Field Set for Grade 1, $1-Million Rainbow Futurity

Trainer Mike Joiner will be represented by four qualifiers in the July 24 final at Ruidoso Downs.

Q-Racing Journal

Ultimate Return, a son of freshman sire High Rate Of Return, posted the fastest qualifying time on the second day of Rainbow Futurity trials on Saturday. PHOTO: Gay Harris

Trainer Mike Joiner will be well represented in this year's Grade 1 Rainbow Futurity at Ruidoso Downs, and jockey Cody Joiner will have some decisions to make before the $1-million final on July 24.

On Saturday, the second and final day of trials, Joiner and Jensen teamed to win the sixth of 15 400-yard heats with Ultimate Return. A sorrel son of the Mr Jess Perry stallion High Rate Of Return owned by High Rate Partners, Ultimate Return stopped the timer in :19.835 to top the second day of qualifiers and post the overall second-fastest qualifying time.

Ultimate Return has won both of his races and has earned $6,720. The gelding was bred in Oklahoma by Connie Nobles and was a $16,000 purchase at last year's Heritage Place Yearling Sale in Oklahoma City.

Ultimate Return made his debut with a half-length victory in a 300-yard maiden special weight race at Ruidoso on June 24.

"He was sore in his shins after his schooling race (on May 9), so we passed the Ruidoso Futurity," said Joiner of Ultimate Return. "He really looked good in his maiden win. He broke well from the 1 hole, and at 150 yards he just changed gears and took off. He's improving with every race."

Joiner ended up qualifying four finalists to the Rainbow Futurity, including overall fastest qualifier A Revenant, Drinkin Class, and One Famous Beau. Jensen rode five of the 10 qualifiers in their trials: A Revenant, Ultimate Return, Muddy Waters, Drinkin Class, and One Famous Beau.

One Famous Beau overcame a less-than-perfect start to win Saturday's fifth heat by one length in :19.968. A $45,000 buy at last year's Ruidoso Select Yearling Sale, the One Famous Eagle gelding races for Pat Guthrie, Billy G. Smith, Paul Blanchard, and Fred Grooms.

"He's going to really like a distance," said Joiner. "He just doesn't have it all together yet. More experience should help him."

Click here for a complete list of Rainbow Futurity qualifiers.

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