Rancho El Cabresto, Inc. Apollitical Blood made the fifth time the charm when he won the Grade 1, $2,378,383 All American Derby and favored Kiss My Hocks suffered from a horrid start on Sunday afternoon at Ruidoso Downs.
Apollitical Blood had qualified for four Grade 1 futurities and his best effort was a second in the $1,031,000 Golden State Futurity a year ago at Los Alamitos.
The All American Derby holds the largest purse of any quarter horse race for three-olds or older quarter horses. The only quarter horse race with a larger purse is the Grade 1, $3 million All American Futurity, which will be held on Labor Day at Ruidoso Downs.
Eduardo Nicascio guided Apollitical Blood, a son of 2010 world champion Apollitical Jess, over the 440 yards in :21.222. Nicasio pumped his fist in the air when the race was well in hand.
“I feel emotional because it’s the second time I’ve come for this race,” the Southern California-based Nicasio said. “The first time I was second with his dad (Apollitical Jess).”
Apollitical Blood crossed the finished line an easy one-and-three-quarter lengths in front of Terry Baber’s Sam Crow while third went to Fire Fortune, leased by trainer Paul Jones from Jaime Gomez. Fire Fortune was another one-half length back in third.
Kiss My Hocks finished last after a tardy start and not having a racing lane for a rally. “He was rooty today (in the gate). He got to rooting his head around and just missed the break,” jockey G.R. Carter Jr. said.
Apollitical Blood is now a top contender for a championship title and his value as a stallion prospect increased with this important Grade 1 win.
The strapping colt showed he is in peak form in his All American Derby trial when he dominated by two-and-one-quarter lengths with the fastest time of :21.352 for 440 yards. There were 12 deep All American Derby trials.
“He broke well, right with the pack, and stayed with them a little bit,” trainer Juan Aleman. “I got a little nervous when the jockey went right handed on him. He doesn’t like that and shifted a little bit. But, when he went back to the left hand, he shifted a gear and it was over.”
After racing in the $2,079,000 Los Alamitos Two Million in December, Aleman kept Apollitical Blood sidelined until the rich derbies at Ruidoso Downs this summer. He ran a throw-out, fourth-place effort in his Ruidoso Derby trial. Then Aleman decided to pass on the Rainbow Derby trials and point at the All American Derby trials.
The strategy paid off with a win worth $998,920 that raised his career earnings to $1,504,440.
Sam Crow has been consistent at the highest level. However, like Apollitical Blood until Sunday, has not quite got the major win. The Blane Wood-trained gelding was second in the $900,000 Rainbow Derby and third in the $2,600,000 All American Futurity.
Sired by Valiant Hero, Sam Crow was second in his All American Derby trial behind Mad About The Moon with the sixth-fastest qualifying time.
Regular rider Ricky Ramirez was on Sam Crow.
Fire Fortune, a gelding by Walk Thru Fire, was placed fourth through a disqualification in the Rainbow Derby. He then won his All American Derby trial by one-and-one-quarter lengths with the seventh-fastest qualifying time.
Cody Jensen was aboard Fire Fortune.
In the $100,000 First Down Dash at 440 yards for three-year-olds that did not qualify for the All American Derby, Heysol Howlet’s Pycs Little Lady burst from the gate to the lead and that proved to be the winning difference.
A daughter of Pyc Paint Your Wagon, Pycs Little Lady raced the 440 yards in :21.584 for the one-half-length win over Glock while Tenacious was third.
Pycs Little Lady gained her first win since taking her West Texas Derby trial back in March at Sunland Park. The Jaime Dominguez-trained miss raced to a fourth-place finish in the West Texas Derby.
Dominguez then brought her to Ruidoso Downs and she was the runner-up in her Rainbow Derby trial and her All American Derby trial.
Paul Blanchard’s Glock, a son of Foose, was second in the Grade 1, $800,000 Ruidoso Derby and qualified for the Rainbow Derby. He won his All American Derby trial by one-and-one-half lengths for trainer Paul Jones.
Owned by J Bar 7 Ranch, Dream Walkin Farm and Brenda Jones, Tenacious ran in the Corona Cartel at Ruidoso Downs and was second in his All American Derby trial. He is trained by Sleepy Gilbreath.