Before Saturday’s Grade 1, $759,000 Ruidoso Derby, trainer Rodolfo “Rudy” Valles had never won a stakes race and following Sunday’s Grade 1, $1 million Ruidoso Futurity the 24-year-old trainer had two Grade 1 stakes victories.
Valles won the Ruidoso Derby with Jess Move You and then Blue Corazon rushed to win the 350-yard Ruidoso Futurity.
The only other two trainers to win the Ruidoso Derby and the Ruidoso Futurity in the same year are hall of famers Sleepy Gilbreath (1998) and Russell Harris (2000).
On Sunday’s undercard, Eduardo Mendoza Jr.’s Em Bodacious Chick won the $100,000 Ruidoso Juvenile, for two-year-olds who did not qualify for the Ruidoso Futurity. She finished in the eight path after starting from the fourth post position.
Newman Cattle Company’s Blue Corazon went in from the fifth post position at the start of the Ruidoso Futurity and then quickly gained his composure to rally. He grabbed the one-half lengthvictory over Suze Returns in his second career start. Suze Returns finished neckahead of third-place runner Jest Famous.
Raul Ramirez Jr. was aboard for the win in :17.768.
“He veered in and then he went to running,” said Ramirez Jr.
Blue Corazon, a gelding by Coronado Cartel, showed his potential in the Ruidoso Futurity trials when he won his trial by one-and-one-half lengths. His time of :17.985 was the second-fastest time on the first of two days of trials.
“He’s always been a pro and he acted ready,” said Valles. “This whole weekend has been a dream. It’s impossible to put into words. After the trials, the horses came back well, but you still don’t ever think that this can happen.”
Jess Move You will now point at the trials to the Grade 1, $750,000 (est.) Rainbow Derby on July 8 while Blue Corazon will target the trials of the Grade 1, $1 million (est.) Rainbow Futurity on July 6-7.
Joe Rios’ Suze Returns, a daughter of High Rate Of Return, suffered her first defeat after three consecutive wins. The Juan Carlos Gonzalez-trained filly won the Grade 2, $269,528 West Texas Futurity at Sunland Park.
Regular rider Jaime Parga Leos was aboard in the Ruidoso Futurity.
MRB Racing, LLC’s Jest Famous, a $200,000 Ruidoso Select Sale yearling purchase, made his debut in the Ruidoso Futurity trials and raced to a convincing three-quarter-length win for trainer Blane Wood.
Ricky Ramirez has ridden Jest Famous, a gelding by Mr Jess Perry, in each of his starts,
Ruidoso Juvenile winner Em Bodacious Chick, a 20-1 longshot, jumped to the lead in the 350-yard race and then steadily veered outward while ahead of her rivals.She crossed the finish line a nose ahead of Our Favorite Sweet and Lynnder 16, a $30,000 supplemental nominee to enter the trials, finished third. Our Favorite Sweet was three quarters of a length ahead of Lynnder 16, the 7-10 favorite.
Em Bodacious Chick was timed in :18.124 under Jaime Parga Leos.
A daughter of Bodacious Dash, Em Bodcious Chick won her maiden in her sixth start while taking the Juvenile. The Cynthia Gonzalez-trained Em Bodacious Chick was fifth in the $50,000 West Texas Juvenile and then second in her Ruidoso Futurity trial under Francisco Calderon.
Gary Hartstack’s Our Favorite Sweet, a $27,000 Ruidoso Select Yearling Sale purchase, was second behind West Texas Futurity winner Suze Returns in their Ruidoso Futurity trial. She has two runner-up efforts in her latest two starts.
Trainer Jackie Riddle had Francisco Calderon in the saddle.
Tom Maher and Dick Tobin’s Lynnder 16 came to Ruidoso Downs after winning the $864,000 Remington Park Oklahoma-bred Futurity. She won her Ruidoso Futurity trial by three quarters of a length for her third win from her first three starts.
Christian Esqueda rode Lynnder 16 for trainer Jason Olmstead.