Charvet Leads Ruidoso Derby

Charvet enters record Ruidoso Derby off a record performance.

Q-Racing Journal
June 7, 2013

And then the wind changed. And now handicappers will be trying their hand at meteorology. The result is that the richest Ruidoso Derby ever contested will be one of the most interesting Grade 1 races in recent memory at Ruidoso Downs when it is held on Saturday afternoon.

The trials to the record-setting $822,603 Ruidoso Derby became a weather issue when the wind turned from a 20- to 25-mph head wind into a 15-mph tail wind between the fifth and sixth trials of the eight qualifying heats.

The result is the nine-fastest qualifiers to the 400-yard Ruidoso Derby raced in the final three trials and create a unique handicapping perspective. The 10th-fastest qualifier Wicked Courage (Captain Courage-Wicked Pamela by Dash For Cash) won the first trial while facing a 25-mph head wind and all of his Derby rivals benefitted from the tail wind.

Nonetheless, it will be a highly competitive field chasing the all-time record $345,493 first-place check from the richest purse in 20 runnings of the Ruidoso Derby.

A $25,000 supplemental nominee to enter the trials, Crowson Racing’s Charvet (One Famous Eagle-Bloomingdales by First Down Dash) lowered the 400-yard track record to :19.151 when he won the final trial. It erased the 400-yard track of :19.186 set by Separate Bet in a 2007 allowance race before he won the Rainbow Derby.

Charvet showed he was ready for a step up in class at Ruidoso Downs when he finished third in the $136,000 Oklahoma Derby at Remington Park, his previous start.

Crowson Racing also owns Grade 1, $750,000 Ruidoso Futurity fastest-qualifier One Quick Eagle who will race on Sunday afternoon. Charvet and One Quick Eagle are each offspring of leading sire One Famous Eagle, bred by Bobby Cox, race out of the Victor Rodriguez-Flores barn and will be ridden by Esgar Ramirez. If those two horses win their respective races, it will be the first time that all of those connections have swept a derby/futurity double at Ruidoso Downs.

Owned R.D. Hubbard, Johnny Cope and Butch Southway, second-fastest qualifier A Dream To Remember (Corona Cartel-Hallowed Dreams (TB) by Malagra) brings a solid stakes resume and an interesting pedigree into the Ruidoso Derby. Her dam won her first 16 records to tie the then modern-day win record. A Dream To Remember won last fall’s Hobbs America Futurity (G2), was second in the Southwest Juvenile Championship (G1) as the 2-1 favorite and third in the $84,000 All American Juvenile (R).

The Paul Jones-trained A Dream To Remember won her trial by a neck with a sharp :19.205 time, approaching the previous track record.

Champion jockey G.R. Carter Jr. rode both A Dream To Remember and Wicked Courage in their trials and elected to ride A Dream To Remember in the Ruidoso Derby. Cody Jensen, just a few weeks after surgery on a broken collarbone, picked up the mount on Wicked Courage.

Andrew Smith’s Wicked Courage will get a strong look from handicappers after making the derby finals while knifing through the fierce head wind. He has won six-straight races, including three stakes races in Oklahoma during this streak that began on September 23. The gelding from the Luis Villafranco barn won the Black Gold 350 Futurity (R) and the Black Gold Championship (RG3) at Will Rogers Downs and then took the Bob Moore Stakes (G2) at Remington Park in his 2013 debut.