angle-left Mountain Top Futurity

Mountain Top Futurity

Colby James banks the winner's share of a stakes-record purse.

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Rex Wells' Colby James, the fourth-fastest qualifier, held on to win Saturday's Mountain Top Futurity (RG3) for New Mexico-bred Quarter Horses at Ruidoso Downs.

Prepped by Rudy Valles and racing against a reported 11-mph head wind, Colby James covered 350 yards in :17.796, and his margin of victory was a nose from Princess Katelyn. Alan Hernandez rode the sorrel son of Jesse James Jr, who earned the $169,830 winner's share of a stakes-record $404,357 purse.

"I think he was on the lead," said Hernandez, describing Colby James' trip from the gate. "Then I looked over and saw (Princess Katelyn) was ahead, and my horse rebroke and got the lead."

Colby James was bred by Mac and Janis Murray's MJ Farms at Veguita, New Mexico, and he was purchased by Wells for $15,000 at last year's New Mexico-Bred Sale at Ruidoso Downs. 

"He's been a pro since the day we got him," said Valles. "We had to work with him in the gate, and he seems to be better."

Colby James has won three of four starts, all in New Mexico, and he has banked $248,397. At Sunland Park last spring, the gelding ran second as the fastest qualifier in the May 5, 300-yard New Mexican Spring Futurity (RG2) for state-bred juveniles.

Dark Moon, Big Edge, Amethyst, Mister Riptide, James Gang Boss, Absolutely Flashing, Daddies Lil Darlin, and Last Fight completed the order of finish.

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