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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.


Ruidoso Season Starts Friday With Two Days of Ruidoso Futurity Trials

Ty Wyant

          The Ruidoso Downs racing season starts on Friday with the start of the summer long million-dollar theme when the trials to the Grade 1, $1-million Ruidoso Futurity fill the first two days of racing action.

            The horses with the five-fastest times on each trial day advance to the 350-yard Ruidoso Futurity on June 11. There are 246 juvenile prospects entered in the two afternoons of trials.

            First post time for the Ruidoso Futurity trials is the usual first post time of 1 p.m. and there will be 13 350-yard trials held each day.

            On Sunday, the trials to the Grade 1, $1-million (est.) Ruidoso Derby are contested. The holiday weekend concludes on Monday afternoon with a full racing program.

            The first 700 fans who attend the races on Friday will receive a free bobble head of G.R. Carter Jr. with the purchase of a paid racing program. Carter is the all-time quarter horse jockey in wins and money earned. He is a member of the Ruidoso Downs’ Racehorse Hall of Fame.

            This year’s Ruidoso Futurity trials look to be extremely competitive and it is quite possible that unknown two-year-olds will emerge as prime prospects for the upcoming rich futurities at Ruidoso Downs. Following the Ruidoso Futurity, is the Grade 1, $1-million (est.) Rainbow Futurity on July 23 and the Grade 1, $3-million (est.) All American Futurity on Labor Day.

            Juan Medina’s homebred Eagle Jazz has joined the Judd Kearl barn at Ruidoso after a successful campaign this spring at Remington Park, capped by a very close second-place finish in the $913,850 Remington Park Oklahoma-bred Futurity back on April 22. That is his most recent start.

            Eagle Jazz held the lead at times, however lost the head-bobbing finish to La Vencedora, the co-number-one-ranked two-year-old in the nation. Eagle Jazz holds down the number-10 spot in the poll.

            A gelded son of One Dashing Eagle, Eagle Jazz won his two starts before the 330-yard Remington Park Oklahoma-bred Futurity. He dominated a maiden race by three quarters of a length and then set the second-fastest time on the second day of trials to the Remington Park Oklahoma-bred Futurity while winning his trial by three quarters of a length.

            Rodrigo Vallejo rides Eagle Jazz from the sixth post position in Saturday’s 13th race.

            J and M Racing and Farm’s Jm Katyln also brings a strong stakes resume into the Ruidoso Futurity trials. The Jose Ramirez-trained miss was a close third in the Grade 2, $230,132 West Texas Futurity when she was defeated by only a neck in the three-horse photo.

            A daughter of Christmas Cheer, Jm Katlyn is in Saturday’s sixth race with Manuel Gutierrez aboard and the inside post position.

            The horses with the fastest times from each of the three days of training races will make their career debuts in the Ruidoso Futurity trials.

            Tom Bradbury’s Surfin Corona Beach, a $39,000 Ruidoso Select Yearling Sale purchase, was much the best in her training race on the first day of training races. The Paul Jones-trained miss easily pulled away for a one-length win for owners R.D. Hubbard and Paul Blanchard. She was timed in :15.620 for the 300 yards.

            Surfin Corona Beach starts from the fifth post position in the fifth trial on Saturday. Gutierrez will be the jockey.

            Jorge Haddad’s Droff, a $22,000 Ruidoso Select Yearling Sale graduate, was a stunning winner of his second-day training race by nearly four lengths. The Fdd Dynasty son from the Jones barn was timed in :15.516, the third fastest time ever in a training race at Ruidoso Downs.

            Droff will be tested when he meet’s Eagle Jazz in Saturday’s final race. He has Gutierrez up with the third post position.

            The third day of training races had a strong headwind that slowed the horses. Terry and Irene Stennett’s U R My Queen, a $57,000 Ruidoso Select Sale graduate, led the day with a win in :16.098. The Blane Wood-trained daughter of Walk Thru Fire started on the lead and was just tapped by jockey Ricky Ramirez while winning well in hand.

            Ramirez has the mount with the seventh post position in Saturday’s 11th race.

            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.



All American Futurity Winner Strawberry Silk Dies at 30

Ty Wyant

            David and Susan Mackie’s Strawberry Silk, winner of the 1989 All American Futurity, died peacefully early Sunday morning in her stall at Lazy E Ranch in Guthrie, Okla. She was 30.

            David Mackie was told that Strawberry Silk was checked at 1:30 a.m. Sunday morning and was sleeping after eating all of her food. She was checked again at 3:30 and had deceased. There were no signs of struggle.

            Racing for Jacqueline Spencer, Strawberry Silk was honored as the 1989 champion two-year-old after she started 11 times for trainer Jack Brooks and earned $1,235,166. A daughter of the thoroughbred Beduino, Strawberry Silk won nine races with two second-place runs. The All American Futurity victory capped her championship year and she also scored a Grade 1 win in the Sun Country Futurity. She was second in the Kansas Futurity and the Rainbow Futurity.

            A study, according to Mackie, showed that Strawberry Silk was the highest money earning mare that had produced four graded stakes winners. Her graded stakes winners are champion Stoli, Whathaveigottado, Rousing Encore and Pappasito.

            Stoli raced to grade 1 wins in the West Texas Futurity and the All American Derby. He is the sire of world champion and All American Futurity winner Stolis Winner, All American Derby winner Dont Let Down and two-time champion Ketel Won.

            Strawberry Silk’s family produces at the highest level. Hez Our Boy, a qualifier to the $1,154,700 Heritage Place Futurity on June 3, is a son of Strawberry Silk’s daughter Strawberry Cartel.

            Strawberry Silk was one of the rarest of horses. All she did was everything asked of her for three decades. She is a member of the Ruidoso Downs Racehorse Hall of Fame.

            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.



Letter of Intent To Sell Ruidoso Downs Signed

Ty Wyant

            A group of five highly-successful businessmen who are heavily vested in the breeding and racing of American Quarter Horses and R.D. Hubbard have all signed a letter of intent that involves Hubbard selling Ruidoso Downs Race Track and the Ruidoso Horse Sale Company to the group.

            The individuals in the group are Stan Sigman, Gary McKinney, Narciso (Chicho) Flores and Johnny Trotter (all from Texas) and John Andreini of California.

            Hubbard, 81, bought Ruidoso Downs in 1988 with Dr. Ed Allred, who also owns Los Alamitos Race Course in California. Hubbard later purchased Allred’s interest in the Ruidoso facility.

            The prospective ownership group met Saturday morning in Oklahoma City and elected Sigman as its chair.

            “We are about to start our due diligence, and in due time we will start the process of gaining regulatory approval,” said Sigman.

            “It is our goal to close the deal in the fourth quarter of 2017,” he added.On Sunday morning, Ruidoso Downs president and general manager Shaun Hubbard said, “These men know Ruidoso Downs, and they are committed to keeping it as the best place in the nation for Quarter Horse racing.”

            R.D. Hubbard, an internationally acclaimed businessman, has been a leading Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse owner and breeder for decades and has had ownership in such other tracks as Hollywood Park, Los Alamitos, Zia Park, Turf Paradise and The Woodlands in addition to Ruidoso Downs. Hubbard owned a farm in Kentucky for many years and now has his Crystal Springs Farm located just a short drive from Ruidoso Downs. “Nothing will change at Crystal Springs, except maybe putting an All American Futurity winner in one of the paddocks,” Hubbard said.

            “I’m not about to quit racing. I still need to win the All American Futurity. We’re still breeding mares and still making babies” he said. “I’ll be at the sales this year buying horses.”

            During Hubbard’s ownership, the Grade 1 All American Futurity grew from a $2,000,000 purse in 1989 to $3,000,000 last year. The Grade 1 All American Derby went from $330,812 in 1989 to $2,415,984 last year.

            The Ruidoso Futurity G1 zoomed from $357,172 in 1989 (when it was the Kansas Futurity) to $1,000,000 in 2016. The Ruidoso Derby (formerly the Kansas Derby) went from $44,986 in 1989 to $1,068,631 in 2016.

            The Grade 1 Rainbow Futurity G1 was $447,630 the first year Hubbard owned the track. In 2016, it was $1,000,000. In the same time the Grade 1Rainbow Derby jumped from $398,231 to $1,324,488.

            Under Hubbard’s ownership, the Ruidoso Horse Sales Company has become the nation’s No. 1 seller (in dollar volume) of racing bred American Quarter Horse yearlings.

            Horses began entering the grounds this morning at Ruidoso Downs and the track opens for training on Friday. The Quarter Horse gates will be set next Monday (May 1), which is also the date for entry into the May 8-10 two-year-old training races. The meet opens on May 26.


—Ben Hudson