April 14th, 2020

Super Stakes History Spotlight

Docs Okie Quixote: 1984 Super Stakes winner and Triple Crown champion

Joe Heim on Docs Okie Quixote.

While 1982 champion Smart Little Lena commanded attention from the first go-round of the NCHA Futurity, Docs Okie Quixote, shown by his owner, Joe Heim, went through the 1983 NCHA Futurity preliminaries under the radar. The Doc Quixote colt marked back-to-back go-round scores of 216, and just barely qualified for the finals on-the-bubble, with 214.5 points in the semi-finals.

 But the gritty sorrel rose to the occasion in the Futurity Finals, where he scored 219 points for the win, and became the only candidate for that season’s Triple Crown.

“He was a small horse and worked with a low profile, with his head and body low,” said Heim. “And he was real intelligent and cow-smart. When we went to the Futurity, he had a lot of maturity about him.”

Joe Heim was 28 in 1977, the first time he qualified for the Futurity finals, and wound up as reserve champion, by one-half point, on Doc’s Serendipity to champion Peppy San Badger and Buster Welch. In the 1980 Futurty, Heim won the semi-finals with 224 points on Miss Daube Ritz and tied for fifth in the finals. Then, in 1981, he captured his first Futurity championship on Colonel Lil, owned by W.D. Wood.

Nevertheless, the 1983 win, worth $263,483, was a special one for Heim. His wife Joice had bred and raised Docs Okie Quixote, born one month after the Heims moved from California to Thackerville, Okla. “Joice chose the name Okie for that reason,” said Joe, who owned a breeding to Doc Quixote.

The 1984 Super Stakes carried a record purse of over $1.8 million and Docs Okie Quixote was the shutout winner, with 222 points over a 216.5-point three-way tie for the reserve championship between Royal Blue Boon, with Larry Reeder; Sir Royal Lynx, with Tom Bellamy; and Circle Doc, with Don Pooley.

Going into the NCHA Derby Heim had no doubt that, with a square shot and barring unforeseen circumstances, Docs Okie Quixote was capable of the win. “Anytime I make the finals in a major event, I feel fortunate,” said Heim.“My attitude was that I was just going to go down and put together a good ride and hope I’d get marked.”

With a 221.5-point win in the Derby Finals, where reserve champion Gold Bar Doc earned 217.5 points, Docs Okie Quixote became the NCHA Triple Crown champion and an NCHA leading money earner with $599,109. The fact that his feat followed on the heels of the first Triple Crown champion, Smart Little Lena, might have led some to expect frequent Triple Crown sweeps from NCHA Futurity champions, but it would be two decades before Chiquita Pistol, in 2003, would capture another Triple Crown championship. In 2020, after 40 years, only Smart Little Lena, Docs Okie Quixote, and Chiquita Pistol have won the NCHA Futurity, the NCHA Super Stakes, and the NCHA Derby to capture the NCHA Triple Crown.

Unfortunately, Docs Okie Quixote did not live to fulfill his promise as a sire. In January 1986, the year he turned six, the celebrated champion died of peritonitis following colic surgery. From two crops, however, he sired 45 NCHA and NRHA money earners, including Bella Coquette, who carried her breeder Sandy Bonelli to win the 1989 NCHA Non-Pro Futurity.