Running Dragon Tops Mountain Top Qualifiers

The graded stakes winning filly was fastest at Ruidoso on Friday.

Q-Racing Journal

Jose Enrique Ortiz rode Running Dragon to a 1 1/4-length victory in Friday's Mountain Top Futurity trials at Ruidoso Downs. PHOTO: Gay Harris

The By By JJ Limited Partnership's Running Dragon is the fastest qualifier to the June 18, $364,256 Mountain Top Futurity (RG3) for New Mexico-bred 2-year-olds at Ruidoso Downs.

Racing in the last of 10 350-yard trials on Friday, Running Dragon defeated eighth-fastest qualifier Me Like Daddy by 1 1/4 lengths in :17.506. Jose Enrique Ortiz rode the homebred Zulu Dragon filly for trainer Juan M. Gonzalez.

Running Dragon has won all three of her starts and has earned $174,780. She was making her first start since April 24, when she scored a half-length victory in the 300-yard, $297,925 New Mexican Spring Futurity (RG2) at Sunland Park.

Trainer Blane Wood had a big day on Friday, as the veteran conditioner qualified four Mountain Top finalists, headed by second-fastest qualifier Copy My Daddy. The gelded son of Big Daddy Cartel was making his career debut in the third heat for owners Terry and Irene Stennett, who acquired Copy My Daddy from breeder MJ Farms for $26,000 at last year's New Mexico-Bred Yearling Sale.

"A lot of times in their first out they are running kinda scared," Wood said. "In their second out, they are improving and learning that this is their job."

This year's Mountain Top Futurity will carry a record purse, topping the previous mark of $352,013 set three years ago.

Click here for a complete list of finalists.

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