08/17/2001 12:00AM

Ruidoso Downs: Grand Couer fastest


Grand Couer, a maiden winner in July, set the fastest qualifying time for the $1,954,689 All American Futurity in Thursday's time trials for 2-year-old Quarter Horses at Ruidoso Downs.

Making his third start, Grand Couer ran 440 yards in 21.636 seconds on a sloppy track. He was ridden by Jacky Martin, who will attempt to win a record eighth All American Futurity in the final on Sept. 3.

Owned by Mike Levi of Alto, N.M., and trained by John Stinebaugh, Grand Coeur was third in a division of the Rainbow Futurity time trials on July 6 but did not qualify for the final. He won a maiden race over 350 yards on July 22.

Grand Couer is one of two horses Martin rode that qualified. Roy Baldillez and Joe Badilla Jr. each rode three qualifiers. Badilla, who recently returned to riding from a serious injury, rode the second-fastest qualifier, Tres Seis, who won the fourth of 17 trials in 21.662 seconds. Tres Seis is owned by Gwendolyn Eaves and trained by John Bassett, the connections of 1999 All American Futurity winner A Delightful Dasher.

The All American field is a relatively inexperienced group. Six of the 10 qualifiers will be making their first start in a futurity in the final. Rdustys Chick, the winner of the Heritage Place Futurity at Remington Park on June 9, is the lone stakes winner.

The other qualifiers are Ausual Suspect, Spittin and Splittin, Ms Wandas Fortune, Phenomenal Fantasy, Doc Colby, Love that Chapelle, and Almost Flyin.