Uptown Dynasty, Kvn Corona Square Off in Grade 1 Ruidoso Derby

The two rivals headline Ruidoso Downs' Saturday feature.

Q-Racing Journal

Fastest qualifier Uptown Dynasty dominated his competition in the first of 10 Ruidoso Derby trials. PHOTO: Gay Harris

Fastest qualifier Uptown Dynasty and the undefeated champion KVN Corona are among the 10 3-year-olds entered back in Saturday's 400-yard, $759,197 Ruidoso Derby (G1) at Ruidoso Downs.

Uptown Dynasty made his season debut with a dominating 3 3/4-length victory in the first of 10 Ruidoso Derby trials on May 27. The bay son of champion Mr Jess Perry is trained by Wes Giles for owner Melvin Neugebauer of Manzanola, Colorado.

“There were so many good horses (in the trial) that you just couldn’t believe it,” said Neugebauer. “It was the best performance of any horse that I’ve ever owned. If (the trial) would have been 440, then it could have been five lengths.

“He’s qualified for four Grade 1 races and that’s hard to do,” he added. “You worry about their first out but Wes does such a good job. He’s so much more mature this year. He has really muscled out.”

A $66,000 buy at the 2016 Heritage Place Yearling Sale in Oklahoma City, Uptown Dynasty has won five of eight starts and has earned $612,600. The gelding's race record includes a dead heat victory (with Eagle Jazz) in last year's 350-yard, $800,000 Ruidoso Futurity (G1) and a second-place finish, three-quarters of a length behind winner Eagle Jazz, in the 400-yard, $1-milion Rainbow Futurity (G1). He also was a finalist in the 440-yard, $3-million All American Futurity (G1), Quarter Horse racing's richest and most prestigious race.

Uptown Dynasty is the 2-1 morning-line favorite. The gelding drew post 4 and will be ridden by G.R. Carter Jr.

Last year's champion 2-year-old colt, KVN Corona has won all nine of his starts and has banked $684,334 for his owner, Keith W. Nellesen of Spanish Fork, Utah. Paul Jones trains the gray Utah-bred son of Corona Cartel.

KVN Corona made his Ruidoso Downs debut with a three-quarter length victory as the 2-5 favorite in the fifth Ruidoso Derby trial. Racing at Los Alamitos last year, the colt won the 350-yard, $1-million Ed Burke Million Futurity (G1) and 350-yard, $400,000 PCQHRA Breeders' Futurity (G2).

KVN Corona drew post 5 and will be ridden by Jesus Rios Ayala.

The complete lineup, in post position order including jockey assignments and morning-line odds:
Jess Move You (Agustin Silva), 8-1
Hierarchy (Edwuin Lujan), 15-1
Eyes The Favorite (L. Salvador Martinez), 12-1
Uptown Dynasty (G.R. Carter Jr.), 2-1
KVN Corona (Jesus Rios Ayala), 5-2
Paint On Canvas (Rodrigo Vallejo), 20-1
Prince Of Bo Dash (Jose A. Alvarez), 20-1
She Eat Fire (Raul Ramirez Jr.), 6-1
Cartel Cupid (Ricky Ramirez), 5-1
Time To Jazz (Jaime P. Leos), 12-1

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