Sara Leann Morgan’s Coronas First Diva showed that a summer’s Ruidoso respite pays off for a racehorse after she sped to the fastest-qualifying time during the second day of trials to the Grade 1, $3-million All American Futurity on Saturday afternoon at Ruidoso Downs.
Saturday’s horses with the five-fastest times from 15 trials compete against the horses with the five-fastest times from Friday’s 15 trials in the 440-yard All American Futurity on Labor Day.
The All American Futurity offers the largest purse of any two-year-old horserace in the world. The winner takes $1.5 million.
The following five-fastest qualifiers from each day of trials gain preference for the $500,000 All American Juvenile, which formerly had a $200,000 purse.
Coronas First Diva burst from the starting gate in the 14th of 15 trials and went on to take the trial by one-and-one-quarter lengths and her time of :21.500 for the quarter mile was the quickest mark on the afternoon's program. The only jockey she has known, James A. Flores, was aboard.
“She always breaks like that, except in the Heritage Place Futurity,” said trainer Duke Shults.
Sired by Corona Cartel and out of two-time champion Spit Curl Diva, Coronas First Diva finished fifth in the Grade 1, $1,083,000 Heritage Place Futurity. That came after three-consecutive wins at Remington Park.
The highlight of Coronas First Diva’s winning streak was a three-quarter-length score in the Grade 3, $411,600 Oklahoma Futurity back in March.
Coronas First Diva has been in Ruidoso since mid-June. “We pointed her to the All American Futurity (trials). We wanted her to be ready and fresh,” said Shults.
The 14-time national champion Paul Jones stable sent out second-fastest qualifier One Hot Habit and it gives Jones the opportunity to win his fourth All American Futurity.
Turner Farms’ One Hot Habit got a competitive start from the inside post position and had the lead within the first 100 yards. The Walk Thru Fire filly grabbed more ground with each stride and powered towards the finish line. Apolltical Chad – winner of the Grade 1, $1-million Ruidoso Futurity – made a charging bid from the eighth post position and came up a neck short at the wire.
“One Hot Habit was one of the barn’s top two-year-olds all year,” said Lisa Saumell, manager of the Jones’ New Mexico operation.
One Hot Habit was seventh in the Ruidoso Futurity. One Hot Habit and Apolltical Chad were each making their first starts since the Ruidoso Futurity on June 12.
The Eduardo Nicasio-ridden One Hot Habit, at 7-2 odds, was timed in :21.643 and Apolltical Chad was clocked in :21.685 as the 4-5 favorite.
Nueve Racing’s Apolltical Chad, a $38,000 Ruidoso Select Yearling Sale purchase, won his maiden by two-and-one-quarter lengths in his Ruidoso Futurity trial. He then won the Ruidoso Futurity by a gallant head over Rainbow Futurity winner A Revenant.
Owned by Pat Guthrie, Billy Smith, Trevor Smith, Paul Blanchard and Fred Grooms; One Famous Beau was scratched from the Rainbow Futurity due to a minor hoof problem. He looked like the healing in the hoof has paid off with the dominating two-length win in his All American Futurity trial. He ran to the day’s third-fastest time of :21.677 with regular rider Cody Jensen up.
“He’s getting better all the time,” said trainer Mike Joiner. “He ran with a pad (on his hoof). I won the All American Gold Cup with a horse who wore a pad, so I’m not worried and he’ll probably run with the pad in the All American.”
The One Famous Eagle-sired One Famous Beau qualified for the Rainbow Futurity when he won his maiden in his trial by one length.
One Famous Beau was a $45,000 purchase at the Ruidoso Select Yearling Sale.
For complete Ruidoso Downs’ information, go to www.raceruidoso.com, visit the Ruidoso Downs Race Track and Casino Facebook page and follow the Ruidoso Press Box (@RuiPressBox) on Twitter.
2016 All American Futurity Qualifiers
Friday, 8/19/16 Day 1
Horse/Trial # Trainer Jockey Wind Time
* Imperial Eagle/15 D1 Tony Sedillo Esgar Ramirez 7c 21.499
* The Marfa Lights/5 D1 James Helzer Larry Payne 5t 21.510
Magical Jess/2 D1 Mario Loza Jaime Parga Leos3t 21.615
Koolnfamous/9 D1 Toby Keeton Esgar Ramirez 4c 21.648
Volcoms Lady/14 D1 Toby Keeton Esgar Ramirez 8c 21.705
Saturday, 8/20/16 Day 2
Coronas First Diva/14 D2 Duke Shults James Flores 4t 21.500
One Hot Habit/4 D2 Paul Jones Eduardo Nicasio 0 21.643
* One Famous Beau/8 D2 Mike Joiner Cody Jensen 2t 21.667
* Apolltical Chad/4 D2 Wesley Giles Adrian A. Ramos 0 21.685
Gamey Tee Cos/14 D2 Salvador Soto Manuel Gutierrez4t 21.689
2016 AA Futurity Juvenile Qualifiers
Friday, 8/19/16 Day 1
Elicity/2 D1 Juan Aleman Eduardo Nicasio 3t 21.718
Tough to Bee/3 D1 Blane Wood Ricky Ramirez 3t 21.735
Teller Baja/14 D1 Judd Kearl Jose Amador Alvarez 8c 21.753
Jess Paint Ur Wagon/3 D1 Blane Wood Ricky Ramirez 7c 21.7`73
C Twister Seis/14 D1 Mike Joiner Cody Jensen 8c 21.781
Saturday, 8/20/16 Day 2
Twig/12 D2 Toby Keeton Esgar Ramirez 5t 21.721
* One More Thats It/5 D2 Juan Gonzalez JR Valenzuela 0 21.741
* Jm Mister Destiny/6 D2 Paul Jones Jesse Lee Levario 7t 21.747
* Famouseagletime/7 D2 Wesley Giles Adrian A. Ramos 7t 21.769
Dashing Runner/15 D2 Bret Vickery Jose Amador Alvarez 4t 21.772
* Ruidoso Sale Graduate