Big Week of Racing at Ruidoso

Grade 1 trials highlight Fourth of July week.

June 24, 2012

Six straight days of racing, the longest racing week of the season, starts on Friday and builds momentum to the trials for the Grade 1, $700,000 Rainbow Futurity on Tuesday afternoon and the trials for the Grade 1, $1-million (est.) Rainbow Derby on the Fourth of July, Wednesday.

First post time will be 1 p.m. daily, with the exception of Tuesday when there could be more than 20 Rainbow Futurity trials. The high number of trials requires an earlier post time that will be announced after entries on June 30. For the latest information follow Ruidoso Press Box on Twitter (@RuiPressBox) or go to www.raceruidoso.com.

The Rainbow Derby trials are expected to bring out reigning champion 2-year-old Ochoa, champion 2-year-old colt Feature Mr Bojangles and Executive Brass, who defeated each of those champions in the Grade 1, $679,207 Ruidoso Derby on June 9.

The 10 fastest qualifiers from the trials advance to the Rainbow Derby on July 21. This year’s Rainbow Derby is expected to sport the first $1-million purse in the Grade 1 stakes’ history.

The daylong Rainbow Futurity trials will bring out a stellar lineup of the top juveniles in the nation. Look for most of the top finishers in the Ruidoso Futurity to come back and make a run at qualifying for the Rainbow Futurity. The 400-yard Rainbow Futurity is set for Sunday, July 22.

On Saturday afternoon, Joe Kirk Fulton’s Sweet Oblivion has the opportunity to show she is one of the premier 3-year-olds in contention for the Grade 1, $2.3-million All American Derby in the Grade 3, $45,450 Adequan Ruidoso Derby Challenge. Fulton and trainer Mike Robbins also have third-fastest qualifier Pandorum and eighth-fastest qualifier Grade Gone Wild.

The Quarter Horse action continues on Sunday afternoon with the top older horses competing in the Grade 3, $30,000 Higheasterjet Handicap. This is the first major test for older Quarter Horses of the summer season, followed by the $30,000 Mr Jet Moore Handicap (G3) and the $40,000 All American Gold Cup (G3).

Champion Noconi is expected to defend his title in the Higheasterjet and is coming off a game win in the La Plata Stakes (G3) at SunRay Park as the 4-5 favorite. He won the 2009 running of the Higheasterjet Handicap and took last year’s renewal by one-half length before winning the All American Gold Cup.