Bill T. Robbins’ champion, multimillionaire and All American Futurity winner Apocalyptical Jess looks for his fifth win from five 2019 races when he starts in the 440-yard trials to the $1,008,129 Rainbow Derby on Sunday at Ruidoso Downs.
Apocalyptical Jess was honored as the 2018 champion two-year-old gelding. Joining him in the fifth trial is 2018 champion two-year-old and champion two-year-old filly Flash and Roll.
Flying Cowboy 123, the 2018 champion two-year-old colt, races in the 10th trial.
First post time for the 10 trials is 1 p.m.
The horses with the 10-fastest times from the trials gain eligibility to race in the Rainbow Derby on July 20. The horses with the next 10-fastest marks gain preference to race in the $100,000 Corona Cartel on July 20.
Apocalyptical Jess is the number-one ranked older horse in the American Quarter Horse Association national poll and his career earnings of $2,081,773 is the fifth on the all-time career earnings list.
The Trey Wood-trained Apocalyptical Jess started his 2019 campaign by setting the fastest-qualifying time to the Restricted-Grade 3 $319,975 Remington Park Derby and he then overwhelmed his rivals by one-and-three-quarter lengths in the Remington Park Derby.
Apocalyptical Jess came to Ruidoso Downs and continued his high standard in the Ruidoso Derby trials. He won his trial by two lengths as the 2-5 favorite with the fastest-qualifying time of :19.749 for 400 yards.
A son of Apollitical Jess, Apocalyptical Jess showed his grit when he won the Grade 1, $958,766 Ruidoso Derby by a hard-fought neck over Danjer to surpass the $2-million earnings mark.
The gelding earned $1.5-million when he won last year’s Grade 1, $3-million All American Futurity and secure his championship title.
“He’s perfect,” Wood said. “We x-rayed him and the horse is 100 percent. It’s amazing how sound he is and he wants to run.”
Apocalyptical Jess drew the first post position and Ricky Ramirez will ride.
There will be potent competition in the fifth trial as Apocalyptical Jess faces Flash and Roll.
Scott Bryant’s Flash and Roll has won seven of eight career starts and is in improving form.
Flash and Roll, a $200,000 Ruidoso Select Yearling Sale purchase, made her 2019 debut in the Ruidoso Derby trials after a five-month layoff. She won her trial by one length with the 15th-fastest qualifying time, which gave her preference to race in the $100,000 Mr Jess Perry. Her connections passed on the Mr Jess Perry and pointed her at the Rainbow Derby trials.
“That race (trial win) will make her sharper,” trainer Mike Joiner said. “She did her job (winning the trial) and came out of the race well. She’s doing good.”
A daughter of First Moonflash, Flash and Roll was sensational last year. The earner of $1,218,554 won the Grade 1, $942,750 Golden State Million Futurity and the Grade 1, $1,836,425 Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity. Her sole setback came in the Grade 1, $1-million Ruidoso Futurity as the 9-5 favorite.
Flash and Roll starts from the seventh post position with James Flores aboard.
Paragon Farm’s LLC’s Flying Cowboy 123, a $100,000 Ruidoso Select Yearling Sale purchase, earned his championship title with a win in the Grade 1, $1,014,657 Texas Classic Futurity at Lone Star Park back in November.
Another member of the Wood stable, Flying Cowboy 123 was then rested until the Ruidoso Derby trials. He won his trial by two-and-one-quarter lengths while facing a driving rain and head wind to qualify for the derby.
A half-brother to world champion Cold Cash 123, Flying Cowboy 123 was a little tardy at the start of the Ruidoso Derby and ran to a fourth-place finish.
Ricky Ramirez is aboard Flying Cowboy 123 with the second post position.
Jest Famous and Suze Returns meet in the seventh trial.
La Feliz Montana Ranch LLC’s Jest Famous, also from the Wood barn, makes his first start since winning the Grade 1, $150,000 Southwest Juvenile Championship back in December at Zia Park. The $200,000 Ruidoso Select Yearling Sale purchase won as the 5-2 favorite while Suze Returns finished in third place.
Ricky Ramirez is up on Jest Famous with the fourth post position.
Joe Rios’ Suze Returns could be in dangerous form after winning a strong Ruidoso Downs allowance race by one length on June 16. That was her 2019 debut.
Last year, Suze Returns won the Grade 2, $270,000 West Texas Futurity, was second in the Ruidoso Futurity and then third to Jest Famous in the Southwest Juvenile Championship.
Trainer Juan Gonzalez will have Jaime Parga Leos on Suze Returns with the fifth post position.
La Felix Montana Ranch LLC’s Lethal Lil is always a threat and comes off an impressive one-length win in the $100,000 Mr Jess Perry for horses who did not qualify for the Ruidoso Derby.
Lethal Lil, trained by Manuel Rodolfo Rodriguez, had a strong 2018 season. The filly was second in the Rainbow Futurity and third in the Southwest Juvenile Championship.
Jose Amador Alvarez rides Lethal Lil with the eighth post position in the first trial.
Elco Armendariz and Omar Ruiz Jr. paid $40,000 to supplement New News to the Rainbow Derby trials.
New News started the year as a maiden and quickly improved for trainer Ricardo Armendariz. After winning his maiden race, he set the fastest qualifying time to the Grade 3, $210,910 West Texas Derby and then took the derby by a neck as the odds-on favorite.
J.R. Ramirez rides New News from the first post position in the eighth trial.
Valeriano Racing Stables, LLC’s Im Jess Special V makes his return to racing after finishing second to Apocalyptical Jess in the All American Futurity on Labor Day. The Toby Keeton-trained gelding started his 2018 summer at Ruidoso Downs by qualifying for the Ruidoso Futurity.
J.R. Ramirez is on Im Jess Special V in the sixth trial with the second post position.
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