Trainer Blane Wood Discusses His Mountain Top Qualifiers
Veteran horseman will send out Beerun and Faster Version in Saturday's $350,000 race at Ruidoso Downs.
June 12, 2015
Ask trainer Blane Wood which horse of his two horses he prefers in Saturday’s $339,520 Mountain Top Quarter Horse Futurity (RG3) for New Mexico-breds, and you’ll get a politically correct answer.
“I’ll tell you Saturday night,” he quipped at his barn this week, getting his race horses Beerun and Faster Version prepped for their start in the ninth race tomorrow.
“They are both very nice horses and have done everything we’ve asked them to do so far,” Wood said. “They’ve won their trial races, been outstanding in training back on the farm and we’re ready to see what they can do.”
Beerun will be number-two in the gate coming off a two-and-a-half length win in a trial race time of 17.547 for 350 yards while his stable mate Faster Version is number-five, having won his trial race by a length-and-a-half in a time of 17.563 from their trials held on May 29.
“They are both nominated for the major open races later this summer,” Wood said. “We’re hoping they are going to run up to their potential and gain a lot of experience for later in the summer as well.”
Wood has been racing New Mexico-breds in his program for many years, having finished third and fourth in the All American Futurity with state-bred horses.
“New Mexico-breds are as good in quality as there is," he said. "Plus, you get the added ability to race for state-bred money during the summer which is a positive.”
Wood said that the early June period on the backside is when trainers are getting a strong indication of the quality of runners they’ll have for the All American Futurity trials in August. Most two year olds have had at least one or two starts now.
“My method of training has changed a little bit in recent years in that we’re trying to keep our two year olds sound and fresh — peaked at the right time in August," he said. "But while we’re working with them, it would be great to cash a big paycheck with either of these two horses on Saturday.”
Jockey Ricky Ramirez, who has won 18 percent of his mounts so far in the season, qualified both horses to the final and chose to ride Beerun. Rider Ivan Carnero, a winner of 12 percent of his mounts, will be in the irons for Faster Version.
“Ricky is an important aspect of our racing team, and he gets to decide which horse he wants to ride,” Wood said. “He knows both of them very well having been involved in the training of them from the start.”