Duponte Heads Qualifiers to Grade 1 Texas Classic Derby

The 440-yard, $385,355 final will be contested on November 11.

Q-Racing Journal

Duponte won the second of five Texas Classic Derby trials on Friday. PHOTO: Dustin Orona Photography

Duponte on Friday won the second of five Texas Classic Derby (G1) trials while posting the fastest qualifying time to the November 11, $385,355 final at Lone Star Park.

Ridden by Rodrigo Vallejo and racing against a reported 13-mph head wind, Duponte covered 440 yards in :21.466, and his margin of victory was three-quarters of a length from third-fastest qualifier Tac My Time. Jimmy Padgett trained the homebred American Runaway colt for owners Bobby D. Cox, Homero Paredes, and Kristin Paredes.

Duponte has won seven of 15 races and has earned $909,706, and his two graded stakes wins during his 2-year-old campaign included the 350-yard Heritage Place Futurity (G1) at Remington Park. A victory in the Texas Classic Derby final would put the colt over the $1-million mark in earnings.

Second-fastest qualifier High Plains Perry won the fourth trial by one length in :21.564 while also racing against a reported 13-mph head wind. The winner of last year's 400-yard, $1-million Texas Classic Futurity (G1), the Mr Jess Perry gelding was ridden by Ricky Ramirez for owner Paragon Farms LLC and trainer Trey Wood.

High Plains Perry was bred by Johnny Trotter and Burnett Ranches and was a $100,000 buy at the 2015 Ruidoso Select Yearling Sale.

Click here for a complete list of Texas Classic Derby qualifiers.

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