In what is undoubtedly an unprecedented event there were dead heats for the win in Saturday’s Grade 1, $800,000 Ruidoso Derby and then again in Sunday’s Grade 1, $1-million Ruidoso Futurity at Ruidoso Downs. Two dead heats in two days in Grade 1 races.
On Saturday, Tough To Bee and Magical Jess finished in a dead heat in the Ruidoso Derby.
In the Ruidoso Futurity, Eagle Jazz and Uptown Dynasty finished on even terms. They were each timed in :17.537 for the 350 yards.
It was the second dead heat in the Ruidoso Futurity. Okey Dokey Fantasy and Saint Shackleton finished in a dead heat in 2006.
It was another length back to third-place finisher This Is A Deal Two behind Eagle Jazz and Uptown Fantasy.
Juan Medina’s homebred Eagle Jazz showed his grit and determination in the Ruidoso Derby. “He was beaten two lengths when he stumbled at the start,” said trainer Judd Kearl. “He showed a lot of class. I thought he was out of it.”
He was ridden by Rodrigo Sigala Vallejo.
A strapping sorrel gelding by One Dashing Eagle, Eagle Jazz set the fastest qualifying time on the second of two days of Ruidoso Derby trials when he won by two lengths in :17.874 for 350 yards.
Eagle Jazz has won five of six starts with his sole setback a very close second-place run in the $1-million Remington Park Oklahoma-bred Futurity.
Melvin Neugebauer’s Uptown Dynasty gave his owner and trainer Wes Giles their second-consecutive wins in the Ruidoso Futurity. Last year, Apolltical Chad won the Ruidoso Futurity for Nueve Racing. Neugebauer was part of Nueve Racing.
A gelding by Mr Jess Perry, Uptown Dynasty was second in a maiden race at Sam Houston Race Park before coming to Ruidoso Downs and joining the Giles barn. He immediately stepped forward with a one-and-one-half-length trial win in :18.142 while facing an eight-mph headwind.
Giles became the second trainer to win consecutive Ruidoso derbies. Ruidoso Racehorse Hall of Fame member Carl Draper won with Heartswideopen (2007) and Jess Significant (2008).
The connections of Eagle Jazz and Uptown Dynasty have yet to decide if they will run in the Rainbow Futurity trials on July 7-8 or wait until the All American Futurity trials on August 18-19.
In the $100,000 Ruidoso Juvenile, for horses who did not qualify for the Ruidoso Futurity, Mr Perry Strong showed his best races may be ahead of him with a strong three quarter-length victory.
Licon Farm and Ranch, LLC’s Mr Perry Strong, a son of Mr Jess Perry and Grade 1 stakes winner Strength In Numbers, broke well from the outside post position and was taking command of the race within the first 100 yards. The L. Salvador Martinez-ridden Mr Perry Strong then showed his promise with a decisive win in :17.633 for the 350 yards.
Preston Cloud’s runner-up Hez Our Prize finished a neck in of Birrell Farms’ Bf Favorite Folly.
Mr Perry Strong made one start at Sunland Park — a fourth-place finish — before joining the Mike Joiner barn at Ruidoso Downs/.
“He’s just a pro and does everything right,” said Joiner.
Joiner said the next start for Mr Perry Strong, a $25,000 Ruidoso Select Yearling Sale purchase, will probably be the trials to the Grade 1, $1-million (est.) Rainbow Futurity on July 7-8.
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