A celebratory Memorial Day race weekend begins Friday with the first of two days of trials to the Grade 1, $1-million Ruidoso Futurity that brings out two-year-olds with stakes experience and inexperienced youngsters who will reveal their potential.
There were 274 two-year-olds entered in the trials with 14 350-yard trials contested on Friday and another 14 trials on Saturday. There will be a special noon first post time for each day of trials.
The horses with the five-fastest times from each day of Ruidoso Futurity trials qualify to advance to the Ruidoso Futurity on June 9. The two-year-olds with the next five-fastest times may race on the $100,000 Ruidoso Juvenile on June 9.
The Ruidoso Futurity is the first race in the Ruidoso Downs’ two-year-old Triple Crown. The Ruidoso Futurity is followed by the $1-million Rainbow Futurity and the $3-million All American Futurity. If a horse wins all three futurities, then the horse’s connections take the $2-million All American Triple Crown Futurity Bonus. Winning the bonus and the first-place award for each futurity would total $4,340,000.
Friday’s Ruidoso Futurity trial program features proven futurity horses Kj Mucho Macho Man and Doc Hockaday.
Owned by John and Kathy Lee with Ruben Mares, Kj Mucho Macho Man showed his talent when he was third in the Grade 2, $323,571 West Texas Futurity at Sunland Park on May 5.
The Wes Giles-trained Kj Mucho Macho Man has the breeding to match his budding talent. He is sired by world champion Apollitical Jess and produced by important Ruidoso Downs stakes winner Wild Six, winner of the 2007 Rainbow Futurity. Wild Six was also trained by Giles.
“Probably, he’sthe best (offspring) that she’s had,” Giles said. “He’s doing really well. Since the West Texas Futurity, we haven’t done anything with him, just keeping him happy.
“I think that he’ll want the longer distances.”
Kj Mucho Macho Man races in Friday’s 10th trial and drew the seventh post position. Adrian A. Ramos will ride.
Tyler Graham and Jose Fabian Hernandez’s Doc Hockaday is looking for his first win, however finished sixth behind the highly regarded Trump My Record in the Grade 2, $459,700 Sam Houston Futurity at Sam Houston Race Park in Houston.
A son of promising sire Kiss My Hocks, winner of the 2014 Ruidoso Futurity, Doc Hockaday is trained by Bobby Martinez and ridden by Manuel Gutierrez. The colt starts from the third post position in Friday’s fourth trial.
Saturday’s Ruidoso Futurity trials have an interesting 11th trial. That trial features West Texas Futurity runner-up Return of Brown Eyes and the promising Apollitical B King.
Diamond Racing Stables and US Alliance Logistic’s Return of Brown Eyes narrowly lost the West Texas Futurity by a head as the 2-1 favorite.
The Jose Luis Muela-trained Return of Brown Eyes, a $35,000 Ruidoso Select Yearling Sale purchase, starts from the second post position with regular rider Sergio Becerra Jr. aboard.
Rancho El Cabresto, Inc’s homebred Apollitical B King, a gelding by Apollitical Blood, gained a lot of attention when he impressively won his Ruidoso Downs’ training race on May 8. He powered away from his rivals to get the dominant daylight victory. His 300-yard time of :15.782 was the quickest mark from three days of training races.
Trainer Trey Wood will have Ricky Ramirez riding Apollitical B King from the outside post position in the 10-horse field.
Trainer Gerald Reed and Whiting Ranch’s Lota Shakin Goin On races in the 14th trial after a close second-place finish in $895,210 Remington Park Futurity for Oklahoma-breds. The gelding by Lota Pyc closed with a rush, however came up a head short in the 330-yard dash.
James Flores rides Lota Shakin Goin On.
Memorial Day weekend racing continues on Sunday with the Ruidoso Derby trials and concludes on Memorial Day with the $116,840 Ruidoso Maiden Stakes.
The first 500 people who buy a program on Friday, Saturday and Sunday receive a free t-shirt. Also, the highly acclaimed Red Steagall along with a mega-sized American flag will provide a special Memorial Day weekend tribute on Sunday.
For updated Ruidoso Downs information, go to the new www.raceruidoso.com, visit the Ruidoso Downs Race Track and Casino Facebook page and follow Ruidoso Downs on Instagram.