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Triple Crown Series starts with Ruidoso Futurity and Derby

June 9, 2006     E-mail this page to a friend!

Ruidoso Downs, NM (June 8) – The summer-long All American Triple Crown series for 2-year-olds and Derby Triple Crown series for 3-year-olds each start on Sunday afternoon, June 11, at Ruidoso Downs.

Grade 1 futurity winners First Prize Robin and Okey Dokey Fantasy meet in the Grade 1, $500,000 Ruidoso Futurity for 2-year-olds and a deep field of 3-year-olds run in the Grade 1, $168,335 Ruidoso Derby.

The All American Triple Crown series continues on July 23 with the Grade 1, $625,000 Rainbow Futurity and concludes on Labor Day with the Grade 1, $2 million All American Futurity. Special Effort is the only horse to sweep the three Ruidoso Downs’ futurities and take the Triple Crown. He performed the feat in 1981.

If any horse sweeps the All American Triple Crown then that horse’s connections will receive a $4 million annuity bonus or a $1.25 million cash bonus. Add in the winner’s share of each futurity and the winner’s connections could earn $5.5 million.

The Derby Triple Crown, won last year by world champion DM Shicago, progresses with the Grade 1, $300,000 (est.) Rainbow Derby on July 22 and the Grade 1, $600,000 (est.) All American Derby on Sept. 3.

The two early favorites for the All American Triple Crown are First Prize Robin and Okey Dokey Fantasy, the two fastest qualifiers to Sunday’s 350-yard Ruidoso Futurity.

L.A. Scherwinski and W.E. Smith’s First Prize Robin, from the stable of 8-time All American Futurity-winning trainer Jack Brooks, moved to the top of the 2-year-old division in Oklahoma this spring when she won the Grade 1 Remington Park Futurity by a neck on April 30. Brooks then brought her to Ruidoso Downs and she responded with a 1-length victory in :17.696 for 350 yards in her Ruidoso Futurity trial. That was the fastest time from 132 entrants in 14 trials on May 26.

“In the Remington Park Futurity she kicked it into another gear,” said Brooks. “She came up here [Ruidoso Downs] and adapted. I think she’s better now than she was in the [Ruidoso Futurity] trials.”

First Prize Robin will start from the seventh post position with Jacky Martin aboard.

Juan Campos’ undefeated Okey Dokey Fantasy was the undisputed leader of the Texas’ 2-year-old ranks this spring when he won the Grade 2 Longhorn Futurity and then the Grade 1 Manor Downs Futurity. The John Boegner-trained colt then ran his record to five wins from five starts with an impressive late-running victory in his Ruidoso Futurity trial. He pulled away to win by 1/2-length in :17.740, the second-fastest qualifying time.
Okey Dokey Fantasy starts outside of First Prize Robin from the eighth post
position. Juan Vazquez is the rider.

The 400-yard Ruidoso Derby is dominated by two trainers-3-time Ruidoso Derby winner Sleepy Gilbreath a 4-time national champion trainer Paul Jones.

Gilbreath had an excellent afternoon during the May 26 the derby trials when he won three of the four trials and those trial winners came through with three of the five fastest qualifying times. Leading the qualifiers is Gene White’s Real Good Man, who broke his maiden when he won his 400-yard trial in :20.025 while pulling away to win by 1-1/4 length. The other Gilbreath-trained trial winners were Jess Because and Winninginthebuff, who has crossed the finish line in first place in each of his four 2006 starts.

Jones won the remaining Ruidoso Derby trial when Coco Corona showed she could be a filly with a bright future with a 2-1/4 length trial win in :20.127, the second-fastest qualifying time. The daughter of all-time leading sire First Down Dash and champion Corona Chick was making her first start since a close third-place finish in the Corona Cartel Handicap at Zia Park on Oct. 31.

Jones will also saddle Rousing Encore, Mia Jones and Kelowna Kash.