Valiant Tiberias looks to confirm he is a horse with a bright future when he brings top-qualifier honors into the first running of the $116,840 Ruidoso Maiden Stakes on Monday, Memorial Day, at Ruidoso Downs.
First post time is 1 p.m. Ruidoso Downs racing then resumes on Friday with the usual Friday through Monday schedule.
The Maiden Stakes at 350 yards is for three-year-olds through five-year-olds who had not won a race as of March 1, 2019.
Valiant Tiberias was a stunning fastest-qualifier while winning the seventh and final trial on May 10. He flew away from his rivals to win by an increasing one-and-one-quarter lengths with a quick :17.332 time for the 350 yards.
Owned by Sergio Holguin, Clifton Nielsen and Felix Rodriguez; Valiant Tiberias was making his first start for trainer Ricardo Armendariz and had not started since last June. Armendariz has had the gelding in his stable for about six months.
“He came back from his trial well,” Armendariz said. “He was a handful and this race did him a lot of good. I just hope that he gets a good clean break (from the starting gate).”
J.R. Ramirez rides Valiant Tiberias from the sixth post position.
Jimmy Vasquez and Angela D. Vasquez’s Jess Saying won her trial with the second-fastest time of :17.443. The filly made a late charge to win by one-half length.
A $27,000 Ruidoso Select Yearling Sale purchase, Jess Saying almost won last year’s Grade 2, $344,250 Hobbs America Futurity. The daughter of Mr Jess Perry fought for the win, however came up a nose short of Eagle Coast.
The Cynthia Gonzalez-trained Jess Saying starts from the fourth post position with Jaime Parga Leos aboard.
David Valdez and breeder Byron Woodard’s No Mires a La Luna also brings impressive past class into the Maiden Stakes. The gelding finished third behind champion Apocalyptical Jess in the Grade 1, $3-million All American Futurity on Labor Day.
No Mires a La Luna made his first start since the All American Futurity in the Maiden Stakes trials and came through with :17.602 time. Trainer Trey Ellis said he was using the race as a prep for the summer season at Ruidoso Downs.
Raul Ramirez Jr. is up on No Mires a La Luna with the third post position.
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