06/08/2004 12:00AM

A new home for Taylor Fit


For owner Betty Jane Burlin, the time has come to say good-bye to her two-time champion Quarter Horse, Taylor Fit.

Thursday at 3 p.m. at the Horse Park near Lexington, Ky., Tailor Fit will become the Quarter Horse representative at the park's Hall of Champions at a ceremony in his honor. The champion was donated to the Horse Park by Burlin.

Tailor Fit, 9, is the second Quarter Horse representative in the Hall of Champions, following world champion Sgt. Pepper Feature, who resided at the Horse Park from 1988 until his death on Oct. 13, 2003, at the age of 25.

Burlin, of Navasota, Texas, purchased Tailor Fit for $130,000 at the end of his 3-year-old season and was immediately rewarded with $369,822 in earnings during his 4-year-old campaign. Tailor Fit earned his two world champion titles for Burlin. He retired with career earnings of $1,296,752 in 40 starts with 20 wins, 11 seconds, and one third.

"This is a great tribute to Tailor Fit," said Burlin. "I am going to miss him, but I'm so proud of him and know he is going to live in a beautiful place where millions of people will be able to enjoy this great horse."

Top West Texas trio in Ruidoso Futurity

The top three finishers in the Grade 1, $316,906 West Texas Futurity are set for a rematch in the Grade 1, $550,000 Ruidoso Futurity on Sunday at Ruidoso Downs.

The threesome consists of A Stone Runaway, Take Off Jess, and All About Ease.

Over a muddy track at Sunland Park on April 11, A Stone Runaway moved to the top of the New Mexico-based 2-year-old class when he took charge of the West Texas by passing All About Ease at the halfway mark of the 300-yard race. He drew out to a one-length victory over the late-running runner-up Take Off Jess, who caught All About Ease in the final jumps.

A Stone Runaway raised his record to 4 for 4 when he ran the fastest qualifying time from 21 Ruidoso Futurity trials held on May 28, opening day of the Ruidoso summer season. He won his trial by a neck in 17.417 seconds for the 350 yards.

All About Ease won her Ruidoso Futurity trial by 1 1/2 lengths in 17.656 seconds, the fourth-fastest qualifying time.

Ninth-fastest qualifier Take Off Jess earned his spot in the Ruidoso Futurity with a trial win in 17.697 seconds.

A New Hero will be tested in derby

Fastest qualifier A New Hero, a maiden until March, will be tested by proven stakes horses in the Grade 1, $225,000 Ruidoso Derby on Sunday at Ruidoso Downs.

A New Hero became a player in the national derby scene when he won his Ruidoso Derby trial in 19.561 seconds for 400 yards, a time .229 of a second faster than the second-fastest qualifier, Roamin Ruby. That was A New Hero's second straight win, to go with a maiden victory in his fifth start, on March 14 at Los Alamitos.

While A New Hero was sidelined for the year after being winless in two starts in May last year, the third-fastest qualifier to Sunday's race, Planet Holland, set a track record and became a Grade 1 winner at Ruidoso.

He set the Ruidoso Downs 400-yard track record of 19.302 seconds with the fastest qualifying time to the Rainbow Futurity and then won the Grade 1 finals. He followed that with a third-place finish in the Grade 1, $1.8 million All American Futurity.