Futurity kicks off rich weekend at Albuquerque Downs

Steve Bortstein for The Daily Times
The Daily Times

ALBUQUERQUE — Trainer Ken Grisham appears to have a strong hand in today's Downs at Albuquerque Quarter Horse Futurity.

Grisham is coming off a sensational meet as the leading quarter horse trainer at SunRay Park and Casino, and looks to carry his success over to the final weekend of the current racing season at the New Mexico State Fair.

Grisham will be sending out the first and third choices on the morning line in the Futurity. Both horses won races at SunRay earlier this summer before qualifying for today's race when trials were held here Sept. 11.

The Futurity, with a purse of more than $214,000, will be run at a distance of 400 yards and has been graced with a strong field.

Rg Miracle has been installed as the 3-to-1 morning-line favorite after winning his trial heat with the second fastest time of 19.73 seconds.

Rg Miracle, a gelded son of Hearts Miracle, has earned more than $73,000 in his career, the majority of which came when he won the New Mexico Breeders' Futurity at SunRay Park on Aug. 23. He has never finished worse than second in seven career starts and brings a two-race win streak into today's Futurity.

Owned by Shirley Grisham, Rg Miracle will once again be ridden by Isaias Cardenas and will break from post 2 in the 10-horse Futurity. The race will go as the ninth on today's 10-race program with a scheduled post time of 5:14 p.m.

Grisham will start two other runners in the Futurity, including Rocky El Roble, who finished second behind his stablemate in their trial heat.

Rocky El Roble, listed at 5-to-1 on the official morning line, will be ridden by Martin Bourdieu.

Grisham will also send out A Blazin Flash, who broke his maiden in his sixth career start when he won his trial heat in a final time of 19.75 seconds.

The second choice on the morning line for today's Futurity is Wahoo Raider, who actually is the fastest qualifier by fractions of a second.

Owned by Jacob Simmons III and trained by Cynthia Gonzalez, Wahoo Raider was a close second in the Zia Futurity at Ruidoso Downs on July 26. The New Mixico-bred son of Jess A Chicks was a narrow winner in his trial heat.

Wahoo Raider, listed at 4-to-1 on the morning line, will break from post 5 under jockey Rick Oliver.

Today's 10-race program has a first post time of 1:30 p.m.

Racing continues Sunday with four stakes races, including the $200,000 Downs Fall Championship and the $146,578 First Moonflash Stakes for New Mexico-bred 3-year-olds. Also on the Sunday card are the co-featured $205,185 Camino Real Futurity for state-bred 2-year-old thoroughbreds and the $60,000 New Mexico Breeders' Handicap for state-bred older horses.

Steve Bortstein hosts "First Sports" and "The Fast Track" on Fox Sports 1340 AM and 93.9 FM and on iHeartRadio. He serves as paddock show host at SunRay Park & Casino and is a voting member of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association. Follow him


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