PJ Chick In Black Wins Ruidoso Futurity

New Mexico-bred stays perfect with first Grade 1 victory.

June 9, 2012

Fredda Draper and Denny Bowen’s PJ Chick In Black overcame a terrible start and showed her class with a late-charging victory in the Grade 1, $600,000 Ruidoso Futurity (G1) on Saturday afternoon at Ruidoso Downs.

“We really didn’t have a good break,” jockey Esgar Ramirez said of the start when PJ Chick In Black was forced in the first few strides and bumped. “She got ahold of the ground at about 150 yards and I could see that Krash Cartel was in front. It was in the last 150 yards that she went by him.”

PJ Chick In Black scored the win by a neck in :17.850 for 350 yards over Krash Cartel. Jesastar was a head back for third in the nine-horse field. Coronas Ice Maiden was scratched earlier in the day.

PJ Chick In Black was a $15,000 supplemental nominee and earned $300,000 for the win. The Ruidoso Futurity winner’s share boosted her career earnings to $426,239.

The filly’s connections supplemented her after she defeated New Mexico-breds in the New Mexican Spring Futurity (RG2) at Sunland Park. Their reasoning was that even if she didn’t do well in the Ruidoso Futurity, she would still be able to maintain eligibility to next year’s Ruidoso Derby.

Still, she had only raced against New Mexico-breds before the supplemental payment was made at time of entry for the Ruidoso Futurity trials.

“We knew she was fast,” said trainer Carl Draper. “But, we didn’t know she was this fast until today when she overcame that start.”

A daughter of Desirio and Corona Cocktail mare Eddie Jym, PJ Chick In Black was the product of a foal-sharing agreement among friends working in the Draper barn. Bowen is Draper’s longtime farrier and Bowen’s wife, Susie Taylor, ponies the Draper horses during their morning workouts and to the gate before races.

Fredda Draper owns the mare Eddie Jym and they used a breeding to Desirio, who was trained by Draper during his racing career. The deal was that Bowen and Taylor paid for raising the resulting foal – PJ Chick In Black – and then they would co-own her during her racing career. It was meant to be a fun deal among friends. It is now a lot of fun.

PJ Chick In Black, who is the first foal out of Eddie Jym, is the third stakes winner sired by Desirio, a three-time stakes winner during his career on the track.

“We really didn’t have any high expectations at all for this filly,” said Bowen. “We were just really happy to be in the race.”

PJ Chick In Black gets a lot of attention around the Draper barn, like all the Draper-trained horses. But, she is called a “pocket pony” by Taylor because of her endearing personality.

Taylor also led PJ Chick In Black to the gate with Ramirez aboard.

“I always keep asking him over-and-over, ‘How is she feeling? How is she doing?’” said Taylor. “He always says, ‘Don’t worry. We’re gonna win.’”

So far Ramirez has been correct every time. She has four wins from four starts and now has her second stakes win.

PJ Chick In Black was the sole New Mexico-bred in the Ruidoso Futurity.

“We don’t tell her she’s from New Mexico. We tell her she’s from Kentucky or Hollywood,” said Fredda Draper.

Los Primitos’ Krash Corona, trained by John Stinebaugh, set the fastest-qualifying time of :17.759 for the Ruidoso Futurity and just could not withstand the final push to the wire from PJ Chick In Black. The Corona Cartel son set the fastest-qualifying time of :17.759 while winning his trial by more than four lengths in his career debut. Cody Jensen was aboard.

Third-place finisher Jesastar, a son of Mr Jess Perry, had the experience edge. He made his fourth-career start in the Ruidoso Futurity and won his maiden when he won by trial by a neck. He was ridden by Roy Baldillez for trainer Raymond Vargas and owner Juan Medina.

In the $20,000 Ruidoso Quarter Horse Juvenile (R), for horses who failed to qualify for the Ruidoso Futurity, Kathleen O. Matey’s Pyro held off a bid from CR Sweet Te to win his maiden in his second career start. Salvador Martinez was aboard for the win in :17.920 for the 350 yards.

Pyro, trained by John Stinebaugh, got a sharp break from the eighth post position and had a solid lead at the halfway point. CR Sweet Te made a late run on the outside and came up a one-half length short at the wire.

Solid Anita Jo was another length back for third.

A gelded son of Make It Anywhere, Pyro made his first start in the Ruidoso Futurity trials on May 25 and finished third behind Jesatar and Hes Mighty Exclusive, who each qualified for the Ruidoso Futurity.