Crowson Racing’s Charvet raced to a new track record of :19.151 for 400 yards and set the fastest-qualifying to the record-setting Grade 1, $822,000 Ruidoso Derby on Saturday afternoon at Ruidoso Downs.
The $822,000 purse for the June 8 derby surpasses the previous record of $702,896 set two years ago.
The previous track record of :19.186 was set in 2007 by Separate Bet.
The qualifying times were impacted by a wind change from a head wind to a tail wind between the fifth and sixth of eight trials. The top-nine qualifiers came out of the last three trials with Charvet, aided by a 15 miles per hour tail wind, winning the final trial.
The only qualifier who was not in the final three trials was Wicked Courage, who raced to the 10th-fastest time of :19.553 while winning the first trial and facing a 25 mph head wind.
A $25,000 supplemental nominee, Charvet ran a mistake-free race under Esgar Ramirez, who was also aboard Grade 1, $750,000 Ruidoso Futurity fastest-qualifier One Quick Eagle on Friday afternoon. “This is the first time,” Ramirez said of having the fastest qualifiers to a Grade 1 futurity and an accompanying Grade 1 derby at Ruidoso Downs. “It’s great to be on top and I’m very blessed to be in this position. I’m thankful to everyone who has helped me get here.
“I expected a good race (from Charvet), but not a track record. We had help with the wind.”
It was also a futurity/derby fastest-qualifying double for second-year sire One Famous Eagle, the sire of One Quick Eagle and Charvet. He was the 2012 leading freshman sire and sired 2012 world champion and All American Futurity winner One Dashing Eagle.
The track record is – so far – a career-defining race for Charvet. The gelding has been in improving form for trainer Victor Rodriguez-Flores. He made his stakes debut in his previous start and finished third in the $136,000 Oklahoma Derby at Remington Park. He has three wins from seven starts and will be lining up best field he has ever faced in the Ruidoso Derby.
Also qualifying out of Charvet’s record-setting trial were third-fastest qualifier Tayte Me Down (:19.220), Kat Quick (:19.319) and Mr Perry Cartel (:19.505).
Owned by the partnership of R.D. Hubbard, Johnny Cope and Butch Southway, A Dream To Remember has the second-fastest qualifying time and nearly broke the track record in the sixth trial. She raced the 400 yards in :19.205 with G.R. Carter aboard.
A Dream To Remember won her trial by a neck over fourth-fastest qualifier Pyro, who raced to a time of :19.248. Also qualifying out of the sixth trial were First Alibi Snow (:19.322) and Sugardaddy B (:19.364).
A daughter of Corona Cartel and the legendary Louisiana sprinter Hallowed Dreams (TB), A Dream To Remember was third in the All American Juvenile and then went on to win the $300,000 Hobbs America Futurity at Zia Park. She was making her first start since a second in the Grade 1, $250,000 Southwest Juvenile Championship back in November when she started in the Ruidoso Derby trials.
“The wind was in our favor, but it still takes a good horse and she’s a great filly,” said trainer Paul Jones. “Lisa (Saumell) had her in tip-top shape.” Saumell runs the Jones operation in New Mexico while Jones is based in Southern California.
The 2014 Ruidoso Derby could set another purse record. A year ago, there were 319 horses eligible to this year’s Ruidoso Derby and now there are 326 horses with eligibility to the 2014 Ruidoso Derby.
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2013 Ruidoso Derby Unofficial Qualifiers
Horse/Trial # Trainer Jockey Wind Time
Charvet/8 V. Rodriguez-Flores Esgar Ramirez 15t 19.151
A Dream to Remember/6 Paul Jones G.R. Carter 15t 19.205
Tayte Me Down/8 Mike Robbins Jose Alvarez 15t 19.220
Pyro/6 Judd Kearl Roberto Valero 15t 19.248
Kat Quick/8 Cody Joiner Ramon Sanchez 15t 19.319
First Alibi Snow/6 Kris Cordova Esgar Ramirez 15t 19.322
Ill Stop the World/7 Chris Zamora Larry Gamez 15t 19.347
Sugar Daddy B/6 Blane Wood Ricky Ramirez 15t 19.364
Mr Perry Cartel/8 Kris Cordova Sal Martinez 15t 19.505
Wicked Courage/1 L Villafranco G.R. Carter 25h 19.553