RUIDOSO – Eight trial races were held Friday at Ruidoso Downs for the $144,925 John Deere Juvenile Trials.
At the conclusion of the eight trial heats, all at 350 yards, Running To The Moon, ridden by Christian Ramos for trainer Michael Joiner, was the fastest qualifier, winning the fifth trial heat a half-length in front of Acapulco Bay in a final time of 17.371 seconds.
Owned by the Lucky Six Partnership, Running To The Moon is a California-bred filly by First Moonflash who has now won two of three lifetime starts. She won a trial heat for the Rainbow Futurity at Ruidoso Downs on June 30, but failed to make the main event. Prior to that, she was third in her debut at Remington Park in Oklahoma City in a trial heat for the Heritage Place Futurity on May 12.
The John Deere Juvenile, on Saturday, Aug. 19, will feature the 10 fastest qualifiers from the eight trial heats, including Acapulco Bay, who finished second behind Running To The Moon.
Ramos, the sixth-leading quarter horse jockey this season at Ruidoso Downs, is also the meet’s leading thoroughbred rider. In addition to his 14 wins in quarter horse races this season, Ramos is running away from his competition atop the thoroughbred standings with 23 wins, 13 more than both Felipe Valdez and Enrique Gomez.
Joiner is the fifth-leading quarter horse trainer this season, having sent 12 runners to the winner’s circle. He ranks just four behind co-leading trainers Eric Valenzuela and Heath Taylor, who share the top of the leader board with 16 winners each.
Running To The Moon, sent off as the 4-to-1 third choice in the wagering in the trial heat, returned $10 to her winning backers. The $2 exacta with Acapulco Bay paid $44.20.
Here’s a list of the 10 fastest qualifiers for the John Deere Juvenile along with their respective qualifying times:
1. Running to the Moon 17.371
2. Acapulco Bay 17.458
3. Wynnchester 17.544
4. MFS Cheerio 17.554
5. Favorite Nova 17.587
6. Gabriel 17.601
7. GT Got A Tarzan 17.608
8. Flying Sophia 17.621
9. Dawson Legate 17.642
10. One Little Liar 17.649
Eddie Willits-trained R Ladys Dynasty pulled clear in the final yards to earn the role as fastest qualifier for the $65,357 Adequan Derby Challenge when she won Saturday’s third race under jockey Jimmy Brooks.
Owned by Larry and Roberta Parker-Rice, R Ladys Dynasty won by 1¼ lengths and crossed the finish line at 19.665 seconds for 400 yards.
The 10 fastest qualifiers from the trial heats will come back in the Adequan Dery Challenge on Saturday, Aug. 19.
Sent off as the 13-to-10 favorite, R Ladys Dynasty paid $4.60 to her winning backers. She picked up her fourth lifetime win when scoring in her trial heat.
In trials for the $46,844 Q Racing Video Distaff Challenge, 4-year-old filly Shesa Relentless Gal and jockey Esgar Ramirez romped home by 2½ lengths in her trial to record the fastest qualifying time.
Owned by Elva Rodriguez and trained by Manuel Rodriguez, Shesa Relentless Gal raced 400 yards in 19.459 seconds.
Shesa Relentess Gal won for the fifth time in her career and fourth in a row. She was a finalist in the 2022 Rainbow Oaks, as well as the All American Oaks and Lone Star Park’s Texas Classic Derby.
Sent off as the overwhelming favorite at odds of 2-to-5, Shesa Relentless Gal paid $2.80 to her winning backers. The 10 fastest qualifiers will be entered back for the Q Racing Video Distaff Challenge, scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 20.
Wrapping up the weekend at Ruidoso Downs, Rosenthal Ranch LLC’s Bomb Cyclone registered a 1½-length victory Sunday in the $40,000 Mr Jet Moore Handicap at Ruidoso Downs.
Ridden by Eduardo Nicasio and trained by Christopher O’Dell, Bomb Cyclone dueled for the lead from the outset and gradually inched clear of his rivals in the final 100 yards, crossing the wire ahead of runner-up Lethal Avenger in a time of 19.33 seconds when racing 400 yards over a fast track.
The 4-year-old, California-bred son of Favorite Cartel, making only his second start of the year, won for the seventh time in 12 career starts and for the third time from seven starts at Ruidoso Downs. Sent off at odds of 3-to-5, Bomb Cyclone returned $3.20 to his winning backers. The $2 exacta with Lethal Avenger paid $16.20.
A multiple Grade 1 winner, Bomb Cyclone picked up his third career stakes win. He also has victories in the 2021 Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity and last year’s Los Alamitos Super Derby. Sunday’s win added $24,000 to his career bankroll which now stands at $1.4 million.
Watch Out finished third, while Just A Kool Boy rounded out the top four finishers.
Live racing at Ruidoso Downs resumes Friday, and fans can watch and wager on races across America inside the simulcast theater at SunRay Park and Casino. For more information on the current season at Ruidoso Downs, check out their official page at Equibase.com.