Q-Racing Blog: After The Rainbow

Soaking up some great racing.

Quarter Racing Journal

After two days of perfect racing weather – temperatures in the mid-80s and little wind –
Rainbow weekend is still hard to get a mind around.

It was one of the most memorable non-Labor Day weekends in recent memory at Ruidoso Downs. The period came to the weekend when the weekly AQHA Racing-Horseplayernow.com National Poll came out and Rainbow Futurity (G1) winner A Revenant was ranked number one in the 2-year-old poll. Then in the 3-year-olds and up section of the poll, Rainbow Derby (G1) winner Valiant Rogue checked in at number three. Ruidoso Derby winner Jess Good Candy, who passed the Rainbow Derby, was ranked number two and moved within three votes of No. 1 Zoomin Effortlessly. Jess Good Candy pulled this off while standing in his stall at Clint Crawford’s barn with a fan blowing cool mountain air on the muscular hunk of a horse.

In racing, money talks. Actually, it shouts at a high decibel level.

The Rainbow Futurity had a record-equaling $1-million purse while the Rainbow Derby set a new purse record of $1,224,488. It is the 10th consecutive year that the Rainbow Derby has set a new purse record. The money drew the horses and the horses put on the show.

Wyok Ranch, LLC’s Valiant Rogue virtually beat the gate and the Rainbow Derby was his to win. The Valiant Hero-sired gelding affirmed that he was bargain at $20,000 at the Ruidoso Select Yearling Sale. He has now earned nearly $600,000.

Ridden by Tanner Thedford, Valiant Rogue had thrown daylight on his rivals and expanded his lead to 1 3/4 lengths at the wire. He covered the quarter mile in :21.545.

Trainer Judd Kearl has been saying all summer that Valiant Rogue had shown talent since before his first start, however needed time to mature. Obviously, he has matured.

Valiant Rogue couldn’t manage anything better than a seventh-place finish in starts last summer at Ruidoso Downs in the trials to the Rainbow and All American futurities. This summer, he is undefeated in three starts at Ruidoso Downs. He destroyed an allowance field by 1 1/4 lengths in June and then set the fastest-qualifying time in the first of 14 trials to the Rainbow Derby.

Next up, All American Derby trials on August 21. The All American Derby trials are also the target for 2015 All American Futurity winner and champion Jess Good Candy.

In the 400-yard Rainbow Futurity, A Revenant stepped forward and showed he is developing into a true 440-yard horse.

The Mr Jess Perry colt drew the outside post position. Sometimes a 2-year-old on the outside will drift out with all the racing commotion on the inside. Not A Revenant. He left the gate straight and true under Cody Jensen and powerfully extended his stride.

Meanwhile, on the inside, Paint My Pilot started from the No. 1 post position. Paint My Pilot took a left-hand turn about six strides out of the gate and nearly hit the rail. He tried to leave jockey Yordanis Amaro on the inside rail, however the jock stayed on and was able to quickly get Paint My Pilot back out to his running lane. The PYC Paint Your Wagon son from the Kelli Martin stable, was on the lead passing the grandstand winner’s circle with A Revenant flying on the outside.

A Revenant got up in the last few jumps to win by a neck in :19.708.

Obviously, the next outs would be the trials to the $3-million All American Futurity (G1) on August 19-20.

Before we starting putting the All American Futurity on the warming front burner, let’s let the Rainbow Futurity and Rainbow Derby soak in.

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