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All American Derby

Rustys Miracle wins All American Derby.
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It was an eventful trip to get into the $1,550,855 All American Derby (G1), but an uneventful trip along the inside of the racetrack gave Rustys Miracle’s connections a victory in the rich race on September 1 at Ruidoso Downs.

Conditioned by Fred Danley for the May family’s J & SM Inc., Rustys Miracle raced cleanly from Post 2, guided by Noe Garcia Jr., to win in :21.285. Jess Macho Corona ran on the far outside of the racetrack for second by a neck.

"She broke perfect and when I saw we were ahead, I just kept her attention, kept her going," Garcia said. "It was a miracle – her name was a miracle for me. I’m grateful to Fred and Mrs. May and everybody that believed in me. I’m very thankful."

Valiant Tiberias crossed the line third but was disqualified for interference. The official order of finish was Flying Cowboy 123 third, followed by Jest Famous, American Hussle, Midday News, Tools In The Sky, Valiant Tiberias, Flash And Roll and America Rules. 

Rustys Miracle was a bit of a miracle for the rest of her connections, as well. 

Co-owner Sue May, 89, and her husband first came to Ruidoso in 1954. 

"We loved it and we started raising horses," she says.

They raced good horses like champion Easily Smashed, who is in Rustys Miracle's pedigree and part of why they purchased the horse as a yearling. They also bred many good horses, like Grade 1 winner Prospect To The Top ($992,670). 

"She was a really pretty filly when we bought her, but she’s been a real hard luck filly," said son and co-owner Doug May. "We’ve had a lot of rough luck with her but we always thought she was a great mare and today she proved it."

It is the first time a filly has won the All American Derby in a quarter century. She paid $35.80 to win.

Last year, Rustys Miracle just missed making the All American Futurity (G1) finals. This year, she tied for the 10th fastest qualifying time, but lost the shake for the final slot; however, when a position came open, she moved into the finals field.

When her trainer was 19 years old,he trained Mr Tinky Bar to win the 1963 Kansas Futurity and run second in Goetta's All American Futurity.

"She’s really nice to train," Danley said of his current superstar. "She’s just had bad luck all along. She got kicked out of the All American (Futurity) last year and then she had to draw in for this day, but we got lucky this time. This mare can really run – she’s really a nice filly, always has been."

As far as her next steps, Danley said they were pointing her toward races at Albuquerque. 

"But as far as I’m concerned, she doesn’t need to run anymore," he said. "She’s earned hers, and she’ll make a helluva broodmare. She’s done everything we’ve asked her to do, but she’s had so much bad luck it’s time that it turned around for her. It was her time."

She has now won nine of 16 career starts and boosts her earnings to $762,565. Bred by Bob and Jerry Gaston, who also bred past All American Derby winner Double Down Special, Rustys Miracle is by Valiant Hero and out of the Fredricksburg mare Rustys Lil Lady.

Rustys Miracle is a full sister to Grade 1 winner Valiant Lil Lady ($517,604), as well as stakes winner Bubba Carver (by Wave Carver, $125,945).

 In the First Down Dash on a wet fast (sealed) track over 440 yards, Danjer completed a unique double with a professional victory while defeating Sumokeonthewater by a neck.
A year ago, Danjer won the $200,000 All American Juvenile by 2 1/2 lengths. The All American Juvenile is the equivalent race for horses for the All American Futurity as the First Down Dash is for the All American Derby. The FDD Dynasty-sired gelding raced to the 14th-fastest qualifying time to the All American Derby.
The 7-10 favorite Danjer is owned by Dean Frey, Downtime Enterprises, LLC and Billy Smith. He is trained and was bred by Frey.

The Cody Jensen-ridden Danjer was timed in :21.530.

“It went perfect,” Jensen said. “I always had Sumokeonthewater beat by a shoulder.

“After the first few jumps, I just sat on him for a cruise.”

Rose Ranch LLC’s Sumokeonthewater finished three quarters of a length ahead of Symbol of Faith, owned by J. Garvin Kelly, Nancy Yearsley and Y. Lloyd Yother.

Danjer won his first four career starts, including the All American Juvenile, and then was a close third in the Grade 1, $1,015,000 Texas Classic Futurity at Lone Star Park.

The gelding started his 2019 campaign with a win in his Ruidoso Derby trial and then was second by a neck in the $958,766 Ruidoso Derby (G1). He then was second in his All American Derby trial.

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