06/03/2003 11:00PM

Trio shoots for Ruidoso stakes double


Owner Sandy Erwin, trainer Jose Dominguez, and jockey Juan Vazquez could have a record-setting afternoon at Ruidoso Downs on Sunday. They combine with Maddies Special Turf, the fastest qualifier for the Grade 1, $550,000 Ruidoso Futurity, as well as with 2002 champion 2-year-old gelding Eye Opening Episode, who runs in the Grade 2, $104,000 Ruidoso Derby.

No owner-trainer-jockey team has won the Ruidoso Futurity and the Ruidoso Derby in the same year.

Maddies Special Turf was a maiden before the Ruidoso Futurity trials on May 22, but now she could be favored to become a Grade 1 stakes winner in the Ruidoso Futurity.

Maddies Special Turf made the rapid transformation from a nonwinner to a top Grade 1 futurity prospect by setting the fastest qualifying time to the Ruidoso Futurity in the ninth of 22 trials. A daughter of leading sire Strawfly Special, Maddies Special Turf raced the 350 yards in a sharp 17.525 seconds, the quickest time by more than .10, a significant differential in Quarter Horse qualifying times at the Grade 1 level.

Maddies Special Turf did come into the Ruidoso Futurity trials with Grade 1 credentials. She was a finalist in the Grade 1 West Texas Futurity on April 6 at Sunland Park after finishing second in her West Texas trial.

The A List, owned by BLM Racing, comes into the Ruidoso Futurity off an important trial win over West Texas Futurity winner Quik Jolla. The Jamie Zamora-trained The A List defeated Quik Jolla by one length by racing the 350 yards in 17.628 seconds, the second-fastest qualifying mark.

The A List ran third in the West Texas Juvenile, a race for 2-year-olds who did not qualify for the West Texas Futurity.

Probable Ruidoso Derby favorite Eye Opening Episode had a sensational 2-year-old season with six wins and three second-place finishes from 10 starts, and $696,739 in earnings. He was extremely consistent at the highest level with a win in the West Texas Futurity in April, a close second in the All American Futurity in September, and a second in the Grade 1 Texas Classic Futurity on Nov. 30.

Eye Opening Episode won his 3-year-old debut in the Ruidoso Derby trials with a 1 3/4-length win in 19.570 seconds for the 400 yards, the second-fastest qualifying mark.

Topping the qualifiers from the five derby trials on May 24 was Southern Cartel, winner of the Grade 2 Lazy E Derby on April 5 and third in last year's Ruidoso Futurity. He won his Ruidoso Derby trial in 19.553 seconds.

Granite Lake had a sensational winter at Sunland Park with three wins in three starts, capped by the Grade 2, $113,429 West Texas Derby. He qualified for the Ruidoso Derby with a 1 3/4-length trial win in seventh-fastest time of 19.722 seconds.

Trainer Jack Brooks, winner of a record eight All American Futurities, has three Ruidoso Derby qualifiers - Streakin La Tac, Catscape, and Quick Glass. Streakin La Tac defeated Quick Glass in their trial while Catscape was second to fastest qualifier Southern Cartel.

Governor's Cup trials

Three juveniles who raced in the Grade 1 Kindergarten on May 17, headed by second-place finisher Metallic Lion, return in the seven trials to the Grade 1 Governor's Cup Futurity over 350 yards on Friday night at Los Alamitos.

Joining Metallic Lion are Pencilmein and Fast Goin Chick, who finished sixth and seventh in the Kindergarten.

Metallic Lion, owned by the Anjora Corporation and trained by Paul Jones, was three-quarters of a length behind Hawkish's track-record-setting win in the Kindergarten. Hawkish raced the 300 yards in 15.18 seconds.

Hawkish is passing the Governor's Cup trials and pointing to the Grade 1 Ed Burke Futurity on July 26 at Los Alamitos.

Metallic Lion won his first two starts before running second in the Kindergarten.

The 10 fastest qualifiers to the Governor's Cup Futurity return on June 21 for the Grade 1 finals, worth an estimated $350,000.