J & SM, Inc. Rustys Miracle showed her gameness with a gritty win in the Grade 1, $1,550,855 All American Derby on Sunday afternoon at Ruidoso Downs.
The All American Derby offers the largest purse for three-year-olds in quarter horse racing. The winner receives an invitation to compete in the Grade 1, $600,000 Champion of Champions at Los Alamitos on December 14.
Rustys Miracle finished a neck ahead of Gary Nutt and Turner Farms’ Jess Macho Corona and then Valiant Tiberias was another nose behind. However, Valiant Tiberias was disqualified and placed eighth, moving Flying Cowboy 123 up to the third position.
The winning filly was timed in :21.285 for the 440 yards with Noe Garcia Jr. aboard for trainer Fred Danley.
“She broke perfect and when I saw we were ahead, I just kept her attention, kept her going,” Garcia said. “It was a miracle – her name was a miracle for me. I’m grateful to Fred and Mrs. May and everybody who believed in me. I’m very thankful.”
J & SM stands for John and Sue May, who have come to Ruidoso Downs every summer since 1954. John died in 2014, however Sue, 88, is still involved with the racing operation along with John and Sue’s son Doug.
Rustys Miracle was tired after the race and given a van ride back to the barn, according to Doug May. Trainer Danley added that she was given a bath and then was walked.
A $61,000 Ruidoso Select Yearling Sale purchase, Rustys Miracle scored the biggest win of her career. She won last summer’s $100,000 Rainbow Juvenile.
“She’s a super trainer, really nice to train,” Danley said. “This mare can really run – she’s really a nice filly, always has been.”
A daughter of Valiant Hero, Rustys Miracle won her All American Derby trial by one length and her time of :21.516 equaled the 10th and final qualifying spot. She lost the shake to earn a spot in the finals, then made the finals when another horse was scratched.
Runner-up Jess Macho Corona amassed strong credentials while racing at Los Alamitos. The Paul Jones-trained gelding was second in the Grade 1, $977,000 Golden State Million and third in the Grade 1, $1,060,000 Ed Burke Million Futurity last year before coming to Ruidoso Downs this summer. The Corona Cartel-sired gelding won a conditioned allowance race and then was third in his All American Derby trial.
Paragon Farms’ Flying Cowboy 123 was named last year’s champion two-year-old colt after he won the Grade 1, $1,015,000 Texas Classic Futurity.
Flying Cowboy 123, a half-brother to world champion Cold Cash 123, won his All American Derby trial by two-and-three-quarter lengths.
Tanner Thedford rode Flying Cowboy 123 for trainer J.J. Gonzales II.
Also on the stakes dominated program was Grade 1, $200,000 All American Gold Cup for older quarter horses and the $100,000 First Down Dash for three-year-old quarter horses who did not qualify for the All American Derby. Thoroughbreds raced in the $123,165 Rio Grande Senorita Futurity and the $30,000 Billy The Kid Handicap.
In the 440-yard All American Gold Cup, German Amaya’s Cds Wine N Dine had the perfect opportunity and took advantage of that opportunity with a flawless victory under Raul Herrera.
One of only two three-year-olds in the Gold Cup, Cds Wine N Dine started sharply from the fifth post position and the horses on each side of him gave him plenty of racing room. The Fdd Dynasty-sired gelding went to the lead and humbled his elders while winning by one-half length in :21.422 over the sloppy (sealed) track.
“I prayed to God and I knew this was going to happen,” Herrera said. “So from the break, the first beginning, we were in front. I rode him pretty hard – he’s a three -year-old so he had a lot of work to do to stay with those other horses.”
Paragon Farms, LLC’s Tough To Bee was second by neck over Jack Smith Farms’ Hes Limitless.
Cds Wine N Dine won his maiden back in March and quickly became an important stakes horse. The Sal Soto-trained gelding was second by a neck in the Grade 3, $210,852 West Texas Derby at Sunland Park and then came to Ruidoso Downs and finished third in the Grade 1, $958,766 Ruidoso Derby.
Tough To Bee, a five-year-old gelding by Apollitical Jess, is always dangerous. Last spring at Remington Park, he was second in the Grade 1, $100,000 Leo Stakes and third in the Grade 1, $250,000 Remington Park Invitational Championship.
J.J. Gonzales, II saddled Tough To Bee and Tanner Thedford was aboard.
The John Stinebaugh-trained Hes Limitless also exceled at Remington Park and he won the $100,000 Sooner State Stakes.
Gilbert Ortiz rode Hes Limitless for the first time in the All American Gold Cup.
In the First Down Dash on a wet fast (sealed) track over 440 yards, Danjer completed a unique double with a professional victory while defeating Sumokeonthewater by a neck.
A year ago, Danjer won the $200,000 All American Juvenile by two and one-half lengths. The All American Juvenile is the equivalent race for horses for the All American Futurity as the First Down Dash is for the All American Derby. The Fdd Dynasty-sired gelding raced to the 14th-fastest qualifying time to the All American Derby.
The 7-10 favorite Danjer is owned by Dean Frey, Downtime Enterprises, LLC and Billy Smith. He is trained and was bred by Frey.
The Cody Jensen-ridden Danjer was timed in :21.530.
“It went perfect,” Jensen said. “I always had Sumokeonthewater beat by a shoulder.
“After the first few jumps, I just sat on him for a cruise.”
Rose Ranch LLC’s Sumokeonthewater finished three quarters of a length ahead of Symbol of Faith, owned by J. Garvin Kelly, Nancy Yearsley and Y. Lloyd Yother.
Danjer won his first four career starts, including the All American Juvenile, and then was a close third in the Grade 1, $1,015,000 Texas Classic Futurity at Lone Star Park.
The gelding started his 2019 campaign with a win in his Ruidoso Derby trial and then was second by a neck in the Grade 1, $958,766 Ruidoso Derby. He then was second in his All American Derby trial.
In the five-and-one-half-furlong Rio Grande Senorita Futurity for New Mexico-bred two-year-old fillies, Pierre and Leslie Amestoy’s homebred Fritzies Flame raced on the lead and then showed her budding class by pulling out in the stretch for an easy win.
It was six lengths back to second-place finisher Gold of Roses and another one length to third-place finisher Two Stepper, the 5-2 favorite and one of six horses that trainer Todd Fincher had in the Senorita.
Francisco Amparan rode Fritzies Flame for trainer Johnnie Nall.
Fritzies Flame, a daughter of Laugh Track, won her maiden in her third career start when she took her Senorita Futurity trial by a head after making a wide move on the turn.
Sammy Stevens’ homebred Gold of Roses is still a maiden after three starts with a pair of second-place finishes and one third-place run.
Miguel Fuentes rode Gold of Roses for trainer Joel Marr.
R.D. Hubbard and Pail Blanchard’s Two Stepper came off wins in a maiden race and then her Senorita Futurity trial.
Two Stepper had Roimes Chirinos aboard.
In the Billy The Kid Handicap over one mile, Richard E. Ford and Fred Sorenson’s Mr. Wild Rockete, ridden by Kelsi Purcell, passed inside of favored Go For a Stroll in the stretch to get the one-half-length margin over Go For a Stroll, who crossed the finish line in second place.
Go For A Stroll was then disqualified from second to third for interference in the stretch. That moved Champion Racing Stables’ Wilmas Irish Rover up from third to second place.
Mr. Wild Rockete was timed in 1:40.63 over the sloppy track for his second win from seven starts this year.
The Jimmy Collier-trained Mr. Wild Rockete was making his first stakes appearance of the year and his best previous 2019 effort was a third-place run in a $6,250 starter allowance race.