Ruidoso Challenge Nominations Jump

Nominations for the Ruidoso regional Challenge races make a big jump.

Q-Racing Journal

Kansas Morning won the 2013 John Deere Ruidoso Juvenile Challenge. PHOTO: Gay Harris

The Bank of America Racing Challenge is a program to help horsemen and their horses have more opportunities and earn more money, so continued support and growth are positive signs for the industry. Two such signals appeared last week, as nomination payments for two regional Challenge races at Ruidoso Downs closed on May 15 with big gains.

The John Deere Ruidoso Juvenile Challenge (G3) closed its nomination payments with a gain of 32 percent over last year (102 nominations in 2014). The Adequan Ruidoso Derby Challenge closed its sustaining payments and saw even better gains – it was up 41 percent compared to 2013 (33 sustaining, eight supplements).

“We are extremely pleased that the New Mexico Regional John Deere Juvenile Challenge and Adequan Derby Challenge both received substantial nomination increases over 2013,” said Racing Challenge Director Darrell Hare. “This outstanding support by horsemen for Challenge races at Ruidoso Downs is very gratifying because of the numerous outstanding stake races scheduled for Ruidoso Downs this season.”

The Adequan Ruidoso Derby Challenge offers $22,500 in added money, and has trials June 13 with the final June 28.

The John Deere Ruidoso Juvenile Challenge (G3), the only regional Challenge race for juveniles offering a grade, will have $15,000 in added money and has trials scheduled for June 15. The final is August 2.

Last year, All American Futurity (G1) finalists Especially Tres (who finished fourth) and You N How Many More (who finished sixth) both qualified to the John Deere Ruidoso Juvenile Challenge final, although both were scratched from the race. The $54,720 race was won by Kansas Morning.

Ruidoso Downs opens its meet on May 22 and runs through Labor Day.

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