Jim Pitts’ undefeated Sam Houston Futurity winner Especially Tres and Heritage Place Futurity runner-up Hes Relentless head the record-setting Grade 1, $2.6 million All American Futurity on closing day, Labor Day, at Ruidoso Downs.
The $2.6 million purse for the 440-yard All American Futurity is an all-time record for the stakes and distributes the largest purse of any two-year-old horserace in North America. The purse surpasses the record purse of $2.4 million in 2011-2012.
The American Futurity trials were held over two days for the first time this year. The horses racing to the five-fastest times on each day reached the finals and the opportunity to race for the record $1.3 million winner’s share. The total of 28 trials, 14 on each day, is an all-time record. There were 26 trials held on one day in 2011-12.
The nation’s top-ranked two-year-old quarter horse, Especially Tres pushed her record to four-for-four when she dominated her All American Futurity trial by a stunning three-and-one-half lengths. Her time of :21.191 was the second-fastest time behind Hes Relentless on the first day of trials.
From the deep Blane Wood stable, Especially Tres has won her four races by an amazing 11 lengths. She won the Sam Houston Futurity by one-and-one-half lengths and then shipped to Ruidoso Downs. In her local debut, the Dashair daughter moved on the shortest list of All American Futurity prospects when she nearly broke the 350-yard track record while winning by three-and-one-quarter lengths.
Ricky Ramirez, the only rider Especially Tres has known, is aboard with the inside post position.
Hes Relentless, the fifth-ranked juvenile in the national poll, was supplemented to the All American Futurity trials for $50,000 after owner Tom Maher sold half-interest in the colt to R.D. Hubbard and Johnny Cope. One Famous Eagle, the sire of Hes Relentless, also sired 2012 world champion and All American Futurity winner One Dashing Eagle from his first crop to race.
Trained by Amber Blair, Hes Relentless was second by a head in the Grade 1, $1 million Heritage Place Futurity for the only blemish on his record from four career starts. The strapping colt was brought to Ruidoso Downs after that runner-up effort on June 1. He powered his way to a one-half length win in his trial and his time of :21.021 topped the first-day qualifiers.
Cody Rodger Smith rides Hes Relentless with the seventh post position.
Leading the second-day qualifiers and posting the overall fastest time was JNB Enterprises’ Wagon Tales, the seventh-ranked two-year-old. The Judd Kearl-trained colt raced to a one-length trial win in :21.021. The son of Pyc Paint Your Wagon won the Remington Park Juvenile and then was third, beaten by a neck, in the Heritage Place Futurity before being pointed at the All American Futurity trials.
Wagon Tales drew the outside post position in the 10-horse field and Rodrigo Vallejo has the mount.
Other horses in the very deep All American Futurity include $720,000 Remington Park Oklahoma-bred Futurity runner-up Houdini (the seventh-ranked two-year-old), Grade 1, $750,000 Ruidoso Futurity second-place finisher You N How Many More (the 10th-ranked juvenile), Grade 1, $400,000 Zia Futurity winner Handsome Jack Flash, Easy Jet Stakes winner Skuze Pleeze and Reagal Eagle, who was the fastest qualifier on the first day of trials to the Grade 1, $1 million Rainbow Futurity.
Racing runs on a Friday through Monday schedule at Ruidoso Downs with a noon first post time on Friday through Sunday and a 12:30 first post time on Labor Day. There is always free parking and free general admission.
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