Gary Hartstack’s Daddys Blushing pushed his undefeated record to four wins from as many starts with a win over New Mexico-breds in the $392,586 Mountain Top Futurity at Ruidoso Downs on Saturday afternoon.
Also on the 10-race program were three trials to the $48,510 Adequan Ruidoso Downs Derby Challenge.
Daddys Blushing started alertly from the third position and had a clear path. Jockey Francisco Calderon let the gelded son of Big Daddy Cartel hustle to the lead and they were never seriously threatened on their way to the one-half length win in :19.423 for the 400 yards.
David Valdez’s Flash Moonfire, the fastest qualifier, was second by one-half length over Bigg Daddy.
Trainer Jackie Riddle has a promising two-year-old in Daddys Blushing with options this summer at Ruidoso Downs. The $14,000 Ruidoso yearling sale purchase could continue to face New Mexico-bred two-year-olds in the trials to the $400,000 (est.) Zia Futurity on July 15 or he could take on open juveniles in the trials to the Grade 1, $1-million (est.) Rainbow Futurity on July 7.
Daddys Blushing has already shown he can handle open horses. He won his trial to the Sam Houston Futurity in his first start and returned to battle to a win in the $48,000 Sam Houston Juvenile. He then came to Ruidoso Downs and scored a one-and-one-half length win in his Mountain Top Futurity Challenge Derby trial.
Maxx came back in the final yards in the third and final Adequan Ruidoso Downs Derby Challenge trial to get the neck win over second-fastest qualifier Marseille. Maxx was timed in :19.555 for the 400 yards while Marseille raced to a :19.597 mark.
A total of five horses qualified from the third trial.
The horses with the 10-fastest times from the three trials advance to the Adequan Ruidoso Downs Derby Challenge on July 1. The winner of the Adequan Ruidoso Downs Derby Challenge receives an invitation to the Grade 3, $200,000 Adequan Derby Challenge Championship at Prairie Meadows on October 14.
Irma Vargas’ Maxx, trained by Judd Kearl, made two previous starts this year at Sam Houston Race Park and was disqualified from each race. The Pyc Paint Your Wagon-sired gelding had a successful two-year-old season with three wins and a second-place run from six starts.
Maxx won the $69,000 John Deere Sam Houston Juvenile and qualified for the Grade 1, $1-million Texas Classic Futurity at Lone Star Park.
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.
Adequan Ruidoso Derby Challenge Unofficial Qualifiers
Horse/Trial # Trainer Jockey Wind Time
Maxx/3 Judd Kearl Jose A. Alvarez 2h 19.555
Marseille/3 Juan Esquivel Jose Enrique Ortiz 2h 19.597
Rock About It/1 Tammy Johnson Benito J. Baca 2h 19.746
Mbv Mvp/1 Juan Aleman Ricky Ramirez 2h 19.762
Riverside Revolution/1 Wesley Giles Cipriano U. Vidana 2h 19.767
Sinsational Tacha/1 Martin Orona Manuel Gutierrez 2h 19.769
Born to B Bad/3 Tammy Johnson Benito J. Baca 2h 19.775
B Double U/1 Clinton Crawford G.R. Carter Jr. 2h 19.815
Stella Lou/3 Mike Joiner G.R. Carter Jr. 2h 19.849
Just A Little Wagon/3 Wesley Giles Adrian A. Ramos 2h 19.948