Groupie James Returns in John Deere Ruidoso Juvenile Challenge

The Grade 2-placed gelding drew post 6 for Saturday's Grade 3, $59,000 final.

Q-Racing Journal

A full field of 10 2-year-olds has been entered back in Saturday's $59,400 John Deere Ruidoso Juvenile Challenge.

Groupie James, a graded stakes placed son of Ivory James racing for Carlos Trujillo Jr., is one of 10 2-year-olds entered back in Saturday's 350-yard, $59,400 John Deere Ruidoso Juvenile Challenge (G3) at Ruidoso Downs.

The winner of this race, the fourth on Ruidoso Downs' nine-race program (estimated post time, 2:18 MDT), earns a berth in the October 29, $150,000 John Deere Challenge Championship (G2) at Los Alamitos.

Groupie James has earned $26,333 from three starts, and his resume includes a third-place finish, three-quarters of a length behind winner Eyema Blue Wagon, in the April 30, 300-yard West Texas Futurity (G2) at Sunland Park. The gelding drew post 5 and will be ridden by Esgar Ramirez.

Fastest qualifier Feature Moonflash, a gelded son of champion First Moonflash trained by Eddie D. Willis for owner James Sills, is coming off of a nose victory in the second of five trials on July 15. Feature Moonflash has banked $29,328 from four outs, and he was a finalist in the 300-yard, $440,000 Oklahoma Futurity (G3) at Remington Park in March.

Feature Moonflash drew post 8 and will be ridden by Cesar Gomez.

The complete lineup, in post position order including jockey assignments and morning-liine odds:
The Crusador (Salvador Martinez), 7-2
Stella Lou (Cody Jensen), 9-2
Tac It To The Moon (Ivan Carnero), 15-1
Gustafame (Ricky Ramirez), 15-1
Groupie James (Esgar Ramirez), 6-1
Born To B Bad (Adrian Ramos), 12-1
Caydence (Jose Alvarez), 3-1
Feature Moonflash (Cesar Gomez), 10-1
Forty Carat Eagle (Raul Herrera), 20-1
Tsunamii (Joe Badilla Jr.), 8-1

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