Hold Air Hostage Races To Top Time In $1.15-Million Rainbow Derby Trials
Hold Air Hostage, under jockey Rodrigo Vallejo, drives to fastest qualifying time in Sunday's $1.15 million Rainbow QH Derby(G1) trials at Ruidoso Downs.

© Gay Harris / Ruidoso Downs
Hold Air Hostage Races To Top Time In $1.15-Million Rainbow Derby Trials

RUIDOSO DOWNS, NM—JULY 9, 2017—Darling Farms’ Hold Air Hostage, a $40,000 supplemental nominee to enter the trials to the Grade 1, $1,150,000 Rainbow Derby, has an excellent opportunity to earn that payment after racing to the fastest Rainbow Derby qualifying time on Sunday afternoon.

The Rainbow Derby winner will receive $483,000.

The horses with the 10-fastest times from the 11 trials advance to 440-yard Rainbow Derby on July 22. The horses with the next 10-fastest times have preference to run in the $100,000 Corona Cartel on July 22.

All of the trials were contested on a wet-fast and sealed track at 440 yards.

Hold Air Hostage easily handled his rivals in the fifth trial. He quickly started from the gate and had a widening lane for his run to the wire.

Jess A Painted Wagon (#6) and Mysfit Fit (#5) qualifying in the sixth trial on Sunday. © Gay Harris / Ruidoso Downs
He extended his advantage with each stride and crossed the finish line two-and-one-quarter lengths in front of Revengerr. The Apollitical Jess-sired gelding was timed in :21.414 for the easy win over the quarter mile. Rodrigo Sigala Vallejo was the rider.

Trainer Judd Kearl had wanted owner Dan Darling to supplement Hold Air Hostage when he was racing at Remington Park this spring.

"He (Darling) said that Hold Air Hostage had to pay his way to Ruidoso," said Kearl. "Then he won the Heritage Place Derby so I said to him, ‘We’re going to Ruidoso."

Hold Air Hostage did more than just "pay his way to Ruidoso," he made a statement in the Grade 2, $297,000 Heritage Place Derby. Much like his Rainbow Derby trial, he went to the front and handled his rivals by one-and-three-quarter lengths.

The gelding showed his potential before the Heritage Place Derby. He won a conditioned allowance race and was a close second in his Heritage Place Derby trial. He then took care of business in the Heritage Place Derby and headed to Ruidoso.

The Kearl-trained Duponte — owned by Bobby Cox with Homero and Kristen Paredes — was the other supplemental nominee and also made the Rainbow Derby finals. He raced in the first trial and cruised to a one-and-one-half length win over odds-on favorite Tough To Bee, who finished in a dead heat for the win in the Grade 1, $800,000 Ruidoso Derby in his previous start.

Duponte, a son of American Runaway, posted the eighth-fastest qualifying time with Vallejo aboard.

Duponte kicked off the day in the first trial under jockey Rodrigo Vallejo. © Gay Harris / Ruidoso Downs
Bred by Cox, Duponte showed his class last year when he won the Grade 3, $268,000 Harrah’s Entertainment Futurity and the Grade 1, $1-million Heritage Place Futurity. He was a close second in the Grade 2, $385,000 Dash For Cash Futurity.

This year, he was fourth to Hold Air Hostage in the Heritage Place Derby.

"We just got him after the Heritage Place Derby," said Kearl. "He is just easy to train. He’s a pro."

Mike Joiner trains three of the Rainbow Derby finalists — second-fastest qualifier Jess A Painted Wagon, fifth-fastest qualifier Kitty Kiernan and 10th-fastest qualifier C Twister Seis.

R.D. Hubbard’s Jess A Painted Wagon, a $35,000 Ruidoso Select Yearling Sale purchase, scored a neck win in the sixth trial over third-fastest qualifier Myst Fit. Jess A Painted Wagon was timed in :21.493 while favored Myst Fit stopped the clock in :21.513.

Jess A Painted Wagon, a daughter of Pyc Paint Your Wagon, will be making her stakes debut in the Rainbow Derby. She came into the trials off a neck win in a conditioned allowance race.

"We took the blinkers off two starts ago and she’s made a lot of improvement," said jockey Cody Jensen. "As long as she can get away from the gate and has a hole to run through, she can do a lot of running on the other end."

Kitty Kiernan, a $68,000 Ruidoso Select Yearling Sale purchase, won the seventh trial in :21.535 over ninth-fastest qualifier Majestic Eagle, who was timed in :21.618.

Owned by Pat Guthrie, Billy Smith, Paul Blanchard and Andy Grooms, the FDD Dynasty-sired Kitty Kiernan came off a string of four second-place finishes before winning her Rainbow Derby trial.

Kitty Kiernan, under jockey Cody Jensen, qualifies from the seventh trial race. © Gay Harris / Ruidoso Downs
Randy Smith’s homebred C Twister Seis, ridden by Jensen, took the fourth trial by one-and-one-half lengths and earned a spot in the Rainbow Derby with her :21.639 time. The Tres Seis filly was third in the $100,000 Mr Jess Perry in her previous start.

For a complete list of qualifiers, times, sires, dams, owners, breeders, trainers and jockeys for the Grade 1 Rainbow Derby CLICK HERE.

For a list of the preferred invites for the $100,000 C-orona Cartel Invitational CLICK HERE.

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