J & SM Inc. and Jimmy Childs’ Valiant Astica won the second of 13 trials during the second day of qualifying trials to the Grade 1, $1-million Rainbow Futurity and her time of :19.692 for 400 yards held up through the afternoon as the top-qualifying mark at Ruidoso Downs on Saturday afternoon.
The horses with the five-fastest times from Saturday’s 13 Rainbow Futurity trials qualify to meet the five-fastest qualifiers from Friday’s 13 trials in the Rainbow Futurity on July 21. The horses with the next five-fastest times on each day qualify to compete in the $100,000 Rainbow Juvenile on July 21.
The five-fastest qualifiers from Friday’s trials were Hotsempting, Df Mischievious Jess, Ratification, Jesses Dashair and Dash For Glitter.
On Sunday, a superlative 10-race program of trials to the Grade 1, $1,008,129 Rainbow Derby will be contested over 440 yards. Leading the program is All American Futurity and Ruidoso Derby winner Apocalyptical Jess, an earner of $2,081,773. The 2018 champion two-year-old gelding faces 2018 champion two-year-old Flash and Roll in the fifth trial. Reigning champion two-year-old colt Flying Cowboy 123 races in the 10th trial. First post time is 1 p.m.
Valiant Astica started sharply from the inside post position and gained a winning advantage under jockey Noe Garcia Jr. She then drifted out towards the middle of the track while clear of her rivals to dominate by two-and-one-quarter lengths.
The Fred Danley-trained filly won her maiden in her fourth start with the trial victory. She was second in her West Texas Futurity trial and then raced to a fifth-place finish in the $50,000 West Texas Juvenile. She made her Ruidoso Downs debut in the Ruidoso Futurity trials and was a troubled fourth in her trial.
A daughter of Valiant Hero, Valiant Astica was a $45,000 Ruidoso Select Yearling Sale purchase.
“We bought her because her mama was a runner and she’s a beautiful filly,” winning owner Sue May said. “She ran a very good race.”
Valiant Astica was produced by 2015 champion three-year-old filly Astica, a daughter of 2009 champion three-year-old filly and multiple stakes winning producer Alice K White.
Mark and Annette McCloy’s Rocket Seis won the first trial in :19.713 for the second-fastest qualifying mark.
Rocket Seis also started from the inside post position. She broke out at the start and bumped with Wt Special, however Rocket Seis quickly found her stride under Ricky Ramirez. The filly drew away to win by one length in her second career start.
The Tres Seis-sired Rocket Seis was a troubled fourth in her Ruidoso Futurity trial.
Cavenaugh Quarter Horses, LLC’s Uncle D was a highly anticipated runner during Saturday’s trials. He was second in the Grade 1, $1,073,100 Heritage Place Futurity at Remington Park as the 9-5 favorite in his previous start.
A powerful son of Corona Cartel, Uncle D raced to an excellent start under Cody Rodger Smith and held off his competition to win by a neck as the 2-5 favorite. His time of :19.796 was the fourth-fastest qualifying time.
Uncle D was a $170,000 purchase at the Ruidoso Select Yearling Sale and has now earned $177,365.
The remaining qualifiers from the second day of Rainbow Futurity trials are Love Is Everything V (:19.781) and Analytix (:19.828).
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