Juan Medina’s homebred Eagle Jazz, quarter horse racing’s top-ranked two-year-old, races for the opportunity to earn $5.5-million when he starts in his trial to the Grade 1, $3-million All American Futurity on Saturday afternoon at Ruidoso Downs.
There will be 14 440-yard trials on Friday and then another 14 440-yard trials on Saturday. The horses with the five-fastest times from each day of trials advance to the iconic All American Futurity on Labor Day.
The $3-million purse is the largest purse of any two-year-old race in North America. The Kentucky Derby and the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile each have $2-million purses.
There will be a special 11:30 a.m. first post time on Friday and Saturday to accommodate the All American Futurity trials.
The first Select Foals in Utero Sale along with the New Mexico-bred Quarter Horse and Thoroughbred Sale follow the final trial on each day. It is held at the Sale Pavilion east of Ruidoso Downs.
Eagle Jazz has been brilliant this summer at Ruidoso Downs and if he wins the All American Futurity he will earn the $1.5-million winner’s share and the $4-million All American Triple Crown Bonus. He has earned $900,449. Therefore, his total earnings will reach the $6.4-million mark.
The current all-time leading money earning quarter horse is Ochoa at $2,781,365. He won the All American Futurity and the All American Derby.
No horse has taken the All American Triple Crown Bonus. It goes to the connections of any horse that can win the Grade 1 Ruidoso Futurity, the Grade 1 Rainbow Futurity and the Grade 1 All American Futurity.
Eagle Jazz has won the $1-million Ruidoso Futurity in a dead heat with Uptown Dynasty and then raced to a three-quarter-length victory in the $1-million Rainbow Futurity.
In order for Eagle Jazz to have a shot at the record-setting payday, he first must qualify for the All American Futurity.
A gelding by One Dashing Eagle, Eagle Jazz starts in Saturday’s 13th trial with the fourth post position. Rodrigo Sigala Vallejo has ridden Eagle Jazz in each of his four winning starts at Ruidoso Downs and retains the mount.
The primary nemesis for Eagle Jazz — Uptown Dynasty — also races on Saturday afternoon.
Melvin Neugebauer’s Uptown Dynasty finished in the dead heat for the win with Eagle Jazz in the Ruidoso Futurity. Uptown Dynasty had the lead and Eagle Jazz was able to rally and they finished on equal terms.
The two geldings met again in the Rainbow Derby with Uptown Dynasty finishing in second place with a valiant effort while Eagle Jazz scored the victory.
A son of Mr Jess Perry from the Wes Giles barn, Uptown Dynasty starts from the eighth post position in the third trial. Cipriano Uscanga Vidana, who was up in the Ruidoso Futurity, is in the saddle.
The first day of trials on Friday brings out the improving $100,000 Rainbow Juvenile winner Tough Dynasty 123 in the fifth trial; Grade 2, $304,000 Robert Adair Kindergarten winner Fire And Sass meeting $100,000 Ruidoso Juvenile winner Itsmyivory in the ninth trial and the undefeated $100,000 Ruidoso Juvenile winner Mr Perry Strong in the 11th trial.
Carolyn Bay’s homebred Tough Dynasty 123, a half-brother to world champion Cold Cash 123, looks like he will excel at the 440-yard distance of the All American Futurity trials. Cold Cash 123 raced to eight wins over 440 yards, including three victories over a quarter mile as a two-year-old
Tough Dynasty 123, a son of Fdd Dynasty, made his debut in the Rainbow Futurity trials and just missed the win by a nose. He returned in the 400-yard Rainbow Juvenile and surged to get the one-half length win.
Trainer Sleepy Gilbreath will have regular rider Jose Montoya on Tough Dynasty 123 with the eighth post position.
JGA Racing Stables, Inc.’s Fire And Sass, a $40,000 Ruidoso Select Yearling Sale purchase, looks for his first win since taking the 300-yard Kindergarten back in May at Los Alamitos. Since that one-half length score for trainer Juan Aleman, he was a close second in his Ed Burke Memorial Futurity trial and then came to Ruidoso Downs to finish a troubled fifth place in his Rainbow Futurity trial.
A gelding by Walk Thru Fire, Fire And Sass drew the ninth post position and Esgar Ramirez will be aboard.
Starting next to Fire And Sass in the eighth post position is the undefeated Itsmyivory making his Ruidoso Downs’ debut. Bobby Cox’s homebred Itsmyivory, a gelding by Ivory James, won his Sam Houston Futurity trial by two lengths, took his Heritage Place Futurity trial by one-and-one-half lengths and then capped his undefeated run with a one-half length score in the 350-yard Heritage Place Juvenile as the 3-2 choice.
Jose Amador Alvarez has the mount.
Lincon Farm And Ranch, LLC’s Mr Perry Strong makes his first start since winning the Ruidoso Juvenile by three quarters of a length on June 11. The Mike Joiner-trained gelding by Mr Jess Perry was a $25,000 Ruidoso Select Yearling Sale purchase.
L. Salvador Martinez has been aboard for each of his wins and will be up with the seventh post position.
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