Hold Air Hostage Romps in $1.15-Million Rainbow Derby

The gelding earns his first Grade 1 victory on Saturday.

Q-Racing Journal

A sharp break from post 8 helped Darling Farms' Hold Air Hostage score a 1 3/4-length victory in Saturday's Rainbow Derby at Ruidoso Downs. PHOTO: Gay Harris

Darling Farms’ Hold Air Hostage, the fastest-qualifier and 3-2 favorite, dominated his competition to win Saturday's 440-yard, $1.15-million Rainbow Derby (G1) at Ruidoso Downs.

Prepped by Judd Kearl, Hold Air Hostage covered his quarter-mile trip in :21.397, and his winning margin was 1 3/4 lengths from 7-2 second choice High Plains Perry. Rodrigo Vallejo rode the sorrel son of Apollitical Jess.

Hold Air Hostage was bred in Oklahoma by Luis Miguel Albores Gleason, and he was a $12,700 buy at the 2015 Heritage Place Mixed Sale in Oklahoma City. The gelding has won four of his last five starts, including the June 3, 400-yard Heritage Place Derby (G2) at Remington Park, after he made his season debut with a third-place finish in a Remington Park Derby (RG3) trial on April 9.

"He's a beast," said Kearl. "He's aggressive. In fact, we galloped him yesterday.

"He wasn't ready for his first out," the trainer added.

Hold Air Hostage was coming off of a even-more dominating 2 1/4-length win in the fifth of 11 Rainbow Derby trials on July 9. All told, the gelding has won six of nine starts, and the $483,000 winner's share of the Rainbow Derby purse bumped his earnings to $640,236, of which $624,858 has been banked this season.

Jess A Painted Wagon, Duponte, Magestic Eagle, C Twister Seis, Kitty Kiernan, Apolltical Chad, Myst Fit, and Teller Baja completed the official order of finish.

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