Joe Rios’ West Texas Futurity winner Suze Returns takes on precocious, talented horses who made their debuts in the Ruidoso Futurity trials in the Grade 1, $1 million Ruidoso Futurity finals on Sunday afternoon at Ruidoso Downs.
Supporting the Ruidoso Futurity on the undercard is $864,000 Remington Park Oklahoma Futurity winner Lynnder 16 racing in $100,000 Ruidoso Quarter Horse Juvenile.
First post time for the 10-race program is 1 p.m. with free parking and free general admission.
Suze Returns attempts to become the fourth horse to win the West Texas Futurity and the Ruidoso Futurity. The other horses to pull off the race double are Treacherously (1993), Haulin Pass (1996) and Leading Spirit (2005).
Trained by Juan Carlos Gonzalez, Suze Returns is undefeated from four starts and is the 3-1 morning-line favorite.
The daughter of High Rate Of Return started her career with an overpowering two-and-one-quarter-length win in her West Texas Futurity trial and then battled to a neck win in the Grade 2, $269,000 West Texas Futurity at Sunland Park.
In her Ruidoso Downs’ debut, Suze Returns showed she had retained her top form. The filly was the 1-2 favorite in her 350-yard Ruidoso Futurity trial and responded with a driving one-length win. Her time of :17.892 was the top mark from 16 trials on the second of two days of trials.
Regular rider Jaime Parga Leos will be up with the ninth post position.
Outside of Suze Returns in the outside post position is Flash And Roll, who set the top time on the first day of trials while making her first start. She also had the outside post position in her trial and the outside post position in her training race. She posted the second-fastest time during the first of three days of training races.
Flash And Roll, a $200,000 Ruidoso Downs Select Sale purchase, showed her sheer talent when she pulled out to the one-and-one-half length trial win in :17.796.
“She came back from her trial really well,” said trainer Mike Joiner. “I’m satisfied and happy. I like being next to Suze Returns, she’s got the experience.”
We stood her in the gates and she was perfect.”
G.R. Carter Jr. was aboard Flash And Roll in the trial and keeps the mount in the Ruidoso Futurity.
Trainer Blane Wood unveiled a pair of promising runners that qualified for the Ruidoso Futurity — Jest Famous and The Runaway Favorite.
“I think this is a great futurity, really even,” said Wood.
Jockey Ricky Ramirez rode each of geldings in the trials and chose to climb aboard Jest Famous in the Ruidoso Futurity. “Ricky thought he was his best shot,” said Wood. “Jest Famous is ready to race.”
MRB Racing LLC’s Jest Famous, a $200,000 Ruidoso Select Sale purchase, was sent off as the 4-5 trial favorite after an impressive training-race win. The youngster was easily the best horse in his trial when he won by three quarters of a length and his time of :17.932 was second-fastest time behind Suze Returns on the second day of trials.
A son of Mr Jess Perry, Jest Famous is a result of the same cross that produced champion and leading sire One Famous Eagle.
Bobby Simmons’ The Runaway Favorite starts inside of Suze Returns with the eighth post position. Edwuin Lujan picks up the mount.
“He’s a nice horse and should run a nice race,” said Wood.
The Runaway Favorite became a two-year-old to watch when he won his trial by three quarters of a length and he reached the futurity finals with an :18.036 mark on the first day of trials.
In the 350-yard Ruidoso Juvenile, Tom Maher and Dick Tobin’s Lynnder 16 tries to push her record to four-for-four. The Apollitical Jess daughter gained national prominence at Remington Park with a rally to narrowing win the Remington Park Oklahoma-bred Futurity.
Lynnder 16 raced to her third win when she won her Ruidoso Futurity trial in :18.056, just missing qualifying for the Ruidoso Futurity. She had the sixth-fastest qualifying time on the first day, two-tenths of a second behind futurity qualifier The Runaway Favorite.