All American Futurity and Derby Weekend at Ruidoso

The Quarter Horse race that every owner, breeder, trainer and jockey wants to win is Ruidoso Downs’ signature event, the All American Futurity.

The 2013 All American Futurity (G1) is the richest race for 2-year-olds in North America, regardless of breed. Run every Labor Day at Ruidoso Downs in the mountain village of Ruidoso, New Mexico, the $2.6 million race will be contested September 2 by 10 2-year-old American Quarter Horses.

The Labor Day All American Weekend at Ruidoso is also highlighted by the Grade 1, $2.8 million All American Derby on Sunday.

This year, the $2.8 million All American Derby (G1) for 3-year-olds is September 1. The race has the richest purse ever offered in American Quarter Horse racing history. It continues as the richest race for 3-year-olds of any breed in North America.


The complete post positions for the Futurity starters and their jockeys, from the inside post out, are:

1  Especially Tres, Ricky Ramirez;
2  Wagon Full Of Gold, Jay Conklin;
3  Handsome Jack Flash, Jaime Parga Leos;
4  Houdini, Cody Jensen;
5  Fatal Policy, Roy Baldillez;
6  Skuze Pleeze, G.R. Carter Jr;
7  Hes Relentless, Cody Rodger Smith;
8  You N How Many More, Tanner Thedford;
9  Reagal Eagle, Larry Gamez;
10  Wagon Tales, Rodrigo Vallejo, 10.

In the All American Futurity’s history, post 9 was most frequently the winning gate at 17 percent. The horses emerging from posts 7-9 have won 41 percent of the time.

The complete post positions for the Derby starters and their jockeys, from the inside post out, are:

1  Bon Accord, Rodrigo Aceves;
2  Elisas Secret, Ricky Ramirez;
3  Wicked Courage, Cody Jensen;
4  Louisana Corona, G.R. Carter Jr.;
5  Vancouver Moon, Jaime Parga Leos;
6  Tayte Me Down, Jose Amador Alvarez;
7  Feature Hero, Jimmy Dean Brooks;
8  Wonderboy, Roberto Valero;
9  Point Break Dash, Ramon Sanchez;
10  The Magic Dash, Roy Baldillez

In the All American Derby, horses from post 6 have won 21 percent of the time. No horses have ever won the Derby from the 5 or 8 posts.

All American Futurity and Derby History

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 2013, the All American Futurity is expected to reach the $2.6-million mark and reset the record as the world’s richest quarter horse race.