Archive for August, 2007

All American Futurity connections

Friday, August 31st, 2007

While prospective buyers were reviewing horses the day before the start of the Ruidoso Select Quarter Horse Yearling Sale, Dr. Janis Spencer Murray was sitting near her MJ Farms consignment visiting with fellow consignor Kirk Goodfellow.

Murray and Goodfellow, who have known each other since they both began racing horses in Utah, 30 years ago, are the breeders of the two likely public favorites in Monday’s $2 million All American Futurity.

Murray and her husband, Mac Murray, bred undefeated Wild Six in the name of the couple’s MJ Farms of Veguita, New Mexico. Goodfellow bred Heartswideopen, the fastest qualifier for the race (Wild Six was the second-fastest qualifier). The two fillies will start side-by-side on Monday in Quarter racing’s most anticipated match-up of the year.

Wild Six’s fourth dam is Synchrocept, a stakes-winning daughter of Zevi (TB) that raced in the Intermountain region and at Los Alamitos. Synchrocept founded a family that has produced MJ Farms’ most successful runners, including Grade 1 winner Champagne Lane and her son, Kendall Jackson. Wild Six’s second dam, stakes-winning Famous Chapelle, is the dam of the Murray’s homebred 2001 All American Futurity finalist, Love That Chapelle, by Blushing Bug.

MJ Farms sold Wild Six, by Tres Seis, at last year’s Ruidoso Select Yearling Sale for $32,000. On Sunday, during the final session of the sale, the Murrays will sell the filly’s half-sister Wildside, from the first crop sired by deceased Grade 1 winner The Down Side.

Goodfellow, who moved to Nacogdoches, TX from Utah in 1999, sold Heartswideopen, by Feature Mr Jess, for $60,000 at last year’s Ruidoso Select Yearling Sale. On Saturday, his Dreams Come True Ranch will sell her half-sister sired by Mr Jess Perry. The same night, Goodfellow will also sell a Shazoom colt that is half-brother to multiple champion Catchmeinyourdreams.

In 2000, the Murrays relocated their breeding operation from Utah to New Mexico, after the introduction of slot machines at the state’s racetracks promised a lucrative breeding and racing program. Successful stallion Dash Ta Fame stands at MJ Farms, as well as Furyofthewind, a half-brother to Heartswideopen bred and owned by Goodfellow. Four-year-old stakes winner Furyofthewind is currently back in training at Los Alamitos.

VIP oversees sale consignments

Thursday, August 30th, 2007

Tammy is a Very Important Pup at Hawn-Holt Ranch, home of Quarter racing’s Broodmare of the Year Corona Chick. The two-year-old Jack Russell terrier belongs to Bennie Greathouse, manager of Hawn-Holt Ranch’s breeding operation. For more than a decade, the Texas Hill Country ranch, owned by Julianna Hawn-Holt and Peter Holt, owners of the San Antonio Spurs, has been a leading consignor at the Ruidoso Select Yearling Sales. Last year’s sale topper, Captain Courage at $415,000, was a Hawn-Holt consignment.

When I arrived at the ranch earlier this month to photograph yearlings, Tammy greeted me in the barn by sitting straight up on her haunches, unprompted, then was off in a flash to find Greathouse. As each yearling was led out of the barn, Tammy quietly followed Greathouse, then waited patiently while each horse was set up and photographed.

By now, anyone reading this who has owned a Jack Russell, or been in the vicinity of one, knows one of the reasons why Tammy is so special. The only hint of Jack Russell behavior during the photo shoot came when Greathouse led the horses back to the barn. Tammy would wait until he turned down the barn aisle, then race to catch up – a self-controlled concession, perhaps, to her genes.

It is possible that Tammy realizes she’s no match for the ranch’s yearlings, when it comes to speed. This week two Hawn-Holt Ranch-bred horses are among the top contenders in the $2 million All American Futurity and the $500,000 All American Derby at Ruidoso Downs: Captain Courage and Valiant Hero (pictured as a yearling with Greathouse), respectively.

Tammy was given to Greathouse as a gift by friends at the ranch, after his Jack Russell Tina was hit by a truck. “She was the only female in a large litter and we thought that she would grow to be regular size,” said Velda Readel, one of the friends who purchased Tammy for Greathouse. “She goes everywhere with Bennie and really does not know that she is so small.”

The cuteness factor – that’s the other thing special about Tammy. She has delicate features, stubby legs, and a body about the size and shape of a loaf of homemade bread.

“She really is one of the most special dogs I’ve ever been associated with,” said Readel, the ranch’s office manager. “Even people who are not dog lovers end up falling in love with her. Literally, everyone who sees her wants her. I always tell Bennie that if we could just clone her, we could retire.”

After Sunday, the last day of the Ruidoso Select Yearling Sale, Tammy will have a chance to relax a bit and get back to regular ranch duties, until foaling season begins.

Among Hawn-Holt’s consignment to this week’s sale is Mighty Corona, half-brother to Captain Courage, and full brother to All American Futurity winner and four-time running champion Corona Cash.

Northwest CHA Ranch Festival Futurity

Wednesday, August 29th, 2007

Shad Platt won the Northwest CHA Ranch Festival Futurity on August 27 riding Smokes Little Remedy, owned by Rance and Rhea Smith of Eagle Point, Oregon. Smokes Little Remedy is the first NCHA money earner for his sire, Mr Southern Smoke. The 3-year-old’s dam is Smart Little Remedy, a Smart Little Lena mare that Julie Roddy rode to both the Open and Non-Pro finals of the 1989 NCHA Futurity. Here’s a look at all of the finalists in the Northwest CHA Ranch Festival Futurity, held in Fort Klamath, Oregon:

222.0 Smokes Little Remedy, R: Platt, Shad; O: Smith, Rance or Rhea
s (Mr Southern Smoke x Smart Little Remedy, by Smart Little Lena)
Earned: $20,099

218.0 Babes Stylish Cat, R: Jordan, Gavin; O: Chatfield, Corey
s (High Brow Cat x Shes A Stylish Babe, by Docs Stylish Oak)
Earned: $16,069

215.0 Bodee Me Up, R: Miller, Russ; O: Martin, Frank & Bonnie
m (Bodee Boonsmal x Smart Me Up, by Smart Little Lena)
Earned: $12,388

214.0 Hickorys Dual Pep, R: Long, Tom; O: Ruby View Quarter Horses
s (Dual Pep x Hickorys Red Rey, by Doc’s Hickory)
Earned: $8,707

213.5 Cats Full Moon, R: Schlesinger, Steve; O: Brinkman Ranch
s (High Brow Cat x Darlin Little Dually, by Dual Pep)
Earned: $5,417

213.5 Pouncin, R: Miller, Russ; O: Foote, Kathy & Jonathan
m (High Brow Cat x Sneakin Up Onu, by Sneakin Lena)
Earned: $5,417

213.5 Ms Indian Pep, R: Weis, Scott; O: Douglas, Michael
m (Hickorys Indian Pep x Sr Jet Setter, by Smart Little Lena)
Earned: $5,417

213.0 Ragtimes Lil Grace, R: Smith, Tim; O: Hare Quarter Horses
m (Smart Little Pistol x Ragtime CD, by CD Olena)
Earned: $4,357

213.0 Ilikethewayyoumove, R: Johnsrud, Chris; O: Silverberg, Suzanne Rodoni
(Ill Be Smart x A Glows Little Rio, by Powder River Playboy)
Earned: $4,357

211.0 A Little Bit Reycy, R: Long, Tom; O: Long, Jill & Tom
s (Dual Rey x Hicks Little Diamond, by Doc’s Hickory)
Earned: $3,974

211.0 Diamond J Stardom, R: Cromer, Morgan; O: Siebel, Judy
s (Diamond J Star x Little Valedictorian, by Smart Little Lena)
Earned: $3,974

210.0 Smart Cha Ching, R: Miller, Russ; O: Miller, Jill & Russ
m (Smart Little Lena x Quanahs Miss N Reno, by Quanah O Lena)
Earned: $3,592

210.0 Smart Tule Light, R: Long, Tom; O: Freeman, Rees & Nicole
g (San Tule Freckles x Lenas Light Star, by Grays Starlight)
Earned: $3,592

209.0 CR Roan Ranger, R: Cromer, Morgan; O: Freitas, Eric
m (Hes A Peptospoonful x My How Nice, by Dual Pep)
Earned: $3,209

209.0 See Da Sugar, R: Smith, Tim; O: McNeel, Wayne or Kathryn
s (CD Royal x Travasugar, by Travalena)
Earned: $3,209

208.0 Blazin Cattin, R: Sargood, Matt; O: Knutson, Ron
s (Cattin x Salena Starlight, by Grays Starlight)
Earned: $2,922

206.0 Sheree Boonsmal, R: Smith, Tim; O: Jenkins, Ross & Carol
m (Peptoboonsmal x My Sweet Sheree, by Freckles Playboy)
Earned: $2,731

203.0 Missin Starlena, R: Platt, Shad; O: Nevis, Sam
m (Pastels Smart Lena x Missin Bunny, by Miss N Cash)
Earned: $2,539

198.0 Imadazzlintaz, R: Weis, Scott; O: Sandford, Julie
m (Pepto Taz x Jamie Montana, by Montana Doc)
Earned: $2,348

195.0 PPH A Real Playgun, R: Hanson, Phil; O: Peterson, Sheryl & Tom
s (Playgun x A Real Desire, by Genuine Doc)
Earned: $2,157

191.0 Rumsmal Doll, R: Campbell, Tom; O: Ward, Carol
m (Bodee Boonsmal x Classy Squall, by Rum Squall)
Earned: $2,000

191.0 Smart Crackin Taz, R: Hanson, Phil; O: Holt, Jack & Heidi
m (Pepto Taz x Smart Crack, by High Brow Hickory)
Earned: $2,000

189.0 Dual Peps Diva, R: Setnicka, Grant; O: Black Rock Ranch
m (Dual Pep x Smokin Huntress, by Smokin Jose)
Earned: $2,000

182.0 Time For A Replay, R: Sargood, Matt; O: Dillion, Carmen
s (To Short To Play x Peppys Little Windy, by Pirate Peppy)
Earned: $2,000

0.0 Du Bellena, R: Smith, Tim; O: Bachelor, Bill
m (Dual Pep x Belles Little Lena, by Smart Little Lena)
Earned: $2,000

0.0 Merrys Peppy Taz, R: Weis, Scott; O: Brazill, Mark & Shelly
m (Pepto Taz x Merry Playgirl, by Freckles Playboy)
Earned: $2,000

0.0 Play N Time, R: Costello, Dave; O: Petterson, Steven & Kay
m (Peptotime x Play Barbie Doll, by Freckles Playboy)
Earned: $2,000

All American Futurity field down to eight

Tuesday, August 28th, 2007

Only eight horses are likely compete for the winner’s prize of $1 million in the 49th running of the $2 million, All American Futurity on Monday, September 3 at Ruidoso Downs. It is expected that Sure I Fly and Royal Holland Line, the third and 10th fastest qualifiers for the 440-yard dash will be scratched due to injuries.

Anticipation mounts with the approach of the Ruidoso Select Quarter Horse Yearling Sale, August 31, September 1 and 2, where siblings of four of the five fastest qualifiers for this year’s race will go under the hammer. Special interest is sure to attend Lot #224, a three-quarter brother to Heartswideopen, the filly who qualified for the All American Futurity with an all-time trial record of  20.921 and the fastest 440-yard time ever run by a female.

A $60,000 All American Select Yearling Sale purchase, Heartswideopen, has already earned $282,690 with five wins from six starts, including a stakes record victory in the Ruidoso Futurity. The Feature Mr Jess daughter, who is out of two-time running champion Dashing Phoebe, is trained by Carl Draper for Javier and Manny Rodriguez.

Wild Six, the second-fastest qualifier and a $32,000 sale purchase, is undefeated in six starts, with earnings of $459,903. The Tres Seis daughter, trained by Wes Giles for Lee, Sherwood and Mineer, counts the Rainbow Futurity and the West Texas Futurity among her victories. Her half-sister, Wildside, by The Down Side and the second foal out of Wild Vines, sells in the Ruidoso Select Quarter Horse Yearling Sale as Lot #405.

Sure I Fly was sent off at odds of 35 to 1 to finish second in his All American trial to Heartswideopen. The Strawfly Special gelding, trained by Todd Fincher for Double Bar S Ranch, had failed in attempts to qualify for the Ruidoso Futurity and the Rainbow Futurity, and came into the All American trials with earnings of $14,280. Lot #237 is by First Down Dash and out of Sure Alibi, the dam of Sure I Fly.

Captain Courage, sale topper of the 2006 Ruidoso Select Quarter Horse Yearling Sale at $415,000, was the fifth fastest qualifier. Trained by Heath Taylor for Burnett Ranches and Chad Hart, the Mr Jess Perry son is out of two-time champion and Broodmare of the Year Corona Chick, whose offspring, including 1997 All American Futurity winner Corona Cash, have earned more than $3 million.

Mighty Corona, Lot #382 in the Ruidoso Select Quarter Horse Yearling Sale, is a half-brother to Captain Courage and full brother to Corona Cash, as well as Valiant Hero (pictured), who qualified for the All American Derby on Sunday, September 2. Captain Courage, with earnings of $5,320, broke his maiden at Delta Downs. His All American Futurity trial, where he finished third to Heartswideopen, was his third start.

Influenza immobilizes Australian horse industry

Monday, August 27th, 2007

An outbreak of equine influenza has resulted in an unprecedented nationwide ban on the movement of horses in Australia.

“Australia has never before had an exotic disease outbreak in horses, and our highest priority is to contain the disease,” said Peter McGauran (pictured), the Australian Commonwealth’s Minister of Agriculture, in a press release dated August 25.

The highly contagious disease was first detected in a stallion that had recently returned from breeding season in Japan. Japanese racing has just restarted after a three-week shutdown following an outbreak of equine influenza. It was the first time in 35 years that the Japan Racing Association (JRA) had canceled races due to the virus. The last time was in the fall of 1971, when racing was suspended for a nine-week period that continued into the next year.

The current cancellation of Australian equine events marks the first time since World War II that the country has experienced a racing blackout, and it is feared that a lengthy ban could be disastrous for the Australian thoroughbred breeding season, which begins on September 1. The horse industry contributes $6.3 billion annually to the Australian economy, according to Australian Government Rural Industries Research Development Corporation.
Besides racing, the Victorian Cutting Horse Futurity has been canceled

All properties with infected horses are being placed in quarantine until at least 30 days after the last signs are of the disease. Anyone disregarding the ban faces a fine of up to $45,000 and a 12-month jail sentence. At least 47 horses had tested positive for equine influenza in New South Wales and the numbers are expected to increase as horses continue to be tested across the continent.

According to McGauran, it is likely that the world famous Melbourne Cup may be postponed. “It is better to have a deferred Cup than no Cup at all,” he said.

It is estimated that close to $300 million in wagering handles will be lost this week alone, if racing does not resume.

Blood will tell: Top Deck

Thursday, August 23rd, 2007

Several years ago as I browsed through a book about my husband’s ancestors, I was struck by a photo of a Civil War veteran of the Battle of Chickamauga. Put this fellow in a button-down L.L. Bean shirt and Levis and he could walk through our back door while our red heeler wagged her tail.

A few days ago, I was struck in much the same way by a photo of 2-year-old Quarter Horse running sensation Heartswideopen. She reminded me of a stallion I had photographed more than 20 years ago and had not thought about in years. Mighty Deck (pictured) was a world champion in 1968 and the son of the thoroughbred Top Deck, from whom he inherited his stately good looks and prominent blaze.

Heartswideopen’s pedigree doesn’t include Mighty Deck, but it contains Top Deck through Lady Bug’s Moon on her dam’s side and through Streakin La Jolla on her sire’s side. That may seem a stretch, but consider the occurrence of crop-out paint horses. Also consider the occurrence of Top Deck, top and bottom, in the pedigrees the other 2007 All American Futurity qualifiers through the sires First Down Dash, Tres Six, Corona Cartel, Mr Jess Perry, Separatist, Royal Quick Dash, Corona Caliente, and Holland Ease – as well as through their dams.

Top Deck, foaled in 1945, was by Equestrian, who was out of a daughter of Man O’War. His dam was a daughter of Chicaro, who also figures prominently in foundation Quarter running pedigrees. King Ranch owned both Chicaro and Equestrian, who died after having sired just a few foal crops. J.K. Northway acquired Top Deck, who was unraced due to an injury, at three from King Ranch. Northway later sold the horse for $25,000 to wealthy Texas wildcatter J.B. Ferguson.

Two of Top Deck’s sons, Go Man Go and Moon Deck, rank among Quarter racing’s strongest progenitors. Moon Deck sired Jet Deck, who sired Easy Jet, and Top Moon, the sire of Lady Bug’s Moon. Go Man Go sired Go Galla Go, the dam of Rocket Wrangler, who sired Dash For Cash. Top Deck’s daughter Decketta is the dam of Chick’s Deck, the dam’s sire of Chicks Beduino. Of course, these are just a few blades in whole fields of alfalfa.

You can compare a photo of Heartswideopen, taken by Ty Wyant on Thursday, August 16, with the one I took of Mighty Deck (above) in 1981.

West Texas Classic finals

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2007

Here are the results of the West Texas Classic Open finals held in Amarillo on August 18, with unofficial updated lifetime earnings. The field now has combined earnings of more than $1.5 million.

223.0 Woody Be Tuff, R: Crumpler, Don; O: Peacock, Jill
s. (Nitas Wood x Tuffs Junie, by Tuff Lena)
Earned: $11,000; LTE: $281,761

220.0 Neat Little Cat, R: Flynn, Sean; O: Spaulding, Jim & Judy
s. (High Brow Cat x Neat Little May, by Smart Little Lena)
Earned: $9,200; LTE: $152,225

218.5 Cat Fortune, R: Wheatley, Aaron; O: Waggoner, Jack & Susan
s. (High Brow Cat x Smart Misty Dawn, by Smart Little Lena)
Earned: $8,000; LTE: $77,257

216.5 Kaboomsmall, R: Thompson, Craig; O: Ezell, Kim
m. (Peptoboonsmal x Miss Hickory Merada, by Freckles Merada)
Earned: $7,300; LTE: $17,294

216.0 Olenas Cd Dually, R: Flynn, Sean; O: Cates, Jon
m. (CD Olena x Olenasdually, by Dual Pep)
Earned: $5,700; LTE: $24,387

216.0 Little Sun Rey, R: Hadlock, Lawson; O: Sartin, Pete
s. (Dual Rey x Sunette Olena, by Doc O’Lena)
Earned: $5,700; LTE: $35,445

214.5 Mates Locked In, R: Clark, Jason; O: Blanton, Darren
g. (Smart Mate x Lock The Door, by Doc’s Hickory)
Earned: $4,300; LTE: $71,425

213.5 Kitty Oak, R: Oehlhof, Steve; O: Belcher, Shelby
m. (Kit Dual x Oak Beau Lena, by Doc’s Oak)
Earned: $3,200; LTE: $65,067

213.0 Reydiculous, R: Cox, Lloyd; O: Atl Cutting Horses
s. (Dual Rey x Stylish Play Lena, by Docs Stylish Oak)
Earned: $1,940; LTE: $71,185

213.0 Lenas Dualin, R: Mclamb, JB; O: Brewer Ranch
s. (Dual Pep x Lenas Lucinda, by Doc O’Lena)
Earned: $1,940; LTE: $65,551

213.0 Cd Stars, R: Stewart, David; O: Sanctuary Ranch
g. (CD Olena x Starr Eyed Freckles, by Grays Starlight)
Earned: $1,940; LTE: $124,188

212.0 Halreycious, R: Cox, Lloyd; O: Holmes, Linda
s. (Dual Rey x Stylish Play Lena, by Docs Stylish Oak)
Earned: $1,400; LTE: $128,133

211.0 Mates Little Cokette, R: Clark, Jason; O: Blanton, Darren
m. (Smart Mate x Cokette, by Doc Quixote)
Earned: $1,400; LTE: $116,693

211.0 Pretty Catlyn, R: Wheatley, Aaron; O: Waggoner, Jack & Susan
m. (Pretty Boy Cat x Summer Lynx, by Doc’s Lynx)
Earned: $1,400; LTE: $57,059

210.0 Desde El Comienzo, R: Hadlock, Lawson; O: Layne, Phillip
g. (CD Olena x Joses Sunrise, by Smokin Jose)
Earned: $1,400; LTE: $21,239

210.0 Cat O Connor, R: Whitman, Rodie; O: Whitman, Terry
m. (High Brow Cat x Playboys Vixen, by Hickoryote)
Earned: $1,400; LTE: $48,422

208.0 Jublue, R: Whitman, Rodie; O: Carpenter, Heidi
g. (Mecom Blue x Jubudha, by Docs Budha)
Earned: $1,400; LTE: $4,312

204.0 Prissie Cat, R: Whitman, Rodie; O: Carpenter, Heidi
m. (High Brow Cat x Rsk Dinahs Prissie, by Royal Silver King)
Earned: $1,400; LTE: $15,327

0.0 Purrceptive Cat, R: Pounds, Kory; O: Anderson Cattle Co
m. (High Brow Cat x Smart Misty Dawn, by Smart Little Lena)
Earned: $1,400; LTE: $21,134

0.0 Mr Peppy Pepto, R: Clark, Jason; O: Blanton, Darren
s. (Peptoboonsmal x Tequiero Peppy, by Peppy San Badger)
Earned: $1,400; LTE: $46,783

0.0 Dual In The Light, R: Michels, Mark; O: Mcclaren, John
s. (Dual Rey x Amanda Light, by Grays Starlight)
Earned: $1,400; LTE: $8,301

0.0 Freckles Lil Tornado, R: Blake, Austin; O: Browne, Spanky
m. (Peptoboonsmal x Tanyas Playgirl, by Freckles Playboy)
Earned: $1,400; LTE: $56,775