Hold Air Hostage Impressive in All American Derby Trials

The Grade 1 winner posts the fastest qualifying time on Sunday.

Q-Racing Journal

Handling a sloppy track with skill, Darling Farms' Hold Air Hostage won the 11th of 13 440-yard All American Derby trials on Sunday. PHOTO: Gay Harris

Darling Farms' Hold Air Hostage scored a dominating 3 1/2-length victory in the 11th of 13 All American Derby (G1) trials on Sunday, and the sorrel son of Apollitical Jess is the fastest qualifier to the September 3, $1,365,907 final at Ruidoso Downs.

Ridden by Rodrigo Vallejo for trainer Jimmy Padgett, Hold Air Hostage went 440 yards in :21.109 and earned a 102 speed index on a sloppy and sealed track. Hold Air Hostage was making his first start since July 22, when he sprinted to a wire-to-wire, 1 3/4-length victory in the 440-yard, $1.15-million Rainbow Derby (G1) at Ruidoso.

Hold Air Hostage was bred in Oklahoma by Luis Miguel Albores Gleason. An earner of $642,636 from 10 outs, he was supplemented to the trials for $50,000. He has won his last four races, including the June 3, $297,000 Heritage Place Derby (G2) at Remington Park.

Duponte posted the second-fastest qualifying time in the 12th trial. Trained by Padgett and ridden by Vallejo for owners Bobby D. Cox, Homero Paredes, and Kristen Paredes, the homebred American Runaway colt won the 12th trial by 2 1/2 lengths in :21.441.

Duponte has won six of 13 races, including last year's Heritage Place Futurity (G1) at Remington Park and Harrah's Entertainment Futurity (G3) at Louisiana Downs, and he has banked $770,415.

Cream Of The Crop Inc.'s De La Eagle was the third-fastest qualifier. Ridden by Tanner Thedford for trainer Juan M. Gonzalez, the sorrel son of One Famous Eagle won the ninth heat by a half of a length from fourth-fastest qualifier The Marfa Lights in :21.444.

De La Eagle was bred in Texas by Burnett Ranches LLC, and the gelding will be making his first appearance in a stakes since July 24, 2016, when he ran eighth, four lengths behind winner A Revenant, in the $1-million Rainbow Futurity (G1).

Nine of the 10 finalists qualified from the last five heats; the only exception was ninth-fastest qualifier Bellissima Chocolata, who won the third trial. Magestic Eagle and Imperial Eagle, last year's All American Futurity (G1) winner and champion 2-year-old, finished in a tie for the 10th qualifying spot at :21.646. Magestic Eagle won a shake for the final spot, which was held in the racing office after the last trial.

Click here for a complete list of qualifiers to the All American Derby. Click here for a complete list of qualifiers to the 440-yard, $100,000 First Down Dash Stakes on September 3.

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