Darling Farms’ fastest-qualifier Hold Air Hostage demolished a strong field to win the Grade 1, $1,150,000 Rainbow Derby on Sunday afternoon at Ruidoso Downs.
Also on the program was the $100,000 Corona Cartel for three-year- olds that did not
qualify for the Rainbow Derby. Elicity took the Corona Cartel by one-half length.
Hold Air Hostage gave jockey Rodrigo Sigala Vallejo an easy ride to the win in :21.397
for the 440 yards. The gelded son of Apollitical Jess flew from the starting gate and steadily
increased his advantage throughout the 440 yards. He was tapped a couple of times by Vallejo
and cruised under the wire one-and- three-quarter lengths ahead of the consistent High Plains
High Plains Perry finished a neck ahead of Jess A Painted Wagon.
A gelded son of Apollitical Jess, Hold Air Hostage is strong and displays his strength.
“He’s a beast,” said trainer Judd Kearl. “He’s aggressive. In fact, we galloped him yesterday.”
Hold Air Hostage has now won four of six starts this year and six of nine starts lifetime.
The gelding started his 2017 campaign at Remington Park.
“He wasn’t ready for his first out,” said Kearl.
Hold Air Hostage has been ready for every race since that third-place run in his trial to
the Remington Park Oklahoma-bred Derby. After a close second in his trial to the Grade 2,
$297,000 Heritage Place Derby, he stepped up and took the 400-yard finals by one-and- three-
That was the first of three consecutive daylight victories.
In his first start at Ruidoso Downs, his Rainbow Derby trial, he easily won by one-and-
three-quarter lengths. His time of :21.414 topped the 11 trials.
Sent off as the 3-2 favorite in the Rainbow Derby, he lived up to his supporters’
Runner-up High Plains Perry, owned by Paragon Farms, LLC, closed out his juvenile
season with a win in the Grade 1, $1-million Texas Classic Futurity and has continued his
consistent record this year for trainer Trey Wood. The gelded son of Mr Jess Perry was the
closest of third-place finishers in the Grade 1, $800,000 Ruidoso Derby. The $100,000 Ruidoso
Select Yearling Sale purchase was .02 seconds behind the two horses that finished in a dead heat
for the win, Tough To Bee and Magical Jess.
Ricky Ramirez, the only jockey to ever ride High Plains Perry, was aboard.
R.D. Hubbard’s Jess A Painted Wagon, a daughter of Pyc Paint Your Wagon, added
some black-type to her strong pedigree. She is from the family of champion two-year- old and All
American Futurity winner Jess Good Candy.
The Mike Joiner-trained Jess A Painted Wagon, a $35,000 Ruidoso Select Sale purchase,
won her two previous starts. She won a Ruidoso Downs’ conditioned allowance race and then
her Rainbow Derby trial in :21.493 for the second-fastest qualifying time.
Papas Place LLC’s Elicity ran a flawless race to take the Corona Cartel over Bells Big
Hero. Revengerr was one-and- one-quarter lengths back in third.
Elicity covered the 440 yards in :21.706.
“She ran great,” said jockey Cody Jensen after his first ride on the daughter of Apollitical
“I was thrilled when my agent (Donnie Stewart) told me that we could pick her up. All
I’ve done on her before the race was stand her in the gate.”
Elicity, who raced in last year’s All American Juvenile, is in top form for trainer Juan
Aleman. The filly won a conditioned allowance race two starts ago at Los Alamitos and traveled
to Ruidoso Downs to finish a neck behind Lethal Class in their Rainbow Derby trial.
Gregory Cullum’s Bells Big Hero is also on a roll. The Valiant Hero-sired gelding won
his Remington Park Oklahoma-bred Derby trial and then was second by one-half length in the
$62,000 Mr Master Bug Handicap at Remington Park behind Tough To Bee, who finished in a
dead heat for the win in the Grade 1, $800,000 Ruidoso Derby.
The $40,000 Ruidoso Select Yearling Sale purchase is trained by Clint Crawford and was
ridden by Agustin Silva.
Tyler Graham and Adame Racing LLC’s Revengerr, a $100,000 Ruidoso Select Yearling
Sale purchase, won his maiden just two starts ago and then stepped up for a second-place run
behind Hold Air Hostage in his Rainbow Derby trial.
Trainer Toby Keeton had regular rider Esgar Ramirez on Revengerr.
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