The Four Sixes Ranch, trainer Heath Taylor, jockey Kip Didericksen and world champion DM Shicago were inducted into the Ruidoso Downs Racehorse Hall of Fame on Friday, June 29, at Ruidoso Downs.
Four Sixes Ranch
Part of the famous Burnett Ranches, the Four Sixes Ranch was born in 1868, when Captain Samuel “Burk” Burnett bought 100 head of cattle branded with “6666.” Today the Four Sixes stretches over nearly 300,000 acres in the “big ranch country” of Texas and is overseen by Burnett’s great-granddaughter, Anne Marion.
In addition to its cattle business, the Four Sixes developed a Quarter Horse operation that set an early standard for race, performance and ranch horses. Their foundation stallions included Cee Bars, Hollywood Gold, Joe Hancock and Grey Badger III, and their racehorse program has included world champions and leading sires such as Dash For Cash, Streakin Six and Special Effort.
The Four Sixes’ current stallion roster is headed by leading sire Mr Jess Perry, whose 2011 stakes winners include G1 Heritage Place Futurity winner High Rate Of Return and G1 Los Alamitos Super Derby winner Miss Racy Jess.
Heath Taylor is ranked number three among all-time trainers of Quarter Horse stakes winners, following Paul Jones and Blane Schvaneveldt, and is number four among all-time money earners, following Jones, Schvaneveldt and Jack Brooks, all members of the Ruidoso Downs Racehorse Hall of Fame.
Taylor saddled champion Stolis Winner to victories in the G1 All American Futurity and G1 Rainbow Futurity. World champion 2-year-old in 2008, Stolis Winner is the all-time leading AQHA earner of $2,235,161.
Kip Didericksen, AQHA champion jockey in 1986, 1989, 1990, 1991 and 1992, rode two-time world champion Refrigerator to wins in the All American Futurity (1990) and the Champion of Champions (1992) to become the only jockey to win both prestigious races in the same year. He had also ridden world champion Dash For Speed to win the 1990 Champion of Champions.
Didericksen, who retired at the end of the 1992 race season, also scored multiple wins in the Rainbow Derby, Los Alamitos Championship, Los Alamitos Derby, Ed Burke Futurity, Kindergarten, Golden State Derby, Governor’s Cup Futurity, PCQHRA Breeders Futurity and El Primero Del Ano Derby. He also had G1 wins in the Ruidoso Derby, Go Man Go Handicap and the Vessels Maturity.
Racing for owners Fredda Draper and Don Moler, DM Shicago, a gelded son of Separatist, became one of the all-time fan favorites at Ruidoso Downs when he won the 2004 All American Futurity and returned in 2005 to sweep Ruidoso’s three G1 derbies. He remains the only All American Futurity winner to also have won all three Triple Crown derbies.
Trained by Carl Draper and ridden by Juan Vazquez, the 2005 AQHA world champion first claimed fame when he won the 2004 All American Futurity by three-quarters of a length, in the stakes record time of :21.00. He went on to become just the third horse to win the Triple Crown derbies, and the fifth to win both the All American Futurity and the All American Derby.
DM Shicago had a career record of 8 wins, 3 seconds and 3 thirds from 19 starts and earned $1,873,730.
Click on the highlighted names of each inductee, above, to see career highlights, including race videos, and to learn more about each.