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Racing News Blog

Ever wondered what exactly a Trifecta is or who's who in the horse racing industry?  Welcome to the Racing News Blog! Our racing stories will help you learn more about the rich history of the horse racing world and maybe even help you out with your betting strategy.


Play California Chrome, Beholder on Saturday at Billy's

Ty Wyant

           The world’s number-one ranked thoroughbred California Chrome and premier mare on the dirt Beholder head a stellar lineup in five Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” Challenge races to be run on Saturday.

            The entire Santa Anita program featuring California Chrome and Beholder will be simulcast at Billy’s Race Book adjacent to Ruidoso Downs. First post time is 1:30 p.m.

            The winners of each Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” Challenge race earns a spot in a Breeders’ Cup race on November 4-5.

            North America’s all-time leading money earner with $13,252,650, 5-year-old California Chrome has arrived at Santa Anita from his base at Los Alamitos to compete in the Grade 1, $300,000 Awesome Again Stakes.

            Winner of the 2014 Santa Anita and Kentucky derbies, California Chrome comes off a smashing score in the Grade 1, $1-million Pacific Classic on August 20 and has now won five races in a row, including the Group 1, $10 million Dubai World Cup on March 26.

            Trained by Art Sherman and owned by California Chrome, LLC, the California-bred horse by Lucky Pulpit is tentatively scheduled to begin stud duty at Taylor Made Farm in Kentucky following the inaugural $12,000,000 Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park on January 28.

            Three-time Eclipse champion Beholder heads the fillies and mares nominated to the $300,000 mile-and-one sixteenth Zenyatta Stakes. It will serve has her prep race for the Grade 1, $2 million Breeders’ Cup Distaff. The Richard Mandella-trained Beholder chases a record fourth Zenyatta win

            Beholder is expected to face rival Eclipse winner Stellar Wind. The two have raced against each other twice this year. Beholder won the Grade I Vanity Mile at Santa Anita on June 4 and Stellar Wind, last year’s Eclipse Award winning 3-year-old filly, upset Beholder in the Grade I Clement Hirsch at Del Mar on July 30.

            For complete Ruidoso Downs’ information, go to, visit the Ruidoso Downs Race Track and Casino Facebook page and follow the Ruidoso Press Box (@RuiPressBox) on Twitter.



Imperial Eagle, The Marfa Lights Provide All American Futurity Show

Ty Wyant

            Charles Robinson’s Imperial Eagle scored a game win over The Marfa Lights in the Grade 1, $3-million All American Futurity and jockey Esgar Ramirez became just the fourth rider to score the derby-futurity double in the same year.

            Ramirez won the Grade 1, $2,415,084 All American Derby on Ec Jet One on Sunday afternoon.

            The other jockeys to complete the double are Billy Hunt (twice), Juan Vazquez and Ramon Sanchez.

            Imperial Eagle and The Marfa Lights, owned by Beth and Michael Harper, were expected to be among the late running horses in the All American Futurity and they put on an historic show. They went past Coronas First Diva about 100 yards from the wire and then battled on even terms to the finish line. Imperial Eagle prevailed by a neck with a :21.478 time for the 440 yards.

            “I had a clean trip. My horse broke really good,” said Ramirez. “Everybody was hollering and he tried to beat the gate, but he still got a real good break. The six horse (Coronas First Diva) was in front of me a neck at most, and I asked my horse to keep going. The longer he goes, the better he gets.”

            The top-two finishers are sired by One Famous Eagle, who became the second stallion to have four offspring qualify for an All American Futurity. All-time leading sire First Down Dash also performed the feat.

            Sara Leann Morgan’s Coronas First Diva managed third, three quarters of a length behind The Marfa Lights. Ruidoso Futurity winner Apolltical Chad was just another nose back for fourth.

            Imperial Eagle, a $48,000 Ruidoso Select Yearling Sale purchase, earned $1.5-million for the narrow win. The Marfa Lights earned $450,000.

            Trained by Tony Sedillo, Imperial Eagle showed his 440-yard capability when he won his All American Futurity trial by one-and-three-quarter lengths in :21.499, the fastest time from 15 trials on the first of two days of trials.

            Imperial Eagle was moved up to second place in the $207,000 West Texas Futurity after multiple disqualifications. The gelding then won his trials to the Ruidoso, Rainbow and All American futurities. The All American Futurity win was his fourth consecutive win and first stakes victory.

            “My parents, Christine and Leddie Sedillo, said you're gonna win it,” said Sedillo. “They were involved in the horse industry my whole life. They helped me and followed me everywhere I went. They were my biggest supporters since I started in this business. Every time I would get beat, they'd say, don't worry about it, you'll be back.”

            Imperial Eagle’s dam, Jenuine Joy, is owned by Fredda Draper of Ruidoso Downs and she is the breeder of Imperial Eagle. Her husband, the late Carl Draper, was a two-time winning trainer of the All American Futurity.

            Runner-up The Marfa Lights, a $145,000 Ruidoso Select Yearling Sale purchase, ran a gallant race for Larry Payne and trainer Jim Helzer.

            Helzer owned 1990 All American Futurity winner Refrigerator, who was the all-time leading money earner and is still third on the all-time leading money earning list at $2,126,309.

            The Marfa Lights was making his fourth career start. After a fourth-place run in his debut, he won his Rainbow Futurity trial by one-half length and then stormed to a two-and-three-quarter-length win in his All American Futurity trial. His time of :21.510 was the second-fastest time on the first day of trials, just about a neck off Imperial Eagle’s mark of :21.499. “I had a pretty good trip except for the start,” said Payne. “My colt is a real nervous type colt, and when the horse next to him flipped (Koolnfamous) he spun his head around a little bit and kind of got a little off sync. We got him pointed back down the racetrack. I broke a length behind the four and the six (Coronas First Diva) and in this quality of race you can’t spot them anything. My horse ran real well on the end, he made up a lot of ground, we just couldn’t get the job done.

            “He’s a great horse. They just got the best of us today. That’s horse racing.”

            The colt has one of the premier pedigrees in quarter horse racing and with his strapping good looks, is one of the top stallion prospects in training. His dam is 2001 champion two-year-old Your First Moon. She has produced two-time champion Moonist and 2016 Grade 1 winner Moonin The Eagle. This female family traces directly to the Vessels Stallion Farm’s blue-hen producer Do Good.

            Coronas First Diva was the highest placing filly with her third-place finish.

            The daughter of Corona Cartel and champion Spit Curl Diva won the $440,000 Oklahoma Futurity and qualified for the $1-million Heritage Place Futurity at Remington Park on June 4.

            Trainer Charles “Duke” Shults then waited for the All American Futurity trials with Coronas First Diva. She responded with a one-and-one-half length trial win in :21.500, the fastest qualifying time on the second day of trials.

            In the $500,000 All American Juvenile for two-year-olds who did not qualify for the All American Futurity, J&M Racing and Farm’s Jm Mister Destiny simply ran away from his competition to get the one-and-one-quarter-length victory in :21.560 for the 440 yards.

            After an especially clean start, jockey Manuel Gutierrez had an easy trip to the finish line to give Jm Mister Destiny his third-consecutive win,

            Twig finished second by neck over favored Teller Baja.

            Jm Mister Destiny has shown steady improvement this summer for trainer Paul Jones and Lisa Saumell, who runs Jones’ New Mexico operation. The Mr Jess Perry-sired gelding was a close third in his Ruidoso Futurity trial and then won his Rainbow Futurity trial by one length. The half-brother to two-time champion Fdd Dynasty also scored in his All American Futurity trial when he won by a neck as the odds-on favorite.

            Rose Mary Chandler’s Twig won her maiden in her sixth start with a one-length score in her All American Futurity trial. Trainer Toby Keeton had Ramirez in the saddle.

            Juan Medina’s Teller Baja was the most accomplished runner coming into the Juvenile with $379,058 in earnings, more than the rest of the field combined. The Teller Cartel-sired filly picked up the bulk of her earnings when she won the $888,000 Remington Park Oklahoma-bred Futurity. Jose Amador Alvarez rode for trainer Judd Kearl.

            The leading older New Mexico-bred thoroughbreds raced in the $50,000 Ruidoso New Mexico Thoroughbred Championship while the leading state-bred two-year-old males met in the $152,974 Rio Grande Senor Thoroughbred Futurity.

            D E Lover missed the Ruidoso Downs’ six-furlong track record by just .01 with a runaway victory in the Ruidoso New Mexico Thoroughbred Championship. He was timed in 1:08.81. Jack Wilson set the track record of 1:08.80 in 1992.

            Tony Sedillo and Leroy Martinez’s D E Lover, the even-money choice, took the lead heading into the turn. He extended his advantage under Christian Santiago Reyes with every stride until he won by a dominating six-and-three-quarter lengths.

            Golly Gee finished second by one-half length over Thermal.

            Trained by All American Futurity winning trainer Sedillo, D E Lover cruised to his third-consecutive victory, all at Ruidoso Downs. He destroyed an allowance field over seven-and-one-half furlongs on July 4 and then secured his favoritism in the Thoroughbred Championship with a late-running one-and-one-half length win over Thermal and Golly Gee in the $50,000 Sierra Blanca Handicap on July 31.

            In the Senor Futurity, Thunder Dome held safe a late-charging Another Brother to gain his first stakes win in 1:03.75 for the five-and-one-half furlongs. Happy Hennessy was three-and-one-half-lengths back for third.

            Thunder Dome took the lead entering the stretch before Another Brother, the even-money favorite, mounted his late run.

            An $8,000 Ruidoso Sale bargain, Thunder Dome is owned W.D. Carson Sr., M.H. Carson Jr. and Leach Racing, LLC.

            Ricardo Jaime was up for the three-quarter-length win.

            The Dome-sired Thunder Dome was second in each of his first two starts in maiden races. The gelding then came through for trainer Dallas Barton with a four-and-one-half length win in his Senor Futurity trial.

            R.D. Hubbard’s homebred Another Brother was also second in the Mountain Top Futurity for trainer Todd Fincher. The Attila’s Storm gelding has two wins and three second-place runs from five starts. Glen Murphy was up.

            The Fred Danley-owned and -trained Happy Hennessy, a gelding by Roll Hennessy Roll, scored his fourth-consecutive third-place finish. He was also third in the Copper Top Futurity and the Totah Stakes. Alfredo Juarez Jr. was the jockey.

            The Labor Day attendance of 24,515 was the second-highest in Ruidoso Downs’ history. Last year, the attendance was a record 24,815. The four-day attendance on Labor Day weekend was 53,854.



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Ec Jet One Leads Strong Kearl Barn in All American Derby

Ty Wyant

             Enrique Carrion’s homebred Ec Jet One raced to his sixth-consecutive win and the most important victory of his 10-race career when he flew past his rivals in the last 100 yards to win the Grade 1, $2,415,084 All American Derby at Ruidoso Downs on Sunday afternoon.

            The 440-yard All American Derby offers the largest purse of any derby in quarter horse racing. EC Jet One’s connections will take $1,014,170 for the win.

            Kelly Yearsley Equine’s Celtic Emblem, a 26-1 longshot, was second and Dwayne Saucier’s Brave Heart Won finished third.

            Led by Ec Jet One, trainer Judd Kearl finished first, third and fourth. “It's great to have three of the four hit the board,” said Kearl.

            Ec Jet One, under a confident ride from Esgar Ramirez, broke straight and true from the starting gate with plenty of racing room after the first 50 yards. Ramirez lightly hit him on the right side and Ec Jet One steadily accelerated. He was the dominant horse in the final 100 yards.

            “He got in the gate and stood there waiting for the gate to open, said Ramirez. “He broke really sharp. When the gate opened, he was right there with the six horse (Volcom Bay). He bobbled just a little bit, kind of side to side, but I never felt him take a bad step.

            “He was strong every single jump. Four-forty, you know, is a mental thing. You have to wait for the final kick. I know this horse has a final kick, so I knew he was going to be stronger finishing than at the start.”

            Ramirez qualified three horses for the All American Derby and chose the correct horse in Ec Jet One.

            A son of The Louisiana Cartel, Ec Jet One was clocked in :21.490 for the one-half length score. It was just a head between Celtic Emblem and Brave Heart Won.

            Ec Jet One is unbeaten since a sixth-place finish in the $1.1-million Texas Classic Futurity back in November. He was the premier horse at Hialeah Park last winter with wins in the $204,000 South Florida Derby and the $200,000 Hialeah Derby.

            “He's the king of Hialeah. His nickname around the barn is ‘Gorilla’,” said Kearl. “He's a big ole happy horse. He's just a gorilla. He's just been super.”

            The Juan Aleman-trained Celtic Emblem was overlooked in the wagering despite winning his two previous races, his All American and Rainbow derby trials.

            Ricky Ramirez picked up the mount on Celtic Emblem after he was qualified by Esgar Ramirez.

            The Apollitical Jess-sired Brave Heart Won was second in last fall’s Black Gold 440 Championship and won his All American Derby trial

            Brave Heart Won was ridden by Joe Badilla Jr.

            Bennie and Teresa Jeter’s Volcom Bay completed Kearl’s domination of the top four spots. The Volcom-sired filly was second to champion Jess Good Candy in the $1,069,000 Ruidoso Derby.

            Also on the superlative program were the All American Gold Cup, the Rio Grande Senorita Futurity and the First Down Dash.

            In the Grade 1, $200,000 All American Gold Cup over 440 yards, Telesforo Perrett’s Zoomin Effortlessly overwhelmed his rivals with an easy one-length score in a quick :21.091.

            Santos Carrizales was the jockey for trainer Edelmiro Carrizales.

            One of the leading older horses in the nation, Zoomin Effortless reeled off six-consecutive wins before crossing the finish line first in the Grade 1, $250,000 Remington Park Championship. He set a track record, however was disqualified following a post-race test.

            “Well, sometimes those things happen. I don’t know what happened,” said trainer Carrizales about the Remington Park Championship. “I got him back after that race and took him to Retama and kept him there for a couple of months. And then I told my brother (jockey Santos Carrizales) that, hey, he deserves to run over here in this race in New Mexico. So we planned on this race.”

            During his winning streak, Zoomin Effortlessly raced to wins in the The Championship at Sunland Park, the Leo Stakes, the Refrigerator Handicap and three listed stakes.

            Ted Abrams’ Jessies First Down finished second for trainer Kearl. The Fdd Dynasty-sired gelding came into the All American Gold Cup in peak form. He won the Sam Houston Classic back in May and then took some time off before preparing for the Gold Cup with an impressive allowance win at Ruidoso Downs.

            Cody Jensen was up on Jessies First Down.

            Valeriano Racing Stables, LLC’s Politicaly Correct finished third, two lengths behind Jessies First Down. The gelding from the Adrian Huitron stable was making his 2016 debut. A year ago, he was second in the $370,000 Heritage Place Derby and qualified for the Grade 1, $2.3 million All American Derby.

            The $191,077 Rio Grande Senorita Futurity was the most important thoroughbred stakes on the program and the Todd Fincher show. The trainer qualified seven of the 10 runners.

            R.D. Hubbard’s homebred Sippin, one of the Fincher entrants, started from the inside post position and jockey Christian Santiago Reyes let her settle behind horses. He then took her out and pushed her between horses entering the turn of the five-and-one-half furlong race.

            Sippin then circled the field to get up and win in the final strides by one-half length.

            A daughter of Swissle Stick and the Giant’s Causeway mare Samba Queen was timed in 1:05.28.

            Bret King and Dale Taylor’s Vocally, another Fincher trainee, was second.

            Kirk and Judy Robison’s homebred Back Seat Kiss, trained by Joel Marr, was third, one-and-one-half lengths behind Vocally.

            Sippin, the odds-on favorite, is undefeated from three starts and now has her first stakes win. She won her maiden at first asking by five-and-one-quarter lengths and then took her Senorita trial by seven lengths.

            Vocally has two wins and two second-place runs from four starts. She narrowly won the Kendrick Memorial at SunRay Park and then was second as the favorite in the Turquoise Stakes at Ruidoso Downs.

            The Indian Firewater daughter was ridden by Alfredo Juarez Jr.

            The Miguel Fuentes Jr.-ridden Back Seat Kiss was making just her second career start and stepped forward with her third-place finish.

            The Fincher starters finished first, second, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth.

            In the $100,000 First Down Dash for three-year-olds that did not qualify for the All American Derby, Two Feathers Series, LLC’s Stevie B First Cash ran away from a deep field to gain the facile win in :21.666 for the 440 yards. He was the 3-1 favorite.

            Starting from the inside post position, Stevie B First Cash broke very well and had the race in hand by the halfway mark. Then the striking son of First Down Dash and two-time champion Spit Curl Diva pulled away for the one-length win under Jose Amador Alvarez.

            Secretzzoom was second by neck over Governor Pete.

            Stevie B First Cash has thrived this summer at Ruidoso Downs for trainer Bret Vickery. The colt easily won an allowance race back on May 30 and then took his Rainbow Derby trial by two-and-one-quarter lengths.

            A $119,000 Ruidoso Select Yearling purchase, Stevie B First Cash gained his black type when he ran third in the Grade 1, $1,224,000 Rainbow Derby to Valiant Rogue. He did not make the All American Derby finals after finishing a neck behind derby runner-up Celtic Emblem. Stevie B First Cash was the 3-2 favorite in the trial.

            “He’s a really big horse,” said Vickery. “He was immature as a two-year-old but as he’s gotten older he’s gotten better. And for some reason he really likes Ruidoso. He likes the distance and he rockets away from the gate. He seems to be getting bigger, stronger and more mature as he’s getting older, so we’re looking for big things from him in the future.”

            Valle Guadiana Corporation’s Secretzzoom won the $100,000 Mr Jess Perry back in June for his standout win from 11 career starts. Adrian A. Ramos was up.

            Valeriano Racing Stables’ Governor Pete, a member of the strong Toby Keeton barn, gained his only win his year in his trial to the Grade 1, $1.2 million Ruidoso Derby. The gelding was second to All American Derby winner Ec Jet One in their All American Derby trial.