07/19/2013 4:24PM

Ruidoso Downs: Rainbow Futurity is family affair


The Grade 1, $1 million Rainbow Futurity for Quarter Horses on Sunday is a battle of brothers. Trainers Eduardo Gonzalez and Juan M. Gonzalez are siblings, and in Reagal Eagle and Rocked Up, they have the fastest qualifiers for the Ruidoso Downs race that for the first time had two days of trials. Those two horses will break from posts 8 and 9.

The Rainbow, which has a record purse for its 50th running, is the middle leg of Ruidoso’s series for 2-year-olds that concludes with the $2.6 million All American Futurity on Labor Day. The race goes with 10, including the developing Carters Disco for trainer John Stinebaugh and a trio of starters for trainer Blane Wood.

The Gonzalez brothers are from a family of 14 children, with the seven sons all trainers between the United States and Mexico, said Juan Carlos Gonzalez, an assistant to his father, Juan M. Gonzalez. The matchup Sunday is a fun one for the family, he said, with Eduardo Gonzalez sending out Reagal Eagle, the fastest qualifier on the first day of trials, and Juan M. Gonzalez saddling Rocked Up, who put up the quickest time on the second day.

“It will be interesting,” Juan Carlos Gonzalez said. “It’s competition, a good competition. My uncle and my father, there’s a great family relationship.”

Reagal Eagle won the second of 13 trials by 1 1/4 lengths July 4, cruising 400 yards in 19.24 seconds. It was his first career win in his fourth start. He was racing farther than 350 yards for the first time.

“The horse wasn’t breaking too good his first couple of starts,” Eduardo Gonzalez said through an interpreter Friday. “He had a hard time trying to get away. We knew he was a better horse going a further distance, and last time, he broke pretty solid from the gates. Once he hit the 300-yard mark, he was gone.”

Eduardo Gonzalez said Reagal Eagle emerged from the race in perfect condition, and he is hoping for a repeat of the performance Sunday.

“The horse can reproduce the same effort in the final as he did in the trial,” he said.

Larry Gamez has the mount.

Rocked Up won by a length on July 4 in 19.41 seconds. It was his first career victory from two starts.

“We were a little nervous because he had the one hole.” Juan Carlos Gonzalez said. “He’s a stallion, and he tries to be a little rowdy. He was a little fractious right before they opened the gate. He came out and ran really well. We’ve always thought he’s had a lot of potential.”

Juan Carlos Gonzalez said his father is pleased that the horse drew the 9 post. Jaime Leos has the mount.