All American: Kearl Up

Judd Kearl is loaded for the industry's richest derby.

Quarter Racing Journal

Judd Kearl is loaded for the industry's richest derby.

Judd Kearl will have his hands full on Sunday. In his second summer at Ruidoso Downs, the Texas-based trainer will saddle four starters in the industry’s richest race for 3-year-olds, the $2,414,691 All American Derby (G1).

With Jose Amador Alvarez in the irons for Kearl, Volcom Bay was the Derby’s fastest qualifier at :21.189, First Fancy Racy the fifth-fastest at :21.312 and Brave Heart Won the sixth-fastest at :21.333. The trainer also sent out Esgar Ramirez to ride EC Jet One to the second-fastest :21.274.

“We had a blessed day on the Sunday of the trials,” Kearl said. “They all ran to their potential, they all came back super and they’re training good. So I hope for a good Sunday again.”

Bennie and Terri Jeter’s Volcom Bay (Volcom-Miss Lethal by Chicks Beduino) scored by 2 1/2 lengths in the 12th trial. She was tired after the winning effort and willingly walked into the van to ride to the test barn. Volcom Bay wrapped up her freshman season with a second-place run in the Texas Classic Juvenile (R). She won her trial to the Ruidoso Derby (G1) by 2 1/4 lengths. The Ruidoso final was her start previous to the All American trials, and in that race the bay filly was second to champion and All American Futurity (G1) winner Jess Good Candy. Volcom Bay has earned $227,227.

Enrique Carrion’s homebred EC Jet One (The Louisiana Cartel-Pretty Girl Perry by Mr Jess Perry) prevailed by a length in the seventh trial for his fifth-consecutive win. The bay colt dominated last winter at Hialeah Park, where he won the $375,297 Hialeah Derby and the $204,265 South Florida Derby, and has career earnings of $356,049.

Aldai Transport’s First Fancy Racy (Carters Cartel-First Down Racy by First Down Dash) raced in the fourth trial. An earner of $260,123, the bay filly was making her first appearance since a second-place run in the Texas Classic Futurity (G1) last November.

Dwayne Saucier and Michael Taylor’s Brave Heart Won (Apollitical Jess-Fols Zookie Cookie by Fols Gold) finished his 2-year-old season with a second in the Black Gold Championship 440 Futurity (RG3) at Will Rogers Downs. The sorrel gelding came into the All American Derby trials off a fifth in the July 1 Firecracker Derby at Delta Downs and won his All American trial by a half-length over ninth-fastest qualifier Jess Envision. Brave Heart Won has earned $88,947.

Kearl discussed his horses on the Tuesday prior to the Derby:

Volcom Bay
Jose Amador Alvarez opted to stay on Volcoms Bay for the Derby. She is doing super. On the Wednesday after the Ruidoso Derby, we operated on her throat for an entrapped epiglottis – her windpipe wasn’t this big (Kearl extends his little finger). She was in the Rainbow but we skipped it to give her more time to heal and to wait for this.

She worked super twice coming into the trials, and we expected her to run big. Since then, we’ve jogged her twice and stood her (in the gate). She’s doing super.

As far as her disposition, she’s the type of filly that if she wants to be bothered, bother her. If she doesn’t, leave her the heck alone.

Volcom Bay has a lot of talent and has proven herself, but anything can happen – there’s 10 of them in there

EC Jet One
He’s doing great. He was the King of Hialeah – undefeated out there in four outs.

We had to clean him up after Hialeah, took some chips out of his knee. He wasn’t in anything else, so we just pointed him to the Derby. I have an  Aqua-Tred at my place in New Waverly (Texas), so we swam him for about 60 days after surgery and then sent him out here. He put in three bullet works before the trials, so it looked like he came back good from the surgery. He ran for what he is: 7 for 9.

So he went into the All American trials off a long layoff and three good works. He got in a little trouble in trials, didn’t break as sharp as he could and kind of got sandwiched, but three jumps away went to the front. Without any trouble, the horse would have won easy. I think he’ll improve from there. He’d been off six months, so he definitely needed the race. I look for him to run a better race in the finals.

He loves to train. He’s a colt but you’d never know it. He’s good to be around, doesn’t make any mistakes. Esgar Ramirez will ride EC Jet One in the Derby.

First Fancy Racy
She’s another that hadn’t started in awhile, since the Texas Classic. Once again, she was only in this, so that’s what we pointed her for. We swam her, too, before she came out here and she worked great. We worked her from the gate one time and breezed her twice out here, and she just set up super for the trials.

I was going to try to get her an out before the trials, but the timing didn’t really work out, so we just pointed her to the trials.

She’s super to train, too. She takes care of business and she’s a big old filly, one of those that you’d never know was in the barn. Just a pro. Francisco Calderon will take her in the Derby. He rode her in the Texas Classic trials, so he’s been on her.

Brave Heart Won
Joe Badilla is going to ride Brave Heart Won. Joe rode him at Delta (Downs, in the trials and final of the Firecracker Derby), so he knows the horse.

I didn’t get the horse until the middle of the summer. He came out from Louisiana. Mike Taylor sent him to me. The horse is a non-sweater, so Mike thought he’d do good up here in the cooler weather. And he did. We breezed him one time before the trials and he ran really good.

He’s super to be around. Mike told me that when he got right, he’d want to run off galloping. Mike was right. That’s the way he is: Two weeks before the trials, Brave Heart Won just became a grizzly bear training.

This horse big, long-jumping horse. He got away super in the trials, finished strong and run a great race. He ran not much slower than the rest of them, so I think he’ll get a little better his second trip down the racetrack.

“They all came back super from the trials, they’re all training good,” Kearl said. “That’s where we’re at. I just hope for a good, clean, fair trip and we’ll see what happens.”

Anything can happen. But Kearl has four bullets in the chamber, and that’s pretty impressive.

“We’ve been lucky,” he said, with a smile. “A 40 percent shot at getting the trophy is a great feeling going into it. You hope for a trophy on all of them, but they all can’t get there. But I think we’ve got four legitimate shots.”

So by the time the horses enter the paddock for the Derby, Kearl will have waited two weeks since the trials and then he’ll have 10 minutes to get them all saddled. How will he get it done on time?

Kearl laughed. He counts on his assistant trainer.

“Jimmy Padgett will help.”

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