PV Quarter Horse Farms LLC’s Jess Good Candy pushed his record to seven wins for seven starts with a tour-de-force victory in the record Grade 1, $1,068,631 Ruidoso Derby on Saturday afternoon at Ruidoso Derby.
The previous record Ruidoso Derby purse was $943,279 in 2014.
The 400-yard romp had longtime horsemen comparing him to all-time quarter horse greats after he easily won the 400-yard contest by one-and-three-quarter lengths.
Jess Good Candy made the Ruidoso Derby a humbling experience for his competitors.
The Ivan Carnero-ridden colt started well from the outside post position and appeared to have the outside half of the racetrack all to himself. Carnero allowed Jess Good Candy to settle into his long, powerful stride and the race was, essentially, over.
The homebred son of Good Reason SA, raced the 400 yards in :19.477 to win by an expanding one-and-three-quarter lengths.
Bennie and Teresa Jeter’s fastest-qualifier Volcom Bay finished second under Rodrigo Sigala Vallejo. Judd Kearl trained the Volcom-sired filly topped the qualifiers with a :19.618 time.
Volcom Bay finished a neck ahead of Apollitical Ok, owned by J. Oscar Dominguez and Joel Martinez. It was the first stakes placing for the gelding by Apollitical Jess. He was a $15,000 purchase at the Ruidoso Select Yearling Sale.
Jess Good Candy’s triumph is a tribute to the breeding program started by the late Carl Pevehouse and is now carried on by his wife Rozella and their children.
All three of Carl and mine children are here,” said Rozella. “It just means a lot for them to see the legacy of their dad carry on. We just love Jess Good Candy. It’s just been a miracle for us and we appreciate him, and we appreciate (trainer) Clint (Crawford).
“This is the culmination of 40 years (of breeding).”
Crawford has been on an eye-catching roll.
Jess Good Candy won last year’s Grade 1, $3 million All American Futurity and was honored as 2015 champion two-year-old and champion two-year-old colt.
The trainer then won the training title this spring at Remington Park and now Jess Good Candy is the three-year-old to beat in quarter horse racing.
“It’s been a good run the last couple of years.” said Crawford. “This horse right here is topping it off for us. He’s our dream. He’s what we live for. He’s a once in a lifetime horse.
“I’ll tell you what, he brings the family together and the friends together. So many people come out to cheer this horse on and we appreciate it.”
The year’s goal still is ahead for Jess Good Candy. He is being pointed at the Grade 1, $2.5 million All American Derby and will pass the Grade 1, $1.2 million (est.) Rainbow Derby.
“His first race (this year) at Remington Park (the Mr Master Bug Stakes in April), he needed that race to get prepared to come out here,” said Crawford. “He was a little tired after that first race and coming into the trials I thought he was a little bit too fresh. But, we got him through it and got him qualified. We brought him back in the finals and he walked up here like a gentleman; he was ready and he was focused. I’m just so proud of the way he performed.”
The future for Mr Jess Candy is bright. He has yet to race 440 yards this year and the All American Derby and All American Derby trials are at 440 yards. He won the All American Futurity at 440 yards.
“His ticket is 440 yards. I think the 440 (yards) is what we gotta wait for,” said Crawford.
The Rainbow Derby is also at 440 yards, but the Jess Good Candy crew is taking a pass.
“Sometimes people get a little too greedy and I’ve watched it year after year after year,” said Crawford. “Then they show up at the All American Derby and they’re outta horse. I don’t want that to happen to this horse.
“We’re gonna train on him, keep him fit and ready, like we did last year. We’re gonna bring him fresh into the (All American Derby) trials and hope that God and the wind is in our favor and get him qualified.”
The winning streak continues and the admiration for Jess Good Candy just keeps growing.
Secretzzoom Takes Mr Jess Perry
Valles Guadiana Corporation’s Secretzzoom held off challenges from Rip Tide and Divas First Wagon to score a 15-1 upset win in the $100,000 Mr Jess Perry on the Ruidoso Derby undercard.
The Mr Jess Perry is for horses who did not qualify to the Ruidoso Derby. Preference is given to horses with the fastest times in the trials. Secretzzoom had the 26th-fastest time in the
Secretzzoom started sharply from the inside post position and was on the lead 200 yards into the 400-yard test. Jockey Adrian A. Ramos and Secretazzoom then held their rivals safe by one-half length with a :19.877 time for the 400 yards.
Reliance Ranches’ Rip Tide was second by a head over J&M Racing and Farms’ Divas First Wagon.
Secretzzoom raced to his first win since taking his maiden at Zia Park back in November. The Mr Jess Perry was his second win from eight career starts.
In his Ruidoso Derby trial, Secretzzoom was second by one-half length to Memphis B Nasty, who also competed in the Mr Jess Perry.
A son of No Secrets Here, Secretzzoom had trouble at the start of his Ruidoso Derby trial when he hopped at the start.
Rip Tide, a $300,000 purchase at the 2014 Ruidoso Select Yearling Sale, has been consistent for trainer Eddie Willis throughout his eight-race career. He has one win in a maiden race, three seconds and four third-place finishes.
The entire sale’s topper, Rip Tide, sold on the first night for $300,000. He is a gray son of Corona Cartel and the stakes winning, 440-yard track-record setter Little Surfer by First Down Dash. Rip Tide’s second dam is broodmare of the year Runaway Wave, dam of world champion Wave Carver and two-time champion Ocean Runaway.
Divas First Wagon, a $48,000 Ruidoso Select Yearling Sale purchase, finished third in the Biscayne Bay Stakes at Hialeah Park back in January. He was second to Boogies Special Dash, who was also in the Mr Jess Perry, in their Ruidoso Derby trial.