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PJ Chick In Black Heads Rainbow Derby Trials

Champion 2-year-old filly to run in first of nine trials at Ruidoso Downs.

June 30, 2013

Reigning champion 2-year-old filly PJ Chick In Black heads a very deep set of 79 3-year-olds racing in nine trials on Saturday afternoon to the Grade 1, $1,055,000 Rainbow Derby at Ruidoso Downs.

This is the first $1 million running of the 440-yard Rainbow Derby, and it could be the second-highest purse of any Quarter Horse derby this year. The Grade 1 All American Derby on September 1 projects to have a $2.8 million purse and become the richest race in Quarter Horse racing history.

The Rainbow Derby trials will run as the first nine races on the 12-race card with a 1 p.m. first post time.

Owned by Dennis Bowen, Susan Taylor and Jack Smith Farms, PJ Chick In Black won her first five races, including the Grade 1 Ruidoso Futurity and the Restricted Grade 2 New Mexican Spring Futurity. She concluded her career-starting winning streak by winning her All American Futurity trial by 5 3/4 lengths with the fastest qualifying time from 26 trials of :21.081 for 440 yards. She then finished sixth in the Grade 1, $2.4 million All American as the 7-10 favorite.

Trainer John Stinebaugh brought PJ Chick In Black back at Sunland Park this year, and she started another winning streak. The Desirio filly won her West Texas Derby trial, the Grade 3 West Texas Derby and her Ruidoso Derby (G1) trial. However, she raced into a 28 mph headwind in her Ruidoso Derby trial and then the wind shifted to a tailwind. Her time was not fast enough to qualify for the final while the top nine qualifiers came out of wind-aided trials.

Esgar Ramirez, the only jockey she has known, will be up with the fifth post position in the first trial.

Andrew Smith’s Wicked Courage is one of the hottest horses in Quarter Horse racing with a seven-race winning streak, capped by his game win in the Grade 1, $823,000 Ruidoso Derby. In the 400-yard Ruidoso Derby, he out-finished his rivals to get the most important win of his 12-race career by a neck.

The streak started last fall and includes two 2012 stakes wins at Will Rogers Downs. The Captain Courage gelding continued this year with a win in the Bob Moore Stakes (G2) at Remington Park. In his Ruidoso Downs debut, the Luis Villafranco-trainee was the only horse to qualify to the Ruidoso Derby while facing a head wind. He recorded the 10th and final qualifying time.

Wicked Courage has the fifth post position with Cody Jensen up.

Also in the eighth trial are Sudden Thoughts and Henoshersecret.

Owned by 21 Partnership, Sudden Thoughts was second in the All American Futurity at 17-1 odds when he finished three-quarters of a length behind world champion One Dashing Eagle. The Wave Carver gelding from the Eduardo Gonzalez barn won an optional-claiming race at Sunland Park this spring and then was a troubled fifth as the 3-10 favorite in his Ruidoso Derby trial.

Rodrigo Aceves is up on Sudden Thoughts with the third post position.

Paul Jones and Terry Thompson’s Henoshersecret, who is trained by Jones, makes his Ruidoso Downs debut in the eighth trial after competing strictly at Los Alamitos. A son of No Secrets Here, he qualified for the Grade 1 Golden State Million last fall and was a very close second in the Grade 2 El Primero Del Ano Derby before shipping to Ruidoso Downs.

Ramon Sanchez rides Henoshersecret from the inside post position

Jones will be represented by nine other horses in the trials, including Grade 2 Hobbs America Futurity winner A Dream To Remember and Grade 1 All American Futurity third-place finisher Aha Moment.

Owned by R.D. Hubbard, Johnny Cope and Butch Southway, A Dream To Remember won the Hobbs America Futurity and then closed out her juvenile season with a close second in the Southwest Juvenile Championship (G1). The Corona Cartel filly came back from a rest to win her Ruidoso Derby trial and she was sent off at 3-1 odds in the 400-yard Ruidoso Derby but was pinched back and lost all opportunity, finishing eighth.

A Dream To Remember has the second post position in the fifth race with G.R. Carter Jr. aboard.

Jimmy and Marilyn Harrel’s Aha Moment makes his first start since a fifth-place finish in the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity back in December. Another son of No Secrets Here, he finished in a dead heat for the win in his All American Futurity trial and then was third in the All American Futurity.

Aha Moment starts from the fifth post position in the sixth trial with Sanchez up.

Mark Allen, Leonard Blach and Butch Southway’s Carters Cookie tries to regain the sensational form he showed while winning last summer’s Grade 1, $700,000 Rainbow Futurity by 1 1/4 lengths. In her only start this year, he was fourth in his Ruidoso Derby trial for trainer Mike Joiner.

Regular rider G.R. Carter Jr. rides Carters Cookie from the ninth post position in the third trial.

One of three $40,000 supplemental nominees to enter the trials, Joe Kirk and Merle Fulton’s homebred Tayte Me Down has the inside post position in the same trial as Carters Cookie. Tayte Me Down comes off a fourth-place run in the Ruidoso Derby, the only time she has finished below third in her six-race career.

Regular rider Jose Alvarez has the mount.

The other supplemental nominees are Crowson Racing’s West Texas Derby qualifier First Prize Moon and J and M Racing and Farm’s Cartel Syndicate, winner of his Ruidoso Derby trial in his latest start.

For complete Ruidoso Downs’ information, go to www.raceruidoso.com, visit the Ruidoso Downs Race Track and Casino Facebook page and obtain the latest news by following the Ruidoso Press Box (@RuiPressBox) on Twitter.