All American Derby Qualifier: The Ultimate Eagle

Bay gelding, One Famous Eagle-Ladys Heart Of Gold by Strawfly Special

Race Record: 11-4-3-1 $67,669
Breeder: Christine Hudson
Owner: Ed Melzer
Trainer: Eddie Willis
Qualifying jockey: Jimmy Dean Brooks
Qualifying time: :21.327

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Race Record: The All American Derby (G1) is the fifth stakes that The Ultimate Eagle has qualified for. The gelding won his first two starts as a 2-year-old and then finished back in his third, when he lunged at the start of Big Biz Perry’s Heritage Place Futurity (G1). After finishing second in his trial for the Rainbow Futurity (G1) and third in his trial for the All American Futurity (G1), he shipped to Will Rogers Downs, where he won his trial to the $95,000 Black Gold 350 Futurity (R) but was scratched from the final. He ended his freshman season at the Oklahoma track, where he qualified for the $384,750 Black Gold Futurity Championship (RG3) but again scratched from the final.

The Ultimate Eagle opened his 3-year-old campaign with half-length win in the May 11 trials to the $257,050 Heritage Place Derby (G2) and then finished eighth in the May 31 final. He next was fifth in the July 5 trials to the Rainbow Derby (G1) and qualified to the All American with a second-place finish to champion Kates Dynasty in the trials.

Pedigree: The Ultimate Eagle is one of 130 winners from 236 starters by One Famous Eagle, a 9-year-old son of champion Mr Jess Perry and the stakes-placed Chicks Beduino mare One Famous Lady ($172,515). One Famous Eagle was bred by Johnny Trotter, who raced him in partnership with Burnett Ranches to be a Grade 1-winning earner of $1,387,453 and the champion sophomore colt in 2008. One Famous Eagle was the leading freshman sire in 2012, when he was represented by world champion and All American Futurity (G1) winner One Dashing Eagle ($2,079,065), and, with progeny earnings of $2,079,065 that season broke the freshman record set 23 years earlier by First Down Dash. From three crops raced, One Famous Eagle has sired 19 stakes winners and the earners of more than $7.56 million, and also is the sire of current All American Futurity (G1) qualifier Bodacious Eagle.

The Ultimate Eagle is out of the unraced Strawfly Special mare Ladys Heart Of Gold, who from five starters has produced five winners and the earners of more than $202,000, including The Ultimate Eagle’s stakes-placed full sister Eagle On The Fly ($99,000, who finished third in the May 22 Rainbow Futurity) and three other stakes-placed sprinters. Heart Of Gold’s dam is the graded stakes-placed Strawfly Special mare Strength Of Heart ($57,266), and her second dam is the maiden Streakin Six mare Streakin Dirty, a half-sister to the Grade 1-winning Pass ’Em Up (TB) mare Passem Dirty ($233,808).

Breeder: Christine Hudson is the wife of Track Magazine publisher and editor Ben Hudson. The couple live on their ranch at Morgan Mill, Texas, where over the past 11 years Christine has bred three stakes winners, 14 other winners and the earners of more than $816,000 from 27 starters.

Owner: The Ultimate Eagle races for Ed Melzer of Edmond, Oklahoma, who raced the Streakin Sixes gelding Streakin Down ($774,137), who won the 2010 Heritage Place Derby (G1) and ran in champion Double Down Special’s All American Derby (G1); the Grade 1-winning Feature Mr Jess gelding Priceless Feature ($606,293); and the Grade 1-placed Country Chicks Man gelding Knuckles O Toole ($245,795), who finished second in Givinitaroyaleffort’s Heritage Place Futurity.

Trainer: Eddie Dean Willis is an all-time top-10 leading trainer who has conditioned the earners of more than $24 million. With earnings of more than $3.39 million last year, Willis was the second-leading trainer in 2013, when he sent out Jimmy Brooks on champion Feature Hero to win the $2,809,784 All American Derby (G1), the richest race in Quarter Horse history.

Jockey: Jimmy Dean Brooks was the sport’s fifth-leading jockey in 2013, when he rode the earners of more than $2.9 million. Among his winners was champion Feature Hero, who he rode for Eddie Willis to win the $2,809,784 All American Derby (G1), the richest race in Quarter Horse history. The son of legendary rider Roy Brooks, Jimmy has ridden the earners of more than $15.25 million, including 1,180 winners from 8,700 starts. Riding for Willis’ son Eddie Lee Willis, Brooks qualified Exquisite Stride for this year’s All American Futurity (G1).