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© Jake Rogers / Ruidoso Downs
RUIDOSO DOWNS, NM—JUNE 23, 2019—The red-hot Valiant Tiberias will head a strong field in the $53,106 Adequan Ruidoso Derby Challenge at Ruidoso Downs on Saturday afternoon.
Valiant Tiberias is a surprise horse this summer at Ruidoso Downs. He was winless from three 2018 starts as a two-year-old and transformed into a horse with three wins from three starts at Ruidoso Downs this summer.
Owned by the partnership of Sergio Holquin, Cliften Nielsen and Felix Rodriguez, Valiant Tiberias started his streak by posting the fastest-qualifying time to the $116,840 Maiden Stakes. He was timed in :17.332 for the 350 yards and returned to win the finals by three quarters of a length as the 2-1 favorite.
It was a similar story in the trials to Adequan Ruidoso Derby Challenge. The Valiant Hero son won the first of three trials by two lengths and his time of :19.920 topped the qualifiers.
Valiant Tiberias starts from the eighth post position with James Flores aboard.
Victor Diaz’s Magnifico raced to his second consecutive win while taking the second trial with the second-fastest qualifying time of :20.098.
Two starts ago, the Pyc Paint Your Wagon-sired gelding battled to a head win in a SunRay Park allowance race. Magnifico Trainer Martin Orona Jr. will have Efren Aguilar ride Magnifico from the outside post position in the 10-horse field.
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