Ruidoso Horses Shine in Champions Awards
New Mexico track featured several of Quarter Horse racing’s top runners last year.
January 22, 2015
Ruidoso Downs Futurity (G1) winner Kiss My Hocks was honored as champion 2-year-old and champion 2-year-old colt as horses who raced at Ruidoso Downs last summer did very well during the announcements of the 2014 AQHA Racing Champions in Oklahoma City on Wednesday night.
Kiss My Hocks was also a very close second as the 3-10 favorite in the Grade 1, $900,000 Rainbow Futurity. He won six of seven 2014 starts and earned $692,380.
The Toby Keeton-trained Kiss My Hocks is expected to return to Ruidoso Downs this summer for the three Grade 1 derbies: the $800,000 (est.) Ruidoso Derby, the $1 million (est.) Rainbow Derby and the $2.3 million (est.) All American Derby.
Kiss My Hocks’ owners Conda Maze and Tyler Graham, who have a three-horse stable, were named champion owners. They also raced Grade 1 winner Lovethewayyoulie at Ruidoso Downs.
Ruidoso competitors Hes Relentless, Jess Walking Thru, Foxy Moonflash, Jesscuzican and Wahoo also earned championship titles.
Owned by R.D. Hubbard, Johnny Cope, Tom Maher and Bill Maher, Hes Relentless showed consistency is rewarded and was honored as champion 3-year-old colt. He was third in the Grade 1, $1,048,000 Rainbow Derby at Ruidoso Downs. He then won the Grade 3, $175,121 Hobbs America Derby and was a close second in Grade 1, $350,000 The Championship at Sunland Park for trainer Jason Olmstead.
Jess Walking Thru, owned by Gary and Linda Gordon with Ross Roark, was named champion 2-year-old filly. She made three starts at Ruidoso Downs with a win in an allowance race. She had no chance in her Ruidoso Futurity trial when she was squeezed into the inside rail and sustained a laceration that required dozens of stitches. She still came back to run fifth in her All American Futurity trial. The Mike Robbins-trained miss thrived last fall with a win in the Grade 1, $381,000 Dash For Cash Futurity and a third in the Grade 1, $2 million Los Alamitos Two Million.
Bobby Simmon’s New Mexico-bred Foxy Moonflash was named champion 3-year-old filly. The Sleepy Gilbreath-trained miss was second in the Restricted Grade 2, $139,493 Zia Derby at Ruidoso Downs and then reeled off four-straight wins, including three stakes against state-breds, to wrap up her sophomore campaign.
Darian Burt’s homebred Jesscuzican was honored as champion aged stallion. At Ruidoso Downs for trainer Wes Giles, the stallion was second in the Grade 1, $200,000 All American Gold Cup; the Grade 3, $30,000 Higheasterjet Stakes and the Grade 3, $20,000 Mr Jet Moore Stakes.
Bobby Cox’s homebred Wahoo took the champion distance horse award. The gelding from the John Buchanan barn won the $30,000 Master Salls Handicap over 870 yards in his sole Ruidoso Downs’ start.
Ruidoso Downs’ horsemen also shined in championship honors.
Trainer Paul Jones earned his record 13th consecutive Blane Schvaneveldt Champion Trainer title. Horses he trained earned $3,313,455. His New Mexico operation is managed by Lisa Saumell while Jones is based at Los Alamitos Race Course.
Ruidoso Downs’ regular Cody Jensen was named champion jockey. Last summer at Ruidoso Downs, he won the Ruidoso Futurity on Kiss My Hocks and the Rainbow Derby on Houdini. He has won five of the last nine Rainbow derbies. He was also presented with the Sam Thompson Award at Ruidoso Downs last summer and his mounts earned $2.8 million last year. The Thompson award is from his fellow jockeys for character on and off the track.
New Mexico horsewoman Jamie Zamora was honored with the prestigious Mildred N. Vessels Achievement Award. The award is given to a woman to for their service in Quarter Horse racing.
Zamora is a breast cancer survivor and organized Pink Day at New Mexico tracks to raise money for breast cancer research and treatment. She has raised more than $30,000. A Pink Day is held every summer at Ruidoso Downs. The horses she trained have earned $3.1 million.
The summer racing season at Ruidoso Downs begins on May 22 with the first of two days of Ruidoso Futurity trials. The meet runs through Labor Day when the Grade 1, $3 million (est.) All American Futurity is contested. The All American Futurity has the largest purse of any 2-year-old race in the world.
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