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June 16, 2006     E-mail this page to a friend!

Amarillo, Texas, June 16, 2006 – Three-time stakes winner and fastest qualifier Strawkins will face a tough field that includes All American Futurity (G1) finalist Brindis Por Cayenne and Speedhorse Gold & Silver Cup Futurity (RG1) winner This Candys Red Hot in Sunday’s Bayer Legend New Mexico Derby Challenge (G3) at Ruidoso Downs.

Strawkins (Hawkinson – Shirleys Strawfly by Strawfly Special), owned by Donald and Peggy Boyle of Madras, Oregon, and trained by champion trainer Paul Jones, raced in the Northwest early last season, winning the Pot O’ Gold Futurity (G3) at Sun Downs and the Canadian Quarter Horse Cup Futurity (RG2) at Lethbridge, Alberta, then pulled off a three-quarter-length victory at Los Alamitos in the Holiday Handicap in December. He opened his sophomore campaign with a three-quarter-length win in his Los Alamitos Winter Derby (G1) trial, but finished seventh in the final. He won his 400-yard Bayer New Mexico Derby Challenge trial by a comfortable two lengths in :19.487 and improved his record to 7-1-1 in 10 starts and career earnings of $83,457.

K. C. Carden’s Brindis Por Cayenne (Toast To Dash – Cayenne Smash by Easily Smashed) set the second fastest mark, winning the last of three trials by 1 3/4 lengths, in :19.711 in his first start of the year. In 2005, he was third in the All American Futurity (G1) and fourth in the $1 million Texas Classic Futurity (G1) in November. With earnings of $199,779, the sorrel colt has a record of 3-1-2 in eight career starts.

Third-fastest qualifier This Candys Red Hot (Leaving Memories – Eye On The Candy by Mr Eye Opener), owned by Jim and Marilyn Helzer, is another stakes winner with a sizeable bankroll. In the money seven of 10 career starts, the Dwayne “Sleepy” Gilbreath trainee has earned $189,622 with a stakes win in the Speedhorse Gold & Silver Cup Futurity (RG1). He was also a finalist in the Retama Park Futurity (G1) and the Dash For Cash Futurity (G1) last season, and the Remington Park Derby (G2) earlier this year.
The winner of the Bayer Legend New Mexico Derby Challenge (G3) receives the second invitation to the Bayer Legend Derby Challenge Championship, which will be held November 11 at Lone Star Park.

The first berth to the $200,000 stakes was filled by Abelino Rojas’ Centerist (Separatist – Go Pritzi by Pritzi Dash) who won the Bayer Legend East Derby Challenge (G3) at Delta Downs on May 21.

For more information about American Quarter Horse racing or the MBNA America® Racing Challenge, go to