Champion Jess Good Candy Dominates Ruidoso Derby

The homebred colt collects his third stakes win and keeps his perfect record intact.

Q-Racing Journal

Champion Jess Good Candy is now 7-for-7 following his victory in Saturday's Ruidoso Derby. PHOTO: Gay Harris

Jess Good Candy, last year's champion 2-year-old, has enjoyed a solid start to his sophomore campaign, and on Saturday the homebred son of Good Reason SA sprinted to a clear 1 3/4-length victory in the $1,068,631 Ruidoso Derby (G1) at Ruidoso Downs.

Ridden by Ivan Carnero and racing against a 5-mph head wind, Jess Good Candy covered 400 yards in :19.477 for a 96 speed index. Clint Crawford saddled the colt for owner PV Quarter Horse Farms of Ratliff City, Oklahoma.

Trainer Clint Crawford and Rozella
Pevehouse of PV Quarter Horse Farms
celebrate Jess Good Candy's second
lifetime Grade 1 win. PHOTO: Ty

Jess Good Candy returned a $3.20 win mutuel as the 3-5 favorite in the full field of 10 3-year-olds. The fifth-fastest qualifier, the colt was coming off of a 1 1/4-length victory in the 10th of 14 trials on May 29.

Jess Good Candy has won all seven of his outs, and the $448,825 share of the stakes-record Ruidoso Derby purse pushed his bankroll to $2,012,303. His three stakes wins include last year's 440-yard, $3-million All American Futurity (G1), and the April 24, $70,000 Mr Master Bug Stakes (R) for Oklahoma-breds at Remington Park.

"It's been a good run the last couple of years," said Crawford. "This horse right here is topping it off for us. He's our dream. He's what we live for. He's a once-in-a-lifetime horse.

"He brings the friends and the family together," added the trainer. "So many people come out to cheer this horse on, and we appreciate it."

Jess Good Candy is a tribute to the breeding program established by the late Carl Pevehouse, whose widow, Rozella, and their children were in the winner's circle on Saturday.

"All three of our children are here," Rozella Pevehouse said. "It means a lot for them to see the legacy of their dad carry on.

"We just love Jess Good Candy," she added. "It just been a miracle for us, and we appreciate him and Clint."

Crawford said that Jess Good Candy would be pointed to the 440-yard All American Derby (G1) trials in August. The Rainbow Derby (G1) trials next month are not in the plans of his connections.

"Sometimes people get a little too greedy; I've watched it year after year," Crawford said. "Then, they show up at the All American Derby and their out of horse. I don't want that to happen to this horse.

Jockey Ivan Carnero and
champion Jess Good Candy
return after the colt's 1 3/4-
length win in Saturday's
Ruidoso Derby. PHOTO: Ty

"We're going to train on him and keep him fit and ready, just like we did last year," he added. "We're going to bring him in fresh to the (All American Derby) trials and hope that God and the wind are in our favor and we can get him qualified."

In addition to a rich purse, this year's All American Derby final will offer a berth in the Champion of Champions (G1) to its winner.

Volcom Bay, the fastest qualifier and 4-1 second choice, finished second to complete an $11.40 ($2) exacta. Apollitical OK, Famous War Eagle, Hatefulist, Big Lew, Significant Runner, JM Disco Rey, Brimmies Wagon, and Always Ur Last Call completed the order of finish.

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