Rock You Leads Record Ruidoso Derby

Rock You, Turbulent Times meet in rich Ruidoso Derby.

Q-Racing Journal

Reliance Ranches LLC’s fastest-qualifier Rock You meets Jesus Avila and Jesus Cuevas’ Golden State Million Futurity (G1) winner Turbulent Times in a battle for the lion’s share of a record $943,127 purse in the Ruidoso Derby (G1) on Saturday at Ruidoso Downs.

The previous record purse was $822,375 last year.

Supporting the derby is the first running of the $100,000 Mr Jess Perry for horses who did not qualify for the Ruidoso Derby.

Rock You (Foose-Babe On The Fly by Strawfly Special) tries for his fifth-straight win with his last defeat coming when he faced Turbulent Times in the $1 million Golden State Million last fall at Los Alamitos, finishing third.

The Eddie Willis-trained Rock You started his current winning streak when he tried to qualify for the $2 million Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity (G1). The gelding won his Two Million trial, but did not qualify for the final.

After a three-month rest, Willis brought Rock You back at Remington Park and he won an allowance race and then the $50,000 Bob Moore Memorial Stakes (G2).

In the ninth of 10 Ruidoso Derby trials, Rock You sped to a half-length win and his time of :19.539 topped the qualifier list.

Turbulent Times (Furyofthewind-Streakin La Tac by Streakin La Jolla) impressed in his Ruidoso Downs debut, but he almost failed to make the finals. While he easily took his trial by a length, his time of :19.704 placed him as the co-ninth-fastest qualifier in his first start since the Golden State Million back in November.

In the Golden State Million, Turbulent Times scored his most important win when he won by a half length with a strong closing charge.

The winner of five of six career starts, Turbulent Times won his first two starts before finishing fourth in the $1 million Ed Burke Million Futurity (G1) as the 17-10 favorite. He was bumped on both sides at the start and managed a fourth-place effort. He then won his Golden State Million trial by a length.

Kharlottie Grace Urschel’s CR Tuckernuck (Jet Black Patriot-Fast Prize Corona by Corona Cartel) comes into the Ruidoso Derby looking for a signature win after racing to the second-fastest qualifying time. He won his trial by one-half length in :19.547.

CR Tuckernuck closed out is juvenile season by qualifying for the Texas Classic Futurity (G1) at Lone Star Park.

In the first Mr Jess Perry, Willis has Reliance Ranches LLC’s strong contender Coronado Cartel (Corona Cartel-First Carolina by Mr Jess Perry). The colt won last year’s $720,000 Remington Park Oklahoma-bred Futurity (R) and comes off a pair of second place runs in the $70,000 Mr Master Bug Stakes (R) at Remington Park and his Ruidoso Derby trial.

JJ Cool L LLC’s Belle Helene (Valiant Hero-Thewayouwantmetoo by Mr Eye Opener) is one of four Blane Wood-trained horses in the Mr Jess Perry. She nearly won last summer’s $1 million Rainbow Futurity (G1) when she lost by a head-bobbing nose to stable mate Ms First Prize Rose.

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