That’s a recipe for one of the most anticipated quarter horse races in recent years.
Aside from the money – the winner takes $1.2 million – there is a high probability that year-end championships will be determined. Just a year ago, Ochoa won the All American Futurity for his sole juvenile stakes victory and was honored as the 2011 champion 2-year-old and champion two-year-old gelding.
Also, don’t think of this year’s running of the 440-yard classic as a two-horse race. It also boasts depth. Also in the mix is BP Cartels Alibi. That translates into three of the top-four ranked horses in the weekly AQHA Racing-Horseplayernow.com national top-10 poll.
PJ Chick In Black is a New Mexico-bred. That means that goals for her career would include doing well in the very lucrative New Mexico-bred program. New Mexico-breds regularly race for six-figure purses, but are usually considered a step below the open Grade 1 horses.
PJ Chick in Black’s career racing against New Mexico-breds lasted exactly two races, each at Sunland Park this spring. She won her New Mexican Spring Futurity trial and then blasted 300 yards in 14.912 to take the New Mexican Spring Futurity.
A portion of the earnings from the New Mexican Spring Futurity went to paying the $15,000 supplemental fee to enter the filly in the Ruidoso Futurity trials. That meant she was jumping up to top-level open company and had paid her way to get there.
That investment paid a huge dividend. Following a stunning three-length trial score, she held off fastest-qualifier Krash Cartel to win the Ruidoso Futurity. She was now a national force in the 2-year-old division and she would be pointed directly at the All American Futurity trials.
Owned by farrier Denny Bowen, pony person Susan Taylor and her parents, who race as Jack Smith Farms, PJ Chick In Black raced in the 24th of 26 All American Futurity trials. She gained her spot in the starting gate after her connections paid the $50,000 supplemental entry fee.
PJ Chick In Black was incredible. Granted none of her nine rivals had won a race and she was a four-for-four stakes winner, but she was amazing. Under Esgar Ramirez, she pulled away to win by five-and-three-quarter lengths and her time of 21.081 put her atop the qualifiers’ list for trainer John Stinebaugh.
The trial win also put her on top of the national poll with 96 votes, eight votes ahead of One Dashing Eagle.
One Dashing Eagle started his career with high expectations. A very well-bred colt who brought $43,000 at the Ruidoso Select Yearling Sale, One Dashing Eagle started his career back in April with a second-place finish as the 7-10 favorite in a maiden race. He showed promise with a late run and then realized that potential in his next start.
One Dashing Eagle stepped up in the trials to the Ed Burke Million Futurity and won his trial by three quarters of a length with the fastest-qualifying time of 17.555 for 350 yards. He then backed up that effort with a one-and-one-quarter length win in the Ed Burke Million and – at the time – the number-one ranking in the weekly poll.
The win also put him in the van for the trip to “the mountain” to race in the All American Futurity trials.