07/09/2011 11:14AM

Ruidoso: Mighty B Valiant top Rainbow Futurity qualifier


Mighty B Valiant not only emerged as the fastest qualifier for the Grade 1, $700,000 Rainbow Futurity for Quarter Horses during 22 trials Friday at Ruidoso Downs, but he also was one of three horses to make the July 24 finale for owners Terry Bell and Bud Hill and trainer Raymond Vargas.

The owner-trainer team will also be represented in the finale by second fastest-qualifier Jess Cuervo, and eighth-fastest qualifier Ym Quick. Jockey G.R. Carter rode all three horses, and was also aboard the third-fastest qualifier, Feature Mr. Bojangles.

Silver For Me won the Ruidoso Futurity last month and was the lone 2-year-old eligible for a $4 million bonus for winning the Rainbow and All American futurities at Ruidoso. He won his trial Friday but his time was not fast enough to qualify for the finals. In all, 213 horses competed in the trials.

Mighty B Valiant ($2.40) dominated in the eighth race, winning by 3 1/4 lengths. He covered 400 yards in 19.41 seconds on a track rated fast.

“He stood well in the gate, but then slipped a little bit leaving there,” Carter said. “I just asked him and he went on.”

Mighty B Valiant came into the race off a second-place finish in the Grade 1 Heritage Place Futurity. Earlier in the year he won the $780,000 Remington Park Futurity for Oklahoma-breds.

Jess Cuervo won the sixth race by 1 1/2 lengths, covering the distance in 19.44. He paid $6.60.

Vargas is a former assistant to Jack Brooks, the retired trainer of a record eight All American futurities. The only other trainer to qualify more than one horse Friday was Paul Jones, with Jess Sass Dash and Big Daddy Cartel. Both horses were ridden by Esgar Ramirez.

Behind Mighty B Valiant and Jess Cuervo, the remaining qualifiers with times were: Feature Mr Bojangles (19.48), Bovet (19.55), Hez Our Secret (19.55), Jess Sass Dash (19.56), Texas Rockstar (19.59), Ym Quick (19.59), Big Daddy Cartel (19.61), and The Long Knife (19.61).