Johnny Trotter and Burnett Ranches, Ltd.’s Ms First Prize Rose battled with stable mare Belle Helene and gave trainer Blane Wood a one-two finish in the 50th running of the Grade 1, $1 million Rainbow Futurity at Ruidoso Downs on Sunday afternoon.
This was the first Rainbow Futurity with a $1 million purse, surpassing the previous $700,000 record purse set in 2011 and 2012.
“She got away a little slow. She was quicker in her trial,” said winning rider Ricky Ramirez. “Belle Helene had a length on me, but she really came on.”
Ms First Prize Rose scored a nose win in :19.540 for the 400 yards. Belle Helene was clocked in :19.550. It was just a neck between runner-up Belle Helene and third-place finisher Potenzza. Three noses, a head and two necks separated the top seven finishers in a true quarter-horse blanket finish.
“She is truly an exceptional individual,” said co-owner Trotter. “We’re in it for the long haul and she has a great family.” Her dam, First Carolina, won the Grade 1 Heritage Place Futurity and First Carolina’s dam is 2006 broodmare of the year First Prize Dash, a sister to world champion and all-time leading sire First Down Dash. First Carolina is also the dam of 2013 Remington Park Oklahoma-bred Futurity winner Coronado Cartel and 2013 Firecracker Futurity runner-up Itea.
The Guthrie, Texas-based 6666 Ranch, with the same ownership as Burnett Ranches, has one of the most potent stallion lineups in quarter horse racing and Ms First Prize Rose will eventually be bred to the 6666’s top stallions, probably including leading sire One Famous Eagle.
Trotter and Dr. Glenn Blodgett, manager of the horses operation at the 6666 Ranch and Burnett Ranches, are each members of the five-member American Quarter Horse Association executive committee.
The one-two finish for trainer Wood continues a sizzling summer for the conditioner and his two-year-olds seem to be peaking at the right time with the trials to the Grade 1, $2.6 million All American Futurity coming on August 15-16. He won eight trials to the Grade 1, $750,000 Ruidoso Futurity, his Sam Houston Futurity winner Especially Tres nearly broke the 350-yard Ruidoso Downs’ track record on Friday and he has Grade 1, $1,075,260 Heritage Place Futurity winner Big Biz Perry stabled in his barn.
“We’re really setting up well for the All American trials,” said Wood. “We changed our strategy. We used to get them ready early and then race them early and they would be used up by now. Now we still break them early, but we let them cruise. We just don’t want to get behind in their training.”
The Wood operation is too large to be micro-managed by one man and the trainer has an exceptional crew.
“I’m just ecstatic and so happy for our team. This is a team deal. Ricky (Ramirez), (son) Trey, (assistant trainer) Clay (Sparks) and the whole team deserve the credit.
“It’s been a great two years. We have good horses and great owners. We are just having fun and doing good. We’re enjoying it,” said Wood.
In the $50,000 Rainbow Juvenile, for horses who did not qualify for the Rainbow Futurity, the Eaves Family Horses Limited Partnership’s Indeed A Delight handled runner-up Db Captain King in the final 100 yards to win her maiden.
Indeed A Delight, out of 1999 broodmare of the year Fortune Of Delight, raced the 400 yards in :19.628 to score at 18-1 odds with Dusty Ryder Shepherd aboard.
Db Captain King was one-quarter length behind in second and it was one-half length back to third-place finisher The Zapata.
A daughter of Wave Carver from the Todd Fincher barn, Indeed A Delight has made each of her four starts at Ruidoso Downs and raced to a second in her Ruidoso Futurity trial and a third in her Rainbow Futurity trial.