09/01/2012 12:14PM

Ruidoso: Pj Chick in Black looks to cap season with victory in All American Futurity


Back in May, trainer John Stinebaugh sent out Krash Cartel to win a Quarter Horse trial by an overwhelming 4 1/4 lengths. At the time, he said it was one of the most impressive races he had ever seen from a 2-year-old at Ruidoso Downs.

And then came Pj Chick in Black.

Pj Chick in Black made her first start for Stinebaugh last month, and the result was a 5 3/4-length win in a trial for Monday’s Grade 1, $2.4 million All American Futurity at Ruidoso. She also established the fastest qualifying time for the finale, and the speed index of 119 that she earned should make her an odds-on favorite Monday in a field that includes Krash Cartel and a third Stinebaugh trainee, Just Wanna Corona.

The All American Futurity is North America’s richest race for 2-year-olds. It will be run over 440 yards on the final card of the Ruidoso meet. The mountaintop track is anticipating a crowd of 20,000.

Many will align with Pj Chick in Black, an undefeated filly who was bred in New Mexico and whose five wins have come in the state. She drew post 8 on Monday for the biggest test of her career, which places her in between Krash Cartel and Bp Cartels Alibi, who won the Grade 1, $1.1 million Heritage Place Futurity at Remington Park.

“I’m nervous for her,” said Stinebaugh, “because [Krash Cartel] is super-fast from the gate and so is [Bp Cartels Alibi], and she’s right in the middle, so she better be on her game.”

Pj Chick in Black has been on her game since debuting at Sunland Park on March 16. She won a trial for the Grade 2 New Mexican Spring Futurity that afternoon and then the finale April 8. Pj Chick in Black proceeded to step outside the statebred ranks for the trials for the Grade 1 Ruidoso, and after winning her heat by three lengths took the June 9 finale by a neck over Krash Cartel. She skipped the July trials for the Grade 1 Rainbow to await the All American trial Aug. 16. During the downtime, Pj Chick in Black’s breeder, Fredda Draper, sold her interest in the horse, who had been trained by her husband, Carl Draper, to Jack Smith Farms.

Pj Chick in Black was supplemented to the All American for $50,000, and she backed her connections’ confidence in the trials. Her time of 21.08 seconds ranked first among 253 entrants in 26 trials, all seeking one of 10 spots in the finale. Following the trials, she became the No. 1 ranked 2-year-old Quarter Horse in a poll put out by the American Quarter Horse Association.

Esgar Ramirez has the mount on Pj Chick in Black, who also races for Dennis Bowen and Susan Taylor.

The field of 10 will be scratched down to nine because Jess a Zoomin, the second-fastest qualifier, has been euthanized due to a catastrophic injury, according to a release from Ruidoso.

Adding depth to the All American are One Dashing Eagle, the nation’s second-ranked 2-year-old who set the sixth fastest qualifying time one start after winning the Grade 1 Ed Burke Futurity at Los Alamitos, and Native Tea Rose, a $330,000 yearling purchase last year.