Hold Air Hostage Leads the Way in Rainbow Derby Trials

The $40,000 supplement paid dividends at Ruidoso Downs on Sunday.

Q-Racing Journal

Darling Farms' Hold Air Hostage deftly handled a wet track on Sunday, as the gelding posted the fastest qualifying time to the July 22, $1.15-million Rainbow Derby. PHOTO: Gay Harris

Making his first-ever start at Ruidoso Downs on Sunday, Darling Farms' Hold Air Hostage set the fastest qualifying time to the July 22, $1.15-million Rainbow Derby (G1).

Hold Air Hostage won the fourth of 11 440-yard trials by 2 1/4 lengths in :21.414 on a sealed track labeled "wet fast." Rodrigo Vallejo rode the Apollitical Jess gelding for trainer Judd Kearl.

Hold Air Hostage was supplemented to the Rainbow Derby trials for $40,000. A $12,700 purchase at the 2015 Heritage Place Mixed Sale in Oklahoma City, the gelding was bred in Oklahoma by Luis Miguel Albores Gleason. He has won five of eight starts, including the June 3, 400-yard Heritage Place Derby (G2) at Remington Park, and he has earned $157,236.

Kearl said that, during the Remington Park meet, he had suggested to Darling Farms' owner Dan Darling supplement Hold Air Hostage to the Rainbow trials.

"He said that Hold Air Hostage had to pay his way to Ruidoso," Kearl recalled. "Then he won the Heritage Place Derby, so I said to him, 'We're going to Ruidoso.'"

Jess A Painted Wagon, the second-fastest qualifier, will be making her stakes debut in the Rainbow Derby. Prepped by Mike Joiner for owner R.D. Hubbard, the brown daughter of Pyc Paint Your Wagon won the sixth heat by a neck in :21.493.

Jess A Painted Wagon was sent to post at odds of 10-1 off of a neck victory in a 350-yard, $11,000 non-winners-of-two allowance for distaffers at Ruidoso on June 16. The filly was bred in Oklahoma by Dallas D. Chartier, and she was a $35,000 buy at the 2015 Ruidoso Select Yearling Sale.

"We took the blinkers off two starts ago, and she's made a lot of improvement," said jockey Cody Jensen, who rode Jess A Painted Wagon on Sunday. "As long as she can get away from the gate and has a hole to run through, she can do a lot of running on the other end." 

Click here for a complete list of Rainbow Derby qualifiers. Click here for a list of qualifiers to the July 22, $100,000 Corona Cartel Stakes at Ruidoso Downs.

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 www.aqha.com/racing.