Highlights from opening weekend of horse racing at Ruidoso Downs Race Track and Casino

Monday 25th May 2020

The first three days of the summer horse racing meet at Ruidoso Downs Race Track and Casino featured some of the top three-year-old quarter horses in the world and in the case of two-year-old quarter horses, a look at the future.

Sunday was a banner day for the John Stinebaugh stable in the trials for the Ruidoso Derby final on June 6. Stinebaugh qualified three horses for the Ruidoso Derby for three-year-olds. Kylee Joy, Katch This Bird and Cartel Charly all ran well and give Stinebaugh three of the 10 horses in the final. It was the most that any single barn qualified for the Derby.

"All three tried their hearts out and that gives us three shots in the final," Stinebaugh said. "The last one (Cartel Charly in the 11th race) even sprung a shoe loose coming out of the gate and still qualified. That had to have impacted that horse's race time -- so we feel confident about having a chance with all three."

The final field for the Ruidoso Derby is as follows -- Hotsempting (19.945), Apollitical Papa (19.977), Kylee Joy (20.019), Tres of Hero (20.036), Cers Final Try (20.051), Katch This Bird (20.069), Running Buddy (20.109), Cartel Charly (20.120), Kleptomaniac (20.153) and Oatman Creek Senator (20.167).

Hotsempting trainer Sergio Ibarra will be making his first appearance in a Ruidoso Derby after Hotsempting cruised to a win in the seventh trial on Sunday.

"It was worth the wait especially with the wind," Ibarra said. "It seemed like the wind was picking up all afternoon, and I was so thankful that she broke and really ran down the track straight and fast. She is so different from any other three-year-old in my barn. Horsemen are very thankful that we are running, and we are grateful to Ruidoso Downs for putting in all the effort to keep racing under all the guidelines."

Notable horses who did not qualify for the Ruidoso Derby include Uncle D (last year's Rainbow Futurity winner) and Determined One (third in last year's All American Futurity). Uncle D finished second in his trial and Determined One won his trial.

Trainers Mike Joiner and Jose Efren Meraz each qualified a pair of horses for the Ruidoso Futurity finals on June 7. Meraz qualified Favorite Blue Girl from Saturday's trials and Elmer from Friday's finals. Joiner qualified Tuckk and Misscandymountain from Friday's trials.

Ibarra will be in his first Ruidoso Futurity with Cyber Monday, who qualified on Saturday. Cyber Monday was one of the stars of the Ruidoso training races earlier this month and carried that over into the Ruidoso Futurity trials.

"Cyber Monday has a lot of potential," Ibarra said. "He is getting better and I think he'll continue to grow and show even more promise. It's a great honor to qualify for the Ruidoso Futurity finals. There were 28 trials, lots of great horses and great trainers. It's really a team effort for us All of my help, my owners, they have been great."

Here is list of qualifiers for the Ruidoso Futurity: Elmer (17.799), Jettz (17:818), Packsaddle Senator (17.859), B Icy (17.896), Misscandymountain (17.900), Tuckk (17.934), Apollitical Redflash (17.990), Cyber Monday (18.007), Favorite Blue Girl (18.040), and Kj Daisy Duke (18.042).

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