The eyes of Texas are upon the Gold Rush Futurity. Thermistor became the third-straight Texas-based horse to win Colorado’s richest race on Sunday at Arapahoe Park. The 2-year-old chestnut colt captured the six-furlong, $100,000 stakes race for 2-year-olds by three-quarters of a length in 1:11.31.
Jockey Danny Sorenson, who rode Thermistor to victory in the horse’s only previous career start in a maiden race at Lone Star Park in Texas on July 15, took Thermistor to the early lead. Thermistor dueled with Fortified Effort, a shipper from Iowa ridden by Ry Eikleberry for his father trainer Kevin Eikleberry. Fortified Effort took the lead in the homestretch, but Thermistor fought back for the win.
“This colt is really quick away from the gate,” said Sorenson, who was riding in his first race at Arapahoe Park. “He broke sharp, and then he stays to his task. He doesn’t mind the pressure of horses, and he’s really talented.”
Thermistor’s trainer, J.R. Caldwell, also won the 2016 Gold Rush Futurity with Bling On the Music, the first filly in Arapahoe Park history to defeat male horses in the track’s most prestigious race.
Texas Chrome captured the 2015 Gold Rush en route to becoming just the second Texas-bred ever to earn more than $1 million and only the second horse that has raced in Colorado to compete in the Breeders’ Cup.
“We had big shoes to fill to repeat this time around,” said Fred Taylor, managing partner of Mojo Racing Partners, who own Thermistor with Caldwell.
Wild West Ranger and jockey Andre Ramgeet finished the best of the Colorado-based horses in third.
The Gold Rush Futurity was the highlight of the final weekend of the 2017 season at Arapahoe Park. For Quarter Horses on Sunday, Regard the Rose improved to three-for-three with a victory by three-quarters of a length in the 400-yard, $30,000 Arapahoe Park Quarter Horse Futurity in 19.857 seconds for leading Arapahoe Quarter Horse jockey Alfredo Triana Jr., trainer Juan Chavez Ortega, and owner Mason King. Heza Poppin Dynasty, who was also on a two-race win streak coming into the race, finished second, and Cherry Creek Futurity winner Indomable Cartel took third.
Flare for Ivory and jockey Tanner Thedford set a new track record for 300 yards with victory by a neck in 15.420 seconds in the $24,824 Arapahoe Park Sprint Bonus Challenge, bettering the previous track record of 15.432 seconds they had set at the beginning of the season in the Dash For Speed Stakes.
Dewey and jockey Carl Williams pulled off a 23-1 upset in the 1 1/8-mile, $30,000 Arapahoe Park Classic on Saturday, giving Russell Vicchrilli, a former Arapahoe Park leading jockey, his first stakes win as a trainer.
Coming off a victory in the Bitterroot Derby at Sandy Downs in Idaho, Movin the Doe came to Colorado to win Saturday’s 400-yard, $30,000 Arapahoe Park Quarter Horse Derby. With jockey Jesus Osuna up for trainer Roberto Treto and owner Luis Gonzales, Movie the Doe edged away for victory by three-quarters of a length over Smoky Hill Stakes winner Dauns First Desirio in 19.590 seconds.
Twisted Regan defended her title in the 1 1/16-mile, $40,000 Spicy Stakes for Colorado-bred fillies and mares on Saturday. Jockey Karlo Lopez propelled the 5-year-old mare trained by Butch Gleason through an opening on the rail around the far turn. Twisted Regan pulled away to win by 3 1/4 lengths in 1:47.00 over A J’s Grand and Lucy Loves Nana.