RUIDOSO DOWNS, New Mexico (July 5, 2014) – Richard Scott’s Her O Don Won easily handled his rivals by one-half length in the eighth of nine trials to set the fastest-qualifying time to the Grade 1, $1,048,274 Rainbow Derby on Saturday afternoon at Ruidoso Downs.
The purse approached last year’s record purse of $1,054,992.
The horses with the 10-fastest times from the trials qualify for the 440-yard finals on July 19. On the same day will be the inaugural running of the $100,000 Corona Cartel with horses who did not qualify for the Rainbow Derby preferred.
The 84 horses in the trials had earnings in excess of $7 million.
Her O Don Won rebounded from a fourth-place finish in his Ruidoso Derby trial to race the 440 yards in :21.323 to top the qualifiers list.
“He broke well,” said winning rider Larry Payne. “He got to the lead and the further we went, the better he got.”
Her O Don Won is improving after a setback before his Ruidoso Futurity trial. “He went off his feed for a few days and then started eating again,” said trainer Russell Harris. “There was nothing physically wrong with him so we ran him. Now he is his happy, old self.”
A gelded son of Valiant Hero, Her O Don Won had a two-year-old campaign that culminated with a close second-place finish in the Grade 1, 409,000 Dash For Cash Futurity at Lone Star Park.
Jerry Windham’s homebred J Bar, trained by Mike Joiner, rolled to a one-and-one-half length win in the final trial to just miss the top-qualifying time while posting a :21.326 mark.
The gelding by Jess Zoomin raced in the Adequan Ruidoso Challenge trials on June 13 and set the fastest-qualifying time of :19.723 for 400 yards. “We scratched him out of the finals of that race so we could run him here,” said Windham.
“Last fall he qualified for the Dash For Cash Futurity and we scratched him out of the futurity because we found a (knee) chip that was in a bad place.
“I think we’ll be running in these finals,” he deadpanned.
J Bar has won four of six starts, including a non-qualifying victory in his All American Futurity trial.
Houdini narrowly defeated champion Kates Dynasty in the fifth trial and they set the third-and fourth-fastest marks.
Ellen Kennedy Living Trust’s Houdini and Kates Dynasty put on a show in their trial. Kates Dynasty went to the lead and then Houdini, ridden by Cody Jensen, got up to get the head victory. Houdini was timed in :21.376 for 440 yards while Kates Dynasty was given a :21.388 time.
Houdini was given one start at Remington Park this spring, a second in the Jack Brooks Stakes. “That start was just to get him tuned up for this,” said trainer Luis Villafranco. “I didn’t want to push him. We were looking for the money here.”
Owned by Billy Smith, Windham and Pat Guthrie, Kates Dynasty was named the 2013 champion two-year-old filly after winning the Grade 1, $1 million Texas Classic Futurity. The Fdd Dynasty filly was fourth in her Ruidoso Derby trial.
“We certainly expect her to move forward after this trial,” said co-owner Smith.
Reliance Ranches, LLC’s Rock You, winner of the Grade 1, $943,000 Ruidoso Derby, finished second to Her O Don Won in their trial and qualified with the sixth-fastest mark.
The 440-yard Corona Cartel could contain All American Futurity winner Handsome Jack Flash. He won his Rainbow Derby trial by one length with a time of :21.602, the 19th-fastest time.
Rainbow Derby Qualifiers
Horse/Trial # Trainer Jockey Wind Time
Her O Don Won/8 Russell Harris Larry Payne 0 21.323
J Bar/9 Mike Joiner GR Carter Jr 0 21.326
Houdini/5 Luis Villafranco Cody Jensen 7c 21.376
Kates Dynasty/5 Mike Joiner GR Carter Jr. 7c 21.388
Hes Relentless/6 Jason Olmstead Cody R Smith 4h 21.400
Rock You/8 Eddie Willis Jimmy D Brooks 0 21.408
This Lady Is on Fire/1 Jaime Dominguez Sergio Becerra 10c 21.488
This Dude Can Fly/4 Eddie Willis Jimmy D Brooks 6c 21.490
Wagon Cash/4 Paul Jones Cody Jensen 6c 21.496
Rae of Fire/4 Juan Gonzalez Jaime P Leos 6c 21.515
Corona Cartel Possibles
Winter Is Coming/9 Brandon Muniz Joe Baldilla 0 21.545
Reagal Eagle/3 Gene Burden Sergio Becerra 14c 21.545
Quick Dynasty/1 Brandon Muniz Eduardo Nicasio 10c 21.546
Down Side magician/8 Dwayne Gilbreath Cody Jensen 0 21.547
Cr Tuckernuck/11 Stacy Capps Berkley Packer 0 21.565
Potenzza/6 Paul Jones Cody Jensen 4h 21.567
Portugee/3 Dwayne Gilbreath Cody Jensen 14c 21.573
Viva Sin Tacha/5 Blane Wood Ricky Ramirez 7c 21.591
Handsome Jack Flash/7 Dwayne Gilbreath GR Carter 8h 21.602
Rock Princess/1 Tammy K Johnson Ricardo Aguirre 10c 21.605
One Slick Cartel/11 Juan Aleman Raul Valenzuela 0 21.605