RUIDOSO DOWNS, New Mexico (July 12, 2014) – Richard Scott’s homebred fastest-qualifier Her O Don Won meets the sternest test of his career when he faces a very deep field in the Grade 1, $1,048,682 Rainbow Derby on Saturday afternoon at Ruidoso Downs.
The purse approaches the record purse of $1,055,000 set last year.
The first running of the $100,000 Corona Cartel supports the Rainbow Derby and is filled with horses who competed in the trials but did not qualify for the Rainbow Derby.
First post time is 1 p.m. with free parking and free general admission.
Her O Don Won took the eighth of nine trials and his time of :21.323 for 440 yards topped the qualifiers. The gelding by Valiant Hero won the trial by one-half length over Grade 1, $943,127 Ruidoso Derby winner Rock You, who scored the sixth-fastest qualifying time of :21.408.
The Russell Harris-trained Her O Don Won showed promise last year when he won two of five starts and capped his freshman campaign with a close second-place finish in the Grade 1, $408,915 Dash For Cash Futurity.
Harris will have Larry Payne ride Her O Don Won with the third post position.
Ruidoso Futurity winner Rock You and champion Kates Dynasty show the depth of the field competing in the Grade 1, $1,048,682 Rainbow Derby as they each come off trial defeats.
Reliance Ranches LLC’s Rock You, the number-one ranked older horse in the weekly AQHARacing-Horseplayernow.com national poll, raced to his fifth-straight win when he won the Ruidoso Derby by one-half length. His winning streak included the Grade 2, $50,000 Bob Moore Stakes at Remington Park.
The Eddie Willis-trained Rock You established himself as top-shelf Grade 1 competitor when he finished third in the Grade 1, $1 million Golden State Million last fall. That was the defeat before his winning streak started.
Rock You drew the fifth post position and will have Jimmy Dean Brooks aboard.
Owned by Billy Smith and Pat Guthrie with breeder Jerry Windham, Kates Dynasty has honored as the 1013 champion two-year-old filly after dominating the Grade 1, $1 million Texas Classic Futurity by one-and-three-quarter lengths. Trainer Mike Joiner has the Fdd Dynasty daughter in improving form with a fourth in her Ruidoso Derby trial and then a close second to Houdini in their Rainbow Derby trial.
G.R. Carter Jr. rides Kates Dynasty with the seventh post position.
The Ellen Kennedy Living Trust homebred Houdini beat Kates Dynasty by a head with a :21.376 time while Kates Dynasty was clocked in :21.388.
Trainer Luis Villafranco has been pointing Houdini to the Rainbow and All American derbies at Ruidoso Downs and gave him a prepatory out – a close second-place finish in the $50,000 Jack Brooks Stakes – at Remington Park.
Last year, Houdini was second to Kates Dynasty in the Texas Classic Futurity and third in the Grade 1, $235,000 Southwest Juvenile Championship.
Houdini starts from the outside post position with Cody Jensen aboard.
Hes Relentless could be ready for a big effort after setting a Remington Park 350-yard track record (:16.982) and winning his Rainbow Derby trial in his only 2014 starts. The winner of six of nine starts rolled to a one-length trial victory with the fifth-fastest time of :21.400.
The Jason Olmstead-trained son of One Famous Eagle was a close second in the 2013 Grade 1, $1,076,260 Heritage Place Futurity after setting the fastest-qualifying time. He also qualified for the All American and Texas Classic futurities.
Cody Rodger Smith has the mount on Hes Relentless with the inside post position.
Jerry Windham’s J Bar appears ready to make a statement in the Rainbow Derby after establishing the second-fastest time of :21.326. The strapping son of Jess Zoomin looks the part and won his trial by one-and-one-half lengths. The Mike Joiner-trained gelding set the fastest qualifying time to the Adequan Ruidoso Derby Challenge and then his connections decided to skip the finals and race in the Rainbow Derby trials.
J Bar drew the eighth post position and will have Ricky Ramirez up.
Luis De Lu Cerda and Abelardo Flores Jr.’s This Dude Can Fly is the ninth-ranked older horse in the weekly poll after winning the Grade 2, $257,000 Heritage Place Derby two starts ago. He supported that ranking when he won his Rainbow Derby trial with the eighth-fastest time of :21.490.
Trainer Willis has named Omar Reyes to ride This Dude Can Fly with the ninth post position.
The Corona Cartel attracted an exceptional field headed by Nahum and Rosella Prieto’s Grade 1, $2.6 million All American Futurity runner-up Reagal Eagle.
Reagal Eagle, who was fifth in the Grade 1, $1,050,000 Rainbow Futurity, was just a neck behind Handsome Jack Flash in the All American Futurity on Labor Day and then was off until the Rainbow Derby trials. The son of One Famous Eagle won his Rainbow Derby trial by a neck.
Sergio Becerra Jr. rides Reagal Eagle with the fourth post position.
Sunset Well Services’ Winter Is Coming was second in the All American Juvenile and also made her 2014 debut in the Rainbow Derby trials. The Fdd Dynasty daughter was second in her Rainbow Derby trial behind J Bar.
Joe Badilla Jr. is up on Winter Is Coming with the seventh post position.
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.