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New Mexico-Bred Arealstraitheart runs away with All American Derby

September 4, 2006     E-mail this page to a friend!

Ruidoso Downs, NM (Sept. 3, 2006) — New Mexico-bred Arealstraitheart, the 6-5 favorite, pulled away from his eight rivals in the Grade 1, $406,299 All American Derby to win by a dominating one-and-three-quarter lengths on Sunday afternoon at Ruidoso Downs.

“He broke good and had a clean trip,” said jockey Esgar Ramirez after winning his first grade 1 race. “He did it all by himself. He’s a really great horse.”

The All American Derby victory was worth $194,954 and pushed Arealstraitheart’s earnings to $714,598. He also received an invitation to the Grade 1, $600,000 Champion Of Champions on Dec. 9 at Los Alamitos. “It’ll be real tough,” said Ramirez. “But, he’ll be tough if he breaks like he did today.”

Arealstraitheart raced the 440 yards over a sloppy track in :21.01 for his eighth win from 11 career starts. The gelding finished second in his three other career starts.

Owned by Stan Munro’s MJ Enterprises, Arealstraitheart was second in last year’s All American Futurity over an off racing surface. The Ben Torres-trained gelding has wins against New Mexico-breds in the Zia Futurity and the Shue Fly Stakes. He came into the All American Derby trials off a close second place finish in the Zia Derby.

“He was strong and relaxed,” said Munro. “Every time he runs, he gives 110 percent. When I saw him this morning, he was relaxed and I was confident.

“After finishing second in the All American Futurity last year, this was our goal for this year.”

A pair of Paul Jones-trained sophomores, E.D. Calvert’s First Wicked Lady and Rainbow Derby winner Strawkins, finished second and third. Jones saddled five of the nine starters in the All American Derby. His other finishers were Ketel Won (fifth), In Dispute (sixth) and Kelowna Kash (seventh). The Jones-trained Separate Tac also qualified for the All American Derby, but was scratched.

This is the third-straight running of the All American Derby Jones has had at least four finalists and is winless in the All American Derby.

E.D. Calvert’s First Wicked Lady, ridden by Ramon Sanchez, gained her first stakes placing. She qualified for the finals on last year’s All American Futurity, finishing ninth.

“First Wicked Lady ran a good race,” said Jones, the four-time national training champion. “The weather circumstances, the wet track kinda got to us today. Arealstraitheart, he loved the racetrack and he ran his race today. That’s horse racing.”

Don and Peggy Boyle’s Strawkins, the 2-1 second choice, set the 440-yard track record of :20.736 when he won the Rainbow Derby over a fast track and then was third in his All American Derby trial over an off track.

“He didn’t really run his race; the track was too wet for him,” said Jones. “He ran :20.73 on a dry track. You can’t get under :21 on a wet track, and he really didn’t like the track.”

Arealstraitheart returned $4.80, $3.40 and $2.40. First Wicked Lady, a 25-1 outsider, paid $15.20 and $6.20 while Strawkins was worth $3.00 to show. The $2 exacta combination paid $122.20 and the $1 trifecta returned $182.50.