Political Attraction Wins Grade 1, $801,564 Rainbow Derby

The Apollitical Jess gelding survives a stewards' inquiry and earns his third graded stakes victory.

Q-Racing Journal

Political Attraction sprinted to a one-length victory in Saturday's Rainbow Derby at Ruidoso Downs. PHOTO: Gay Harris

Political Attraction, a son of Apollitical Jess owned by Rogelio Marquez Jr. and Kathy Robinson and a $40,000 supplement to the trials, scored his third graded stakes win in Saturday's Rainbow Derby (G1) at Ruidoso Downs.

Ridden by James Flores for trainer Josue Ponce, Political Attraction covered 440 yards in :21.092 -- the fastest quarter-mile time of the meet -- while defeating Hes Limitless by one length. The sorrel gelding earned a 103 speed index and the $336,657 winner's share of the purse.

Political Attraction's victory wasn't without intrigue, as the gelding survived an extended stewards' inquiry and rider's objection. Poliitical Attraction started well from post 2, but he drifted out a bit under left-handed urging. Flores switched his whip back to his right hand, and Political Attraction straighted out again.

The inquiry by the stewards and an objection lodged by Bonifacio Perez, the rider of third-place Papaw Paint, was raised because Political Attraction drifted close to Papaw Paint. However, an isolation shot from a video camera showed that Political Attraction never touched his rival.

“I was a little surprised at the inquiry,” said Flores. “I looked over and never saw another horse, and I didn’t hear another horse.”

Political Attraction was bred in Oklahoma by Ron Lyles. Raced in Oklahoma and New Mexico, the gelding has won eight of 13 starts, including last year's Speedhorse Futurity (G3) at Fair Meadows at Tulsa and Black Gold 440 Futurity Chhampionship (RG3) at Will Rogers Downs, and he has banked $676,563.

Marquez and Robinson left for another day the option of racing Political Attraction in the August 19 trials to the 440-yard, $1-million All American Derby (G1).

“We’ll wait and let the horse tell us,” said Marquez.

Hotstepper finished fourth, a half of a length behind third-place Papaw Paint. DF AJ Green Leaves, Hawkeye, Jess Move You, Sixes Crystal, Piloto Strong, and Flight Force completed the order of finish.

Jess Move You, the winner of the Ruidoso Derby (G1) in June and the lone finalist in line for the inaugural All American Derby Triple Crown bonus, threw his head at the start and was never a factor after the tough start.

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