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Press ReleaseAugust 24, 2014
Rainbow Derby (G1) winner Houdini chasing his fourth-straight win and champion Kates Dynasty head a very deep field in the Grade 1, $1,920,887 All American Derby on Sunday at Ruidoso Downs.
The 440-yard All American Derby offers the largest purse of any derby in Quarter Horse racing with a winner’s share of $806,772. The winner also receives an invitation to the Grade 1, $750,000 Champion of Champions at Los Alamitos Race Course in Southern California on December 13.
First post time on Sunday is 12:30 p.m.
Also on the Sunday program is the first running of the $100,000 First Down Dash and the $50,000 Ruidoso Thoroughbred Derby.
The All American Derby post positions will be determined and jockey assignments announced during a special draw on Thursday at Ruidoso Downs.
Ellen Kennedy Living Trust’s homebred Houdini has been pointed to the Ruidoso Downs’ summer season and the lucrative derby program. The plan has worked.
Houdini prepared for his Ruidoso run by finishing second in the $50,000 Jack Brooks Stakes (R) at Remington Park back in May. The Valiant Hero gelding has won each of his three starts, all at Ruidoso Downs, since that runner-up effort.
Trainer Luis Villafranco placed Houdini in the Rainbow Derby trials and he responded with the third-fastest qualifying time of :21.376 for 440 yards while defeating Kates Dynasty by a head. He stepped up in the Grade 1, $1,048,682 Rainbow Derby to win by one-half length.
Houdini was in peak form when he won his All American Derby trial by one-length with the third-fastest time of :21.263.
Owned by Billy Smith, Jerry Windham and Pat Guthrie, Kates Dynasty also is finding her best form heading into the All American Derby. After qualifying for the Rainbow Derby, the FDD Dynasty daughter disposed of her All American Derby trial rivals by one-half length with the second fastest time of :21.261.
Last year, the Mike Joiner-trained Kates Dynasty was honored as the champion 2-year-old filly after she closed out her season with a dominating win in the Grade 1, $1 million Texas Classic Futurity.
Owned by breeder Grant Farms with Tommy Hays and Bobby Barnett, Big Dashing Perry set the top qualifying time to the All American Derby when he stopped the clock in :21.184. He won by one-and-one-half lengths for trainer Toby Keeton while making his first start since April. He was a close third in the Grade 3, $167,300 Sam Houston Derby before his layoff.
Big Dashing Perry, a gelding by Mr Jess Perry, started his career with three-straight wins, capped by a stakes-record-setting win in the Grade 2, $265,775 Firecracker Futurity.
Jerry Windham’s homebred J Bar raced to the fourth-fastest time of :21.309 while defeating champion Five Bar Cartel by one-half length. J Bar was timed in :21.309 while Five Bar Cartel qualified with a :21.395 mark.
J Bar, trained by Joiner, was the second-fastest qualifier to the Rainbow Futurity and then finished fifth in the finals with a troubled trip.
San Gregorio Racing Stables Inc.’s Five Bar Cartel earned the 2013 champion 2-year-old colt title with a win in the Grade 1, $1 million Ed Burke Million Futurity and then qualifying for the Grade 1, $1 million Golden State Million Futurity and the Grade 1, $1.9 million Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity, all at Los Alamitos Race Course.
Five Bar Cartel made Ruidoso Downs debut and his first start since the Los Alamitos Two Million (G1) in December in his All American Derby trial.
In the inaugural 440-yard First Down Dash, with preference given to horses who did not qualify for the All American Derby, Richard Scott’s homebred Her O Don Won looks for his first stakes win after finishing a close second in the Grade 1, $408,915 Dash For Cash Futurity and running second in the Rainbow Derby after setting the fastest-qualifying time in the trials.
The Russell Harris-trained Her O Don Won, a gelding by Valiant Hero, got a poor start in his trial and ended up with the 11th-fastest qualifying time of :21.411.
Larry Payne will ride Her O Don Won with the fifth post position.
Joe Mills’ homebred Skuze Pleeze was right behind Her O Don Won on the All American Derby qualifiers’ list with a :21.454 mark. The Dashin Bye filly from the Ty Blackwell barn won the Grade 1, $235,000 Southwest Juvenile Championship, was second in the Restricted Grade 1, $100,000 Sooner State Stakes, third in the Grade 1, $1 million Texas Classic Futurity and fifth in the Grade 1, $2.6 million All American Futurity.
G.R. Carter Jr. will ride Skuze Pleeze from the eighth post position.
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