07/20/2012 5:09PM

Ruidoso Downs: Jesastar one to beat in Rainbow Futurity


The early favorite for the prestigious All American Futurity for Quarter Horses will be established Sunday afternoon at Ruidoso Downs with the running of the Grade 1, $700,000 Rainbow Futurity. The 400-yard race is the middle jewel of Ruidoso’s rich series for 2-year-olds that culminates with the Grade 1, $2.4 million All American Futurity on Sept. 3.

The field for the Rainbow was determined after the running of 23 trial races July 3. Jesastar separated himself from his peers by setting the fastest qualifying time for the finale, and he is back to lead a field of 10 on Sunday that includes four undefeated horses, among them Grade 3 winner Eyegotitgoinon.

Jesastar is the lone runner in the Rainbow field with Grade 1 experience, having finished third by a neck in the $600,000 Ruidoso Futurity, the first leg of the local 2-year-old series that was run June 9. Pj Chick in Black won that race, but did not return for the Rainbow trials. She has since worked sharply at Ruidoso.

As for Jesastar, he won the third of the trials for the Rainbow, covering 400 yards in 19.74 seconds. Jesastar rallied for a two-length win, his second career victory from five starts. Roy Baldillez has the mount on Jesastar for Juan Medina and trainer Raymond Vargas.

Vancouver Moon, a filly who has won her two career starts by a combined margin of five lengths, was the second fastest qualifier for the Rainbow, with a time of 19.81. She was a three-length winner of the sixth trial. Vancouver Moon is a half-sister to champion First Moonflash.

Another undefeated runner, Eyegotitgoinon, is seeking his fourth win. His maiden score came back in April at Remington Park. Eyegotitgoinon then won the Oklahoma City track’s Grade 3 Easy Jet for statebreds in May. He proceeded to win his Rainbow trial by three-quarters of a length, in 19.98.

Scatmandu, a son of the Thoroughbred stallion Scat Daddy, is 2 for 2. He is a half-brother to the Grade 1-winning Quarter Horse Fovee.

◗ Pj Chick in Black, the second-leading 2-year-old in the nation in a poll put out by the American Quarter Horse Association, has changed barns, according to a release issued by Ruidoso. John Stinebaugh now trains Pj Chick in Black after one of her co-owners, Fredda Draper, wife of the filly’s trainer, Carl Draper, sold her share in the horse. Pj Chick in Black now races for the partnership of Denny Bowen, Susan Taylor, and Jack and Lynne Smith.