Weekend Quarter Horse spot plays for Ruidoso Downs

Profile Picture: J. Keeler Johnson

May 29th, 2020

The second weekend of racing at Ruidoso Downs brings plenty of quality, competitive Quarter Horse racing to the table. Five trials for the $100,000 Ruidoso Maiden Stakes will take place on Saturday, followed by the $25,000 Dash for Speed S. on Sunday.

Let’s tackle the action with a trio of spot plays:

Saturday, May 30

Race 2: Ruidoso Maiden Stakes Trials

(350 yards, 3:26 p.m. ET)

Nine-time Grade 1-winning jockey Salvador Martinez hasn’t ridden much over the last couple of years, but he rates a strong chance to reach the winner’s circle on Saturday aboard #2 Good Reason Tolove (5-2). Under the care of trainer Chris Zamora, this 3-year-old filly hasn’t finished worse than third in five starts, including a trio of maiden special weights against males at Zia Park and Sunland Park.

Good Reason Tolove V is cutting back slightly in distance from 400 yards, which figures to be a beneficial shift considering her best efforts have come over shorter trips. Her stiffest competition could come from #1 Jess Find Me (4-1), runner-up in a division of the Ruidoso Futurity Trial over this track and distance last Sunday. Hailing from the highly successful stable of Michael Joiner, who has 25 Grade 1 wins to his credit, Jess Find Me can challenge for victory if she improves at all in her second run.

Let’s box Good Reason Tolove V and Jess Find Me in the exacta:

  • $10 Exacta Box: 1-2 ($20)

Race 5: Ruidoso Maiden Stakes Trials

(350 yards, 4:44 p.m. ET)

#1 Apolitical Thumbs Up (5-2) hasn’t finished out of the trifecta in his last five starts, including a Feb. 16 maiden special weight at Sunland Park, where he missed by just a neck dashing 330 yards. Hot jockey Jaime Parga Leos (3-for-7 to start the meet) will retain the mount for up-and-coming trainer Janell Sanderson, who saddled New News to win the John Andreini Memorial S. on opening weekend.

Apolitical Thumbs Up should find Saturday’s field a bit easier to handle, so let’s bet him to win and play him on top of a small exacta with #3 Jess Cuz Pyc Can (7-2), a lightly-raced 3-year-old boasting two runner-up efforts from three starts at Ruidoso:

  • $20 to Win on #1 Apolitical Thumbs Up
  • $5 Exacta: 1 with 3
  • Total: $25

Sunday, May 31

Race 10: Dash for Speed S.

(350 yards, 6:54 p.m. ET)

#2 Mystic Blues (3-1) showed plenty of potential last year, winning three times and placing fourth in the $1 million Rainbow Derby (G1) at Ruidoso. She also kicked off 2020 on a promising note, finishing fifth by just a half-length against males in the Rio Grande H. (G3) at Sunland Park. The winner was the above-mentioned New News, who came right back to win the John Andreini Memorial S.

With this prep run under her belt, Mystic Blues should be tough to beat while facing fellow fillies and mares. We’ll bet her to win and key her on top in the exacta and trifecta while boxing #4 Dashin Special Cuz (6-1) and #7 Tempting Love (7-2) underneath:

  • $20 to Win on #2 Mystic Blues
  • $5 Exacta: 2 with 4,7 ($10)
  • $5 Trifecta: 2 with 4,7 with 4,7 ($10)
  • Total: $40

Good luck!