RUIDOSO DOWNS, New Mexico (May 16, 2014) — Sam Houston Futurity winner Kiss My Hocks and West Texas Futurity winner Boi George head 225 two-year-olds entered in the two days of trials on Thursday and Friday to the Grade 1, $700,000 Ruidoso Futurity at Ruidoso Downs.
The Ruidoso Futurity trials, on May 22-23, also mark the return of jockey Joe Badilla Jr. to Ruidoso Downs.
There will be 12 trials each afternoon. The first post time for each day is 1:00 p.m.
The horses with the five-fastest times from each of the two days of trials qualify for the Ruidoso Futurity on June 8.
The 350-yard Ruidoso Futurity trials start the summer racing season that culminates with the Grade 1, $2.6 million All American Futurity on Labor Day.
Conda Maze and Tyler Graham’s Kiss My Hocks comes to Ruidoso Downs after being honored as horse of the meet during the recently concluded Sam Houston Race Park season. The Tempting Dash son was a stunning winner of his career debut when he broke a 12-year-old track record while winning his Sam Houston Futurity trial in :16.433 for 330 yards. The Toby Keeton-trained colt backed up that debut with a one-half length score in the Grade 2, $563,950 Sam Houston Futurity. He got a very clean trip from the inside post position and was the class of the field as the 9-5 favorite.
Kiss My Hocks is the second-ranked two-year-old in the AQHA Racing-Horseplayernow.com National Poll.
Cody Jensen rides Kiss My Hocks in the seventh trial on the Thursday. They start from the inside post position.
While Kiss My Hocks holds down the second spot in the national poll, Miguel Gallegos and Mauricio Gallegos’ Boi George is the fourth-ranked juvenile.
Boi George earned that ranking after scoring a 16-1 upset win in the Grade 2, $267,651 West Texas Futurity at Sunland Park. The Teller Cartel gelding made a late rush from the outside post position to get up for the expanding one-half length win.
The winner of each of his two starts, Boi George drew the third post position in the fourth trial on the Friday. Sergio Beserra Jr. will be aboard
The sole $20,000 supplemental nominee was Guadalupe Garcia’s The Beast Within. The colt comes off a maiden win over 250 yards at Remington Park for trainer Guillermo Valdivia.
Badilla retired from race riding in 2006 and returned on May 11 with a win in the Zoetis SunRay Park Starter Allowance.
A four-time champion jockey, Badilla found much of his success at Ruidoso Downs. At the track, he has three wins in the Grade 1 Rainbow Futurity, two wins in the Grade 1 All American Derby, one win in the Grade 1 All American Futurity and one win in the Grade 1 Ruidoso Futurity. His mounts have earned more than $23 million during his career and he has 1,822 wins with 161 stakes wins.
Badilla has six mounts in the Ruidoso Futurity trials.
The summer season offers a wide array of enhancements to the stakes schedule.
They include the 440-yard All American Gold Cup’s purse being raised to $200,000 and it was recently announced that the Gold Cup winner will receive an invitation to the Grade 1, $750,000 Champion of Champions on December 13 at Los Alamitos Race Course.
There will be three new $100,000 races for three-year-olds. They are the First Down Dash, Corona Cartel and the Mr Jess Perry.
The New Mexico-bred program’s showcase event — the Zia Festival — will now be held over two days: July 26 and 27. The largest purse during the two days is the $400,000 (est.) Zia Futurity for quarter horses. More than $1 million in purses will be paid out over the two days.
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.