07/22/2011 2:31PM

Ruidoso Downs: Might B Valliant looms large in Rainbow Futurity


Jockey G.R. Carter Jr. had a handful of mount options for the Grade 1, $700,000 Rainbow Futurity at Ruidoso Downs on Sunday after qualifying four horses for the race. But his presence aboard Mighty B Valiant in the 400-yard finale is really no surprise.

“He’s the best horse,” said Carter, who guided Mighty B Valiant to a 3 3/4-length trial win July 8.

The Rainbow is the second leg of the All American Triple Crown for Quarter Horses. The Ruidoso Downs series concludes on Labor Day with the $2.4 million All American Futurity.

Mighty B Valiant, who was made the morning-line favorite for the All American Future Wager that closed Saturday, was the fastest qualifier for the Rainbow during the 22 trials held on a single card. He covered 400 yards in 19.41 seconds, with his colossal winning margin at least a length better than all the other trial-race winners July 8.

“The last part of the race, he just really runs away from them,” said Carter. “And he really feels good doing it. I’ve been fortunate to ride a lot of good horses over the years and he ranks right up there with them. I think a lot of big things are ahead of him, and I’m really looking forward to riding him Sunday.”

Carter, 43, will be seeking his second win in the Rainbow behind a score on Swingin Val in 1996. He has ridden Mighty B Valiant for trainer Raymond Vargas in all five of the horse’s starts, winning four of the races. Mighty B Valiant’s biggest score came in the $780,000 Remington Park Futurity in April. His lone loss was the Grade 1 Heritage Place Futurity. Mighty B Valiant was the 3-5 favorite and finished second, a half-length behind High Rate of Return.

“He kind of false broke in the finals to the Heritage Place and didn’t get the best go away from the gate,” Carter said. “He got beat by a good horse.”

Mighty B Valiant will break from the rail in the 10-horse Rainbow on Sunday.

“I don’t think it will bother him any at all, as long as he kind of breaks with them,” Carter said. “I know what he can do down the racetrack. I don’t mind inside of Ruidoso at all. Some places, it seems like the outside is the place to be.”

Vargas, a longtime assistant to retired trainer Jack Brooks, also qualified multiple starters to the Rainbow. In addition to Mighty B Valiant, he will send out second-fastest qualifier Jess Cuervo and eighth-fastest qualifier Ym Quick. All three horses race for the partnership of Terry Bell and Bud Hill.