03/17/2012 1:52PM

Sunland: Three sets of trial races on card


The fields for three upcoming stakes races at Sunland Park will be determined on Tuesday, with the running of trials for the Grade  1, $110,000 New Mexico Challenge Championship for Quarter Horses, and two divisions of the Copper Top Futurity for Thoroughbreds.

The trial action starts in the second race, with Grade 1-winning Quarter Horses Rylees Boy and Sir Seth taking on the win-streaking Kool Angel. The race will be run over 440 yards, the same distance as the New Mexico Challenge Championship finale on April 8.

Rylees Boy has compiled a 5-for-10 record at Sunland Park. He is coming off a strong year in which he won the Grade 1 Remington Park Invitational Championship in May and finished second by a neck in the Grade 1 Challenge Championship at Los Alamitos in December.

Sir Seth won a Grade 1 the last time he raced over 440 yards, taking the $200,000 Zia Park Distance Championship on Dec. 4 for trainer John Stinebaugh. Kool Angel has won her last three starts, including a pair of graded races for trainer Paul Jones.

There will be one other trial for the New Mexico Challenge Championship, and it will go as the third race Tuesday.

Trials for the colts and geldings division of the $75,000-added Copper Top on April 14 will run from the fourth through sixth races. The field for the $75,000-added fillies division will be set after two trials, which will go as the seventh and eighth races Tuesday. The finale is also April 14. Both divisions of the Copper Top will be run at 4 1/2 furlongs, and each of the races is restricted to 2-year-olds bred in New Mexico.

All American heads Ruidoso stakes

The Grade 1, $2.4 million All American Futurity for Quarter Horses is once again the highlight of the 43-race Ruidoso Downs stakes schedule that was released Friday. The 440-yard classic will be run on the meet’s final card, on Labor Day, Sept. 3. Ruidoso, which races both Quarter Horses and Thoroughbreds, opens on May 25.

Trials for the All American Futurity, which is run at 440 yards, are Aug. 16.

Other major races at the meet include the All American Derby, to be run at 440 yards on Sept. 2. The projected purse for this year’s running is a record $2.3 million. Trials are Aug. 17.

Ruidoso is also home to the Rainbow series for Quarter Horses. The Grade 1, $700,000 Rainbow Futurity and the Grade 1 Rainbow Derby, with a projected purse of $1 million, will both be run July 21.

A new Thoroughbred race to the calendar, the $20,000-added Zenyatta for fillies and mares at 7  1/2  furlongs, is June 24.