Bad Monkey had a good day on Saturday, as the homebred son of Capo de Capi was a prompt 19-10 favorite in the $88,544 John Deere Ruidoso Juvenile Challenge (G3) at Ruidoso Downs.
Owned and trained by Dean Frey, Bad Monkey went 350 yards in :17.755 while defeating 14-1 longshot Isa Super Freak by a neck. Benito Baca rode the gray California-bred gelding, who earned a berth in the October 24 John Deere Juvenile Challenge Championship (G2) at Albuquerque Downs.
"It looked like Benito just sat on him and went along for the ride," said Frey. "He's young, but he's showing us that he's going to be a nice, usable racehorse."
"We got outbroke at the start, but I remained confident that we could pick those horses up," offered Baca. "This horse keeps improving every time, and I'm especially impressed with his talent as a young horse. He has a tremendous future ahead of him."
Bad Monkey is out of Girls Eye Too, a 15-year-old daughter of Mr Eye Opener. His second dam, the stakes-winning First Down Dash mare Docs First Card, ran second in the 1996 Kindergarten (G2) and Governor's Cup (RG1) futurities at Los Alamitos.
Raced in Minnesota and New Mexico, Bad Monkey has won two of four starts, and the $41,616 winner's share of the purse from his first stakes score pushed the gelding's bankroll to $57,658.
Jess The Lady, Lastraintoclarksvill, Jess Adamant, Grace Of Monaco, Graceful Paradise, Ronnies Return, and Empire Of Jack completed the order of finish. Peves Jackpot Jack was scratched.
Also on Saturday, Lynnder 16 was successful in her return to Ruidoso Downs, as the Oklahoma-bred 4-year-old daughter of world champion Apollitical Jess won the $31,136 ARC Ruidoso Downs Distaff Challenge.
Prepped by Jason Olmstead for owners Tom Maher and Richard L. Tobin, Lynnder 16 defeated Graceisagoodreason by a half of a length while going 400 yards in :19.810. Berkley Packer rode the mare, who banked $14,634 and earned a spot in the October 24, $100,000 ARC Distaff Challenge Championship (G1) at Albuquerque Downs.
Lynnder 16 was bred by Jim and Marilyn Helzer. The mare was a $31,000 purchase by her owners at the 2017 Heritage Place Winter Mixed Sale.
Lynnder 16 has won 10 of 21 races and has earned $637,734. The mare's four stakes wins include the 2018 Remington Park Futurity (RG2) and she was a finalist in that season's Grade 1, 440-yard All American Futurity. Lynnder 16 was making her first start at Ruidoso Downs since June 8, 2019, when she ran sixth, 2 1/4 lengths behind winner Apocalyptical Jess, in the Grade 1, $959,000 Ruidoso Derby.
Jess B Glory, the 2-1 favorite in the field of nine fillies and mares, ran third and was followed by Sinsational Tacha, Walking On Katella, First N Sassy, Preyn Onthe Mountain, Easily Lethal, and Prisesatocash.
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