09/04/2011 7:32PM

Ruidoso Downs: Llano Teller scores 9-1 upset in All American Derby

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Ruidoso Downs
Llano Teller surpasses $1 million in career earnings by taking the $1.3 million All American Derby for Quarter Horses.

Llano Teller enhanced his standing among the nation’s top 3-year-old Quarter Horses on Sunday, when he powered to a half-length win over Prospect to the Top in the Grade 1, $1,317,015 All American Derby at Ruidoso Downs. It was his fifth win at the New Mexico meet that closes Monday. During the season, Llano Teller also took the Grade 1, $700,000 Ruidoso Derby.

Cold Cash 123, the nation’s top-ranked 3-year-old who was the favorite for the All American Derby, did not break with the field and finished seventh. He was seeking to improve his record at the race’s 440-yard distance to 7 for 7. 

Llano Teller ($20.20) broke cleanly and put in a balanced run down the middle of the track before coasting past leader Prospect to the Top nearing the wire. He covered the distance on a track rated fast in 20.86 seconds. Ramon Sanchez rode the winner for trainer Heath Reed.

“When he left there like that, I thought, ‘They won't catch him today’,” said Reed. “Ramon did a magnificent job of riding him. I've flown Ramon in a few times to ride horses and he's unreal on a horse he's never seen. I told him I thought he was on the real deal today.

“This horse has been really, really ready. It's been unreal the way he's trained.” 

The All American Derby was Sanchez’s second stakes win on the card following a score aboard Noconi ($2.80)  in the All American Gold Cup.

Llano Teller surpassed  $1 million in earnings with his score in the All American. The first-place check of $658,509 pushed his career bankroll to $1,528,632. In all, Llano Teller has now won 9 of 16 starts for Wootan Racing and Reed Land and Cattle. For his win Sunday, he picked up a berth into the Grade 1, $750,000 Champion of Champions at Los Alamitos in December.

* Roy Brooks, the 70-year-old jockey based in Oklahoma, received the inaugural Sam Thompson Award during a presentation Sunday at Ruidoso Downs. Similar to the George Woolf Award for Thoroughbred riders, Brooks was voted in for the honor by his riding peers in the Quarter Horse industry. The award is named for the jockey who died due to injuries sustained in a Los Alamitos race Dec. 20, 2008.

* Jim Helzer, an owner and breeder from Arlington, Texas, received the 2011 John W. Galbreath Award for outstanding entrepreneurship in the equine industry during the All American Futurity banquet Thursday night at Ruidoso Downs.