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Winninginthebuff gives Gilbreath fourth Ruidoso Derby

June 12, 2006     E-mail this page to a friend!

RUIDOSO DOWNS, New Mexico (June 11) – Terry Wood’s Winninginthebuff gave trainer Sleepy Gilbreath his fourth victory in the Ruidoso Derby with a close win in the Grade 1, $168,335 13th renewal on Sunday afternoon at Ruidoso Downs
Veteran trainer Gilbreath also won the Ruidoso Derby in 1995, 1998 and 2001.

Jockey Jose Alvarez rode Winninginthebuff to the neck victory in :19.851 for the 400 yards. “He was on the lead the whole way,” said Alvarez. “He got tired at the end. I didn’t know if we had won.”

Winninginthebuff, who started only once as a 2-year-old in 2005, has crossed the finish line in front of his competition in each of four starts this year. In one race, an allowance race at Sunland Park, he was disqualified from first and placed second for interference.

The gelding broke his maiden in his 2006 debut on Feb. 10 and has steadily faced stronger competition with each subsequent start, culminating with the Grade 1 victory in the Ruidoso Derby. He qualified for the Ruidoso Derby by winning his trial in :20.253, the fifth-fastest time from four trials held on May 27.

“It the first time he’s faced these kind of horses,” said Gilbreath. “He knows how to win, but you’ve got to have some luck. I wanted to draw the one or the 10 [post position] and we got the 10.”

Gilbreath, who won three of the four Ruidoso Derby trials, also saddled third-place finisher Real Good Man. The gelding broke his maiden when he won his Ruidoso Derby trial in :20.025, the fastest qualifying time.

Winninginthebuff will pass the Rainbow Derby and point to the All American Derby, according to owner Wood. “These horses only have so many starts on them. Now Sleepy can take care of him and point him to the All American Derby,” he said.

David and Susan Mackie’s Rousing Encore, winner of the 2005 All American Juvenile, made a strong late charge under jockey Cody Jensen to finish second. The daughter of leading sire First Down Dash and 1989 All American Futurity winner Strawberry Silk qualified for the Ruidoso Derby by finishing second to A Real Good Man in their trial with the fourth-fastest qualifying time.

Rousing Encore was one of four Ruidoso Derby finalists sent out by national training champion Paul Jones, who teamed with Jensen to win the 2005 All American Futurity with Teller Cartel. He also saddled fourth-place finisher Mia Jones, sixth-place finisher Kelowna Kash and eighth-place runner Coco Corona, the 5-2 favorite who had a very troubled start.

Winninginthebuff returned $9.60, $5.00 and $3.00. Rousing Encore paid $5.00 and $3.80 while Real Good Man was worth $2.80 to show. The $2 exacta paid $57.20 and the $1 trifecta paid $99.60.

In other 3-year-old racing on Sunday afternoon, champion Leading Spirit finished second in a $16,700 allowance race, finishing 3/4-length behind Eye Am Forever Yours. It was Leading Spirit’s second start after returning from a 9-month layoff. He was third in his Ruidoso Derby trial on May 27.

Last summer, Leading Spirit won the Ruidoso and Rainbow futurities.