RUIDOSO DOWNS - New Mexico has long been proud of owning the title of hosting the world's richest 2-year-old race. They also now own the title of being the home state of the winner of that race.
Handsome Jack Flash, a state-bred son of one of the state's leading stallions First Moonflash, vindicated his narrow defeat last time out in a trial heat, got the nod in Monday's $2.6 million All American Futurity at Ruidoso Downs under jockey Jaime Leos.
Owned by the partnership of Debra Laney, Norma and Brenda Alvarez from Anthony, Handsome Jack Flash broke sharp from the starting gate, dueled with the morning line and post time favorite Especially Tres midway down the lane before inching clear of that rival, holding off late rallies on the outside from eventual runner-up Reagal Eagle, winning by a diminishing neck, in an impressive final time of 21.16 seconds for the classic 440 yard distance.
Handsome Jack Flash was undefeated coming into his trial race for the All American on Aug. 15 for trainer Juan Gonzalez. Prior to that race, Handsome Jack Flash was the winner of the prestigious Zia Futurity for New Mexico-breds over this course on July 28.
Beaten narrowly in the trial, he was still among the 10 fastest qualifiers for the Futurity and did not disappoint the winning connections among the crowd of 24,588 on hand for the traditional closing day feature at the resort racetrack.
“We had to watch the race three times on replay to be sure,” said co-owner Norma Alvarez. “It just means so much that this was a homebred horse to win the race.”
Gonzalez is no stranger to winning the All American Futurity, having won the world's richest race for 2-year-olds in 2003 with By By JJ. For Leos, one of the meet's leading riders, this is his first win in the All America.
A winner in four of five lifetime starts, all over the Ruidoso strip, Handsome Jack Flash earned $1,300,000 with the win, increasing his lifetime earnings to over $1.48 million.
Sent off at odds of 8.40-to-1, Handsome Jack Flash rewarded his backers with an $18.80 return on investment.
The previously undefeated Especially Tres broke very well from his inside post under jockey Ricky Ramirez. He dueled with the eventual winner until the final 50 yards before eventually settling for fourth, outnodded on the line by runner-up Reagal Eagle, who outfinished Wagon Tales, the fastest qualifier for the All American for the place spot.
Behind them were Skuze Pleeze, You N How Many More, Hes Relentless, Wagon Full Of Gold, Fatal Policy and Houdini.