RUIDOSO – The unbeaten Dark Nme added another victory to her spectacular career resume, cruising to a 3 1/2-length win in Sunday’s Grade 1, $1 million Rainbow Futurity at Ruidoso Downs.
In the process, the Oklahoma-bred daughter of Hes Relentless shattered the track record, racing 400 yards in a fast time of 19.02 seconds, bettering the previous mark set by Empressum, when he raced 400 yards in 19.14 seconds on May 30, 2021.
Owned by TYKHE Racing, LLC and trained by Santos Carrizales, Jr., Dark Nme is now unbeaten after five career starts, which also includes a stakes victory earlier this spring in the Remington Park Oklahoma-bred Futurity on April 22.
Ridden to victory by Francisco Calderon, Dark Nme’s victory was really never in doubt once the gates opened in the Futurity. Within the first 100 yards, the filly had established herself on the lead. She widened her margin as she approached the finish line, absolutely devastating the rest of the competition, headed by runner-up One Valiant Love and jockey Armando Cervantes.
Sent off as the overwhelming post time favorite, Dark Nme paid $2.80 to her winning backers. The $2 exacta with One Valiant Love returned $7.
The victory was an important one for both Calderon and Carrizales, Jr., who captured two of the weekend’s biggest stakes races at Ruidoso Downs. Both rider and trainer guided Sicario V to victory in Saturday’s Grade 1 $804,000-added Rainbow Derby.
The overall fastest qualifier for the Rainbow Futurity when trials were held here on June 30 and July 1, Dark Nme has now won each of her five lifetime starts by an overall margin of 13 lengths, an average of more than 2½ lengths per start. Sunday’s victory adds $420,000 to her career bankroll, which now stands at more than $829,000.
Trane Station V, with Everardo Rodriguez in the irons finished second while Wired 440 and jockey Sergio Becerra, Jr., rounded out the top four finishers.
On Saturday, it was a chance for the 3-year-olds to shine, as Sicario V earned a massive victory in the $804,000-added Rainbow Derby preceded by an mild upset score from Ezee Monee in the $478,000-added Rainbow Oaks.
Sicario V, earning the second stakes win of his career on Saturday with his 1½-length score over heavily favored Cyber Attack in the Grade 1 Rainbow Derby, has now won four straight races including the Ruidoso Invitational here on June 10.
Owned by Valeriano Racing Stables, LLC. and trained by Carrizales, Jr., the California-bred son of Favorite Cartel broke inward a bit from the nine post in the 10-horse field, but dueled for the lead from the start before inching clear in the final 100 yards to win as much the best under Calderon. Sicario V crossed the finish line in the 440-yard event with a final time of 21.43 seconds.
Sent off as the 2-to-1 second choice in the wagering, Sicario V returned $6 to his winning backers. His win in the Derby gives him six wins from 10 career starts. As a 2-year-old, Sicario V finished second in the All American Futurity last year. He has finished first or second in all seven of his starts at Ruidoso Downs and has now amassed career earnings of more than $856,000.
Sicario V was the fastest qualifier for the Rainbow Derby when trials were held here on July 2.
Cyber Attack, sent off as the 7-to-10 post time favorite in the Derby, completed the exacta which returned $12 for each $2 wager. The defeat snapped a five-race win streak for the Christopher O’Dell trainee, which included a win in last month’s Ruidoso Derby.
Chasing Aj finished third, while Hooked N Gone rounded out the top four finishers.
In the $478,000-added Rainbow Oaks, Ezee Monee earned her third win from her last four starts, posting a mild upset for trainer Jaime G. Aldavaz, Sr. and jockey Adrian Ramos.
The 3-year-old, Texas-bred daughter of One Fabulous Eagle didn’t break alertly from the gate and was forced to rush up into contention between horses in the opening yards. She soon found herself dueling for the lead and was first across the wire, finishing a half-length better than long shot Sweet Emylou after racing 440 yards in a final time of 21.36 seconds.
Ezee Monee, a five-time winner from 11 career starts, won her trial heat here on July 2 and came into the Oaks as the sixth-fastest qualifier of the 10 who earned a berth in the starting gate.
Sent off as the fourth choice in the nine-horse field at odds of 8.60-to-1, Ezee Monee returned $19.20 to her winning backers. The $2 exacta with runner-up Sweet Emylou paid $168.60.
Fearless Moon, who earned the fastest qualifying time when trials were held, finished third under jockey Sergio Becerra, Jr., with Jes an Angel, the 19-to-10 post time favorite, finishing fourth under Christian Ramos.
Ezee Monee earned her first stakes win with her victory in the Oaks. She was fourth in the Ruidoso Derby here last month. The win pads her career bankroll to more than $295,000 for owner Isidoro Esparza.
Racing resumes on Friday at Ruidoso Downs. For more information on their current racing season, log on to their official page at Equibase.com.