$3M All American Futurity - The World's Richest Quarter Horse Race
OffTrackBetting.com - The World's Richest Quarter Horse Race, All American Futurity, comes our way this Monday, September 5 from Ruidoso Downs in Ruidoso Downs, New Mexico.
The Labor Day program is the final racing day of the summer season. There is a special 12:30 p.m. first post time on Monday.
Nueve Racing's Apolltical Chad, winner of the Grade 1, $1-million Ruidoso Futurity, brings that stakes-winning experience into the Grade 1, $3-million All American Futurity during a stakes dominated program on Monday at Ruidoso Downs.
The entertaining Labor Day program also offers the $500,000 All American Juvenile for quarter horses. The thoroughbred stakes are the $152,974 Rio Grande Senor Thoroughbred Futurity and the $50,000 Ruidoso New Mexico-bred Thoroughbred Championship.
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2016 All American Futurity
Apolltical Chad, a gelding by Apollitical Jess, is owned by a group of nine people from six different states and they have a total of 203 years of experience in horseracing. Their horse moved to the forefront of the two-year-old division when he stepped up and won the Grade 1, $1-million Ruidoso Futurity by a gutty head over A Revenant, who went on to win the Grade 1, $1-million Rainbow Futurity.
Trainer Wes Giles and Apolltical Chad's owners decided to pass on the Rainbow Futurity trials and concentrate on the All American Futurity, which offers the largest purse of two-year-old race in the world.
That decision paid off when Apolltical Chad made a late run and barely missed winning his All American Futurity trial. One Hot Habit got the qualifying win in :21.643 for the 440 yards while Apolltical Chad was timed in :21.643 and earned spot in the futurity.
There were two days of All American Futurity trials. Imperial Eagle set the fastest-qualifying time in the first day of trials while Coronas First Diva grabbed the top-qualifying time during the second day of trials.
Charles Robinson's Imperial Eagle, one of four horses in the All American Futurity sired by One Famous Eagle, scored his third-consecutive win when he took his All American Futurity trial by one-and-three-quarter lengths in :21.499.
The Tony Sedillo-trained Imperial Eagle was moved up to second place in the West Texas Futurity before starting his current winning streak.
Sara Leann Morgan's Coronas First Diva, a filly by Corona Cartel, topped the second-day qualifiers with a :21.500 time while winning her trial by one-and-three-quarter lengths.
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Coronas First Diva has proven stakes class with a win in the $440,000 Oklahoma Futurity and then a fifth-place run in the Grade 1, $1,083,000 Heritage Place Futurity for trainer Charles "Duke" Shults.
One of the two-year-olds creating a lot of "buzz" at Ruidoso Downs is Beth and Michael Harper's The Marfa Lights, an elegantly bred son of One Famous Eagle that was purchased for $145,000 at the Ruidoso Select Yearling Sale.
The Marfa Lights made his third start in the All American Futurity trials. He boldly accelerated in the final 100 yards to win his trial by two-and-three-quarter lengths with a time of :21.510. He is improving with every start and the big, strong colt relishes the quarter-mile distance.
The $500,000 Ruidoso Juvenile had a purse increase from $200,000 last year and it attracted an excellent field of two-year-olds that did not qualify for the All American Futurity.
The Juan Medina owned and bred Teller Baja won her first four starts before finishing a close second behind Volcoms Lady in their All American Futurity trial. The Teller Cartel-sired Teller Baja won the $888,000 Remington Park Oklahoma-bred Futurity during her career-opening winning streak.
Trainer Judd Kearl will have Jose Amador Alvarez aboard with the eighth post position.
Paragon Farms, LLC's Tough To Bee was in the battle to win the Ruidoso Futurity, however came up a neck short and finished third. The Blane Wood-trained gelding won his All American Futurity trial by three quarters of a length.
Ricky Ramirez has the mount on Tough To Bee with the third post position.
The two thoroughbred stakes have a real opportunity to be won by full brothers. Another Brother, in the five-and-one-half furlong Senor Futurity, and Thermal, in the six-furlong Ruidoso Thoroughbred Championship, are each sired by Attila's Storm and out of Hang Glide. Each horse is owned by R.D. Hubbard and trained by Todd Fincher.
Another Brother, the 1-9 favorite in his Senor Futurity trial, lived up to those odds. He made a three-wide move on the turn and then drew out to win by four lengths under Glen Murphy. Murphy retains the mount and they have the sixth post position.
Thermal has earned $453,332 and is a proven stakes competitor against New Mexico-breds. In his previous race, the $50,000 Sierra Blanca Handicap, the gelding made a big move to finish second.
Alfredo Juarez Jr. rides Thermal from the sixth post position.
Tony Sedillo and Leroy Martinez's D E Lover got the win in the Sierra Blanca and is back in the Ruidoso Thoroughbred Championship. The gelding was in a striking position and then kicked clear to win by one-and-one-half lengths as the favorite.
D E Lover will be ridden by Christian Santiago Reyes with the fourth post position.
What is the All American Futurity?
The Quarter Horse race that every owner, breeder, trainer and jockey wants to win is Ruidoso Downs' signature event, the All American Futurity.
Run over 440 yards every Labor Day, the All American Futurity gained its lofty status through unique financial cooperation between the track and horsemen. Ruidoso Downs contributes "added money" to start the race's purse, and then horse owners make payments to keep their young horses eligible. Many of these payments are made before the horse ever starts in a race.
This system made the All American Futurity the world's first $1-million race for any breed of horse and enabled the All American to become the first $2-million race in Quarter Horse racing. Now the All American Futurity has a purse of $2.4 million and is the richest race for a two-year-old of any breed in North America.
Two races are considered the forerunners of the All American Futurity and both have their roots in Ruidoso. In 1946, a local watering hole called the Central Bar & Grill was having a marketing problem: How could the owners promote the casino located in the back room of the establishment at a time when casinos weren't legal in New Mexico? The answer was to create a horse race and name it after the bar. The resulting Central Bar & Grill Futurity was an important race until the early 1950s when it disappeared, but it left a model for a successful event that continued as the Ruidoso Futurity (a different race than the current Ruidoso Futurity). That early version of the Ruidoso Futurity received widespread attention in 1955 when Go Man Go suffered his first defeat in the race.
In 1953, Gene Hensley bought a majority share of Ruidoso Downs and began looking for new ways to promote the track. Offering the richest race in Quarter Horse racing would surely define Ruidoso Downs. Along with Carl Mercer - who had developed a successful futurity in Southern California - and Ruidoso musician and promoter Ray Reed, Hensley created the All American Futurity. When it was inaugurated in 1959 with a purse of $129,686, the All American Futurity was the richest race ever held in Quarter Horse racing. The winner was the filly Galobar, who gave owner Hugh Huntley and trainer Newt Keck the first of their three wins in the first five runnings of the race.
Since then, many great performances have marked each decade of the All American Futurity. In 1969, Easy Jet captured the All American for breeder, owner and trainer Walter Merrick during a campaign in which the colt won 22 races in 26 starts and was named world champion. Easy Jet became the first All American winner to sire an All American winner when his daughter Easy Date won the race in 1974.
In 1978, the All American Futurity became the world's first million-dollar horse race. The race also launched the fortunes of trainer Jack Brooks and jockey Jacky Martin, who teamed up to win with Moon Lark. Since then, Brooks and Martin have become the trainer and jockey with the most All American victories.
Another historic performance came in 1981 when Special Effort won the All American Futurity and became the first horse to capture the Triple Crown at Ruidoso Downs. Special Effort remains the only horse to sweep the three classic futurities held every summer at the track.
Refrigerator's All American Futurity win in 1990 came at the start of a legendary career in which the gelding won a record three consecutive runnings of the Champion of Champions at Los Alamitos Race Course and earned two world champion titles.
In 2004, DM Shicago scored his first important victory with his All American Futurity win. The gelding returned the following summer to win the Ruidoso, Rainbow and All American derbies on his way to being named world champion.
Records continue to fall. In 2006, No Secrets Here set a stakes record when he raced the 440 yards in :20.88. Then, in 2008, Stolis Winner won the All American Futurity and was named that year's overall world champion. Jerry Windham's homebred Stolis Winner went on to break Refrigerator's all-time earning's record.
The All American Futurity continues to grow. In 2015, the All American Futurity purse reached $3 million and became the largest purse for any two-year-old race in the world.