RUIDOSO DOWNS, New Mexico (June 21, 2014) – Burt Darian’s Jesscuzican racing in the Grade 3, $30,000 Higheasterjet for older horses and an interesting field running in the in the $62,550 Adequan Ruidoso Derby Challenge combine for a stakes doubleheader on Saturday afternoon at Ruidoso Downs.
First post time is 1 p.m. with the 350-yard Higheasterjet running as the 10th race and the Adequan Ruidoso Derby Challenge held as the eighth race on the 11-race card.
Jesscuzican comes off a strong performance for trainer Wes Giles when he finished in a dead heat for second in the Grade 2, $105,480 Bank of America Sunland Park Challenge at 3-1 odds. He finished one length off of Feature Mr Who’s winning time of :20.76 for the 440 yards.
A son of Feature Mr Jess, Jesscuzican impressed in three starts at Sunland Park. He also was second by a head in a $27,600 allowance race and then won his Bank of America Sunland Park Challenge trial by three parts of a length.
Larry Gamez rides Jesscuzican with the fourth post position in the 10-horse field.
Jon and Donna McPherson’s Point Break Dash could be very dangerous in the Higheasterjet off an eight-month layoff. He is moving up the older horse division after qualifying for the Grade 1, $2.8 million All American Derby, the Grade 1, $1,054,992 Rainbow Derby and the Grade 2, $176,756 Hobbs America Derby last year. The Paul Jones-trainee was third in the All American Derby, which offered the largest purse in quarter horse racing history.
A son of First Down Dash, Point Break Dash starts from the ninth post position with Cody Jensen aboard.
The Adequan Ruidoso Derby Challenge offers an interesting proposition for the connections of the prime prospects. Do they run their horse in the Adequan Ruidoso Derby Challenge or wait and run in the trials to the Grade 1, $1 million (est.) Rainbow Derby on July 5.
Jerry Windham’s fastest-qualifier J Bar is one of those horses. The gelding won his Adequan Ruidoso Derby Challenge trial by one-half length for his third win from five starts for trainer Mike Joiner. He was timed in :19.723 for the 400 yards.
All-time leading jockey G.R. Carter Jr. rode J Bar in his trial, but Oscar Hernandez has been named on J Bar with the sixth post position. Carter will ride eighth-fastest qualifier Whip Curl.
Paul Jones and Chad Richard’s homebred Make A Wish For Me has finished in the top-two runners in six of eight starts and was second to J Bar in the first of three trials. The Jones-trained gelding won the $43,000 John Deere Los Alamitos Juvenile Challenge back in August.
Jockey Cody Jensen, fourth in the nation in money earned this year, was up for the trial, however Esgar Ramirez has been placed on Make A Wish For Me with the fifth post position. Jensen has been named on fifth-fastest qualifier Kansas Morning.
Jose Espinosa’s Big Biz Perry could be ready to step forward after coming off a layoff to win the third trial with the fourth-fastest time of :19.945. She won last year’s Grade 1, $910,000 Heritage Place Futurity and then was a non-qualifying winner of her All American Futurity trial. She is two-for-two at Ruidoso Downs.
Trainer Blane Wood had his top stable rider Ricky Ramirez on Big Biz Perry in her latest four starts. He retains the mount with the outside post position in the 10-horse field.
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