RUIDOSO DOWNS, New Mexico (June 8, 2014) – The rooster crowed in the Grade 1, $700,000 Ruidoso Futurity and there is no doubt who is the best two-year-old in American Quarter Horse racing.
Conda Maze and Tyler Graham’s Kiss My Hocks, nicknamed Rooster by Maze, humbled a promising field in the 350-yard Ruidoso Futurity on Sunday afternoon at Ruidoso Downs.
Maze nicknamed him Rooster after watching him after he purchased his portion of the colt. “He was a little cocky,” said Maze.
Kiss My Hocks came into the race as the top-ranked horse in the AQHA-Horseplayernow.com national weekly poll and further cemented his position with the one-half length win.
Now Kiss My Hocks is the only horse who can win the $4 million All American Triple Crown Bonus. It goes to the connections of any horse who can win the Ruidoso Futurity; Grade 1, $900,000 Rainbow Futurity and the Grade 1, $2.6 million All American Futurity. If any horse wins the three futurities and the bonus, then his connections will take more than $6 million.
Jm Miracle was a late-running second by one-and-one-half length over Bodacious Eagle.
Kiss My Hocks burst from the sixth post position and went to the lead. “He’s one of a kind,” said winning rider Cody Jensen. “He was perfect. Three jumps out of the gate he was on the lead and I just took care of him. I could see the outside horse (Jm Miracle) and the end, but we had it.”
A son of Tempting Dash, Kiss My Hocks pushed his record to four-for-four with the Ruidoso Futurity score.
The colt has been a top member of his division since his first start. He broke a 12-year-old Sam Houston Race Park track record in his debut and then won the $564,000 Sam Houston Futurity by one-half length.
Trainer Toby Keeton brought him to Ruidoso Downs and Kiss My Hocks immediately impressed in his Ruidoso Futurity trial. He won his trial by three lengths and his time of :17.281 was the fastest mark from the 12 trials on the first of two days of trials. That earned him 11-10 favoritism in the Ruidoso Futurity.
Next up for Kiss My Hocks could be the Rainbow Futurity trials on July 3-4.
“We’ve discussed it,” said Maze. “It just depends on how he comes out of the race. But, he’s a horse that likes something to do.”
J&M Racing and Farms’ Jm Miracle also impressed with his late run from the outside post position. It was just his second career start and the Volcom gelding was charging at the wire, but never threatened Kiss My Hocks. He won his Ruidoso Futurity trial by one-and-one-half lengths.
Johnny Trotter’s Bodacious Eagle, a strapping gelding by One Famous Eagle, was another horse making his second start in the Ruidoso Futurity. The Blane Wood-trained gelding scored in his Ruidoso Futurity trial by one length.
Kiss My Hocks is currently the best of his foal crop and is receiving higher accolades. Dr. Charlie Graham, grandfather of co-owner Tyler Graham, said: “I’m trying to be unbiased, but he may be the fastest horse I’ve ever seen. Then he made a point to say that, “I’m very proud of my grandson.” Graham has become an icon in quarter horse racing since he graduated from veterinarian school in 1961. That’s when he started the highly respected Elgin Veterinary Clinic and Southwest Stallion Station. He’s seen all the greats for more than half a century.
In the $50,000 Ruidoso Juvenile, Raymond Merrill’s Lethal Express drew away from his rivals like a horse who will handle longer distances when he won with a :17.528 time for 350 yards.
All-time leading jockey G.R. Carter Jr. was aboard for trainer Brian Muse.
Terry Baber’s Sam Crow finished second, one length behind Lethal Express. Jess Kid Rock was a neck behind Sam Crow for third.
Lethal Express seems to be blooming this summer at Ruidoso Downs. After a pair of non-winning efforts at Remington Park, the son of Volcom came up to Ruidoso Downs and won his Ruidoso Futurity trial by one-and-one-half lengths. His time of :17.526 was not fast enough to reach the Ruidoso Futurity field.
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