Ochoa Adds to Record in Mr Jet Moore

Champion gelding earns another victory at Ruidoso Downs.

August 4, 2013

All-time leading money earner Ochoa enhanced his love affair with Ruidoso Downs with an overpowering victory in the $30,000 Mr Jet Moore Handicap (G3) on Sunday afternoon.

Ochoa has earned $2,687,615 in his career with $2,620,553 of that record total coming from his 11 starts at Ruidoso Downs. The 4-year-old gelded son of Tres Seis has nine wins, including four stakes wins, over the track. Three of his stakes wins came in Grade 1 races: the 2011 $2.4 million All American Futurity, the 2012 $2.2 million All American Derby and the 2012 $904,000 Rainbow Derby.

Away from Ruidoso Downs, Ochoa has a close second as the 7-5 favorite in the Grade 1, $250,000 Remington Park Championship back in May and a fifth-place run at 3-10 odds in the Grade 1, $377,000 Texas Classic Derby last November.

Owned by the partnership of Johnny T.L. Jones’ J Bar 7 Ranch, Monte and Katsy Cluck and Doug Benson, Ochoa had trouble at the start when he veered out from the inside post position on the wet-fast and sealed track.

“He was up in front of the gate and he slipped a little (at the start),” said winning jockey Roy Baldillez. “I just let him get going and then flagged him a little.”

The 2-5 favorite, the powerful Ochoa easily won by three-quarters of a length in :19.575 for the 400 yards. Robert Sanchez’s Eyein This Feature was second by 1 1/2 lengths over Jet Black Legend in the seven-horse field.

“This is home for him,” said Ochoa’s Ruidoso Downs Racehorse Hall of Fame trainer Sleepy Gilbreath. “He’s possible for the (All American) Gold Cup and then he’ll go to California (Los Alamitos).”

The 440-yard All American Gold Cup (G3) will be held on September 1, the same day as the Grade 1, $2.8 million (est.) All American Derby. The 440-yard All American Derby is on pace to offer the largest purse in Quarter Horse racing history.

In addition to his all-time leading money earner title, Ochoa was the 2011 champion 2-year-old and the 2012 champion 3-year-old.

“He’s so domineering when he gets away from there (the gate),” said breeder and co-owner Jones, a member of the Ruidoso Downs’ Racehorse Hall of Fame. “He might be a little like Noconi was when he was four or five, but I’ve never bred or touched one like him. They don’t come in truckloads.”

Jones also bred and raced Rainbow Futurity (G1) winner and Ruidoso Downs’ 350-yard track-record holder Planet Holland, bred and raced champion Brenda Beautiful and stood the leading Thoroughbred sire Nureyev.