06/10/2003 11:00PM

Outdashing holds edge for Challenge

Email

Outdashing, winner of the Remington Park Futurity, looks ready for a strong 3-year-old season, bringing the fastest qualifying time into the Grade 3, $43,740 Bayer Legend New Mexico Challenge for 3-year-olds on Sunday afternoon at Ruidoso Downs.

Outdashing, trained by Eddie Willis for Leroy Bagby, made his first 2003 start in the New Mexico Challenge trials on May 3. He raced to a one-length victory over Bourbonstreetchick, running 400 yards in 19.688 seconds.

In 2002, Outdashing moved to the top of his division with a victory in the Grade 1 Remington Park Futurity on April 20 at Remington.

He was then off until the All American Futurity trials on Aug. 15, when he won his 440-yard trial by 1 1/4 lengths. He then raced in the All American Juvenile - a stakes for horses not making the All American Futurity finals - and was second by a neck to Dooley for Cash.

Outdashing wrapped up the year with a third-place finish in the Grade 2 Sunland Fall Futurity on Dec. 21, his last start before the New Mexico Challenge trials.

Snow Skier and Exotic Garden won the other two trials for the New Mexico Challenge.

Snow Skier, trained by Robert Cappelucci for George Dennison, brings a three-race winning streak into the New Mexico Challenge. The highlight of the streak was a 1 1/2-length win in the Grade 3 Albuquerque Spring Derby. He followed that win by taking his New Mexico Challenge trial in 19.778 seconds, the third-fastest qualifying time.

Exotic Garden, trained by Michael Joiner, has two victories and a third-place finish in the Grade 2 Casino Cash Derby in her three starts this year. She won her New Mexico Challenge trial by 1 1/4 lengths over Chicks Cartel, who finished in a dead heat for the win in last year's Lazy E Futurity. Exotic Garden's time of 19.769 seconds was the second-fastest qualifying mark.

* Legendary horseman Walter Merrick, trainer Jack Brooks, jockey Jacky Martin, and former Ruidoso Downs owner Gene Hensley will be inducted into the Racehorse Hall of Fame at the Hubbard Museum of the American West in Ruidoso Downs, N.M., on Saturday. The horses being inducted are two-time world champion Kaweah Bar, All American Futurity winner Pokey Bar, and foundation sire Little Joe.

* Heroes Call, winner of the 870-yard Gold Rush Derby, has been supplemented to the MBNA America Racing Challenge program at a cost of $20,000 by owner Laura Pinelli. He will be eligible to be nominated to any Racing Challenge race throughout his career. He is being pointed to the program's 870-yard races.