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EZ Speedy Leader wins Portland Meadows Futurity

May 5, 2006     E-mail this page to a friend!

(photo by reed palmer photography)
By Patrick J. Kerrison
Portland, OR (May 1) – “I am so happy for Jaime”, trainer Scott Raley said after he and rider Jaime Martinez teamed to win the $28,550 Portland Meadows Futurity Final on Sunday, April 30, for Quarter Horses with EZ Speedy Leader.

“He has worked so hard all year that seeing him win this is one of my favorite parts of winning,” Raley continued. “He’s come so close, so often, winning Trials and prep races. Then, when it comes to the Finals, something invariably goes wrong.

“Today I just told him to relax and have fun, don’t worry about anything,” Raley continued. “I knew if this horse would break well they weren’t going to catch him.”

He did brake well, as Raley had hoped. He then went on to win easily by 1 ¼-lengths, as Raley had predicted.

The 10-horse field was reduced to six starters before post time with EZ Speedy Leader breaking from post five. Immediately inside of him was Raley’s other starter, Dashing Reckless Gal.

Both EZ Speedy Leader and Dashing Reckless Gal are owned by Gary Chumbley, the winning owner of the 2005 edition of this dash with Two Dash To Fame. The latter was off to a less than a stellar start, breaking in and bumped.

Under Flip Nollar, Dashing Reckless Gal recovered nicely and dashed to a second place finish giving Chumbley and Raley a 1-2 finish. In fact, Dashing Reckless Gal is a half-sister to last year’s winner, Two Dash To Fame.

On the far outside was She Surfs, under Tad Skaggs for owner/trainer Ronald E. Raley. Also off to an awkward beginning, She Surfs stumbled at the break, spotting the field a length or two before hitting her best gear. She Surfs proceeded to move like a rocket in the final 100 yards to get up for third.

EZ Speedy Leader, a 2-year-old sorrel gelding by Special Leader out of Easy Verna (Georgias Easy), improved her record to a perfect two-for-two after she captured her trial on April 16 in 16.07 – the fastest of all qualifiers. Her career earnings are now at $12,620.

EZ Speedy Leader completed the 300 yard dash in 15.92 and returned $4.60 to win and $5.00 to place. Dashing Reckless Gal returned the same as part of the entry. With five betting interests in the event there was no show wagering.

After the ups and downs that have been the 2005-06 race meet for Raley and Martinez, they both have reason to be happy for each other. Together they are 10-10-5 in 45 starts during this meet. More importantly, they have won the first leg of the Oregon Quarter Horse Triple Crown with their eyes on the $100,000 cash bonus.

Their next step is the Firecracker Futurity at Grants Pass on July 4 weekend. Should they win that event, they would plan to return to Portland Meadows for the Northwest Open Futurity

Raley leads all Quarter Horse trainers in wins with 15 and earnings with $86,626 tallied to date. Jaime Martinez is in a four-way-tie for second place in the QH rider standings with 11 wins. behind Clark Jones and Tim Neal.

In the overall standings of both Thoroughbred and Quarter Horses, Martinez sits in ninth place with 25 wins and $129,172 earned for the meet.

Racing resumes with closing weekend on Saturday and Sunday, May 6 and 7, at 12:35 p.m. first post.