Melvin Neugebauer’s Ruidoso Futurity winner Uptown Dynasty and Too For Too’s Zia Futurity winner Bigg Daddy, each trained by Wes Giles, could vie for favoritism in the Grade 1, $3-million All American Futurity on Labor Day at Ruidoso Downs.
Labor Day is closing day for the Ruidoso Downs’ summer season.
The stakes dominated program starts at 1 p.m. and a crowd of about 25,000 is expected. It is one of the most attended sporting events in New Mexico every year. There is free parking and free general admission.
Also on the program is the $200,000 All American Juvenile and a pair of enticing thoroughbred stakes — the $135,395 Rio Grande Senor Futurity and the $50,000 Ruidoso New Mexico-bred Thoroughbred Championship.
The All American Futurity field is comprised of the five-fastest horses from each of two days of trials.
Uptown Dynasty and Bigg Daddy are each peaking at the right time to take their shot at the $1.5-million first-place check in the All American Futurity. They raced to the top-two qualifying times on the second day of All American Futurity trials. Uptown Dynasty covered the 440 yards in :21.802 and Bigg Daddy topped that mark with a :21.611 time.
Uptown Dynasty has been brilliant and consistent this summer at Ruidoso Downs.
A gelding by Mr Jess Perry, Uptown Dynasty burst to the lead in the Grade 1, $1-million Ruidoso Futurity and gamely fought to the finish. He was caught in the final strides by Eagle Jazz and they finished in a dead heat for the win.
The Grade 1, $1-million Rainbow Futurity was up next and Uptown Dynasty and Eagle Jazz had their rematch. This time Eagle Jazz got the win while Uptown Dynasty came through with a game second-place finish.
In the All American Futurity trials Uptown Dynasty, with regular rider Cipriano Uscanga Vidana aboard, won a strong trial by one-and-one-quarter lengths over Rainbow Futurity third-place finisher Starfield.
Eagle Jazz did not qualify for the All American Futurity, so that rivalry will not continue in the All American Futurity.
Bigg Daddy, a $25,000 Ruidoso Select Yearling Sale bargain, has been a force this summer against New Mexico-bred competition and takes on open Grade 1 futurity horses for the first time in the All American Futurity.
A gelded son of Big Daddy Cartel and champion Alice K White, Bigg Daddy finished third in the $393,000 Mountain Top Futurity before stepping up and winning the $371,000 Zia Futurity by three quarters of a length under G.R. Carter Jr.
Bigg Daddy ran a huge race in his All American Futurity trial. The strapping gelding powered away to a two-and-three-quarter length score and his time was the top time from 14 second-day trials.
Jose Espinoza’s Shakem Bye Perry led the first-day qualifiers with a one-and-one-quarter-length romp in the sixth of 14 trials. He was timed in :21.664 under Omar Reyes.
Shakem Bye Perry, a gelding by First Prize Perry, was making his Ruidoso Downs’ debut and his first start for trainer Pedro Lopez. He scored a third-place finish in the TQHA Sale Futurity at Retama Park in his previous start.
Martin Ybarra’s Heza Streakin Legacy raced in the second trial on the first day of trials in the midst of litigation. Out of competition drug testing conducted by the New Mexico Racing Commission allegedly showed a positive clenbuterol result for Heza Streakin Legacy and the horse was placed on the stewards’ list and ineligible to race for 60 days.
The morning of the first day of All American Futurity trials, the horse’s connections were granted a temporary restraining order allowing the horse to run. The NMRC’s attorney then had a discussion with the court and the temporary restraining order was dissolved.
Heza Streakin Legacy was declared out of the All American Futurity and Dash For Stone, who posted the sixth-fastest time on the first day of trials, was moved up to fifth-fastest qualifier status and into the All American Futurity.
With Heza Streakin Legacy ousted, all horses racing in the All American Futurity and the All American Juvenile have been hair tested and are clean.
The 440-yard All American Juvenile is for two-year-olds that raced in the All American Futurity trials, however did not qualify for the futurity. Preference is given to the horses with the fastest times on each day.
Kathleen Matey’s homebred Trace Dynasty was second by a neck in the Grade 1, $1.1-million Heritage Place Futurity and then made his Ruidoso Downs’ debut in the All American Futurity trials. The Fdd Dynasty-sired gelding from the Clint Crawford barn posted the sixth-fastest time of :21.932 on the second day of trials.
Carolyn Bay’s homebred Tough Dynasty 123, a half-brother to 2011 world champion Cold Cash 123, likes the 440-yard distance, just as his brother did during his stellar career. The Sleepy Gilbreath-trained gelding by FDD Dynasty made an impressive late run to win the $100,000 Rainbow Juvenile by one-half length. He was then second by a neck in his All American Futurity trial with the ninth-fastest time on the first day of trials.
The five-and-one-half furlong Rio Grande Senor Thoroughbred Futurity is comprised of two-year-old New Mexico-bred colts and geldings.
Owned by Dale Taylor, Bobby McQueen and Suzanne Kirby, On The Low Down chases his third futurity victory for trainer Todd Fincher. He won the $110,000 Copper Top Futurity at Sunland Park by one-and-one-quarter lengths and then came to Ruidoso Downs to win the Mountain Top Futurity by a dominating seven-and-three-quarter lengths.
The Dome-sired On The Low Down, a $43,000 Ruidoso sale purchase, had an easy trip in his Senor Futurity trial and cruised to a one-and-one-quarter-length win to increase his earnings to $149,527.
Tracy Hebert has ridden On The Low Down in each of his starts and will be aboard when they start from the fourth post position.
The six-furlong Ruidoso New Mexico-bred Thoroughbred Championship brings together D E Lover and Mr. Mooch, who each come off stakes wins at Ruidoso Downs.
Owned by trainer Tony Sedillo with Leroy Martinez, D E Lover was successful in his only Ruidoso Downs’ start this summer. The gelding by So Long Birdie challenged the leaders in the stretch of the $50,000 Sierra Blanca Handicap and pushed on to get the one-length win at five-and-one-half furlongs.
Jorge Martin Bourdieu retains the mount with the seventh post position.
Mr. Mooch has been climbing up the class ladder at Ruidoso Downs this summer and reached the stakes ranks in the $50,000 Road Runner Handicap, his latest start. He was claimed for $7,500 in his final start at Sunland Park and then came to Ruidoso Downs.
Owned by J. Rodney Brooks, Marty Brooks, E. Berry Glenn and Donnie Reid, Mr. Mooch has won his latest two starts at Ruidoso Downs in gate-to-wire fashion at five-and-one-half-furlongs. He won a conditioned allowance race and then held on to take the Road Runner by one-and-one-half lengths.
Trainer Johnathan Lemons has named J.C. Villanueva to ride Mr. Mooch from the second post position, a prime spot to gain the early lead.
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