Rainbow Derby Trials Draw 134 Sophomores

The 10 fastest qualifiers will meet for a stakes-record purse on July 23.

Q-Racing Journal

Two-time Grade 1 winner Tres Friends, pictured here winning last year's Texas Classic Futurity at Lone Star Park, is one of 134 3-year-olds entered in Sunday's Rainbow Derby trials at Ruidoso Downs. PHOTO: Dustin Orona Photography

Sunday’s 440-yard Rainbow Derby (G1) trials at Ruidoso Downs have drawn 134 3-year-olds, topped by Grade 1 winners Tres Friends and First Valiant Sign.

Sunday’s 14-race program, consisting exclusively of Rainbow Derby trials, gets underway at 1 p.m. (MDT). Post time for the final race is scheduled for 6:12.

By luck of the draw, Tres Friends and First Valiant Sign will square off in the 14th trial. A gelded son of champion Tres Seis, Tres Friends races for Terry D. Stennett of Odessa, Texas, and is trained by Blane Wood. Tres Friends has won three of his six outs, including last year’s $1.152-million Texas Classic Futurity (G1) and $1-million Rainbow Futurity (G1), and he has banked $920,977.

Tres Friends drew post 3 and will be ridden by Ricky Ramirez.

Grade 1 winner First Valiant Sign
will make the second start of his
3-year-old season in the 14th
Rainbow Derby trial on Sunday.
PHOTO: Gay Harris

First Valiant Sign is trained by Mike Joiner for owners Scott Bryant, Joe Dee Brooks, Lee Lewis, Derrol Hubbard, and R.D. Hubbard. A brown son of Valiant Hero, the gelding outran his 31-1 odds to win last year’s $750,000 Ruidoso Futurity (G1), and he was a finalist in champion Jess Good Candy’s $3-million All American Futurity (G1).

Cody Jensen will ride First Valiant Sign from post 9.

Other prominent sophomores entered in Sunday’s trials include All American Futurity (G1) runner-up One Fabulous Eagle and graded stakes winners Famous Little Reba, Miss Feet Down First, and Game Changes..

One Rainbow Derby hopeful, Alicia Smith’s Ahs Uncle Si, has been supplemented to the trials for $40,000. Trained by Judd Kearl, Ahs Uncle Si will be making his first start since February 27, when the homebred son of Struttin To Beduino scored a clear two-length victory in the 400-yard Sunshine State Derby (R) at Hialeah Park.

Jose Amador Alvarez will ride Ahs Uncle Si from the rail post in the seventh heat.

The 10 fastest qualifiers will meet in the July 23 Rainbow Derby final, which will offer a stakes-record purse of $1,224,488.

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