RUIDOSO DOWNS, New Mexico (August 31, 2014) – Jose Espinosa and Michele Laird’s Too Flash For You raced to a 9-1 upset win in the Grade 1, $1,920,887 All American Derby on Sunday afternoon at Ruidoso Downs.
The All American Derby offers the largest purse of any quarter horse derby and the winner receives an invitation to the Grade 1, $750,000 Champion of Champions at Los Alamitos in December.
The New Mexico-bred Too Flash For You earned $806,772 to push his career earnings to $942,188.
Champion Five Bar Cartel broke on the lead from the inside post position while Too Flash For You ran a perfect, professional race from the sixth post position under Larry Gamez. Too Flash For You started sharply and the horse inside of him went in and the horse outside of him drifted out at the start. Too Flash For You ran down Five Bar Cartel and scored the one-half length win. Five Bar Cartel was second by a neck over Houdini, the 8-5 favorite.
“When he heard that click and the gate opened, I’ll tell you one thing, he left with the gate and he was rolling,” said jockey Larry Gamez. “I just talked to my horse and asked him to go a little faster. And he did – he did it! When we hit the stretch, I went to a left-handed (stick) and I got another gear. I saw that horse on the inside (Five Bar Cartel) and I was looking at that wire, and I said I got this.”
It has been a sensational summer for Giles. He also won the Grade 1, $900,000 Rainbow Futurity with Trendi and he sent out 10-year-old Miracle Snow to win the $50,000 Zia Quarter Horse Championship. He was also second in the Grade 1, $200,000 All American Gold Cup on Saturday with Jesscuzican. However, Too Flash For You provided the summer’s largest paycheck.
“It feels really good,” said trainer Giles. “You wait and you dream about it for a long time, and everything came together. We had lots of room and a clean break and the horse ran a huge race.
“He’s had some time to mature. We got banged around every time last year in the finals and he never had a chance. This year the breaks have been coming our way and he’s had a chance out of the gates. He’s got a big kick on the end when he gets out of the gate.”
It was the first win in a seven-figure race for both Giles and Gamez.
Too Flash For You, a $20,000 Ruidoso Select Sale purchase, raced to his fourth-straight win in the All American Derby. The gelded son of First Moonflash started his winning streak against New Mexico-breds. He won the $85,000 New Mexico Horse Breeders Stakes and then the $45,000 New Mexico Breeders Derby. Then he won the second of 12 trials to the All American Derby with the seventh-fastest time of :21.375 for the 440 yards.
“I met Jose (Espinosa) at the Gillespie Fairgrounds,” said so-owner Laird. “He was the leading trainer and I asked him if I could buy a horse with him. Jose picked him out and this has been the thrill of a lifetime. We thank Larry for a great ride and Wes for doing such a great job with our horse.”
San Gregorio Racing Stables’ Five Bar Cartel ran his best race since winning the Grade 1 $1.1 million Ed Burke Million at Los Alamitos in June, 2013. He secured the 2013 champion two-year-old colt title by also qualifying to the Grade 1, $1,045,000 Golden State Million and the Grade 1, $1,990,000 Los Alamitos Million at the Southern California track.
A total of 20,764 fans attended Ruidoso Downs for the All American Derby, roughly the population of Lincoln County. Ruidoso Downs is located in Lincoln County.