Valiant Rogue Tops Rainbow Derby Qualifiers

The Oklahoma-bred gelding won the first of 14 440-yard trials on Sunday.

Q-Racing Journal

Valiant Rogue and Boxwineizfine, the fastest and second-fastest qualifiers, ran one-two in the first of 14 Rainbow Derby trials at Ruidoso Downs. PHOTO: Gay Harris

Wyok Ranch LLC's Valiant Rogue is the fastest qualifier to the July 23, $1,224,488 Rainbow Derby (G1) at Ruidoso Downs.

Ridden by Tanner Thedford for trainer Judd Kearl, Valiant Rogue won the first of 14 trials on Sunday. The Valiant Hero gelding covered 440 yards in :21.705 against a 10-mph head wind, and his winning margin was a half of a length from second-fastest qualifier Boxwineizfine.

Valiant Rogue was bred in Oklahoma by Bollenbach Farms. The gelding has won four of 10 starts and has earned $83,522, and he ran fifth after a less-than-perfect start in last year's Grade 1, 400-yard Texas Classic Futurity at Lone Star Park.

"I think he could've won the Texas Classic," said Kearl. "I thought he was the best baby that we had last year. He just needed time to mature."

Valiant Rogue sold for $20,000 at the 2014 Ruidoso Select Yearling Sale. His dam, the stakes-winning homebred Azoom mare Azoom Babe, ran third in the 2010 Decketta Stakes (G3) at Remington Park.

Other prominent Rainbow Derby finalists include First Valiant Sign, a Valiant Hero gelding trained by Mike Joiner for owners Scott Bryant, Joe Dee Brooks, Lee Lewis, Derrol Hubbard and R.D. Hubbard. The fourth-fastest qualifier, First Valiant Sign won the 14th heat by one length in :21.840 under jockey Cody Jensen.

First Valiant Sign has banked $696,960 from eight outs, and his three wins include last year's Ruidoso Futurity (G1). He also was a finalist in the Rainbow (G1) and All American (G1) futurities.

"He scrambled away from the gate," said Jensen. "We needed to change leads, and then he finished strong."

Click here for a complete list of Rainbow Derby qualifiers.

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