Hotsempting and Valiant Astica, who raced to the fastest times on each of two days of trials, meet in the Grade 1, $1-million Rainbow Futurity on Sunday afternoon at Ruidoso Downs.
The horses with the five-fastest times on each day of 13 trials qualified for the finals. The horses with the next five-fastest times on each trial day gained preference to race in the $100,000 Rainbow Juvenile on the undercard.
All horses racing in the Rainbow Futurity successfully passed state-of-the art out-of-competition blood and hair testing for illegal substances before they were entered in the finals. The testing was conducted by the New Mexico Racing Commission and supported by All American Ruidoso Downs.
First post time is 1 p.m. with free parking and free general admission.
Miguel Gallegos and Mauricio Gallegos’ Hotsempting dominated the first day of trials when she raced the 400 yards in :19.512 while the next fastest qualifier, Df Mischievious Jess, was clocked in :19.755.
Hotsempting, a $49,000 Ruidoso Select Yearling Sale purchase, is a filly who may be peaking at the right time for trainer Jose Luis Muela.
The Tempting Dash daughter won her Ruidoso Futurity trial by a neck while making her debut and recorded the day’s fourth-fastest time of :17.848 for 350 yards. She then was seventh in the Grade 1, $1-million Ruidoso Futurity.
The filly then dominated her Rainbow Futurity trial by three-and-three-quarter lengths.
“She is improving a lot,” Muela said. “She is getting the hang of everything. She knows what’s happening, so you have to keep her calm.”
Esgar Ramirez rides Hotsempting with the 10th post position.
J and SM Inc. and Jimmy Childs’ Valiant Astica, a $45,000 Ruidoso Select Yearling Sale purchase, led the second-day qualifiers with a win in :19.692.
The Valiant Hero daughter was making her fourth career start for trainer Fred Danley.
Valiant Astica began her career at Sunland Park and raced in the $50,000 West Texas Juvenile. She then made her Ruidoso Downs debut in the Ruidoso Futurity trials and had a troubled fourth-place run.
Starting as a maiden in the Rainbow Futurity trials, Valiant Astica won her maiden in stunning fashion with a two-and-one-quarter-length win and the day’s quickest time.
Noe Garcia Jr. will be aboard Valiant Astica from the eighth post position.
Cavenaugh Quarter Horses LLC’s Uncle D brings proven Grade 1 futurity credentials into the Rainbow Futurity.
The strapping son of Corona Cartel was second in the Grade 1, $1,073,100 Heritage Place Futurity before coming to Ruidoso Downs for the Rainbow Futurity trials.
The Clint Crawford-trained Uncle D prevailed by a neck in his Rainbow Futurity trial and his time of :19.796 was the fourth-fastest time on the second day of trials.
Cody Rodger Smith rides Uncle D with the second post position.
The Rainbow Juvenile brings out Diamond Racing Stables and US Alliance Logistic’s Return of Brown Eyes seeking his fourth win from five starts. The gelding’s only setback was a close second-place finish in the Grade 2, $323,571 West Texas Futurity at Sunland Park.
Return Of Brown Eyes, trained by Muela, won his Rainbow Futurity trial by two lengths and his time of :19.860 was the eighth-fastest time during the second day of trials.
The gelding by High Rate Of Return also has wins in his trials to the West Texas Futurity and the Ruidoso Futurity.
Becerra Jr. rides Return Of Brown Eyes from the fifth post position.
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