06/10/2011 3:34PM

Ruidoso Downs: Fly First Down futurity favorite


Fly First Down signaled he was a serious 2-year-old Quarter Horse last month at Ruidoso Downs in New Mexico, when he won his career debut by three lengths. It was a dominant kind of performance, and one that is not seen often from first-time starters.

“That’s usually a sign of a superstar,” said Paul Jones, who trains Fly First Down for Tremor Enterprises.

Fly First Down will begin what could be a path to stardom on Sunday, when he makes the second start of his career in the Grade  1, $500,000 Ruidoso Futurity for Quarter Horses. He looks like an odds-on favorite in the 350-yard race that begins the All American Triple Crown for Quarter Horses, which continues with the $700,000 Rainbow Futurity on July 24, and the $2.4 million All American Futurity on Sept. 5. The three races are at Ruidoso Downs.

Fly First Down set the fastest qualifying time for the Ruidoso Futurity on May  27, when he won the 11th of 21 trials for the finale in 17.50 seconds. He was prominent from the start, winning by an eye-popping margin under G.R. Carter Jr.

“It was super impressive,” Jones said of the race from Fly First Down. “You just never know what they’ll do when you have to come back in two weeks, especially a young horse that has only had one race. We’re hoping he comes back and performs that same kind of performance. They don’t always do that.

“We’ll keep our fingers crossed, and hopefully, he can do it again.”

Fly First Down, a son of First Down Dash, was a $300,000 auction purchase at a select yearling sale at Ruidoso. He is a January foal from the multiple Grade 1-placed mare Babe on the Fly, and will attempt to give Jones his second straight win in the Ruidoso Futurity following eventual champion American Runaway’s victory in 2010.

The second fastest qualifying time for this year’s Ruidoso was turned in by Tmf Cash Dynasty, who covered the distance in 17.60 seconds. He was making his second career start in the trials, and won his maiden in the race. Tmf Cash Dynasty will break from the rail, with trainer Albert Franco having given the mount to Abdel Torres.

Sure Shot B is undefeated in two starts, winning trials at Sunland on April 1 and at Ruidoso on May 27. Jacky Martin has the mount for trainer John Stinebaugh.