It was a stellar day for the Blane Wood stable while the wind was a major factor during the second day of trials to the Grade 1, $1 million Ruidoso Futurity on Saturday at Ruidoso Downs.
The horses with the five-fastest times on Saturday meet the horses with the five-fastest times from Friday’s trials in the Ruidoso Futurity on June 12.
Wood sent out the top-three qualifiers on a day when the wind turned from a tailwind to a headwind before the fourth of the 15 trials. Three of the five finalists came out of the first three trials.
Leading the qualifiers was the Wood-trained trio of Ms Maggie Mae, Jess Paint Your Wagon and Tough To Bee. Team Wood also sent out Saturday’s sixth-fastest qualifier Princess Of Torts. On Friday, the Wood-trained Cash And Corona was second to fastest-qualifier Mojo Perry and Cash And Corona reached the finals with the day’s fourth-fastest time.
Ricky Ramirez was up on all the Wood qualifiers and will have his choice from the four Wood-trained finalists.
Randy and Sandy Coleman’s homebred Ms Maggie Mae took the third trial with an 11-miles-per-hour tailwind. The One Famous Eagle filly opened up a daylight advantage and went on to a two-and-one-quarter-length win.
The One Famous Eagle daughter was timed in :17.641 for the 350 yards while making her first start
Terry and Irene Stennett’s homebred Jess Paint Ur Wagon faced a four-mph headwind and came through with her second win from two starts. She won her maiden in a futurity trial at Remington Park and took the 11th trial by one length in :17.761 as the odds-on choice.
Paragon Farm’s Tough To Bee, an Apollitical Jess-sired gelding, won his maiden in his second start with a one-length score as the 1-2 choice in the second trial. He was timed in :17.774.
Wood was quick to credit his team for his success. “I’m very pleased,” said Wood. “It is the team. Trey (Blane’s son), Ricky and everybody else deserve the credit. It also takes a lot of good owners. We have fun. The owners are part of our family. We go out to dinner together and have fun. I like where we are at.”
Shaena Carter and Richard Rothwell’s One Sweet Sign won the first trial with a :17.778 time with a 12-mph tailwind. The One Sweet Jess filly from the Mike Joiner barn was making her first start and Omar Reyes was aboard. The $15,000 Ruidoso Select Yearling Sale bargain won her trial by a neck.
The afternoon’s fifth-fastest qualifier, Turner Farms’ One Hot Habit, raced into a 14-mph headwind and gained attention. The Walk Thru Fire daughter from the Paul Jones barn won the 10th trial by an expanding two lengths in :17.788 while making her first start.
“She is just a May foal and she’s the real deal,” said Lisa Saumell, who runs Jones’ New Mexico operation. “I’ve thought she was the fastest of our two-year-olds from the start.”
The Jones stable had four trial winners.
History backs support for One Hot Habit. In the 2013 Ruidoso Derby trials, the wind changed from a tailwind to a strong headwind. Wicked Courage bucked the 25-mph headwind in his trial while the other qualifiers benefitted from a tailwind. He had the 10th and final qualifying time.
In the 2013 Ruidoso Derby, the bettors were savvy and made him the 17-10 favorite and he won by a neck.