Q-Racing Blog: Good Signs

Taking a look at the good things.

Taking a look at the good things.

There are some good things out there worth watching and, I hope, more in the future.

First, kudos to Rillito Park general manager Michael Weiss and the University of Arizona Racetrack Industry Program. RTIP graduates have been an important asset to horse racing for decades. Brad McKinzie and Dan Fick quickly come to mind. (Some of you graduates are my friends and I don’t want you all to feel too important. Go Cats!)

A few weekends ago, students from the RTIP were at the iconic Rillito Park and getting hands-on work done. Rillito is a gem. It was J. Rukin Jelks’ training track until 1943 when it became Rillito. Can you imagine Shue Fly, Joe Reed II, Piggin String, Hard Twist, Miss Panama and Queenie racing there? It must have been fantastic.

“For the past four seasons, I’ve worked with the students and placed them in positions that I think they’ll excel,” Weiss told The Daily Wildcat. “And we’ve been about 100 percent with the graduating students in getting them jobs.”

What a tremendous idea and a real-world addition to a student’s resume.

“The first year I was here, I went over and worked with (RTIP) and asked, ‘What have your students ever done?’ ” said Weiss, an RTIP graduate. “They had never had an association (in the industry).”

All high school students interested in a racing career should seriously consider RTIP. It’s a winner.

This association is a long-term investment in racing. It will pay dividends.

Second, the improvements at Ruidoso Downs are taking shape.

The roof is being torn apart and a new roof – without leaks – will be installed. I am glad because, hopefully, it will save my coworkers and myself from running around with buckets and trash cans during a heavy monsoon rain.

The new saddling paddock looks promising, the backside has been cleaned up (that was quite a project, according to the folks on the machinery) and the chapel is going up and will be a landmark addition to Ruidoso Downs.

Stay tuned, there is more work to be done and it’s all welcome.

Third, Ed Allred’s He Looks Hot is recovering from his third colic surgery. He was scratched from the Brad McKinzie Los Alamitos Winter Championship (G1). He may have been the favorite.

He Looks Hot, an earner of $1.1 million, lost his 3-year-old year after two colic surgery. The 6-year-old gelding is showing his grit once more time after his third colic surgery.

It is assured that Allred and trainer Scott Willoughby will do what is best for the horse.

It’s all good.

AQHA News and information is a service of the American Quarter Horse Association. For more news and information, follow @AQHARacing on Twitter, “like” Q-Racing on Facebook and visit www.aqharacing.com.