The Racing Journal Logo

Arealstraitheart heads qualifiers to All American Derby at Ruidoso Downs


August 21, 2006     E-mail this page to a friend!

RUIDOSO DOWNS, New Mexico (August 18, 2006) — The New Mexico-bred Arealstraitheart, second in the 2005 All American Futurity, set the fastest qualifying time of :21.350 for 440 yards over a sloppy track when he won the fifth of five trials to the Grade 1, $389,908 All American Derby at Ruidoso Downs on Friday afternoon.

The horses with the 10 fastest times from the trials return for the All American Derby on Sept. 3. The All American Derby winner receives an invitation to the Grade 1, $600,000 Champion Of Champions on Dec. 9 at Los Alamitos Race Course in Southern California.

Arealstraitheart, trained by Ben Torres, has been a force against New Mexico-breds with six wins in seven starts against state-bred company and has also competed at the highest level when facing open company. Against New Mexico-breds, he won the Zia Futurity and the Shue Fly Handicap and finished a nose behind Eddie Stinson for second in the Zia Derby, his start before the All American Derby trials.

In three starts against open company, he was second in the All American Futurity and his All American Futurity trial. He raced to his first win against open horses when he won his All American Derby trial by one and quarter lengths with regular rider Esgar Ramirez aboard.

Trainer Paul Jones, who sent out fastest qualifier No Secrets Here in the All American Futurity trials on Thursday, had another excellent trials’ afternoon by saddling six of the 10 qualifiers, including Rainbow Derby winner Strawkins.

Donald and Peggy Boyle’s Strawkins, who was supplemented to the All American Derby at a cost of $40,000 to his owners, finished third as the 1-2 favorite behind Arealstraitheart in their trial. It was the first defeat for Strawkins at Ruidoso Downs after four wins, including the Grade 3 Bayer Legend New Mexico Derby Challenge and setting a 440-yard track record while winning the Grade 1, $268,000 Rainbow Derby. The gelding has won stakes races at four different tracks.

Jones will also send out First Wicked Lady, Ketel Won, Kelowna Kash, In Dispute and Separate Tac.

Kelowna Kash, In Dispute and Separate Tac each won their derby trials. Ketel Won finished second to Arealstraitheart and First Wicked Lady was third in her trial.

The second-fastest time of :21.493 was shared by Brindis Por Cayenne and Jess Because, who finished in a dead heat for the win in the second trial.

K.C. Carden’s Brindis Por Cayenne, trained by John Stinebaugh, was third in the All American Futurity, fourth in the Grade 1, $1 million Texas Classic Futurity and fifth behind Strawkins in the Bayer Legend New Mexico Derby Challenge.

Johnny T.L. Jones’ Jess Because, trained by Sleepy Gilbreath, raced to his first win since taking his Ruidoso Derby trial on May 27. He was the fifth-place finisher in the Ruidoso Derby.

The complete list of qualifiers and their times are Arealstraitheart (:21.350), Brindis Por Cayenne (:21.493), Jess Because (:21.493), First Wicked Lady (:21.507), Ketel Won (:21.531), Kelowna Kash (:21.549), Strawkins (:21.560), In Dispute (:21.568), Royal Dash Beduino (:21.573) and Separate Tac (:21.573).