Updated on 09/16/2011 8:44AM

Slew Ta Fame fastest qualifier for Rainbow


It took nearly eight hours to complete Friday's marathon 20-race card of trials to the $635,470 Rainbow Futurity at Ruidoso Downs and at the end of the day a final field dominated by familiar Ruidoso faces had emerged and Ruidoso Futurity (G1) winner Zip First kept alive his chances of capturing the $4 Million All American Quarter Horse Triple Crown Bonus.

Trainer John Bassett and jockey Jose Badilla, Jr. teamed up to qualify three runners to the Rainbow final with fastest qualifier Slew Ta Fame (:19.543), third-fastest First To Flash (:19.655) and sixth-fastest One Corona For Me (:19.798).

Zip First finished a weakening third in the 19th trial behind First To Flash but still managed to qualify eighth-fastest with a time of :19.832 for the 400 yards.

One Corona for Me, winner of trial 14 on the card, was the first runner on the card to crack the 20-second mark. It was just prior to post time for race 14 that the wind, often a significant factor in determining the fields for Ruidoso's major Quarter Horse events, abated in its intensity before shifting direction from a head-wind to a tail-wind.

Trial days with varying conditions like those Friday are what have spawned terms such as "Ruidoso roulette," among others, to describe the unpredictable nature of the elements in Ruidoso. Those horses fortunate enough to draw into race 15 or later were aided by tail winds of up to 15 miles-per-hour. The first 13 races were run into head winds of up to 25 miles-per-hour and no runners from those races made the Rainbow final.

Fourth-fastest qualifier Ritz Cartel (:19.724) accomplished his clocking while capturing the 20th and final trial when no measurable wind conditions were present. The Russell Harris trainee drew off late to win by 1 1/2 lengths over consolation qualifier Monday Morning Mvp and bears watching in the July 21 Rainbow final.

The Rainbow Futurity consolation, which is comprised of the eleventh-fastest through twentieth-fastest from the trials, will also be contested by a field coming entirely from trial races 14 and later.

Trainer Jack Brooks, who will be represented in the Rainbow final by fifth-fastest qualifier Royal Streakin (:19.739), will also saddle three runners in the consolation headed by eleventh-fastest Send Me Dash (:19.864).

119.543Slew Ta FameJose Badilla, JrJohn Bassett
719.575Tricky DustRoy BaldillezDwayne Gilbreath
1019.655First To FlashJose Badilla, JrJohn Bassett
819.724Ritz CartelSam ThompsonRussell M Harris
1019.739Royal StreakinJacky MartinJack W Brooks
519.798One Corona For MeJose Badilla, JrJohn Bassett
819.828First DashawayFreddie MartinezJohn A. Stinebaugh
219.832Zip FirstJames BrooksG Leon Bard
419.852One Famous LadyJames Gonzales, IIBlane Wood
1019.855Romance Will ReturnJames Gonzales, IIBlane Wood