09/02/2005 11:00PM

Most of All American field in 2 barns


With six of the 10 qualifiers in their barns, trainers Paul Jones or Heath Taylor might well be on the verge of a first win Monday at Ruidoso Downs, N.M.

A $1.9 million race, the All American Futurity is for 2-year-old Quarter Horses and is run at the classic Quarter Horse distance of 440 yards.

Taylor, 35, trains fastest qualifier Make a Secret as well as Jess a Classy Lad and Vodka on Ice. Jones, 39, the nation's leading Quarter Horse trainer in money won the last three years, starts First Wicked Lady, Shesnowlady, and Teller Cartel. The other starters in the All American are Brindis Por Cayenne, Firestorm Perry, Arealstraitheart, and Why So Easy.

Make a Secret, who will be coupled in the betting with Jess a Classy Lad, ran 440 yards in 21.246 seconds in the 13th of 16 time trials held on Aug. 18. She finished a neck in front of First Wicked Lady, the only other Futurity qualifier out of that trial.

Make a Secret won the Firecracker Futurity at Delta Downs in July. The trial victory has Taylor expecting a big performance in the final.

"I think it's very good for the confidence of the horse" to win a trial, he said. "It's important they have a good, competitive trip without incident."

Thursday, Taylor schooled his three runners in the starting gate, and Jess a Classy Lad needed it. He broke slowly in the trials and seemed hopelessly beaten, but rallied in the last furlong to pull away and win by 2 1/4 lengths in 21.28 seconds.

"He can't do that in the final," Taylor said of the slow break. "What amazed me was the length of the distance that he ran behind horses before he went around them. I thought he was going to run last. He can't do that against this bunch.

"If he steps away really clean, I think he's capable of a huge race."

The All American is Jess a Classy Lad's fourth start, and first in a stakes.

Jones's best chance is Shesnowlady, one of three fillies in the final. Shesnowlady finished fourth behind Leading Spirit in the Rainbow Futurity at Ruidoso Downs on July 24 and rebounded to win the 14th trial on Aug. 18.

"If she runs straight in the final, she should be right there," Jones said.

Shesnowlady is the only starter that ran in the Rainbow Futurity.

Arealstraitheart, the eighth-fastest qualifier, won the Zia Futurity for statebreds at Ruidoso Downs on July 31.