Thursday, June 19, 2008

Ruidoso Downs Notes

Kentucky Derby Runner In Thoroughbred Stakes Doubleheader

Going Wild, who raced in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, makes his New Mexico debut in the $50,000 Free Spirits Handicap and the best two-year-old prospects in the $110,000 Ruidoso Thoroughbred Sale Futurity adds up to an enticing stakes doubleheader on Sunday afternoon at Ruidoso Downs.
First post time is 1 p.m. and there is always free parking and free grandstand admission.
In the Free Spirits Handicap, R.D. Hubbard’s Going Wild makes his first New Mexico start after competing at 11 different tracks, including Santa Anita Park, Belmont Park and Churchill Downs.
Going Wild was on the Triple Crown trail in 2005 when he started his season with wins in the San Miguel Stakes and the Sham Stakes at Santa Anita. In the Sham Stakes he defeated eventual Kentucky Derby winner Giacomo. He concluded his sophomore campaign at the Southern California track with a second in the Santa Catalina Stakes.
The earner of nearly $370,000 was then shipped to Aqueduct and finished seventh in the Grade 1 Wood Memorial at 5-2 odds. He made his final Kentucky Derby prep at Keeneland in the Lexington Stakes, fading to fifth after setting the pace.
Chief of Thestreet takes on older horses in the Free Spirits after racing to an upset win in the Norgor Derby. He came from well off the pace to win by a length at six furlongs while going off at nearly 15-1 odds.
In the Thoroughbred Sale Futurity, it will be a showdown between trial winners Dancing Kitten and Flomot. The top five finishers in each trial earned eligibility to the five-furlong Thoroughbred Sale Futurity.
The Weston Martin-trained Dancing Kitten showed potential in her trial when she rallied to the stretch and fought to a neck win while making her first career start.
Honkytonk Slim, the 11-10 choice in the trial, was a competitive second in that trial by gaining lead in the lane before giving way to Dancing Kitten.
The Todd Fincher-trained Flomot has the experience edge with two starts capped by his victory in the second trial. The gelding was third in his career debut and then stepped forward in his trial with a neck win. He was in a stalking position and then rallied to get the win in 1:00 1/5.
Nitro Bud, second to Flomot, could be dangerous at an attractive price in the Thoroughbred Sale Futurity. The Martin-trained gelding rallied in the final furlong to get within a neck of Flomot while making his first start.
Next weekend is the first Ruidoso Rendezvous and the Ruidoso Racehorse Hall of Fame inductions.
The Ruidoso Rendezvous brings together anybody who has a history at Ruidoso Downs. It runs on Friday through Sunday by the Horseshoe Bar in the upper level of the clubhouse. This is the place to meet your friends from years gone by at Ruidoso Downs.
This year’s Hall of Fame class is owner/breeder Dr. Ed Allred, trainer Sleepy Gilbreath, jockey Kenny Hart and champion Corona Chick. There are a limited number of tickets available for the induction dinner for $50 each. Call 505.378.4431 for information. Tickets are tax deductible.
The Fourth of July weekend will be a highlight of the 60-date summer season. On Thursday, July 3 are the Rainbow Futurity trials; on Friday, July 4 are Rainbow Derby trials; and on Saturday, July 5 Lonestar will be performing under the summer stars.
Coming up are the Rainbow Derby (July 19), Rainbow Futurity (July 20) and the Zia Festival (July 26-27). The best horses in the southwest will be competing and look for champion Heartswideopen in the Rainbow Derby trials and Peppers Pride possibly going for the all-time record for wins to start a career during the Zia Festival.

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