbreath. “It looked like everything went great. He didn't really break that sharp, but he never does. Three or four jumps and he was rolling. I was so happy I didn't know what to think,” he said.
Baldillez took over the mount after Jacky Martin was injured in a spill on Friday afternoon. Martin, the record seven-time All American Futurity winner, is being treated for a severe spinal injury and is currently paralyzed in an El Paso hospital.
“I'm just glad we got it done for him because he doesn't deserve what's going on with him right now,” said Gilbreath. “He's a great rider, a great horseman.”
Ochoa’s victory gave Gilbreath his third All American Futurity score and his first win since two-time world champion Refrigerator won in 1990. He also won the 1983 running with On A High.
Owned by the partnership of Johnny T.L. Jones Jr.’s J Bar 7 Ranch, Monty and Katsy Cluck with Doug and Shavon Benson, Ochoa was pointed at the All American Futurity by hall of fame trainer Gilbreath after his third-place finish in the Ruidoso Futurity in June. The strategy was amply rewarded when Ochoa raced to the fastest-qualifying time of :21.074 from the 252 entrants in the record 26 All American Futurity trials on August 18.
The strategy reached record-payoff levels with Ochoa’s All American Futurity victory.
“I don't realize probably how lucky I am. I'm just happy to be here,” said breeder and co-owner Jones. “I wanted the best horse to win, and maybe today he was.” Jones was inducted into the Ruidoso Downs Racehorse Hall of Fame in June.
The 8-5 favorite, Ochoa rewarded his many backers with $5.20 for the win. For the astute players who picked him in the All American Future Wager he paid $57.80 for the $2 wager placed back in July.
The gelded son of Tres Seis passed through the Ruidoso Select Yearling Sale for $25,000. He was bred by Jones and he sold an interest in the gelding to his partners.
Second-place finisher Jess Send Me, owned by Tommie Turner’s Turner Ranch, surprised at 17-1 odds with the best effort of her five career starts.
“Ochoa had me beat by about a half-length early on,” said jockey Ricky Ramirez. “I don’t know what my filly saw about halfway through, but she pricked up her ears and tried to lug in on me. Once I straightened her out, she made a big run toward the end.”
One of three Blane Wood-trained All American Futurity entrants, Jess Send Me showed she was ready for the All American Futurity after winning her trial by one-and-one-half lengths with the fifth-fastest time of :21.302.
The Feature Mr Jess filly made five starts at Ruidoso Downs this summer and has responded with two wins, her second in the All American Futurity and a third in her Rainbow Futurity trial.
The lightly raced Tee Cos, owned by John Soileau’s JLS Speed Horse Ranch and Lyle Guillory, continued his improvement for three-time All American Futurity winner Paul Jones with his third-place finish. The Corona Cartel colt was third in his Ruidoso Futurity trial, second in his Rainbow Futurity trial and then won his All American Futurity trial by two lengths as the third-fastest qualifier with a :21.156 time.
Rodrigo Aceves was aboard Tee Cos in his first stakes appearance.
“The horse was going great, but they just beat him,” Aceves said.
A total of $624,961 was wagered on the All American Futurity and the total handle on the 12-race card was $1,506,200.
Following Tee Cos under the wire were Lotta Love For Robyn, Lethal Volt, Jess Cuervo, Denver Pass, Big Daddy Cartel, Mr Ease 123 and Bills Last.