Archive for May, 2012

Red letter day for the races

Thursday, May 31st, 2012

Krash Cartel alone at the wire

Saturday, June 9 will be a red letter for horse racing fans. While I’ll Have Another makes his bid at Belmont Park to become the first Thoroughbred Triple Crown winner in 34 years, 10 Quarter Horses will vie for the first leg of Quarter Horse racing’s Triple Crown at Ruidoso Downs.

Krash Cartel is a likely favorite for the G1 Ruidoso Futurity following a 4 1/4-length win in his qualifying trial and the fastest time (:17.759 for 350 yards) from 25 trials. It was the first career start for the son of Corona Cartel, who was purchased for $72,000 at the 2011 Ruidoso Select Yearling Sale.

Pajarita Sita, already seasoned with a win in her West Texas Futurity trial and a third-place finish in the Futurity, won her Ruidoso Futurity trial under Esgar Ramirez by 1 1/4 lengths in the sixth fastest time (:17.913). Trained for Jose Badillo by Alonso Orozco, Pajarita Sita was a $42,000 yearling purchase from the first crop of Pappasito, by Corona Cartel out of Strawberry Silk, winner of the 1989 All American Futurity.

Krash Cartel, trained by John Stinebaugh for Los Primitos Stables, was ridden by Cody Jensen, who also qualified for the Ruidoso Futurity aboard Jesatar (:17.906), trained by Raymond Vargas.

Esgar Ramirez, Pajarita Sita’s rider, also qualified for the Ruidoso Futurity with a 3-length trial win and the fourth fastest time (:17.848) aboard PJ Chick In Black by Desirio. Trained by Carl Draper and owned by Draper’s wife, Fredda, in partnership with Denny Bowen and Susie Taylor, PJ Chick In Black won the New Mexican Spring Futurity, after a debut win in the trials for the race.

Quarter racing’s Triple Crown consists of the $600,000 G1 Ruidoso Futurity; the $700,000 G1 Rainbow Futurity, on July 21; and the $2.4 million All American Futurity on Labor Day, September 3. All three races are held at Ruidoso Downs.

If one horse should sweep all three Ruidoso Downs races in 2012, in addition to the winner’s shares for each and including $1.2 million from the All American Futurity, they will also receive a $4 Triple Crown million bonus for a grand total of $5,850,000.

I’ll Have Another’s challengers in the Belmont are likely to include Kentucky Derby rivals Dullahan (3rd), Union Rags (7th), and Alpha (12th), none of whom have raced since the Derby, and Optimizer (11th), who also ran in the Preakness (6th).

“He continues to amaze me the way he’s handled all this and continues to thrive,” said I’ll Have Another’s trainer Doug O’Neill, after the colt’s morning gallop on Sunday, May 27 at Belmont. “He gallops like an average horse works. I think the amount of energy he puts into his gallops is the reason why an official workout isn’t important, in my mind.”

Cox cashes in with Breeders Invitational wins

Sunday, May 27th, 2012

Lloyd Cox

Lloyd Cox claimed both open divisions of the Breeders Invitational on 4-year-old Hottish, owned by Dustin and Deena Adams and 5-year-old One Time Royalty, owned by SDM Quarter Horses. He also placed third with One Time Royalty and 19th on Tazs Dreamgirl, in the “Special 5” 5-year-old division; tied for sixth in the Derby on Betty Greyble, owned by Linda Holmes, and placed with Tazs Dreamgirl, owned by Kathleen Moore.

Altogether, Cox’s mounts collected $153,741 during the show, which concluded its 17-day run in Tulsa, Okla. on May 26. The winnings took Cox, who is ranked third among cutting’s all-time leading trainers, past the $5.5 million mark for offcial NCHA earnings. Only Phil Rapp with $7.6 million, and Matt Gaines with $6.2 million, have earned more.

Hottish scored 223.5 points for the BI Derby $63,468 win, which followed on the heels of his 227-point NCHA Non-Pro Super Stakes win in April with Dustin. The Spots Hot son, out of Stylish Play Lena, earner of more than $265,000 and dam of earners of nearly $800,000, was trained by Cox, who also trained and showed Stylish Play Lena for Linda Holmes.

“I think he’s the best horse I’ve ever had,” said Adams, who purchased Hottish as a yearling, from Linda Holmes’s sister, Gail Holmes. “You can tell when he gets in the (spot) lights it means a lot more to him.”

Thundercat scored 221 points under Matt Miller for Don and Joetta Bell as reserve champion. The High Brow Cat son, who earned $38,819, is out of Desire Some Freckles, another notable show mare and producer.

One Time Royalty, 2010 NCHA Futurity champion with Cox, earned $34,752 for his 224.5-point Challenge win, and $23,978,23 in the Special 5, which increased his NCHA career earnings to $329,667.

The Special 5 was a one-time division for horses that were entered as 4-year-olds in the 2011 event, which was canceled due to concerns about an EVH-1 outbreak at another show.

Sly Playgirl, by That Sly Cat, shown by Jaime Snider for Rocking L Cutting Horses, won the Special 5 and $66,143 with 224 points; SDP Locked N Loaded, by Laredo Blue, was reserve champion with 221.5 points under Michael Cooper, for Gary Rosenbach.

Stylish Martini, by Docs Stylish Oak and shown by Roger Wagner for Marvine Ranch, was reserve champion of the Open Challenge division with 223 points.

For complete results, click here.

2012 Breeders Invitational

Saturday, May 26th, 2012

Connections: I’ll Have Another and Chiquita Pistol

Thursday, May 24th, 2012


Pity the 1977 Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew, whose accomplishment was sandwiched between Secretariat’s spectacular coup in 1973, and Affirmed’s triumph over arch rival Alydar in 1978.

The Crown has gone unclaimed since 1978 and today’s race fans are pinning their hopes on I’ll Have Another, whose wins over Bodemeister in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, are reminiscent of Affirmed’s over Alydar, 34 years ago.

Coincidentally, Alydar, the only horse to ever finish second in all three Triple Crown races, is connected to I’ll Have Another through Arch, and Arch is connected to Helen Groves, who is connected to 1946 Triple Crown winner Assault and NCHA Triple Crown winner Chiquita Pistol.

Here’s how it plays out:

  • I’ll Have Another’s dam, Arch’s Gal Edith, is by Arch.
  • Arch’s dam, Aurora, by Danzig, is a daughter of 1983 champion 2-year-old filly Althea, by Alydar.
  • Althea was bred and campaigned in partnership with David Aykroyd, by Helen Alexander and her mother, Helen Groves.
  • Helen Groves’s father, Robert Kleberg, bred and raised 1946 Triple Crown champion Assault in the name of King Ranch, which was founded by his grandfather, Richard King.
  • Robert Kleberg, was a founder of the American Quarter Horse Association and a foundation breeder of Quarter Horses, including Wimpy P-1.
  • Helen Groves owned King Ranch-bred stallion Pay Twentyone, a Wimpy grandson through his sire El Pachulo Wimpy, and bred him to cutting mare Miss Doc Tari to get Miss Chiquita Tari.
  • Groves sold Miss Chiquita Tari to Tooter Dorman, who bred her to Smart Little Pistol to get Chiquita Pistol.

Connections: Black Caviar and Mr. Crimson Ruler

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

Black Caviar, the 5-year-old Australian sensation, who scored her 21st consecutive win on May 12 in Adelaide, has interesting connections to North American horses, including Crimson Saint, who connects to the late, famed Quarter Horse breeder B.F. Phillips, Jr. and Dash For Cash.

Black Caviar (1999) was sired by Bel Esprit, winner of more than $2 million and one of the best sprinters of his generation in Australia.

Bel Esprit was sired by American-bred Royal Academy (1987), sire of 160 stakes winners and the earners of more than $120 million. Royal Academy, whose best lick on the track was at the mile, died this past February at Coolmore Australia.

Royal Academy was sired by Northern Dancer’s son Nijinsky, a British Triple Crown winner who became leading sire in Great Britain and leading broodmare sire in North America.

Royal Academy’s dam was Kentucky-bred Crimson Saint (1959), who equaled the four furlong record in :44.80 at Oaklawn Park, and set a track record of :56 flat at Hollywood Park. Crimson Saint’s sire, Crimson Satan, won the Charles H. Strub at Santa Anita by 5 3/4 lengths, while clocking :21 flat for the first quarter.

Crimson Saint’s greatest claim to fame, however, came as a broodmare. She was in foal to Triple Crown champion Secretariat in January 1976, when she was purchased for $295,000 by prominent Kentucky horseman Tom Gentry. The foal, a filly from Secretariat’s second crop, was stakes winner Terlingua, who would produce Storm Cat, one of the most influential stallions of modern times.

Mr. Crimson Ruler, photo by Sally Harrison

Crimson Saint’s first foal, a chestnut colt named Mr. Crimson Ruler (1975), was also sired by Secretariat, but never raced. Instead, he was purchased as a yearling by B.F. Phillips Jr., the same year that Phillips’ homebred Quarter Horse colt Dash For Cash was named AQHA world champion and champion 3-year-old.

Phillips believed that the proper Thoroughbred bloodlines could improve the performance of Quarter Horse runners. And he had proven his theory with Dash For Cash, whose dam, Find A Buyer, was a Thoroughbred, and whose sire, Rocket Wrangler, was by Rocket Bar, a Thoroughbred son of Three Bars.

Although at first glance Secretariat seemed an unlikely cross for Quarter Horses, his sire, Bold Ruler, was a world champion sprinter at 3.

“You can pick the Bold Rulers out on their conformation,” said the late Arthur B. Hancock, Jr., owner of Claiborne Farm and syndicate owner of Nasrullah, Bold Ruler’s sire (Hancock also imported Princequillo, sire of Secretariat’s dam, Somethingroyal, and syndicated Nijinksy II, sire of Royal Academy). “I see the same musculature as Nasrullah. They all had an extra layer of muscle beside their tail running down to their hocks. It is a good sign when you see it in a Bold Ruler. It means strength and speed.”

As a Quarter Horse breeder, Phillips had noticed the similarity in conformation between Dash For Cash and Secretariat, which was confirmed by the late equine artist Jim Reno, who measured both Secretariat and Dash For Cash for larger-than-life-size bronze sculptures.

There was a pedigree connection between the two stallions, as well, through Imperatrice, who was Secretariat’s second dam (Somethingroyal was her daughter), and the fourth dam of Dash For Cash.

Mr. Crimson Ruler was overshadowed at Phillips Ranch by Dash For Cash and never lived up to expectations as a sire. From 16 Quarter Horse crops (a total of 296 foals), he produced just four stakes winners, and his top money earner was Mr Crimson Bug (LTE $133,045), third in the Rainbow Derby. At the time of the Dash For Cash Futurity Sale in July 1984, Mr. Crimson Ruler had sired just one Thoroughbred winner and no stakes-placed runners.

Black Caviar bearing down on Rapid Redux’s streak

Monday, May 14th, 2012

Black Caviar

Two Thoroughbreds racing half-a-world apart this year have toppled modern records for most consecutive wins.

Rapid Redux, a 6-year-old Kentucky-bred gelding, claimed his 22nd consecutive win on February 18 at Maryland’s Laurel Park. The previous record of 19 consecutive wins was shared by 2009 Breeders Cup Classic champion and 2010 Horse of the Year Zenyatta, and New-Mexico-bred stakes winner Peppers Pride, both now retired.

Rapid Redux is just one victory short of the record for consecutive North American wins set by Leviathon in 1801. Although, Puerto Rican racehorse Camarero claimed the world record in 1955, when he won his 55th consecutive race, surpassing the Hungarian mare Kincsem, who retired in 1789 at five, with an unblemished record of 54 wins.

On Saturday, May 12, 5-year-old Australian racing phenomenon Black Caviar scored her 21st consecutive win in the G1 Goodwood at Morphettville Racecourse, in Adelaide. Two weeks previously she had broken the Australian record of 19 consecutive wins held jointly by Desert Gold (1917) and Gloaming (1921).

Black Caviar, 2010/2011 Australian Horse of the Year, is expected to ship to England for her next race, the Diamond Jubilee Stakes on June 23 at Royal Ascot, where Queen Elizabeth will be in attendance. The black daughter of Australian sire Bel Esprit, is owned by a syndicate of Melbourne families and friends and conditioned by prominent Australian trainer Peter Moody.

Rapid Redux, by Pleasantly Perfect and out of a Storm Cat daughter, is trained by David Wells for Robert Cole, Jr., who claimed the $85,000 Keeneland Yearling Sale purchase for $6,250 in October 2010. Rapid Redux, with a career total of 28 wins from 42 starts and $31,609, won all 19 of his races in 2011.

“The achievements of Rapid Redux in 2011 were remarkable…something we won’t soon again see,” said Alex Waldrop, president and CEO of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA).

Crystal Lehrmann crowned Non-Pro champ

Monday, May 7th, 2012
Crystal Lehrmann

Crystal Lehrmann on So Sweet Santana. Forrest Photography.

Crystal Lehrmann of Gardendale, Texas, and So Sweet Santana marked 222 to win the Non-Pro title at the 6666 Ranch NCHA Western National Championships in Reno, Nevada, Sunday. The show’s $15,000 Novice Non-Pro champion, Amanda Smith on Whirl N Play, finished second.

Lehrmann was a two-time champion at the show, having won the $5,000 Novice Non-Pro with a 224 on So Sweet Santana earlier in the week.

In addition, Jeremy Lehrmann won the $15,000 Amateur finals on Rey Leo Girl.

Bred by Sharron Oaks Ranch, So Sweet Santana is an 8-year-old son of Short Of Santana, out of So Sweet Pepper, by Nitas Wood.

So Sweet Santana has earned more than $80,000, and carried Lehrmann to the Mercuria NCHA World Series of Cutting Non-Pro finals at the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo earlier this year.

Amanda Smith’s 219 on Whirl N Play, by CD Whirl, earned her the Non-Pro reserve championship.

In the $5,000 Novice Non-Pro, Sammy Nevis on Kitty McCoy 06 and Debbie Day on Scootin With Style, split the reserve championship by marking 219 behind Lehrmann’s 224.

Kitty McCoy 06 is a daughter of WR This Cats Smart which Shad Platt rode to win the $10,000 Novice Title. Scootin With Style is a 7-year-old son of Smart Lil Scoot.