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.
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