Hes Relentless and Especially Tres, who each hold spots among the top-10 horses in the national poll, set the pace with the top-two times from the 14 trials to the Grade 1, $2.4 million All American Futurity on Thursday afternoon at Ruidoso Downs.
The All American Futurity has the largest purse of any two-year-old horserace in North America, regardless of breed.
The horses with the five-fastest times on Thursday join the horses with the five-fastest times from the 14 trials on Friday in the 440-yard All American Futurity on Labor Day.
Other top-10 horses in the weekly AQHAracing.com/Horseplayernow.com national poll did not fare as well in the trials. Seventh-ranked Coronado Cartel could appear in the All American Juvenile while top-ranked Big Biz Perry and fifth-ranked Wr Golden Eagle did not record times in the top-10 marks on Thursday afternoon.
The other horse assured a spot in the All American Futurity is Houdini. Fly Thru The Fire and You N How Many More shared a fifth-fastest time of :21.267 and there will be a blind shake in the racing office at 8 a.m. on Friday to determine who receives the fifth spot.
The Amber Blair-trained Hes Relentless should move up from his 10th spot in the poll after his impressive win over third-fastest qualifier Handsome Jack Flash in the eighth trial. The Cody Rodger Smith-ridden Hes Relentless was timed in :21.148 for the 440 yards while Handsome Jack Flash received a :21.209 time.
A $50,000 supplemental nominee to enter the trials, the powerful Hes Relentless easily held off Handsome Jack Flash for his fourth win from five career starts. The One Famous Eagle son’s only setback was when he was second by a head in the Grade 1, $1 million Heritage Place Futurity behind Big Biz Perry.
Owned by R.D. Hubbard, Johnny Cope and Tom Maher, Hes Relentless won his maiden at first asking and then took his Heritage Place Futurity trial by more than four lengths in :17.233 for 350 yards, the top time from the first of two days of Heritage Place Futurity trials.
Hes Relentless was solely owned by Maher for the Heritage Place Futurity. Hubbard and Cope obtained their interest about a month ago after the colt arrived at Ruidoso Downs.
Jim Pitt’s Especially Tres, the fourth-ranked horse in last week’s poll, continued her domination of her rivals with a three-and-one-half length trial win with the second-fastest time of :21.191 under regular rider Ricky Ramirez. The Dashair filly moved to the upper tier of the two-year-old ranks when she won the Sam Houston Futurity by one and one-half-lengths back in April.
Trainer Blane Wood, who sent out the top-two finishers in the Grade 1, $1 million Rainbow Futurity, brought Especially Tres to Ruidoso Downs and entered her in the John Deere Ruidoso Downs Juvenile trials. She pulled out to an easy three-and-one-quarter-length win and nearly broke the Ruidoso Downs’ 350-yard track record.
Especially Tres has now won her four races by a combined 11 lengths.
Handsome Jack Flash, owned by Norma and Brenda Alvarez with breeder Debra Laney, sustained his first defeat after three wins against New Mexico-breds. The Juan Gonzalez-trained gelding by First Moonflash won the $409,000 Zia Futurity in his start before the All American Futurity trials.
Houdini, another $50,000 supplemental nominee, was second in the $720,000 Remington Park Oklahoma-bred Futurity by a nose to Coronado Cartel. Trainer Luis Villafranco then brought Houdini to Ruidoso Downs and he won his Rainbow Futurity trial by one-and-one-half lengths before taking his All American Futurity trial by the same margin under Cody Jensen.
The shake will involve the unbeaten Fly Thru the Fire – owned by Hubbard, Cope and Butch Southway – and KH Logax Inc.’s homebred Ruidoso Futurity runner-up You N How Many More,
Fly Thru The Fire, a son of Walk Thru Fire, won his Ruidoso Futurity trial for trainer Paul Jones in his career debut and then his All American Futurity trial under Cody Jensen.
After finishing second by a nose in the Grade 1, $750,000 Ruidoso Futurity, You N How Many More won his Rainbow Futurity trial before dominating his All American Futurity trial by two-and-three-quarter lengths under Jaime Parga Leos.
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Unofficial All American Futurity Qualifiers
Thursday, 8/15/13, Day 1
(There will be a shake for the fifth and final spot)
Horse/Day/Trial # Trainer Jockey Wind Time
Hes Relentless/d1/t8 Amber Blair Cody R. Smith 4t 21.148
Especially Tres/d1/t2 Blane Wood Ricky Ramirez 10h 21.191
Handsome Jack Flash/d1/t8 Juan Gonzalez Jaime Leos 4t 21.209
Houdini/d1/t1 Luis Villafranco Cody Jensen 5h 21.233
Fly Thru the Fire /d1/t3 Paul Jones Cody Jensen 6h 21.267
You N How Many More/d1/t5 Juan Gonzalez Jaime Leos 4h 21.267
Top All American Juvenile prospects (along with loser of shake)
Wagon Cash/d1/t11 Paul Jones Cody Jensen 5h 21.320
Her O Don Won/d1/t8 Russell Harris Larry Payne 4t 21.339
Coronado Cartel/d1/t10 Eddie Willis Jimmy Brooks 0 21.385
This Dude Can Fly/d1/t3 Eddie Willis Jimmy Brooks 6h 21.344