Hustle Up Dominates Mountain Top Thoroughbred Futurity

If there was any doubt about who is the best New Mexico-bred two-year-old thoroughbred, it dissolved when Hustle Up easily dispatched of his nine rivals to win the $122,688 Mountain Top New Mexico-Bred Futurity at Ruidoso Downs on Saturday afternoon.

Hustle Up, the strongly backed 1-2 favorite, kept his record perfect after four starts with the one-and-one-quarter-length win over Sunscreen. Third-place finisher Hanky Panky Kim was another one-and-one-quarter length back in third.

Owned by Dale F. Taylor Racing LLC with B.J. McQueen and Suzanne Kirby, Hustle Up raced the five furlongs in :58.61 under Tracy Hebert.

Starting from the seventh post position, Hustle Up was on the flank of frontrunner Stealing Home by the time they reached the end of the backstretch. Hebert kept Hustle Up alongside Stealing Home before passing that rival on the turn. Hustle Up then drew out through the stretch to get the easy victory.

“I almost messed up,” Hebert said. “Instead of slowing him down, I should have just let him run. He’s the best horse on the race.”

The fans acknowledged he was the best horse in the race by his odds-on status and he earned that recognition in his three previous outs. He won his trials to the $162,905 Copper Top Futurity and the Mountain Top Futurity. The gelding by Abstraction was a gate-to-winner winner of the Copper Top Futurity at Sunland Park by seven-and-one-half lengths.

“We have never really let him run,” said trainer Todd Fincher. “We’re just going to keep him fit and happy.” He indicated that the gelding’s next start could come in the August 11 trials to the $175,000 (est.) Rio Grande Senor Futurity at Ruidoso Downs or he could wait and run in the trials to the New Mexico State Fair Futurity in September.

R.D. Hubbard and Shaun Hubbard’s homebred Sunscreen, under Elvin Gonzalez, was unable to match Hustle Up in the stretch.

The Casey Lambert-trained Sunscreen won his maiden at first asking at Sunland Park in April and then was second in his Mountain Top trial.

The Fred Danley-owned, -bred and -trained Hanky Panky Kim won his maiden by six-and-one-half lengths at Sunland Park and then was second to Hustle Up, beaten by seven lengths, in their Mountain Top trial.

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