RUIDOSO— Unbeaten in four starts this year, Too Flash For You stormed to a win, leading gate-to-wire under Larry Gamez for a dominant score in Sunday's $1.9 million All American Derby at Ruidoso Downs.
Trained by Wes Giles, the son of First Moonflash earned his way into the Derby with a three-quarter length win in a trial heat held here earlier this month. Prior to that, he won stakes races at SunRay Park and Casino and Sunland Park.
But none of those efforts were worth as much as Sunday's win.
Breaking from the six post, Gamez had Too Flash For You in front shortly after the start. He repelled a mid-race challenge from Five Bar Cartel and came away late to score an impressive, half-length win, racing the 440 yards in a swift time of 21.30 seconds, just seven-hundredths of a second faster than his trial win.
Owned by Jim and Michelle Laird, and Jose Espinoza, and bred in New Mexico by Sarah Donaldson, Too Flash For You was sent off as the fourth choice at odds of 8.80-to-1 and returned $19.60 to his backers.
The $806,773 winner's share of the purse increases his career earnings to more than $941,000. The victory, his fifth from 13 career starts, also guarantees Too Flash For You a spot in the starting gate for the $750,000 Champion of Champions, which will be held Dec. 13 at Los Alamitos in Cypress, Calif.
Five Bar Cartel saved the place, just a neck in front of post-time favorite Houdini. The race's fastest qualifier Big Dashing Perry was fourth across the wire, followed by Mon Ti Dash, J Bar, Kates Dynasty, The Ultimate Eagle and Down Side Magician. Potenzza was scratched Sunday morning.
Picking Futurity winner an elusive task
Today's $2.6 million All American Futurity appears to be a handicapping and wagering nightmare with more than a few factors in play to consider when trying to pick the winner.
First, the formalities.
Separate trial races were conducted on Aug. 14 & 15, and from those 28 trials, the 10 fastest qualifiers were given a chance to compete for the richest quarter-horse race on the planet. The Futurity, which will be run as the 11th race on the card, is also the richest 2-year-old race for any breed, so it's almost painfully obvious to speak of the importance of this race.
The 5-to-2 morning-line favorite, I'm a Fancy Pyc, comes off an impressive trial win on Aug. 14, which he won by more than four lengths in a time of 21.33 seconds. Though he wasn't the fastest qualifier, it was the manner in which he devastated his rivals that makes him an intriguing candidate.
The Oklahoma-bred son of PYC Paint Your Wagon was making his Ruidoso debut when he flattened his competition in qualifying for the All American. A winner in five of six lifetime starts, including a score against state-bred stakes types on April 19, I'm a Fancy Pyc has earned more than $402,000 for owner Dustin Cox and trainer Paul Jones.
Drawn in the outside post, much like he was when he won his trial here, I'm a Fancy Pyc will be ridden by Eduardo Nicasio.
And that's one of the angles we're dealing with as handicappers.
Hall of Fame rider G.R. Carter rode four different horses to qualifying efforts and a spot in the starting gate for the All American Futurity, including I'm a Fancy Pyc, Jm Miracle and Thunderball B, but he decides to get aboard Tempting Destiny in the Futurity, listed as the fifth choice on the morning line at 6-to-1 odds.
A three-quarter length winner in his trial heat on Aug. 14, Tempting Destiny is a Texas-bred son of Tempting Dash with two wins from four career starts. His most recent foray into stakes company was when he was off the board in the Ruidoso Futurity here on June 8.
Trained by Michael Joiner, who will also saddle the Futurity's fastest qualifier Thunderball B, Tempting Destiny is owned by Mark Allen, Leonard Blach, Henry Southway and Linda Joiner.
Allen and Blach were owners of 2009 Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird.
Thunderball B earned the title of fastest qualifier for the Futurity by one one-thousandth of a second, but is listed at 20-to-1 on the morning line.
The field for the $2.6 million All American Futurity, from the rail out, with riders and morning line odds is: Apollitical Blood, Raul Valenzuela, 5-1; Bodacious Eagle, Cody Jensen, 7-2; Jm Miracle, Ramon Sanchez, 4-1; Tempting Destiny, Carter, 6-1; Mad About The Moon, Sergio Becerra, 20-1; Sam Crow, Ricky Ramirez, 15-1; This Fire Is Cold, Esgar Ramirez, 20-1; Exquisite Stride, Jimmy Brooks, 8-1; Thunderball B, Badilla, 20-1; Im a Fancy Pyc, Nicasio, 5-2.
First post for the All American Futurity card is 1 p.m., with post time for the Futurity set for 5:52 p.m.
Rebranded romps in Thoroughbred Derby
Trainer Justin Evans and Rebranded verified their status as 1-to-2 post-time favorites with a dominating score in the $50,000 Ruidoso Thoroughbred Derby under jockey Elvin Gonzalez.
Earning his fourth career win from 12 starts, Rebranded took command of the 1 1/16 mile early, opened up a commanding lead entering the far turn and was much the best, winning by nearly 13 lengths in a final time of 1:46.79.
Rebranded is a 3-year-old son, Kentucky-bred son of Tiznow with two romping stakes victories in a row. Last time out, Rebranded rolled by more than 12 lengths, winning the Colorado Derby at Arapahoe Park.
Rebranded returned $3 to win as a popular choice for those in attendance. The $30,000 winner's share of the purse increases his lifetime earnings to more than $225,000.
Street Prancer finished second in a strung-out field, well ahead of third-place finisher Contend. Lucky Coin and Boundtobespecial rounded out the order of finish.
No One Catches 'Billy
Earning his first career stakes victory, Catch Billy The Kid took command midway down the stretch and posted a strong win in the inaugural running of the $100,000 First Down Dash Stakes under jockey Cody Jensen.
Owned by Billy Smith, Lyle Guillory and the J Bar 7 Ranch, Catch Billy The Kid earned his third win from nine career starts, pulling away in the final yards. At odds of 9-to-1, Catch Billy the Kid ran the 400 yards in a time of 21.82 seconds, winning by just under a length.
Catch Billy The Kid is the California-bred son of Fdd Dynasty trained by Michael Joiner and bred by the La Feliz Montana Ranch. He earned a spot in the starting gate for the First Down Dash after finishing second behind Too Flash For You in a qualifying trial for the All American Derby here on Aug. 16.
Catch Billy The Kid returned $20 to his winning backers, and the $42,000 share of the purse increases his total bankroll to more than $51,000.
For Joiner, the win by Catch Billy The Kid is his second stakes win in as many days. Joiner sent out Dm Streakn Thru Fire to victory in Saturday's $200,000 All American Gold Cup.