“That sonic boom you heard was PJ Chick In Black!” exclaimed Fox, pointing out the giant 5-¾-length margin of victory the filly enjoyed.
PJ Chick In Black won her fifth win in five stats and turned in a time of 21.081 seconds, more than two-tenths of a second faster than Jess A Zoomin in second.
“She finally ran the perfect race,” said Dennis Bowen, who co-owns PJ Chick In Black with Susan Taylor and Jack Smith Farms. “There were no collisions, no nothing. She’s just a whale of a horse.”
The victory came near the end of a very long day at the track, as nearly 260 head of horses competed for the top 10-fastest times over the 440-yard course.
PJ Chick In Black’s victory is typical of the horse trained by John Stinebaugh, as she’s never had to come from behind to win a race – at least not a real race.
“She did once in work, but she’s been in front every other race,” Bowen said. “Just not this far in front.”
When you’re going head-to-head against a heavily favored horse, it’s best to have a pretty fast horse of your own.
That’s just what trainer J. Heath Reed had in Thursday’s All American Futurity trials, as he led Jess A Zoomin to the gate in the 21st race against Krash Kartel.
The margin of victory was razor-thin – less than a nose separated first and second, but Jess A Zooming was just fast enough to win the race and turn in the fastest time of the day, 21.246 seconds.
It looked to cost the gelding owned by Ted Abrams and ridden by G.R. Carter, broke down after the finish line and had to be carted off in the horse ambulance. It wasn’t determined at press time how serious the horse’s condition is, or whether he’ll be able to race in the $2.5 million final on Labor Day.
Jess A Zoomin’s performance came five hours after another big showdown in the ninth trial, which featured Rainbow Futurity champion Carters Cookie.
Just about everyone but Just Wanna Corona’s connections was betting on Carters Cookie, but the colt owned by Douglas Traylor turned in a blazing fast 21.286 second time to not only defeat the favorite, but also turn in what was the fastest time of the day to that point.
In fact, Carters Cookie wasn’t even good enough to finish second in his trial, having to overcome a bad break at the gate and getting beaten at the wire by One Bald Eagle to place.
Big money win
It’s been the usual story in quarter horse racing at Ruidoso Downs that a high-priced horse doesn’t necessarily mean a big winner.
But one horse that cost a pretty penny came through to earn a spot in this year’s All American.
Native Tea Rose, a $330,000 purchase in last year’s Ruidoso Sale, won the seventh trial with Cody Jensen aboard, turning in a time of 21.358 seconds. It was a time that held up through several more races to get the Abigail Kawananakoa-owned filly into the Labor Day final with the fifth-fastest time of the day.
The complete list of All American Futurity qualifiers and their times are PJ Chick In Black (:21.081), Jess A Zoomin (:21.246), Krash Cartel (:21.251), Just Wanna Corona (:21.286), Native Tea Rose (:21.358), One Dashing Eagle (:21.369), Aha Moment (:21.385), BP Cartels Alibi (:21.385), Mr Perry Cartel (:21.400) and Sudden Thoughts (:21.404).