06/12/2011 7:26PM

Ruidoso Downs: Silver For Me takes first leg of All American Triple Crown for Quarter Horses

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Silver For Me was the most credentialed member of the field in the Grade 1, $500,000 Ruidoso Quarter Horse Futurity on Sunday as a stakes-placed runner, and the experience paid off as he rolled to a neck win over Back in the Pack in the first leg of the All American Triple Crown. 

 Silver For Me is now the lone 2-year-old eligible for a $4 million bonus if he goes on to win the $700,000 Rainbow Futurity on July 24, and the $2.4 million All American Futurity on Sept. 5. The races, along with the Ruidoso Futurity, make up the All American Triple Crown and are run during the course of the meet at Ruidoso Downs in New Mexico.

Silver For Me ($24.80) bumped with Sure Shot B at the break of the Ruidoso Futurity, then closed well to cover 350 yards on a fast track in 17.48 seconds. Carlos Madeira was aboard the winner for trainer Jackie Riddle.

Fly First Down, the 3-5 favorite, finished seventh in the field of 10.

Silver For Me had dead-heated for second in the $30,000 Sam Houston Juvenile in his stakes debut April 9. He was then supplemented to the Ruidoso Futurity trials for $15,000, and was the fourth-fastest qualifier for Sunday’s finale when he won his trial May 27. He is a half-brother to Grade 1 winner Silver Gol and he races for G.W. Hartsack and B and B Electric.

 World record-holder dies

Valiant War Hero, who set a world record for 300 yards when he won the Grade 1, $253,000 West Texas Futurity in 14.59 seconds at Sunland Park, died of colic on June 7, according to a press release posted on the website of Ruidoso Downs.

Trey Wood, who trained the horse, said Valiant War Hero became sick on June 5 and was taken to a veterinary clinic.

“Surgery was done that night, and he died on Tuesday,” said Wood.

Valiant War Hero was one of the nation’s top ranked 2-year-old Quarter Horses. In his last start, he won a trial race for the Ruidoso Futurity on May 27. He did not qualify for the finale Sunday.