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.