07/16/2008 11:00PM

Heartswideopen facing familiar foes


Champion and millionaire Heartswideopen faces the two horses that have given her creditable challenges, SF Royal Bank and Illegal Memories, in the Grade 1, $446,439 Rainbow Derby on Saturday afternoon at Ruidoso Downs.

Heartswideopen has become the alpha female in Quarter Horse racing after being named the 2007 champion 2-year-old and champion 2-year-old filly, and returning from a layoff to win the Grade 1 Ruidoso Derby this year.

The Carl Draper-trained filly won her championships with Grade 1 wins in the $2 million All American Futurity and the Grade 1 Ruidoso Futurity. After knee surgery and a winter-long recuperation, she came back to set the fastest qualifying time to the Grade 1 Ruidoso Derby, win the Ruidoso Derby, and set the fastest qualifying time to the Rainbow Derby. Her Rainbow Derby trial time of 20.976 seconds was a record third straight 440-yard race under 21 seconds.

In her Rainbow Derby trial, Heartswideopen made a game run to catch the front-running Illegal Memories, the 2007 champion 2-year-old gelding. Then Draper revealed that Heartswideopen had been injured when she false broke and hit the gate before her winning run in the Ruidoso Derby. She loosened her front teeth, her mouth was swollen, and she virtually lost her appetite for eight days.

Illegal Memories qualified for the Rainbow Derby with the second-fastest qualifying time of 21.005 seconds, while making his first start in seven months and first start for trainer Heath Taylor. He earned his championship title with a win in the Grade 1 Texas Classic Futurity and a second in the Grade 1 Dash for Cash Futurity, both at Lone Star Park.

SF Royal Bank was rested after finishing a game second behind Heartswideopen in the All American Futurity, beaten by a neck. The gray colt came back in an allowance race at Ruidoso Downs on May 31, winning by an easy half-length. He then defeated Ruidoso Derby runner-up Strong Hope in their Rainbow Derby trial, with the fifth-fastest time of 21.179 seconds.

First Prize Zoom tops Rainbow Futurity

Quarter Horse racing's premier juvenile filly, world-record holder Fast Prize Zoom, will be favored to gain her second Grade 1 win in the $625,000 Rainbow Futurity on Sunday afternoon at Ruidoso Downs.

The Wes Giles-trained Fast Prize Zoom set her first world record of 14.870 seconds for 300 yards when she won her career debut in the West Texas Futurity trials at Sunland Park on April 4. She then lowered that mark to 14.678 seconds when she won the Grade 1 West Texas Futurity on April 20.

Giles skipped the Ruidoso Futurity with Fast Prize Zoom and brought her back to a fastest qualifying win in the ninth of 14 trials to the Rainbow Futurity. She won by 1 1/4 lengths in 19.499 seconds for 400 yards.

Fast Prize Zoom's primary competition should come from Stolis Winner and PB and Crackers.

Stolis Winner led a 1-2-3 sweep by Taylor in the Grade 1, $1 million Heritage Place Futurity on June 1. Taylor lightly trained the gelding up to the Rainbow Futurity trials, and Stolis Winner responded with a one-length trial win in the second-fastest time of 19.563 seconds.

The Paul Jones-trained PB and Crackers, winner of the Ruidoso Juvenile, relishes a distance of ground and rallied to an expanding one-length win in his Rainbow Futurity trial. His time of 19.579 was the third-fastest qualifying time.

Jones also sends out Spring Bling, a sister to 2007 Rainbow Derby winner Strawkins, and the promising maiden winner Inseperable in the Rainbow Futurity.

Quarter Horses at Red Mile

The veteran 6-year-old El Man has the class edge in the $15,000 Los Alamitos Stakes on Saturday at the Red Mile as Quarter Horses make their annual appearance in Lexington, Ky., with a two-night stand worth $130,000 in total purses.

El Man has earned $149,705, with 5 wins from 23 starts, while racing primarily against fellow Louisiana-breds. He is making his 2008 debut after concluding his 2007 campaign with a ninth-place effort in the Grade 1 Louisiana Day Championship Stakes at Fair Grounds.

Ridin a Easy Streak has been on the board in 13 of 17 career starts, with 5 wins while racing in the Midwest and Oklahoma.