09/04/2010 10:35AM

Wood goes after the big one with Miss Racy Jess


The historic All American Futurity has eluded trainer Blane Wood, but it has not been for a lack of trying. Last year, he had three runners in the field, with the best finish a third.

Monday, Wood has one hope in a field of nine – Miss Racy Jess, who is unbeaten in three starts. The $2,050,000 All American Futurity at Ruidoso Downs in New Mexico will be her stakes debut. One of two fillies in the field, Miss Racy Jess won a division of the 440-yard time trials in 21.43 seconds on Aug. 19, recording the fifth-fastest qualifying time.

Wood trains Miss Racy Jess for Burnett Ranches and Johnny Trotter, and is hopeful the filly can provide a career milestone.

“Like anybody in the Quarter Horse industry, you want to win it,” said Wood, 51. “I’d like to sit on my porch one day and say I did it.”

Miss Racy Jess’s two-length win in the third division of the trials under jockey Ricky Ramirez was the widest margin of victory in the trials among the 10 finalists.

The fastest qualifier was Jls Mr Bigtime, who was timed in 21.22 seconds in his trial. Miss Racy Jess’s trial time of 21.40 seconds was roughly a length slower, but Wood thinks a repeat would be good enough to win.

“I don’t think she could have run any faster,” he said. “Ricky hit her left-handed one time and she may have moved over. If I could have that race back, I’d take it.”

Jls Mr Bigtime is likely to be favored. Trained by Darrel Soileau for his father, John, Jls Mr Bigtime will be ridden by Jacky Martin, 55, who is seeking a record eighth win in the All American Futurity.

Martin missed four years of riding because of a conviction for possession of a controlled substance but regained a riding license in June. During his time away from racing, Martin broke and exercised young horses, including Jls Mr Bigtime as a yearling last fall.

Seven of the finalists won their trial race, including Dominyun, who won the 17th trial by a length in 21.40 seconds. Trainer John Buchanan said Dominyun must improve Monday, and break well, to have a chance to win against Jls Mr Bigtime.

“I feel we’ve got a good chance if we can get away from there,” Buchanan said.

Episode of Fire, who finished second behind Jls Mr Bigtime in the 13th division, will not start in the final after suffering a knee injury in the trials.