Preview Racing

Grade 1, $850,000 Ruidoso Derby Headlines Saturday Program at Ruidoso Downs
All American Futurity(G1) winner KJ Desparado will head Saturday's $850,000 Ruidoso Derby (G1) at Ruidoso Downs.

Ernesto Salinas / StallioneSearch
Grade 1, $850,000 Ruidoso Derby Headlines Saturday Program at Ruidoso Downs


Ten 3-year-olds, headed by morning-line favorite KJ Desparado, are entered in Saturday's 400-yard, $850,000 Ruidoso Derby (G1) at Ruidoso Downs.

The second-fastest qualifier from 10 trials run on May 29, KJ Desparado is a gelded son of world champion Apollitical Jess trained by Wes Giles for owners John and Kathy Lee and Ruben Mares.

KJ Desparado is coming off of a 2-year-old campaign during which he earned $2,104,961 from 10 races and won the 440-yard, $3-million All American Futurity (G1) at Ruidoso Downs and 400-yard, $1.115-million Texas Classic Futurity (G1) at Lone Star Park.

KJ Desparado drew post 3 and will be ridden by Adrian Ramos.

Lethal Avenger, a gelded son of Volcom and the fastest qualifier, has won his last five outs, including the fourth Ruidoso Derby trial. Lethal Avenger is trained by Fred Danley for owners J & SM Inc., Don Reynolds and Lane Reynolds, and his win streak includes last year's 400-yard, $252,000 La Fiesta Futurity at Albuquerque Downs, and the February 5, 400-yard West Texas Derby (G1) at Sunland Park.

Lethal Avenger drew post 9 and will be ridden by Noe Garcia Jr.

The complete lineup, in post position order including jockey assignments and morning-line odds:
  1. Tommie Eagle (Raul Ramirez Jr.), 12-1
  2. Kiss The Cartel (Ricky Ramirez), 10-1
  3. KJ Desparado (Adrian Ramos), 5-2
  4. Mr Apollo Jess (Juan Pulido), 5-1
  5. Muy Peligrosito (Sergio Becerra Jr.), 8-1
  6. Six Shaker (Francisco Calderon), 20-1
  7. The Big Favorite (Eduardo Nicasio), 10-1
  8. Mperativ (Cordarelton J. Benn), 6-1
  9. Lethal Avenger (Noe Garcia Jr.), 3-1
  10. Double Duty (Raul A. Valenzuela), 15-1

Also on Saturday, a dozen sophomores -- including two also-eligibles -- are entered in the 400-yard, $100,000 Ruidoso Invitational Stakes.

Valeriano Racing Stables' A Pollitical Candy V drew post 10 and will be ridden by Juan Pulido for trainer Santos Carrizales Jr. A California-bred son of Apollitical Jess, the gelding has banked $49,025 from four races this season, and his record includes a second-place finish, three-quarters of a length behind winner Scoops Dynasty, in the 400-yard, $212,000 Los Alamitos Winter Derby (G1) on February 19.

All Ruidoso Downs races can be seen at Q-Racing