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