Dm Streakn Thru Fire was best in the last half of the 440 yards and scored a 26-1 upset victory in the Grade 1, $200,000 All American Gold Cup at Ruidoso Downs on Saturday afternoon.
Richard Sturdevant, Terry Wootan and Joe David Yates’ Dm Streakn Thru Fire also earned an invitation to the Grade 1, $750,000 Champion Of Champions at Los Alamitos in December. This is the second year in a row that DM Streakn Thru Fire has earned an invite to the Champion of Champions. Last year he received one after winning the Zia Park Championship, but the connections opted not to send him to California because of the short amount of time between the Zia race at the Champion of Champions.
The All American Gold Cup is the most improved quarter horse race in recent history. The purse was boosted from $40,000 last year to this year’s $200,000 and it was awarded Grade 1 status after being run as a Grade 3 race last year. The winner now receives an invitation to the prestigious Grade 1, $750,000 Champion of Champions in December at Los Alamitos.
Dm Streakn Thru Fire, breaking from the fourth post position, bumped with Jody Pops Zoomer in the third post position when Jody Pops Zoomer bore out at the start. The incident did not deter Dm Streakn Thru Fire.
Ridden by Joe Badilla Jr., Dm Streakn Thru Fire was immediately in contention for the lead and fought gamely for the neck win over 12-1 outsider Jesscuzican. It was another neck back to third-place finisher Zoomin Away, who went off at 22-1 odds.
“I looked at his replays and this horse looked like he didn’t break as sharp as I like,” said Badilla. “But, he gave me a really good break today and I was on the lead from the get-go, he surged past them and held on to his position.”
Badilla retired in 2006 as a four-time national champion jockey and came back this year. The Gold Cup was his first Grade 1 stakes win since his comeback.
Dm Streakn Thru Fire, a gelding by Walk Thru Fire, covered the 440 yards in :21.472 for his first win since taking the Grade 1, $150,000 Zia Park Championship back in November. He was then third in the Grade 1, $350,000 The Championship at Sunland Park on December 30. In his three previous starts this year, his best finish was a fifth-place run in the Grade 1, $100,000 Leo Stakes at Remington Park this spring.
“He’s got a little age on him and he’s not as consistent as he used to be, but every once in a while he’ll fire one of those races and it was the right time today,” said trainer Mike Joiner. “We ran him in the Mr Jet Moore about a month ago and he didn’t run all that well, but after that he started training like he did when he was a 3-year-old. So, I thought there was a chance he might run one of those races today.”
Jody Pops Zoomer, the 19-10 favorite, finished eighth and 2-1 second choice Handsome Jack Flash was seventh in the full 10-horse field.