09/02/2012 8:28PM

Ruidoso: All American Derby win propels Ochoa to top of all-time money list

The 3-year-old Ochoa has now won $2.5 million after taking the All American Derby.

Ochoa became Quarter Horse racing’s all-time leading earner Sunday at Ruidoso Downs in New Mexico, when he cruised to a 1 1/4-length win in the Grade 1, $2,234,539 All American Derby. He has now earned $2,584,243 to surpass the $2.2 million record that had been held by Stolis Winner.

Ochoa on Sunday also became the sixth horse to win both the All American Futurity and All American Derby, the two richest races run at Ruidoso. Others to pull the double have been Higheasterjet, Ronas Ryan, Winalota Cash, A Delightful Dasher, and DM Shicago. Overall, Ochoa, a 3-year-old gelding by Tres Seis, has won 7 of 10 starts, including this year’s Grade 1, $903,774 Rainbow Derby.

In the All American, Ochoa ($3.20) was forced out at the start, but straightened up soon afterward and was in full stride midway through the race to cover 440 yards on a fast track in 21.27 seconds. He broke from post 10, and was ridden to victory by Roy Baldillez.

“I thought when he was clear that he’d run them down,” Johnny T.L. Jones, Jr., who bred and co-owns Ochoa, told TVG. “He’s an awesome horse. We’re blessed to have him.”

Ochoa, who is trained by Sleepy Gilbreath, also races for Jones’s wife, Brenda, as well as  Katsy and Monte Cluck and Douglas and Shavon Benson. Ochoa on Sunday earned $938,507 for his win in the All American Derby, which featured a record purse for a Quarter Horse race for 3-year-olds or older horses. In addition to the first-place check, Ochoa also earned a berth into the Grade 1, $750,000 Champion of Champions at Los Alamitos in December.

Hez Our Secret finished second in the All American Derby, a nose in front of Jess Featureme Quick.