07/22/2017 7:47PM

Hold Air Hostage rolls in Rainbow Quarter Horse Derby


Hold Air Hostage rewarded the confidence of his connections on Saturday, when he rolled home by 1 3/4-lengths over High Plains Perry in the Grade 1, $1.1 million Rainbow Quarter Horse Derby at Ruidoso Downs. The winner was a $40,000 supplement to the trials, and set the fastest qualifying time over 11 trial races run July 9.

The Rainbow is the second of three major stakes for 3-year-olds at Ruidoso. The $1.5 million All American Quarter Horse Derby is Sept. 3.

Hold Air Hostage ($5) broke on top in the Rainbow and was in command throughout. He covered 440 yards on a track rated fast in 21.39 seconds.

Rodrigo Vallejo was aboard for Darling Farms and trainer Judd Kearl.

Hold Air Hostage earned $483,000 for the win, which was his second stakes victory behind the Grade 2 Heritage Place Derby in June at Remington Park. The horse has now won his last three starts by a combined margin of six lengths. With the Rainbow victory, Hold Air Hostage improved his career record to six wins from nine starts for earnings of $640,236. He is an Oklahoma-bred son of Apollitical Jess.

Hold Air Hostage was ranked seventh among 3-year-olds and up in the latest national poll put out by the American Quarter Horse Association. The rankings were released in advance of the Rainbow Derby.