Jose Guzman and Rito Sosa’s Mr Jess Jenkins, a 13-1 longshot, spoiled owner R.D. Hubbard’s bid for his first All American Futurity victory when he rallied to get the neck win in the Grade 1, $3-million classic on Monday afternoon at Ruidoso Downs.
The Labor Day program featuring the All American Futurity is the traditional closing day of the summer racing season.
The 440-yard All American Futurity offers the largest purse in quarter horse racing. The winner earns $1.5 million.
R.D. Hubbard has been trying to win the All American Futurity since his first finalist in 1979. During the 40-year drought the 17 horses he has qualified for quarter horse racing’s iconic prize have finished in every position, except first.
Mr Riptide, owned by Hubbard with Mark and Annette McCloy, was second.
Determined One, owned by Hubbard with his grandson Shaun Hubbard, was a nose behind Mr Riptide for third.
The James Flores-ridden Mr Jess Jenkins made a furious charge in the last half of the race to get the win in a photo finish.
“The horse ran awesome – he left every bit of it on the racetrack,” Flores said. “He gave me 120 percent.
“Those other horses run their butts off, too – it was a good horse race.”
Mr Jess Jenkins, trained by 22-year-old Marcos Carrizales, covered the quarter mile in :21.302.
“Gelding him helped him tremendously,” Carrizales said. “Ever since we did it, he has trained well. Wow, the horse has done an amazing job.”
Sired by Apollitical Jess, Mr Jess Jenkins was winless in his first three starts and then reached the winner’s circle when he won his All American Futurity trial by one-and-one-half lengths. His time of :21.751 for 440 yards was the third-fastest mark during the first of two days of All American Futurity trials.
“He’s calm, he likes to go nice and relaxed,” Carrizales said. “He’s an amazing horse. He’s a nice horse to have in the barn. Keep him happy and he’ll do his job. From the trials to today, I just tried to keep him happy and that was about it.”
The All American Futurity field is determined from the two trial days with the horses with the five-fastest times on each day earning a berth in the All American Futurity.
Mr Riptide and Determined One each got excellent starts and for a while looked like they could give Hubbard a one-two sweep.
The New Mexico-bred Mr Riptide, a strapping gelding by Woodbridge, confidently rolled down the rail under Ricky Ramirez while the Cody Jensen ridden Determined One was sprinting near the lead. Then Mr Jess Jenkins caught them.
Mr Riptide has been sensational at Ruidoso Downs this summer. He easily handled state-breds when he won the $434,210 Zia Futurity and then took his All American Futurity trial by one-half length. His :21.681 trial time was the fastest qualifying mark on the first day of trials.
Mr Riptide was saddled in the All American Futurity by J.J. Gonzales II, who won the race as a jockey in 2003.
Determined One, who was bred by Hubbard, started his career at Los Alamitos in Southern California. The Hes Relentless-sired gelding finished fourth in the Grade 1, $1,070,000 Ed Burke Million Futurity on June 23. The next week he shipped to Ruidoso Downs to prepare for the All American Futurity trials in the Todd Fincher barn.
Following Determined One under the wire were Lil Miss Sashay, My Fast Prize, Gonna B Famous, Passionate Paris, Avyator, Elm Creek Khrome and Df Mischievious Jess.
Supporting the All American Futurity on the program was the $200,000 All American Juvenile for two-year-old quarter horses who did not qualify for the All American Futurity. Also, thoroughbreds raced in the $143,091 Rio Grande Senor Futurity and the $30,000 Governor’s Handicap.
In the 440-yard All American Juvenile, Cavenaugh Quarter Horses, LLC’s Uncle D lived up to his 6-5 expectations when he ran down Cers Final Try to win by an increasing neck.
Uncle D and jockey Cody Rodger Smith raced the quarter mile in :21.397.
Third place went to Hodgepodge Hocks, who was one-length behind Cers Final Try.
The Clint Crawford-trained Uncle D has been one of the most highly regarded two-year-olds in quarter horse racing. He finished second in the Grade 1, $1,073,100 Heritage Place Futurity at Remington Park and then came to Ruidoso Downs to win the Grade 1, $1-million Rainbow Futurity by one-and-one-quarter lengths.
Uncle D was the 1-5 favorite in his All American Futurity trial. However, he was upset by Elm Creek Khrome, who reached the All American Futurity finals.
“We were pointing him at the All American weekend,” Crawford said. “We were ready to go either way (futurity or juvenile).”
A superbly bred son of Corona Cartel and Little Surfer, Uncle D pushed his career earnings to $682,965 with the Juvenile victory. His dam, Little Surfer, is a sister to champions and Champion of Champions winners Ocean Runaway and Wave Carver.
Christina Robinson’s Cers Final Try, a gelding by One Dashing Eagle, ran a gallant race under jockey Manuel Gutierrez.
The Tony Sedillo-trained Cers Final Try scored back-to-back-wins before a second-place run in his All American Futurity trial.
Debra Gotovac’s Hodgepodge Hocks was third in his All American Futurity trial behind All American Futurity runner-up Mister Riptide.
Noe Garcia Jr. rode Hodgepodge Hocks for trainer Brad Bolen.
In the five-and-one-half-furlong Rio Grande Senor Futurity for New Mexico-bred males, Jimmy and Rebecca Powers’ Shame On Powers raced on the lead and then gamely held off a determined bid by R.D. Hubbard and Paul Blanchard’s Cerveza to get his second stakes win by a nose.
Shame On Powers was timed in 1:05.17 with Miguel Perez aboard.
The Cliff Lambert-trained Shame On Powers, a gelding by Shame On Charlie, won the $60,000 Ken Kendrick Memorial at Sun Ray Park and then was a close second behind Deck Humor in the $150,000 Mountain Top Thoroughbred Futurity at Ruidoso Downs.
Cerveza finished a neck ahead of Johnny Trotter and Stan Sigman’s Seven Silver Coins.
The Attila’s Storm-sired Cerveza has two wins from four starts. He finished sixth in the Mountain Top Futurity.
Cerveza is trained by Todd Fincher and Roimes Chirinos was up.
Seven Silver Coins, a gelding by Precocity, won his maiden at first asking and reached the Mountain Top Futurity finals.
Isaias Enriquez rode Seven Silver Coins for trainer Casey Lambert.
In the Governor’s Handicap for fillies and mares over seven-and-one-half furlongs, George Chris Coleman and Brad King’s 1-5 favorite Kram ran like a strong favorite when she took the lead at the start and then easily handled her female rivals to win by an under control one and-three-quarter lengths.
Jockey Alfredo Juarez Jr. had an easy job while posting a 1:33.18 time.
Kram was made the strong favorite after going from gate to wire on the lead to win the $50,000 Dr. O.G. Fischer Memorial Stakes two starts ago. The Colonel John daughter drew out to win by five-and-one-quarter lengths over seven furlongs.
Trainer Todd Fincher then took her to Del Mar and she finished off the board in the Grade 3, $100,000 Rancho Bernardo Handicap.
Carson Donnell Echols’ Movin On, the only New Mexico-bred in the race, was second by more than 11 lengthsover Curtis Guss’ Flyin Falynn.
Movin On is trained by Joel Marr and Miguel Fuentes Jr. was aboard.
Flyn Falynn hails for the Chris Zamora barn and had Jose L. Torres riding.