Ruidoso Futurity Preview

Ruidoso Futurity Preview

Graded stakes winner KJ Little Duce Coup, fastest qualifier Trusty Jess headline the first leg of Ruidoso Downs' All American Triple Crown.

KJ Little Duce Coup wins 2023 West Texas Futurity

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KJ Little Duce Coup, a graded stakes winning son of world champion Apollitical Jess, drew post 2 for Sunday's 350-yard, $1-million Ruidoso Futurity (G1) at Ruidoso Downs.

A homebred gelding trained by Wes Giles for owners John Lee, Kathy Lee, and Ruben Mares, KJ Little Duce Coup brings in an undefeated record that includes a neck victory in the 300-yard, $283,000 West Texas Futurity (G2) at Sunland Park on April 1. KJ Little Duce Coup has won all three of his outs and has earned $145,729.

KJ Little Duce Coup will be ridden by Adrian Ramos.

Trusty Jess, the fastest overall qualifier from 32 trials run May 26-27, drew the rail post and will be ridden by Eduardo Nicasio. A gelded son of Jess Good Candy racing for Ray Willis, Cheri Michelet Snyder, and Clifton Eldridge, Trusty Jess made his career debut with a half-length victory in the seventh of 16 trials on May 26.

Trusty Jess was a $52,000 purchase at last year's Ruidoso Select Yearling Sale.

The most impressive trial winner, Lets Leave, is coming off of a dominating 5 1/2-length victory in the ninth of 16 heats on May 27. Trained by Eric Valenzuela for owners Barron Racing LLC and Empire Racing, the California-bred Favorite Cartel colt has earned $63,681 from three starts, and his record includes a second-place finish to KJ Little Duce Coup in the West Texas Futurity.

Lets Leave drew post 10 and will be ridden by Sergio Becerra Jr.

The Ruidoso Futurity is the first leg of Ruidoso Downs' All American Triple Crown, which links the Ruidoso Futurity with the Grade 1 Rainbow and All American futurities. The complete lineup, in post position order including jockey assignments and morning-line odds:
Trusty Jess--Eduardo Nicasio, 2-1
KJ Little Duce Coup--Adrian Ramos, 4-1
Irish Seis--Luis Martinez, 12-1
Wired 440--Esgar Ramirez, 15-1
Kiss My Wine--Rodrigo Vallejo, 6-1
Trump This Record--Francisco Calderon, 8-1
Relentless Eagle--Christian Ramos, 3-1
AR Victorias Legacy--James Flores, 6-1
Caramel Macchiato--Emilio Tapia, 9-2
Lets Leave--Sergio Becerra Jr., 7-2

Also on Saturday, a dozen 2-year-olds -- including two also-eligibles -- are entered back in the 350-yard, $100,000 Ruidoso Juvenile Invitational Stakes.

Jones Hero, a homebred Valiant Hero gelding trained by Mike Joiner for owners Tim Tallchief and G.R. Carter Jr., drew the rail post and will be ridden by Francisco Calderon. Jones Hero broke his maiden with a head victory as the 5-2 favorite in the first of 16 Ruidoso Futurity trials on May 26.

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