Q-Racing Blog: Futurity Time

It's finally futurity time in New Mexico.

Q-Racing Journal

It's finally futurity time in New Mexico.

We've already seen some great futurities this year -- RDD Lajollanfastdash in the Mardi Gras Futurity (RG2), Duponte in the Harrah's Entertainment Futurity (G3), Coronas First Diva in the Oklahoma Futurity (G3) -- but it’s finally futurity time in New Mexico after the EVH-1 outbreak at Sunland Park and several surrounding stables shut down racing and then delayed stakes when racing resumed.

The $217,850 West Texas Futurity (G2) at 300 yards provides the first look at aspiring juveniles in the open division before the three seven-figure futurities at Ruidoso Downs, capped by the $3 million All American Futurity on Labor Day.

The West Texas Futurity has an illustrious history. It started in 1959 – the same year as the inaugural All American Futurity – and numerous historic horses gained their first stakes win in the West Texas Futurity and its various incarnations over the years. They include Byou Bird, Bugs Alive In 75, Jet View, Easily A Twelve, Miss Mitedo, Merganser, Mr Eye Opener, Stoli, Leading Spirit and Wild Six.

The probable favorite for the April 30 running worth $217,850 is fastest qualifier Eyema Blue Wagon.

Eyema Blue Wagon ran a perfect race while making his debut in the third of eight trials. It was very simple. He stood in the gate and looked straight down the Sunland Park track, not moving a bit. The gates opened and he popped out with the leaders. Then he ran straighter than straight to draw out to the one-length win. He raced to the fastest-qualifying time of :15.165 for 300 yards with a stiff tailwind.

The Albert Franco-trained colt looked more like an older gelding than a 2-year-old first-time starter.

“If you make no mistakes, then you get the best time,” said Franco. “A smart, consistent horse is better than a fast, inconsistent horse.”

Eyema Blue Wagon has yet to do anything wrong. He has spunk, according to Franco, but has willingly done everything asked of him since he was purchased for $29,000 at the Heritage Place Yearling Sale.

 Eyema Blue Wagon. PHOTO: Coady Photography

“When we worked him, he worked very well,” said Franco. “I knew that if he ran like he worked then he would do something.”

Eyema Blue Wagon has the conformation and breeding to back his precocious debut.

“He has the big Quarter Horse rear end, a short back and a long underline. He has that Quarter Horse stout build,” said Franco. The trainer said that they looked at about 10 yearlings at the Heritage Place Sale and he was the top pick.

The son of PYC Paint Your Wagon has the catalog page to go with his conformation. He is out of a half-sister to world champion Blues Girl Too. This is the potent family of world champion and all-time leading sire First Down Dash.

Franco will be taking Eyema Blue Wagon to Ruidoso Downs this summer. He is eligible to the $1 million Rainbow Futurity (G1), however he would need to be supplemented to the $3 million All American Futurity (G1) for $50,000 and the $1 million Ruidoso Futurity (G1) for $30,000. Each supplement would be due at time of entry for the trials.

“We’ll go with what’s best for the horse. If that means we pass the Ruidoso (Futurity) and go in the Rainbow (Futurity), then that’s what we’ll do,” said Franco.

“I’m very blessed. I thank God for my family’s support because horse racing is a roller coaster with all the ups and downs.”

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