Blanket Finish in Ruidoso Challenge

El Rayito De Luna comes out on top in John Deere Ruidoso Juvenile Challenge.

Press Release

Refugio Luna’s El Rayito De Luna made a late surge on the outside of the sloppy track to win the Grade 3, $64,620 John Deere Ruidoso Juvenile Challenge (G3) on Saturday afternoon at Ruidoso Downs.

Heritage Place Futurity (G1) winner Lovethewayyoulie, the 3-2 favorite, burst from the starting gate in the 350-yard stakes but just could not hold on. She held the lead until the field reached the grandstand and then was passed by El Rayito De Luna, Miss Fast Jeans and Yurman.

El Rayito De Luna won by nose over Miss Fast Jeans, and it was another nose back to Yurman. Lovethewayyoulie was just another neck back for fourth.

The Lillian Silva-trained El Rayito De Luna, who went off at 7-2 odds as the second choice, scored his third-straight win. The son of Red Storm Cat won a maiden race at Ruidoso Downs on June 20 and then was the fourth-fastest qualifier to the John Deere Ruidoso Downs Juvenile Challenge with a three-quarter-length trial win in :17.443. This victory earned him a berth in the $150,000 John Deere Juvenile Challenge Championship (G2) on October 18 at Prairie Meadows.

At Sunland Park, El Rayito De Luna crossed the finish line in second-place in the $50,000 West Texas Juvenile (R), however was disqualified and placed eighth.

The top-three fastest qualifiers to the John Deere Ruidoso Downs Juvenile Challenge were all scratched, presumably to race in the trials to the Grade 1, $2.6 million All American Futurity on August 14-15. They are Apolitical Pac, Moonstruck Love and CC Kachina Eagle.

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