Graded Winner Maxx Returns to Win Column in Adequan Ruidoso Derby Trials
Maxx (#3) and Marseille (#7 cruise to the top two qualifying spots in the 2017 Adequan Ruidoso Derby Challenge Saturday afternoon at Ruidoso Downs.

© Gay Harris / Ruidoso Downs
Graded Winner Maxx Returns to Win Column in Adequan Ruidoso Derby Trials

RUIDOSO DOWNS, NM—JUNE 17, 2017—Last year's Sam Houston Juvenile Challenge(G3) winner Maxx dug in under jockey Jose Alvarez to defeat Marseille by a neck while setting the fastest qualifying time for the Adequan Ruidoso Derby Challenge Saturday afternoon at Ruidoso Downs.

The 10 fastest qualifiers, from three trail races contested for Challenge-Enrolled 3-year-olds, will return to Ruidoso Downs on Saturday, July 1st to vie for the winner's share of a $22,500-added purse going 400 yards.

Also at stake will be a starting spot in the $180,000 Guaranteed Grade 3 Adequan Derby Challenge Championship to be contested on Bank of America Challenge Championship Night October 14th at Prairie Meadows.

Rock About It (#2) gets his head in front in the opening trial under jockey Bentio Baca. © Gay Harris / Ruidoso Downs
Saddled by AQHA Racing champion trainer Judd Kearl, Maxx completed the 400-yard course in :19.555 seconds, a 96-speed index into a 2-mph headwind, to land the top qualifying time.

Maxx, a gelded son of leading sire Pyc Paint Your Wagon, races for owner Irma Vargas. Bred in Oklahoma by Jim Gubas, Maxx has compiled a (9) 4-1-0 record and earned $86,824. Out of the Bully Bullion mare Bullions N Garters, Maxx was fifth in last year's Grade 1 Texas Classic Futurity at Lone Star Park. In his last start Maxx finished second in the Grade 3 Sam Houston Derby was disqualified and placed ninth.

The aforementioned Marseille, ridden by jockey Jose Ortiz, held on to the second fastest clocking of :19.597 seconds for owner Hugo Esquivel and trainer Juan Esquivel. The lightly raced son of leading sire FDD Dynasty was making only his fourth career start. Still a maiden, Marseille was bred in Colorado by C. and L. Jointer and S. and D. Kidd from the Separatist mare Kr Dragonfly.

Coming off a great season at Remington Park, trainer Tammy Kay Johnson saddled Rock About It to a head win in the first trial to record the third fastest time of :19.746 seconds, a 92-speed index.

Owned by Rockin J Running Horses, Benito Jude Baca rode Rock About It to his third win in eight starts. Sarah Donaldson Rioux bred the sorrel gelding in New Mexico from the Coronas Blackdiamond mare Not Sable Shes Rose. In his prior start, Rock About It finished sixth in the Grade 2 $297,100 Heritage Place Derby at Remington Park.

After bobbling the break, Mahoney N Tacklebery rallied to win the second trial, however there were no qualifiers from that heat.

For a complete list of qualifiers, times, sires, dams, owners, breeders, trainers and jockeys for the Adequan Ruidoso Derby Challenge CLICK HERE.

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