Sent to post as the 3-5 favorite in a field of 10 sophomores, fastest qualifier Hotsempting sprinted to a wire-to-wire, one-length victory in Saturday's $900,000 Ruidoso Derby (G1) at Ruidoso Downs.
Hotsempting covered 400 yards in :20.006 while racing against a reported 12-mph head wind. Esgar Ramirez rode the bay daughter of champion Tempting Dash for owners Miguel Y. Gallegos and Mauricio Gallegos and trainer Sergio Ibarra.
"This filly always gives me 100 percent," said Ramirez. "I thought she left the gate pretty good this time, but she has so much heart that I had faith in her. I knew she was ready for a big one."
Hotsempting was coming off of a 1 1/2-length win in the seventh of 11 Ruidoso Derby trials on May 24.
"This morning, she was bouncing off the walls, and we knew she was ready," Ibarra said "She sort of talks to us in the barn -- she tells us how she's doing and that she's on the muscle.
"There was a little disturbance just before they opened the gates, and my heart stopped," the trainer added. "I was just hoping that the starter waited until they got settled again, and she finally quit looking around. Then, she broke and held up to the finish line."
Hotsempting was bred in Texas by Fulton Quien Sabe Ranches LP, and she was a $48,000 purchase at the 2018 Ruidoso Select Yearling Sale. Campaigned exclusively in New Mexico, the filly has won five of eight outs, and the $372,652 winner's share of the purse from her first career stakes score increased her bankroll to $437,945, of which $385,555 has been pocketed this season.
Ibarra said that Hotsempting will be pointed to the 440-yard Rainbow Derby (G1) trials in July.
Cers Final Try finished second and was followed by Running Buddy, Tres Of Hero, Oatman Creek Senator, Katch This Bird, Kleptomaniac, Apollitical Papa, Cartel Charly, and Kylee Joy.
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