The qualifying show put on by trainer Mike Joiner and jockey Cody Jensen had a scintillating second act during the second day of trials to the Grade 1, $1,000,000 Rainbow Futurity at Ruidoso Downs on Saturday afternoon.
Joiner qualified four horses for the Rainbow Futurity over the two days of trials. Jensen was on each of those four horses and also qualified Muddy Watters for trainer John Stinebaugh on Friday afternoon.
The horses with the five-fastest times from Friday join the horses with the five-fastest times on Saturday in the Rainbow Futurity on July 24.
On Saturday, no horse after the sixth of 15 trials qualified for the Rainbow Futurity when the wind became a consistent head wind or cross wind.
The Joiner-Jensen team came through on Saturday afternoon with fastest-qualifier Ultimate Return and third-fastest qualifier One Famous Beau. On Friday, they teamed up with fastest-qualifier A Revenant and fourth-fastest qualifier Drinkin Class.
High Rate Partners’ Ultimate Return hooked up with P.K. and Kim Thomas’ Lethal Class in the sixth trial and they raced to the top-two qualifying times. Ultimate Return was timed in :19.835 for the 400 yards while Lethal Class recorded a :19.895 mark.
Ultimate Return made a powerful run through the last half of the trial to secure his second win in as many starts. The High Rate Of Return-sired gelding took a 300-yard maiden race at Ruidoso Downs on June 24.
“He was sore in his shins after he ran in his schooling race (on May 9) so we passed the Ruidoso Futurity,” said Joiner. “He really looked good in the maiden race. He broke well from the one hole and at 150 yards he just changed gears and took off.
“He’s improving with every race.”
Lethal Class won his first two starts, each futurity trials, for trainer Blane Wood before the runner-up effort in his Rainbow Futurity trial.
Wood and his stable rider Ricky Ramirez qualified two horses for the Rainbow Futurity. They also combined to place A Tres in the finals on Friday.
Owned by Pat Guthrie, Billy Smith, Paul Blanchard and Fred Grooms, One Famous Beau showed 440-yard promise when he won the fifth trial. The long-striding One Famous Eagle-sired gelding overcame a troubled start and then rallied with expanding strides to win by one length as the odds-on choice.
One Famous Beau, a $45,000 Ruidoso Select Yearling Sale purchase, earned that strong favoritism after finishing a very close second in a 300-yard maiden race on June 12.
“He’s going to really like a distance,” said Joiner. “He just doesn’t have it all together yet. More experience should help him.”
Joiner, frankly, summed up his Rainbow Futurity trial success: “The ones that can run are running well.”
Fourth-fastest qualifier De La Eagle, owned by Cream Of The Crop, Inc., won his maiden in the first trial with a :19.968 time. Another One Famous Eagle-sired gelding, De La Eagle showed potential at Sunland Park with seconds in his West Texas Futurity trial and the $50,000 West Texas Juvenile.
The final qualifier on Friday came out of the third trial. Double A Ranch’s Paint My Pilot blew away the competition with a two-and-one-quarter-length triumph at 8-1 odds. He was timed in :20.028.
Like De La Eagle, the Pyc Paint Your Wagon-sired colt won his maiden after a pair of second-place runs. The Kelli Martin-trainee was a second by a nose in his Oklahoma Futurity trial and then second in the $50,000 Oklahoma Futurity Juvenile.
Rainbow Futurity Qualifiers
Horse/Trial # Trial Day Trainer Jockey Wind Time
A Revenant/5 D1 Mike Joiner Cody Jensen 5t 19.812
Soar Like an Eagle/5 D1 Juan Gonzalez Jose Enrique Ortiz 5t 19.957
Muddy Watters/2 D1 John Stinebaugh Cody Jensen 3t 19.960
Drinkin Class/9 D1 Mike Joiner Cody Jensen 5t 19.973
A Tres/9 D1 Blane Wood` Ricky Ramirez 5t 19.980
Ultimate Return/6 D2 Mike Joiner Cody Jensen 2t 19.835
Lethal Class/6 D2 Blane Wood Ricky Ramirez 2t 19.895
One Famous Beau/5 D2 Mike Joiner Cody Jensen 2h 19.968
De La Eagle/1 D2 Juan Gonzalez Adrian Ramos 5t 19.996
Paint My Pilot/3 D2 Kelli Martin Yordanis Amaro 6h 20.028