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Rock You Tops Qualifiers To Record-Setting Ruidoso Derby

Amanda Greer

            RUIDOSO DOWNS, New Mexico (May 24, 2014) – Reliance Ranches, LLC’s Rock You raced to his fourth-straight win and set the fastest-qualifying time to the record-setting Grade 1, $943,127 Ruidoso Derby at Ruidoso Downs on Saturday afternoon.

            The purse for the 400-yard Ruidoso Derby surpassed previous record of $822,753 set last year.

            The $100,000 Mr Jess Perry will also be run for the first time this year in connection with the Ruidoso Derby on June 7. Preference for the Mr Jess Perry will be given to horses who raced in the trials and did not qualify for the Ruidoso Derby.

            Rock You, the 1-2 favorite, dominated the eighth of 10 trials when he broke sharply from the inside post position and went to the lead. He then cruised to a three-quarter-length win with a :19.539 time while facing an eight-mile-per-hour headwind.

            “He left there and then rebroke again about the third jump,” said jockey Jimmy Dean Brooks. “I just kept his attention with the headwind.”

            A gelding by Foose, Rock You has been on a winning streak since finishing third in the Grade 1, $1,045,000 Golden State Million last fall at Los Alamitos Race Course. “That’s when we knew he was a good horse,” said Brooks.

            Rock You came back from the Golden State Million to win his Grade 1, $1,916,525 Los Alamitos Two Million trial by three quarters of a length, however his time was not fast enough to qualify for the finals.

            Trainer Eddie Willis then gave Rock You a rest of more than three months and brought him back at Remington Park. He won an allowance race and then took the $50,000 Bob Moore Stakes in April, his start before the Ruidoso Derby trials.

            Dan and Jolene Urschel’s Cr Tuckernuck won the second trial with the second-fastest time of :19.547 over Valeriano Racing Stables LLC’s Super Sporting Dash, who qualified with the fourth-fastest time of :19.618.

            The Stacey Capps-trained Cr Tuckernuck prepared for the Ruidoso Derby trials with a one-and-one-quarter-length allowance win at Remington Park. The gelding closed out his two year-old season by qualifying for the Grade 1, $1 million Texas Classic Futurity at Lone Star Park.

            Jesus Avila and Jesus Cuevas’ Turbulent Times squeezed into the Ruidoso Derby with the 10th-fastest qualifying time, however could be one of the favorites as a Grade 1 winner with five victories from six starts. The Furyofthewind son won his Ruidoso Downs debut by one length in :19.704 while facing a 12-mile-per-hour headwind.

            Turbulent Times won the Grade 1, $1,045,000 Golden State Million and suffered his only setback when he was a troubled fourth in the Grade 1, $1,111,000 Ed Burke Million. Each of his previous five starts were at Los Alamitos last year.


2014 Ruidoso Derby Unofficial Qualifiers

Horse/Trial #                       Trainer                  Jockey                   Wind                      Time

Rock You/8                           Eddie Willis           Jimmy Brooks       8h                            19.539

Cr Tuckernuck/2                   Stacy Capps          Berkley Packer      9t                             19.547

Carters Disco/1                     John Stinebaugh  Omar Reyes           10t                           19.576

Super Sporting Dash/2        Joel Valeriano       Roman Chapa       9t                             19.618

Dm One Hot Charmer/8       Gerald Reed           GR Carter Jr.          8h                            19.643

Jz Fast Boy/1                        Donnie Strickland GR Carter Jr.         10t                           19.665

One Valiant Hero/3              Eddie Willis           Jimmy Brooks       0                              19.675

Grc Justplainazoom/1          Paul Jones             Esgar Ramirez       10t                           19.691

Cruzin/1                 Blane Wood          Felipe Garcia-Luna 10t                         19.704

Turbulent Times/6               Brandon Muniz    Eduardo Nicasio   12h                          19.704


Mr Jess Perry Preferred

Rae of Fire/7                          Juan Gonzalez       Jaime Leos             8h                            19.732

Lord Valiant/1                       Blane Wood          Ricky Ramirez       10h                          19.736

Rocked Up/2                         Juan Gonzalez       Jaime Leos             9t                             19.774

Quick Dynasty/5                  Brandon Muniz    Eduardo Nicasio   15h                          19.810

Belle Helene/3                       Blane Wood          Ricky Ramirez       0                              19.812

Corona Firewater/4              Blane Wood          Ricky Ramirez       1h                            19.816

Vh Won/1                              Eddie Willis           Jimmy Brooks       10t                           19.828

Coronado Cartel/5                Eddie Willis           Jimmy Brooks       15h                          19.833    

Dynastys First call/6           Blane Wood          Ricky Ramirez       12h                          19.844

Bp Wagon Train/9               Blane Wood          Ricky Ramirez       8h                            19.874