Quarter Horse racing: Ruidoso spot plays for Memorial Day weekend

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May 21st, 2020

Racing returns to Ruidoso Downs on May 22, and the action across Memorial Day weekend promises to be exciting, competitive, and quite possibly lucrative for bettors.

Quarter Horses will take the spotlight, with a series of trials for the Ruidoso Quarter Horse Futurity and Ruidoso Quarter Horse Derby, followed by the John Andreini Memorial S. for older runners.

Let’s tackle the opening-weekend action with a trio of spot plays.

Saturday, May 23

Race 5: Ruidoso Quarter Horse Futurity Trials (350 yards, 3:32 p.m. ET)

High-percentage trainer Monty Arrossa excels at conditioning 2-year-olds and is winning at a 29% rate with juveniles in 2020. His runner #10 If Im Lyin Im Dyin (7-2) has already shown promise in two starts at Remington Park, where he finished fourth (upgraded to third via disqualification) in the Oklahoma Futurity Trial, then improved to second when beaten a neck in a 250-yard maiden race.

Im Lyin Im Dyin didn’t get a clean trip on either occasion, so perhaps the outside draw in Saturday’s test will give him the opportunity to enjoy an unencumbered trip. We’ll bet him to win and box him in the exacta with #2 B Cause Im a Hero (3-1), who won the Remington Park Futurity Trial against Oklahoma-breds two starts back.

$10 to win on #10 If Im Lyin Im Dyin
$5 exacta box: 2,10 ($10)

Sunday, May 24

Race 6: Ruidoso Quarter Horse Derby Trials (400 yards, 5:05 p.m. ET)

#1 Kj Mucho Macho Man (3-1) hasn’t yet accomplished as much as the Thoroughbred Mucho Macho Man, who won of the 2013 Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1), but this 3-year-old Quarter Horse is heading in the right direction.

The Wesley Giles-trained runner hasn’t missed the trifecta in eight starts, including a runner-up effort in the Texas Classic Juvenile S., and he enters off a decisive 1 3/4-length victory in a Sunland Park allowance.

With hot jockey Alan Hernandez in the saddle, Kj Mucho Macho Man is a deserving favorite. But #5 Midnight Moonlyte (7-2), winner of the 2019 Ruidoso Quarter Horse Juvenile S., could put up a fight if he runs back to his fine juvenile form.

We’ll play them together in the exacta but favor Kj Mucho Macho Man with a win bet.

$10 to win on #1 Kj Mucho Macho Man
$5 exacta box: 1,5 ($10)  

Monday, May 25

Race 11: John Andreini Memorial S. (350 yards, 7:10 p.m. ET)

#3 New News (7-2) delivered an impressive performance in the 350-yard Rio Grande H. (G3) at Sunland Park three months ago. The 4-year-old gelding didn’t get off to the most alert start, yet he recovered to battle for the lead and prevailed by a head in a driving finish.

New News can vie for victory again at 350 yards, but if you like his chances, you have to consider #2 Magnifico (8-1), as well.

In his first run of the season, Magnifico was beaten less than a length in the Rio Grande, after he carved out the pace. With the benefit of a run under his belt, Magnifico can get involved at a price, with up-and-coming jockey Paul Osbaldo Garcia in the saddle.

Let’s key New News and Magnifico on top of a trifecta, and add #4 Consigliere (3-1), #7 Jess Botticelli (12-1), and #9 Bluemoonteller (9-2) underneath.

$1 trifecta: 2,3 with 2,3,4,7,9 with 2,3,4,7,9 ($24)

Good luck!