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© Jake Rogers / Ruidoso Downs
RUIDOSO DOWNS, NM—JUNE 29, 2019—Valiant Tiberias dominated the $53,108 Adequan Ruidoso Derby Challenge for his fourth consecutive win on Saturday afternoon at Ruidoso Downs.
A perfect 4-for4 this season, he was winless from three starts last year.
Valiant Tiberias, the odds-on favorite, crossed the finish line an increasing three quarters of a length ahead of Fast Gold Prize. Conquering Marie was a neck behind Fast Gold Prize for third.
A gelding by Valiant Hero, Valiant Tiberias was timed in :19.594 for the 400 yards.
"He ran super," winning rider James Flores said. "He was relaxed in the gate."
Winning trainer Ricardo Armendariz said that it was probably Valiant Tiberias' best start.
Valiant Tiberias won the $116,840 Maiden Stakes on May 27 and then won his Adequan Ruidoso Derby Challenge trial by two lengths with the fastest-qualifying time of :19.920 for 400 yards.
Owned by Sergio Holguin, Cliften Nielsen and Felix Rodriguez, Valiant Tiberias has been successfully climbing the class ladder and that could continue.
Reliance Ranches LLC bred the brown gelding in Oklahoma from the Feature Mr Jess mare American Feature. He has compiled a (7) 4-1-1 record and banked nearly $81,000 after pocketing $24,420 in the Adequan Derby today.
Armendariz said that Valiant Tiberias could be supplemented to the trials of the Grade 1, $1-million (est.) All American Derby on August 18 at a cost of $50,000. "Most importantly, we will see how he pulls up," Armendariz said. "If he does pull up well, then we will meet and see if we want to go on with the plan (of supplementing him to the All American Derby trials)."
The win in the Adequan Ruidoso Derby Challenge earned Valiant Tiberias a starting berth in the Grade 3, $150,000 Adequan Derby Challenge Championship at Albuquerque Downs on October 26.
Valiant Tiberias joined the Armendariz stable early this year and was unruly. The trainer was ready to send the horse back home after a week in his care. However, the gelding kept improving and now has the top echelon of his division on the agenda.
Bred in Oklahoma by Weetona Stanley, Fast Gold Prize is a daughter of champion Hez Our Secret from the Corona Cartel mare Fast Prize Corona. Racing for Daniel Balderrama and Edgar Del Real Torres, Fast Gold Prize earned $10, 622 to boost her earnings mark to over $47,000. Jaime Leos was riding for trainer Cynthia Gonzalez.
Third-place finisher Conquering Marie races for the aforementioned owner/breeder Reliance Ranches LLC and is conditioned by Mike Robbins. Champion jockey Cody Jenson was aboard the Coronado Cartel filly from the Walk Thru Fire mare Illegal Fireworks. She earned $5,311 for the effort.
The Higheasterjet Handicap was a trifecta for Lazy E Ranch stallions who sired the top three finishers.
Chasing Valiant, Magnifico, C Breeze, New Moon Dynasty, Confidential Class, Jess Master Angel and Jakes Baby Wagon completed the field.
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