09/02/2013 8:06PM

Ruidoso Downs: Handsome Jack Flash scores in All American Futurity

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Handsome Jack Flash won the big one for his home state of New Mexico on Monday, when he held off Reagal Eagle and Wagon Tales by a neck in the Grade 1, $2.6 million All American Futurity. He was the lone New Mexico-bred in the Quarter Horse classic run before a record crowd of 24,588 at Ruidoso Downs.

Handsome Jack Flash ($18.80) broke well in the 440-yard race that closed out the meet and moved with the front-runners through the early stages. He picked up steam approaching the wire, first overtaking Especially Tres, the leader from the rail, then holding firm when challenged from the outside by Reagal Eagle and Wagon Tales.

“It got close at the end,” Norma Alvarez, co-owner of Handsome Jack Flash, said on the TVG broadcast of the All American. “I just couldn’t believe it until I saw it three times, and I said, ‘Oh my gosh, we won the All American!’ ”

Handsome Jack Flash covered the distance on a fast track in 21.16 seconds. Jaime Leos was aboard for trainer Juan M. Gonzalez. It was the second All American Futurity win for Gonzalez, whose other victory in the race came in 2003 with By By JJ.

Alvarez, of La Union, N.M., races Handsome Jack Flash with Brenda Alvarez of Las Cruces, N.M., and Debra Laney of Tularosa, N.M. Laney also is the breeder of Handsome Jack Flash, a gelded son of First Moonflash.

Handsome Jack Flash earned $1.3 million for his win in the All American, his second major futurity score at Ruidoso. Back in July, he won the $409,000 Zia Futurity, a restricted Grade 1.

Handsome Jack Flash was the third-fastest qualifier on the first day of trials for the All American Futurity, which this year had two programs of qualifying heats in a first for Ruidoso.

The purse for this year’s All American Futurity was a record, surpassing the mark of $2.4 million in both 2011 and 2012. The race was run for the 55th time Monday.

Reagal Eagle was second, a nose in front of third-place finisher Wagon Tales. The remaining order of finish was Especially Tres, the favorite, followed by Skuze Pleeze, You N How Many More, Hes Relentless, Wagon Full of Gold, Fatal Policy, and Houdini.