07/20/2013 7:30PM

Ruidoso: Wicked Courage surpasses $1 million mark by taking Rainbow Derby


Wicked Courage won his ninth consecutive race in the Grade 1, $1,054,992 Rainbow Derby for Quarter Horses at Ruidoso Downs on Saturday, and the outcome was never in doubt. In a powerful display of talent, he pulled away late for a one-length win over Jjs Gone. It was another head back in third to Joker on Jack.

Wicked Courage ($3.60), who with the victory went past $1 million in earnings, has now won the first two legs of the meet’s Grade 1 derby series. Back in June, he accounted for the $823,000 Ruidoso Derby. The final leg, the $2.8 million All American Derby, is Sept. 1.

Wicked Courage broke well Saturday and raced in tandem with the field during the opening stages of the 440-yard race run on a fast but sealed track. He began to separate himself from his rivals in the later going, while covering the distance in 21.19 seconds.

Cody Jensen was aboard the horse, who races for Andrew T. Smith and is trained by Luis Villafranco.

Wicked Courage began his streak in a trial race at Will Rogers Downs in Claremore, Okla., last September. The Rainbow was his fifth career stakes win. Wicked Courage earned $443,097 for the victory. He has now won 9 of 14 starts and $1,040,030. Wicked Courage is a son of Captain Courage and he was bred in Texas by Burnett Ranches.

Pj Chick in Black, the champion 2-year-old filly who was in a trailer accident when traveling on Monday, was scratched from the Rainbow. She escaped serious injuries in the incident, and is being pointed for the trials for the All American Derby, according to her trainer, John Stinebaugh.