The Rainbow Derby will add an optional race restricted to three-year-old fillies, named the Rainbow Oaks, in addition to the current Grade 1 Rainbow Derby for three-year-olds of both sexes beginning in 2020.
This matches the recent announcement of the All American Oaks.
The format for foals of 2017 will cap the purse for the open Rainbow Derby division at $700,000. The remaining purse will be dedicated to the fillies-only division, which is expected to be in the $100,000 range in the first year.
Both divisions will race at 440 yards. As in the All American Oaks, three-year-old fillies may enter either the open Derby or the Oaks.
“Few three-year-old fillies can compete successfully with males in late summer at a quarter mile,” said Jeff True, Ruidoso Downs president and general manager. “We’ve had such a positive response from nominators and breeders to the new All American Oaks format that we decided to expand the Rainbow Derby. The quarter horse fillies’ division will soon be energized with a high quality, national stakes schedule from California to New Mexico benefiting owners and breeders”
Nomination and sustaining payment schedules to the Rainbow Derby will remain unchanged. A foal of 2017 must complete all payments through the Rainbow Futurity cycle to be eligible to the 2020 Derby or Oaks. Alternatively, supplemental nominations at time of entry to the Rainbow Derby will be $25,000 for the Rainbow Oaks and $40,000 for the Rainbow Derby.
On the date of entry for the Rainbow Derby time trials, the trainer must designate whether an eligible filly will enter the Oaks or the open Derby division. Time trials will be contested for each division of the race with the Rainbow Derby offering the $100,000 Corona Cartel Stakes for non-qualifiers to the Derby.
All quarter horse foals of 2017, including those being sold in the Heritage Yearling Sale this weekend, will be eligible to enter the 2019-2020 Rainbow series.
The 2018 Rainbow Derby purse was $801,000 and 70 head, including 18 fillies entered the time trials. There was a total of 123 Rainbow Derby-eligible horses, including 40 fillies, prior to entry.
Heartswideopen, in 2008, was the last filly to win the Rainbow Derby.
Conditions and details for both the All American and Rainbow Oaks will be published in Fall 2018.