Reliance Ranches’ Leading Cartel (pictured, green cap), a homebred graded stakes-winning son of Big Daddy Cartel, is one of 52 state-bred 2-year-olds entered in Friday’s 400-yard New Mexico State Fair Futurity (RG3) trials at Albuquerque Downs.
Leading Cartel will be making his first official start since June 13, when the gelding scored a neck victory in the 350-yard, $334,000 Mountain Top Futurity (RG2) for New Mexico-breds at Ruidoso Downs. Leading Cartel has won all three of his races and has earned $161,911.
Leading Cartel was a $45,000 yearling purchase at last year’s New Mexico-Bred Sale. He drew the rail post and will be ridden by Esgar Ramirez for trainer Mike Robbins in the third of six trials.
Woodys Gold, a son of Woodbridge trained by Clint Crawford for owner Cavenaugh Quarter Horses drew post 8 and will be ridden by Francisco Calderon in the fourth heat. The gelding has banked $133,303 from four outs, all at Ruidoso Downs, and he ran second in both the Mountain Top and Zia (RG1) futurities.
Other prominent 2-year-olds entered in Friday’s trials include Rex Wells’ Bigg Dee. A $30,000 yearling purchase at last year’s New Mexico-Bred Sale, the Big Daddy Cartel gelding has earned $25,700 from four races, and his two wins include a wire-to-wire, 1 1/4-length victory in the 400-yard, $50,000 Zia Juvenile Stakes (R) at Ruidoso Downs on July 26.
Bigg Dee drew post 7 and will be ridden by Mario Delgado for trainer James Gonzales II.
The 10 fastest qualifiers will meet in the September 20, $500,000-est. New Mexico State Fair Futurity final.