The Road to The All American
RUIDOSO DOWNS, NM—AUGUST 20, 2020—The fastest 2-year-old and 3-year-old Quarter Horses in the industry have their eyes set on qualifying for the All American this weekend at Ruidoso Downs.
More than 300 2-year-olds will run 440-yards in 32 time trial heats over the course of Friday and Saturday, vying for a spot in the Grade I, $3 Million All American Futurity, the final leg of the Quarter Horse Triple Crown (see related story).
Sunday’s card features a time trial double-header as 3-year-olds take to the track. In the All American Oaks time trials, 34 fillies will compete for a spot in the inaugural running of the $300,000 All American Oaks (see related story) finals, followed by 87 horses that will compete in the open division for a chance to run in the Grade I, $700,000 All American Derby(see related story).
If there’s a favorite to make the final of the All American Futurity this weekend it might be Rainbow Futurity winner and undefeated gray filly Whistle Stop Cafe. She will square off with Rainbow Futurity runner-up Mister Illusion in Friday’s 12th trial race - a trial race that could be mistaken for the final.
"She was impressive at Remington winning the Heritage Place Juvenile in the spring," her only rider Ricky Ramirez said. "But when we brought her to the mountains, she seems to have found another gear."
The horses with the five-fastest times on each day advance to the All American Futurity on Labor Day at Ruidoso Downs. The horses with the next five-fastest times on each day gain preference to race in the $200,000 All American Juvenile Stakes, also on Labor Day.
On Sunday, the first four races of the day will feature trials for the All American Oaks, the all-new division of the Derby series.
The Oaks division is designed to enhance the value of fillies and give them a better chance to win later in their 3-year-old career. In the inaugural running of the Rainbow Oaks earlier this season, Ratification, took home the victory over heavily-favored and previously undefeated Fernweh to score her third win of the season. She is trained by John Buchanan and will run in Sunday’s second time trial heat.
"Fillies are competitive with colts as 2-year-olds as we saw early in the year, at a shorter distance," said Jeff True, President and General Manager of Ruidoso Downs Race Track. "Later in the summer, the colts and geldings get stronger and longer. We think that part of the fillies’ success last year was this program. This practice is typical in Thoroughbred racing but is only happening recently in Quarter Horse racing. We are very excited about this new division."
The ten-fastest times from the four All American Oaks trials will advance to the final set at 440-yards on September 6th.
The Oaks trials will be followed by nine time trials as 87 3-year-olds battle it out for a spot in the All American Derby. In the seventh trial, Cers Final Try – the 2020 Rainbow Derby winner - is the horse to watch.
The gelding defeated a stellar field including heavily favored Hotsempting in the Rainbow Derby final. In four races this season, Cers Final Try has three wins with the only loss coming in the Ruidoso Derby by a length to winner Hotsempting. Cers Final Try is owned by Christina Robinson and is named after the late Charles Robinson who won the All American with Imperial Eagle in 2016.
"The bullet work that he gave us last week—16.71 seconds for 330-yards is probably the best work of the summer for any horse at that distance. He’s ready, if luck stays with us," said trainer Tony Sedillo.
The horses with the ten-fastest times will advance to the All American Derby, set at 440-yards on September 6th at Ruidoso Downs. The horses with the next ten-fastest times will race in the $100,000 All American Invitational Stakes, also on September 6th.
Post time is 11:00 AM MDT on Friday and Saturday, and at 12:00 Noon on Sunday.
At this time, the Turf Club and the Jockey Club are limited to 50% capacity due to the Public Health Order from the State of New Mexico.
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For more information on how to watch online, place your bet with your favorite online wagering provider, or conduct drive-thru wagering, please visit RaceRuidoso.com.