06/04/2009 11:00PM

Gbh Steppin Johnny testing streak


To win a Quarter Horse race by two lengths is dominance. Gbh Steppin Johnny has done that three times during his four-race career. On Sunday, the undefeated 2-year-old will attempt to extend his streak while stepping up in class for the Grade 1, $500,000 Ruidoso Futurity.

The 350-yard race is the first of three major 2-year-old stakes for Quarter Horses during the Ruidoso Downs meet. The track also is home to the $625,000 Rainbow Futurity, which will be run July 19, and the $2omillion All-American Futurity, set for Sept. 7.

Gbh Steppin Johnny began his career March 1 at Sunland Park, with a two-length win in a 300-yard maiden race. From there, he won a trial race by 2 3/4 lengths March 27, then the Grade 1 New Mexican Spring Futurity for statebreds by three-quarters of a length April 12. In his most recent out, Gbh Steppin Johnny rolled to a 2 1/4-length win during trials for the Ruidoso Futurity on May 22.

"It was a very good win under the circumstances that day," said Jackie Riddle, who trains the horse. "It was very sloppy racetrack. He ran good over that racetrack."

Gbh Steppin Johnny's other wins have all come on fast tracks at Sunland. Riddle said he is coming up to the Ruidoso finale in good order and said he is a pleasure to be around.

"He's a special horse," she said. "He does everything right. He rests a lot. He drinks a lot of water. And this horse eats. He's a good doer. I think he's going to run good."

A.J. Martinez has the mount on Gbh Steppin Johnny, who will break from post 3 in the 10-horse field Sunday.

Running Brook Gal was the fastest qualifier for the Ruidoso Futurity, winning her 350-yard trial in 17.63 seconds. The win came in her career debut, and she will get a good deal of support for two-time All-American Futurity winning trainer Paul Jones.

Trainer Blane Wood will send out Shake Em Money Pop, who was second in the Grade 1 West Texas Futurity at Sunland in April, and Sir Seth, who is 2 for 2.