RUIDOSO DOWNS, New Mexico (June 28, 2014) – Reliance Ranches’ Ruidoso Derby winner Rock You and two of the three 2013 two-year-old champions – Handsome Jack Flash and Kates Dynasty – head the 86 horses entered in the nine trials to the $1,048,274 Rainbow Derby on Saturday, July 5 at Ruidoso Downs.
The purse approaches the all-time record purse of $1,054,992 set last year.
The horses with the 10-fastest times from the trials qualify to run in the 440-yard Rainbow Derby on June 19.
First post time is 1 p.m. with free parking and free general admission.
Rock You rocketed to the top of the AQHA Racing-Horseplayernow.com national poll for older horses when he gamely fought to a one-half length win in the Grade 1, $943,127 Ruidoso Futurity on June 7. The Foose-sired gelding scored his fifth straight win and has not been beaten since a third-place finish in the Grade 1, $1 million Golden State Million Futurity at Los Alamitos back in November.
Trained by Eddie Willis, Rock You prepared for his Ruidoso Downs’ campaign with two starts at Remington Park this spring. He won an allowance race and then stepped up with a victory in the $50,000 Bob Moore Stakes.
In his Ruidoso Derby trial, he raced to a three-quarter-length win as the 1-2 choice and his time of :19.539 was the fastest time from 10 trials.
Regular rider Jimmy Dean Brooks will be aboard with the sixth post position in the eighth trial.
Handsome Jack Flash, the 2013 champion two-year-old and champion two-year-old gelding, makes his first start since winning the Grade 1, $2.6 million All American Futurity on Labor Day. The earner of $1,482,271 is also making his first start for trainer Sleepy Gilbreath.
Owned by Norma Alvarez, Brenda Alvarez and Debra Laney; Handsome Jack Flash became only the third New Mexico-bred to win the All American Futurity when he fought to a neck win at 8-1 odds. The gelding by First Moonflash has won four of five starts with his only defeat a second behind Hes Relentless in their All American Futurity trial.
Handsome Jack Flash also defeated New Mexico-breds when he won the $409,442 Zia Futurity by one-half length last summer at Ruidoso Downs.
Gilbreath has named G.R. Carter Jr. to handle Handsome Jack Flash when they start from the fifth post position in the seventh trial.
Billy Smith, Jerry Windham and Pat Guthrie’s Kates Dynasty, the 2013 champion two-year-old filly, should step forward after a fourth-place finish in her Ruidoso Derby trial. That was the Fdd Dynasty-sired filly’s first start since winning the Grade 1, $1 million Texas Classic Futurity in November.
The Mike Joiner-trained filly pulled out to win the Texas Classic Futurity by one-and-three-quarter lengths and secure her championship.
Carter Jr. gets the riding assignment on Kates Dynasty with the fourth post position in the fifth trial.
This Dude Can Fly and Hes Relentless are a couple of horses who excelled at Remington Park and are making their first starts of the Ruidoso Downs’ season in the Rainbow Derby trials.
Luis De Lu Cerda and Abe Flores Jr.’s This Dude Can Fly is the sport’s eighth-ranked older horse after winning the Grade 2, $257,000 Oklahoma Derby in his latest start. The Willis-trained gelding by One Famous Eagle was also third in the $200,000 Oklahoma Derby this spring.
Jimmy Dean Brooks rides This Dude Can Fly with the 10th post position in the fourth trial.
R.D. Hubbard, Tom Maher and William Maher’s Hes Relentless is in prime form coming into the Rainbow Derby trials after setting a Remington Park track record in his sole 2014 start on May 31. The One Famous Eagle son rolled to a two-length allowance win and his time of :16.982 erased the previous track record set in April.
Last year, Hes Relentless set the fastest-qualifying time to the Heritage Place Futurity and then was second by a head as the even-money choice in the Grade 1, $1,076,260 Heritage Place Futurity. He then qualified for the All American Futurity and the Texas Classic Futurity.
Hes Relentless starts with the sixth post position in the sixth trial with Cody Rodger Smith riding for trainer Jason Olmstead.
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