05/20/2008 11:00PM

West Texas gang in futurity trials


The summer Ruidoso Downs season starts on Friday afternoon with juveniles competing in the 12 trials to the Grade 1, $500,000 Ruidoso Futurity. Some of these 2-year-olds also may qualify for the closing-day Grade 1, $2 million All American Futurity.

Leading the hopefuls in the 350-yard Ruidoso Futurity trials are seven of the 10 finalists who raced in the Grade 1 West Texas Futurity at Sunland Park.

Fast Prize Zoom won the West Texas Futurity with a world record of 14.67 seconds for 300 yards (pending certification by the American Quarter Horse Association), but will pass the Ruidoso Futurity and may race in the trials to the Grade 1, $625,000 Rainbow Futurity on July 3, according to trainer Wes Giles.

Giles, who trained last year's Rainbow Futurity winner, Wild Six, will send out the West Texas Futurity runner-up Feature Ten. He was a half-length behind his stablemate in the West Texas Futurity after winning his trial in his career debut.

Trainer Blane Wood will saddle the third- and fifth-place finishers in the West Texas Futurity, Jodys Money Pop and Cee Cee Otoole, in the Ruidoso Futurity trials. Jodys Money Pop won his maiden at first asking in the West Texas Futurity trials, while Cee Cee Otoole is winless from two starts.

Paul Jones, the six-time defending national training champion, leads all trainers with 24 trial entrants, two in each trial. While the majority of his entrants are first-time starters, he does have Los Alamitos shipper Amador Gold, the only $15,000 supplement. He won a maiden race at Los Alamitos and then was a troubled fourth in his Grade 1 Kindergarten trial behind the Kindergarten winner Revv It Up.

Heartswideopen returns

Last year's Ruidoso Downs horse of the meet, Heartswideopen, will make her 2008 debut as the standout in the trials to the Grade 1, $350,000 (est.) Ruidoso Derby. She closed her 2007 campaign with a win in the All American Futurity to secure the champion 2-year-old and champion 2-year-old filly titles. She also won the Ruidoso Futurity in stakes-record time and raced to the fastest 440 yards ever by a female when she won her All American Futurity trial in 20.92.

Heartswideopen has won 6 of 7 starts and has earned $1,282,690. She prepared for her Ruidoso Derby trial with two bullet works, including an 11.21-second work on May 9.

Another filly with a strong opportunity to qualify for the Ruidoso Derby on June 7 is White or Wrong. She won the $150,000 All American Juvenile on the 2007 All American Futurity undercard and then qualified for the Grade 2 Hobbs America Futurity.

Don't forget the older horses

Older horses will be pointing to the Mr Jet Moore Stakes and All American Gold Cup. Last summer, Ketel Won took the All American Gold Cup on his path to the champion aged horse and champion aged stallion titles. He is expected to make his first start of 2008 at Ruidoso Downs this summer.