Community Leader (pictured) and Higher Ed, a pair of homebred geldings owned by J. Kirk and Judy Robison of El Paso, Texas, won the two 5 1/2-furlong Rio Grande Senor Futurity (R) trials for New Mexico-bred 2-year-old Thoroughbred colts and geldings at Ruidoso Downs on July 21.

Ridden by Felipe Valdez for trainer Todd Fincher, Community Leader won the first trial by 6 3 /4 lengths in 1:07.16. The chestnut gelding led at every call while earning his third win in as many starts.

“My horse was in hand the entire race,” said Valdez of Community Leader. “He seems to be doing everything with ease. I never really asked him for anything, and he still pulled away.”

Community Leader is a son of the Artax stallion Diabolical out of the winning Midnight Lute mare Midnight Summer, a Kentucky-bred mare purchased by the Robisons for $32,000 at the 2016 Keeneland September Yearling Sale. Community Leader’s second dam, Indy Summer, is an unplaced daughter of A.P. Indy who has produced four winners from eight starters.

Community Leader traces back to his third dam, Wife For Life, a winning and stakes-placed Dynaformer mare who foaled Hollywood Story, a half sister to Indy Summer who won four graded stakes in California from 2003-06, including the ‘’03 Hollywood Starlet Stakes (G1) and 2006 Vanity Invitational Handicap (G1), both at Hollywood Park. The gelding has banked $75,980, much of which came from his victory in the 5-furlong, $132,760 Mountain Top Futurity (R) at Ruidoso Downs in June.

Higher Ed won the second Senor Futurity trial by three-quarters of a length in 1:07.58. Christian Ramos rode the dark bay or brown Sporting Chance gelding for trainer Todd Fincher.

Higher Ed has won two of three races and has earned $25,531, and he ran third, 1 1/4 lengths behind Community Leader, in the Mountain Top Futurity. The gelding is the first starter produced by African Heat, a homebred 7-year-old Southwestern Heat mare who won the 2018 Rio Grande Senorita Futurity (R) at Ruidoso Downs, and the ’19 La Senora Stakes (R) at Sunland Park.

Kid Custer, a dark bay or brown Sporting Chance colt trained by Todd Fincher for owner Buckway Ranch LLC, finished fifth in the second trial. Kid Custer is one of two winners from four starters foaled by Twixy Roll, a daughter of Roll Hennessy Roll who won two stakes during her 2-year-old season, including the 2014 Rio Grande Senorita Futurity.

The complete list of finalists appears in alphabetical order below. Note that Holy Bullet and Sports Idol finished in a dead heat for fifth in the first trial, and a shake will take place in the Ruidoso Downs race office to determine which horse will race in the final.

Horse (Sex, Pedigree)OwnerBreeder (State)Trainer
G, Comfort-Weekends For Love by Not For Love
Sam E. Stevens and Sammy L. StevensSam E. Stevens and Sammy L. Stevens (NM)Todd Fincher
G, Diabolical-Midnight Summer by Midnight Lute
Kirk and Judy RobisonJ. Kirk and Judy Robison (NM)Todd Fincher
G, Sporting Chance-African Heat by Southwestern Heat
Kirk and Judy RobisonJ. Kirk and Judy Robison (NM)Todd Fincher
C, Marking-Crafty Contessa by Giacomo
Jimmy Powers and Rebecca PowersJim Volk (NM)Casey Lambert
G, Sporting Chance-Isotope by Successful Appeal
Molly B. MorrisBrad King and Chris Coleman (NM)Bart Hone
C, Sporting Chance-Twixy Roll by Roll Hennessy Roll
Buckway Ranch LLCDale Taylor (NM)Todd Fincher
G, Latigo Shore-Doc’s Fu Peg by Fusaichi Pegasus
Julie PaproskiJulie Paproski (NM)Greg Green
G, Sporting Chance-Souma by Mr. Greeley
J. Kirk and Judy RobisonJ. Kirk and Judy Robison (NM)Todd Fincher
G, Attila’s Storm-Baby Vamp by Southwestern Heat
Reliance Ranches LLCReliance Ranches LLC (NM)Todd Fincher
G, Shame On Charlie-Drink Mo Hennessy by Roll Hennessy Roll
Mary W. BalchMary W. Balch (NM)Casey Lambert
G, Sporting Chance-Shezapirate by Desert God
Mike H. Carson and Bill CarsonAllen Farm LLC (NM)Dallas Barton