Lethal Lil and One Famous Stone, who each have futurity experience, set the top-two qualifying times to the Grade 1, $1 million Rainbow Futurity on Friday afternoon at Ruidoso Downs.
The horses with the five-fastest times from Friday’s 14 400-yard trials meet the top-five fastest qualifiers from Saturday’s 14 trials in the Rainbow Futurity on July 22. Saturday’s Rainbow Futurity trials begin at noon.
On Sunday, New Mexico native and Triple Crown-winning jockey Mike Smith will be at Ruidoso Downs. He will be signing posters celebrating his Triple Crown win on Justify for $25. Unsigned posters will be sold for $10. All proceeds benefit the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund.
La Feliz Montana Ranch, LLC’s Lethal Lil set a :19.782 time for 400 yards in the third trial and it held up as the quickest time through the remainder of the afternoon.
The Corona Cartel-sired filly overcame a tardy start with an impressive finish. She reached the leaders within 100 yards and then easily drew off from her rivals under mild urging from jockey Jose Amador Alvarez.
Lethal Lil won by one-and-one-quarter lengths.
“She can run,” trainer Joel Valeriano Jr. said. “She didn’t break well in her Ruidoso Futurity trial (her previous start) so we did a lot of gate work with her.”
Lethal Lil won her maiden at first asking in her West Texas Futurity trial and then finished ninth in the Grade 2, $269,528 West Texas Futurity.
Jose Espinosa and Pedro Aquado’s One Famous Stone also scored after a slow start.
“He was just a little tardy at the start,” jockey James Flores said. “I let him find his stride and then stayed out of his way.”
A gelding by One Famous Eagle and out of Los Alamitos Championship winner Strength In Numbers, One Famous Stone won by an expanding two lengths with the second-fastest time of :19.813.
A $240,000 Ruidoso Select Yearling Sale purchase, One Famous Stone qualified for the Grade 1, $1 million Ruidoso Futurity.
The three remaining qualifiers — MM Fourinthemorning, Coach A Comin and Flying Cowboy 123 — were each making their second career starts.
Mark and Annette McCloy’s MM Fourinthemorning and Paragon Farms’ Flying Cowboy 123 are each trained by Blane Wood and were ridden by Ricky Ramirez.
MM Fourinthemorning was seventh in his first start while Flying Cowboy 123 was eighth in his debut. MM Flying Cowboy 123 is a half-brother to 2011 world champion Cold Cash 123 and was a $100,000 Ruidoso Select Yearling Sale purchase.
“They came here green (inexperienced) and they got a race in them (before the Rainbow Futurity trials),” Wood said. “They have learned how to break and experienced racing. We want them to peak at the end of the meet.”
Friday’s five qualifiers and their times are Lethal Lil (:19.782), One Famous Stone (:19.813), Mm Fourinthemorning (:19.887), Coach A Comin (:19.921) and Flying Cowboy 123 (:19.944).
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