Q-Racing Blog: Getting Schooled

A look back at this week's training races at Ruidoso Downs.

Q-Racing Journal

Two-year-olds showed their stuff in this week's 300-yard training races at Ruidoso Downs.

Training races don’t pay out a dime, but they sure get a lot of attention. The horses don’t know how much they cost, but the owners do and they want to see the potential of their investment.

Three days of two-year-old training races were held on May 9-11 at Ruidoso Downs and the Ruidoso press box looked like trials for a Grade 1 stakes were on the card.

Here’s a daily look at horses that caught my attention. And a disclaimer: Remember these are training races and smart trainers and jockeys use the races to help prepare the horse for a summer campaign. They only show on the horse’s past performance as a workout, nothing more.

A headwind was a factor on Monday and everyone wanted to know what the wind gauge said. They had a good reason. Every summer I’m reminded how important wind can be in trial races.

I wasn’t looking for the fastest horse in these races, but horses that could step up when Grade 1 futurity trials are held. It just so happens that Paul Blanchard’s Three Six, a Tres Seis gelding, impressed me and also posted the quickest time of :15.883. Trained by Paul Jones, the gelding stretched out and ran a professional race under Sal Martinez. The $32,000 Ruidoso Select Yearling Sale purchase was striding out with his ears up sailing under the wire.

Robert Roark’s Special Dominyun, trained by Blane Wood, broke out at the start and then found his stride under Ricky Ramirez. His time of :16.197 with 10-mph headwind was only the ninth-fastest time, however he jumps a long way and has a big upside.

The wind subsided on Tuesday and wasn’t nearly a factor.

I swear I’m not a frontrunner. I write down my comments on my program with my grade of the effort before I know the time. It just so happens that the two horses I gave two stars (my highest grade) to on Tuesday ended up with the top two times.

Trainer Blane Wood struck again with my top pick, Famous Dash To Me. The One Famous Eagle filly was in the third of 13 training races and the entire field broke very well from the starting gate. Jockey Ricky Ramirez had a firm hold on her as she pulled away for a one-length win. She was purchased for $45,000 at the Texas Quarter Horse Association Sale by Tommy Lipar’s Paragon Farms LLC, and it looks like these newcomers could have a real runner. She looks the part.

Trainer Paul Jones also had another good day. Rieda Moreno, owned by Jones with Thompson Racing, impressed before the race even started. The entire gate was shaking with nearly every horse contributing to the commotion. The horses on each side of her were agitated and thinking about flipping.

It didn’t bother Rieda Moreno, as the Tac It Like A Man filly started very well and easily ran away from her overmatched rivals to win by 1 1/2 lengths in :15.944.

Let’s give the New Mexico-breds a little love. They could be headed to the Mountain Top Futurity trials on June 3. Jones also sent out the New Mexico-bred Mr Flash The Cash, owned by Lisa Saumell (who runs Jones' New Mexico operation), Dwayne Johnson and Jones. The First Moonflash colt ran a race like he’s been doing it right down on the farm. He broke well, ran straight and was consistent on his way to a :16.106 time.

Bobby Simmons’ Go Ro Sham Bo ran greenly along the rail in the eighth race and then showed a good stride when Cody Jensen got him lined out. He won with a :16.308 time and should step up with maturity.

The winds further declined on Wednesday, however the times didn’t follow as no horse went under the 16-second mark. Although, seven horses were quicker than :16.1.

R.D. Hubbard and Grady Stowe’s Jesst A Dream, a $38,000 Ruidoso Select Yearling Sale purchase trained by Mike Joiner, should be ready for a run in the Ruidoso Futurity trials. The Mr Jess Perry filly easily took the third of 13 training races with a :16.011 time. Jockey Cody Jensen hand rode the Jesst A Dream, and she looks like she’s ready to step up.

Downtown Enterprises’ Kitty Kiernan, also trained by Joiner, wasn’t near the top times with her :16.327 mark, but she could have a big upside. The FDD Dynasty filly had a clear break and Jensen just hit her once left handed. She won under wraps and looked like a prospect that will devour more ground.

The New Mexico-breds also showed their strength, and again Joiner sent out a fine prospect. J & L Stables’ Kama Strawfly broke in at the start and then found his stride under Jensen. He was hit once left handed and took off to win in :16.073.

One More Horse
A horse that has been been getting some buzz is Raymond Merrill’s Sassy Irish Lassie, a $62,000 Ruidoso Select Yearling Sale purchase. She raced on the second day and her time of :16.151 was the 13th-fastest time for the day. Forget the time. This Walk Thru Fire filly from the Brian Muse barn could be a powerhouse. She pulled away from her competition while under a stranglehold by jockey Omar Reyes.

Good Days
The best aspect of the training races was that no horse was hauled off. Credit to the track crew and the trainers taking care of their horses. Good job.

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