Crowson Racing’s One Quick Eagle and Johnny Trotter’s homebred Strategic Weapon finished first and second in their trial with the top-two qualifying times and are set for a rematch in the Grade 1, $750,000 Ruidoso Futurity on Sunday afternoon at Ruidoso Downs.
The classic 350-yard Ruidoso Futurity offers the largest purse in the race’s 21-year history.
It could be an amazing weekend for One Quick Eagles connections: Crowson Racing, breeder Bobby Cox, trainer Victor Rodriguez-Flores, jockey Esgar Ramirez and sire One Famous Eagle. The fastest qualifier to Saturday’s Grade 1, $822,000 Ruidoso Derby, Charvet, has the same connections. The 400-yard Ruidoso Derby also has an all-time record purse. Record purses are also expected for the remaining Grade 1 races at Ruidoso Downs: the Rainbow Futurity, Rainbow Derby, All American Futurity and All American Derby.
One Quick Eagle and Strategic Weapon each have only one official start — their Ruidoso Futurity trial — yet have a budding rivalry. They were both in the same unofficial schooling race on May 7 and Strategic Weapon scored a narrow win with the fastest time of 15.49 for 300 yards from the three days of schooling races.
Then, by the luck of the draw, they drew into the same Ruidoso Futurity trial from 25 trials.
One Quick Eagle got the win when it counted and raced to the fastest-qualifying time of :17.255 for 350 yards. From the hot Blane Wood barn, Strategic Weapon raced to the second-fastest time of :17.327.
Wood, along with son Trey, have been on a roll with their two-year-old division. Blane won eight Ruidoso Futurity trials, seven winners with Ricky Ramirez riding, while Trey won the Grade 1,075,000 Heritage Place Futurity last Saturday night with Big Biz Perry, who will arrive at Ruidoso Downs in a few weeks to point at the All American Futurity.
One Quick Eagle drew the fourth post position with Esgar Ramirez aboard
Strategic Weapon starts from the ninth post position with Ricky Ramirez up.
One Quick Eagle and Strategic Weapon are two of six horses in the Ruidoso Futurity who made their career debuts in the Ruidoso Futurity trials on May 24.
The other one-time starters are trial winners You N How Many More, El Senor Lucero, Cartel Quick, and trial second-place finisher Sufired.
KH Logax Inc.’s You N How Many More impressed with a one-and-three-quarter length trial win under Jaime Parga-Leos. His time of :17.347 was the third-fastest qualifying mark.
You N How Many More drew the 10th post position with Parga-Leos riding.
Robert Gerhardt’s Three Wild Dream has the most experience of the 10 finalists. The Tres Seis gelding has four starts with a fourth in the Grade 1 West Texas Futurity before winning his Ruidoso Futurity trial by three quarters of a length.
Three Wild Dreams starts from the first post position and Manuel Gutierrez handling the reins.
First post time is 1 p.m. with racing on a Friday through Monday schedule.