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This Month in Racing History

Find out what happened this month in racing history.


March 14 – Mr. and Mrs. J. Goodwin Hall host a supper in their home for people who had come to Fort Worth, Texas, to discuss implementing a registry for Quarter Horses. Included among the guests are Bob Denhardt, who has been promoting the idea throughout the western ranch country, and Jack Hutchins, Raymond Dickson, Bob Kleberg, George Clegg, Bert Benear, J.E. Browning, L.B. Wardlaw, William B. Warren, Walter Hudgins, Jim Minnick, and Dan and Jack Casement. Jim Hall is widely respected as a rancher and horseman, as is his wife – known throughout the ranch country as "Miss Anne" – the daughter of Tom Burnett and granddaughter of pioneer Texas cattleman Samuel Burk Burnett.

March 15 – About 75 people meet at the Fort Worth Club to organize a Quarter Horse registry. After accepting a charter modeled on that of the National Horse and Mule Association, the meeting is adjourned and immediately reconvened as the first meeting of the American Quarter Horse Association. A constitution and bylaws are adopted, and 20 directors are elected.

March 29 – AQHA Directors meet in Houston, where they elect as president William B. Warren of Hockley, Texas. Other officers are Jack Hutchins, first vice president; Lee Underwood, second vice president; Jim Hall, treasurer; and Bob Denhardt, executive secretary.

March 14 – AQHA convenes in Fort Worth for the first of what will become its annual convention. All officers, including president W.B. Warren, treasurer Jim Hall and executive secretary Bob Denhardt, are re-elected to second terms. The King Ranch stallion Wimpy is designated with AQHA registration number P-1 by virtue of being grand champion at this year's Southwestern Exposition and Fat Stock Show in Fort Worth.

March 3 & 31 – Racing at Rillito Park in Tucson, Queenie defeats Miss Bank twice in match races. A 9-year-old daughter of Flying Bob out of an Old DJ mare, Queenie was bred by Richard Martin of Rayne, Louisiana.
March 31 – Making her third start in her world championship season, Monita defeats Savannah Gray and Clabbertown G over 330 yards at Bay Meadows racetrack in San Mateo, California. The 4-year-old mare by Joe Moore is owned by Lewis Blackwell of Amarillo, Texas.

March 7 & 15 – Starting her first two races of what will be a world championship season, both at Rillito Park, Miss Meyers finishes second to champion Tonto Bars Gill in an allowance and sixth behind champion Rukin String, Stella Moore, Brigand (TB), Tonto Bars Gill and Dusky Parker in the Parker 400 Handicap. A 4-year-old mare by Leo, Miss Meyers races for her breeder, O.C. Meyer of Staples, Minnesota.

March 22 & 29 – Champion Rukin String wins the Arizona Derby and Rillito Championship, both at Tucson. A homebred racing for Rukin Jelks of Tucson, Arizona, Rukin String is a sophomore colt by Piggin String (TB) out of Flying Bob’s champion daughter Queenie.

March 9, 16, 23 & 31 – Mr Bar None breaks his maiden in his first start, but then finishes second in his next three, including to Diamond Pyn in the Southwestern Futurity at Rillito on the final day of the month. Bred and owned by June and Zelma Jeffers of Wagoner, Oklahoma, Mr Bar None is a colt by Three Bars (TB).

March 17 – Two undefeated match racers take each other’s measure at Agua Prieta, a town in the Mexican state of Sonora directly across the borderline from Douglas, Arizona. One of the racers was a small chestnut called El Relampago (The Lightning) from Agua Prieta and the other a big gray called Moro (Gray) from Cumpas, Mexico. Moro had crushed all opponents and had never been close to being beaten. Lightning, on the other hand, always pulled off the wins at the end. The gray was heavily favored, even among the people from El Relampago's home town. Moro broke on top and had the lead when Lightning struck, shocking everyone.
    Leonardo Yáñez, who attended, wrote a "corrido" (a Mexican folklore song) about the race, “El Moro De Cumpas” (“The Gray From Cumpas”), penning the first six stanzas before the race and the last three afterward. The big event brought people from all over northern Mexico and took in enough money to build an elementary school in Agua Prieta. A Mexican movie also was made of the race.
    El Relampago was a 1949 son of Joe Traveler and was registered with AQHA as Little Dr Joe. He soon was challenged by Chiltepin, an American Quarter Horse from the United States who was named for the fiery chile pepper. Hoof-and-mouth regulations prevented either horse from entering the other’s country, so a track was laid out on both sides of the border fence, with the U.S. horse running on the north side and the Mexican horse on the south. Relampago won that race, also, and the towns of Agua Prieta and Douglas annually commemorate Relampago’s triumphs with international match races between U.S. and Mexican horses running on their own sides of the border.

March 8 – Vanetta Dee defeats Pap and Vannevar in the California Horse Racing Association Handicap at Bay Meadows. The 6-year-old mare by Vandy out of Garrett’s Miss Pawhuska by Leo races for her breeder, Dee Garrett of Pawhuska, Oklahoma.

March 22 & 30 – Racing at Rillito Park, Mr Bar None wins the first race of his world championship season, but then finishes second to Hoodwink in the Convention Stakes.

March 21 – Starting in the Auburn Stakes at the California State Fair in Sacramento, her first race toward her world championship, Goetta finishes second by half of a length to champion Anna Dial, who sets a :17.57 track record over 350 yards. By Go Man Go, Goetta is owned by Hugh Huntley of Madera, California. Anna Dial is a homebred Johnny Dial mare racing for Robert Egle of Enders, Nebraska.

March 6 & 23 – Go Josie Go wins in allowance company at Bay Meadows. Double Queen finishes fourth in the first race and second in the second. Bred by Frank Vessels of Los Alamitos, California, Go Josie Go is a 3-year-old Go Man Go filly racing for A.O. Phillips of Dallas. Double Queen is a homebred Double Bid filly owned by Clarence Scharbauer Jr. of Midland, Texas.

March 5 & 12 – Go Dick Go wins his trial and the final of the Florida-Bred Futurity at Pecan Park in Jacksonville, Florida. After a rest, Raymon Tucker’s homebred colt by Little Dick Priest will be taken west, to try the triple crown futurities at Ruidoso Downs.

March 5 & 19 – Laico Bird wins her trial and the final of the Columbus Futurity at Columbus Racetrack in Texas. The filly by Good Bird is trained by Jimme Jones and owned by Floyd Jones Jr. of Norman, Oklahoma.

March 9, 23 & 30 – Easy Jet wins his trial and the final to the Columbus Triple Crown Futurity at Columbus Racetrack. The colt by Jet Deck – who is bred, owned and trained by Walter Merrick of Oklahoma – then goes to La Bahia Downs at Goliad to win his trial to the Texas Futurity.

March 14 & 21 – Mr Jet Moore breaks his maiden in his first start, a trial to the Columbus Triple Crown Futurity, but in the final finishes second by a neck to Olympia Buddy. Mr Jet Moore is a Jet Deck colt racing for his breeder, Robert Moore of Norman, Oklahoma. By Olympia Sun (TB), Olympia Buddy is a homebred racing for Tommy Arhopulos of College Station, Texas.

March 11 & 18 – Mr Jet Moore wins his trial and the final of the Live Oak Derby at Columbus Racetrack. Olympia Buddy is fifth in the final.

March 16 & 24 – Starting the fourth race of his career but the first of the year, Truckle Feature wins a maiden contest at Sunland Park. The 3-year-old colt by Truly Truckle (TB) then returns to finish second by a neck to Jet Creek in a trial to the West Texas Derby. Trained by Perry Walker, Truckle Feature races for Gordon Howell of El Paso, Texas.

March 3, 9 &17 – Tiny's Gay wins his first three starts: an allowance, a trial and the final of the Tumbleweed Futurity at Tumbleweed Downs. The colt by Tiny Watch is owned by John Colville of Paramount, California. John Ward rides Tiny’s Gay for trainer Larry Sharp. Tumbleweed Downs is a track in Kennewick, Washington, which later changes its name to Sun Downs.

March 8 & 16 – Starting the first two races of his career, Dash For Cash wins his trial to the Lubbock Downs Futurity before returning to set a :15.59 track record over 300 yards in the final. B.F. Phillips Jr. bred and races the son of champion and All American Futurity winner Rocket Wrangler. Jerry Burgess rides for trainer C.W. “Bubba” Cascio.

March 29 – Bugs Alive In 75 wins his trial to the West Texas Futurity at Sunland Park. The Top Moon colt races for his breeder, Ralph Shebester of Oklahoma. Jerry Burgess is in the irons for Bubba Cascio.

March 7, 14 & 27 – Lord Winsalot wins his trial and the final of the Columbus Triple Crown Futurity at Columbus, Texas, and then scores in his trial to the Texas Futurity at Goliad. Bred by Ronny Schliep, the gelding by Sir Winsalot races for Jim Jay of Fort Smith, Arkansas.

March 20 – Starting her first race since finishing third to Good Catch in the September 24 New Mexico State Fair Futurity, All American Futurity winner Real Wind scores by three lengths in allowance company at Sunland Park. The Go With The Wind filly races for Mr. and Mrs. J.D. Kitchens of Fort Sumner, New Mexico.

March 11 – Vespero breaks his maiden on first asking, at Val Verde Downs in Del Rio, Texas. The St Bar gelding is a homebred racing for Gordon Crone of Lakin, Kansas.

March 11 & 30 – In a match-up of marquee mares, Black Sable defeats Classic Canyon and Twist A Fleet in an overnight handicap at Bay Meadows, and then wins her trial to the Golden State Derby. Spencer Childers’ homebred Oldie (TB) mare Black Sable later produces the track-record-setting stakes winner Sables Defender and stakes winner Sables Secret. Owned by H.G. Stevenson of California, the Dusty Canyon (TB) mare Classic Canyon becomes the dam of champion and All American Futurity (G1) winner A Classic Dash. Racing for H.G. Bedford and Richard Patton of San Antonio, Texas, Twist A Fleet later produces champions Griswold and Apprehend.

March 8 – Town Policy wins the California Breeders Championship at Bay Meadows. Trained by Blane Schvaneveldt and ridden by Kenny Hart, the Reb’s Policy (TB) gelding races for his breeder, Ivan Ashment of Idaho Falls, Idaho.

March 15 – Super Sound Charge defeats Stoa Minga in an allowance at Bay Meadows. The 4-year-old stallion by Roma Charge races for Floyd Terrell’s Terrell Quarter Horses Inc. of Plano, Texas.

March 22 – Winning his second stakes, Tom Neff’s homebred Sgt Pepper Feature scores in the Foster City Handicap at Bay Meadows. The victory marks the Truckle Feature gelding's first start since winning the December 27 Golden State Futurity at Los Alamitos. Sgt Pepper Feature is conditioned by Mike Robbins.

March 29 – Starting his first race, Special Effort wins a maiden test at La Bahia Downs in Goliad, Texas. The Raise Your Glass (TB) colt races for his breeder, Allen Moehrig of Seguin, Texas.

March 20 – Starting his second race, Mr Master Bug breaks his maiden at Trinity Meadows in Weatherford, Texas. Trained by Jack Brooks, the Master Hand (TB) colt is bred and owned by Marvin Barnes of Ada, Oklahoma.

March 5, 19 & 27 – Starting his first three races, On A High breaks his maiden, wins his trial and then scores in the final of the TQHA Texas Futurity at Trinity Meadows. A son of world champion Dash For Cash, On A High is a homebred racing for Jerry Rheudasil, D.V.M., of Lewisville, Texas.

March 20 & 27 – Racing at Trinity Meadows, Cash Rate finishes third in his first start and breaks his maiden in his second. The 3-year-old Dash For Cash gelding owned by B.F. Phillips Jr. and Minnie Rhea Wood of Frisco, Texas.

March 3, 18 & 34 – Eastex breaks his maiden at Manor Downs near Austin, Texas. Dr. H.D. Hall’s homebred gelding by Texas Dancer (TB) then finishes sixth in allowance company at G. Rollie White Downs in Brady, and finally returns to Manor to win an allowance. Eastex is trained by James McArthur.

March 2 & 24 – Racing at Bay Meadows, Cash Rate finishes second to Miss Jordash in an allowance, and then sixth to Kellys Coffer in the Alameda Handicap. A 6-year-old mare by Allstar, Kellys Coffer is owned by Dorothy Boothe of Temecula, California. As a broodmare, Kellys Coffer later produces First Down Kelly, who scores in the 1991 Blue Ribbon Futurity (G1) to be the first stakes winner by First Down Dash.

March 1 – Ronas Ryon breaks his maiden on first asking, at Evangeline Downs in Carencro, Louisiana. Bred by James Floyd Plummer of Selma, Alabama, the Windy Ryon colt races for Plummer, Ben Benham and W. “Sarge” Darden of Astatula, Florida.

March 15 – Starting her second race, Elans Special breaks her maiden at G. Rollie White Downs in Texas. The Special Effort filly is a homebred racing for Dr. Lindsey Burbank of Oxford, Florida.

March 4 & 20 – Starting his first two races, Merganser breaks his maiden in a trial to the West Texas Futurity (G2) and then scores by a nose over Effort Of Love in the final at Sunland Park. Trained by Jack Brooks and ridden by Jacky Martin, the Duck Dance (TB) colt is owned by Jerry Wells and Ron Shalz of Purcell, Oklahoma.

March 1 – Prairie Meadows opens in Altoona, Iowa.

March 7 & 23 – First Down Dash is represented by his first stakes winner when First Down Kelly wins his trial and then returns to score in the final of the Blue Ribbon Futurity (G1). Bred by Dorothy Boothe of Temecula, California, First Down Kelly is owned by Delton Dean and Rodney and Sheila Reed’s Super Select Partners of Coleman, Oklahoma. First Down Kelly is trained by Rodney Reed and ridden by Roy Baldillez.

March 22 & 31 – Racing at Sunland Park, Winalota Cash is defeated a neck by Willow Beda Chick in his first start. Trained by Gregg Sanders and ridden by Salvador Estrada, Andra Meridyth’s gelding by Light On Cash returns to win his trial and qualify to the Consolation of the West Texas Sun Country Futurity (G1).

March 2 & 16 – Starting the first two races of what will be an undefeated world-championship campaign, the sophomore filly Dashing Folly wins her trial and the final of the $96,035 Manor Downs Maiden Allowance. Jaramar Ltd.’s filly by First Down Dash started three times as a 2-year-old, all with fourth-place finishes, in her trial and the final of the Rainbow Futurity Consolation and again in her All American Futurity trial. Trained by Donna McArthur, Dashing Folly is ridden by Tami Purcell.

March 9 & 28 – SLM Big Daddy finishes fifth to Easy Cash Yawl in a division of the Manor Downs Handicap I. Bred and owned by Steve and Lindsey Mitchell of Brownwood, Texas, the 5-year-old gelding by Daddy Hold On then is second to Heza Ramblin Man in the Midwest City Stakes (G3) at Remington Park. In the Midwest City, the Takin On The Cash gelding Heza Ramblin Man ties Remington’s :17.530 track record at 350 yards.

March 8 – Going 870 yards, Button My Zevis, Legacys Heartbeat and Lightening Bo win the Iron Horse Handicap in a triple dead heat at Blue Ribbon Downs.

March 31 – Bumped hard at the break in his first race, Streakin Sin Tacha finishes 10th, eight lengths behind WW Beethoven. The race is a trial to the Louisiana Breeders’ Laddie Futurity (G at Delta Downs.

March 2 & 16 – Oak Tree Special breaks his maiden on first asking, in a trial to the Longhorn Futurity (G2). Wiped out at the gate, the gelding finishes seventh to Zip First in the final. Trained by Bobby Martinez and ridden by Gilbert Ortiz, the Special Task colt races for Raul Rubalcava of Wylie, Texas.

March 2 & 16 – Racing at Manor Downs, Oak Tree Special wins his trial but in the final is caught near the wire to finish third behind Moon Shake and Rare Favorite in the Longhorn Derby (G3).

March 19 – A Long Goodbye clocks :20.885 over the quarter mile in a trial for the MBNA America New Mexico Challenge (G1) at Sunland Park. Ridden by Esgar Ramirez, the 5-year-old gelding by Pure D Dash is owned and trained by Julian DeVargas of Laguna, New Mexico.

March 11 – Special Effort is euthanized. The winner of 13 of 14 races – including the Kansas, Rainbow and All American futurities comprising Ruidoso Downs' triple crown – Special Effort earned $1,219,949 on the track. With 1,373 starters in 20 crops raced at the time of his death, Special Effort has been represented by 877 winners, including 73 stakes winners that scored in 126 stakes, 91 stakes placers and the earners of $18,162,615. Special Effort also sired 1991 world champion Special Leader and other champions Special Project, Sweet N Special and Special Phoebe.

March 16 – Eddie Garcia rides J. Garvan Kelly and Nancy Yearsley’s Dutch Schultz to victory in the Katella Handicap, giving the jockey a record-breaking 135th stakes winner at Los Alamitos. Garcia, 41, was American Quarter Horse racing’s champion jockey in 1996.

March 22 – Debbie Freeman becomes the first female jockey to win four races on a single American Quarter Horse card at Remington Park.

March 30 – Stolis Winner breaks his maiden on first asking. Going 300 yards at Manor Downs, the Stoli colt (who has not yet been gelded) wins by 1 3/4 lengths under Gaspar Garcia. Trained by Tommy Zarate, Stolis Winner races for his breeder, former AQHA president Jerry Windham of College Station, Texas.

March 5 – Magna Entertainment Corp., whose 10 tracks include Remington Park and Lone Star Park, files for bankruptcy.

March 19 – Starting his run to the world championship, Freaky sets a :17.143 track record over 350 yards at Los Alamitos. With Rodrigo Aceves up, the allowance test is the TR Dasher gelding’s first race for his new connections, owner Armando Aguirre of Arizona and trainer Adan Farias,

March 8 – Johannes Orgeldinger of Grosswallstadt, Germany, is elected as the first international president of AQHA. Peter Cofrancesco III of Sparta, New Jersey, is the first vice president; Gene Graves of Grand Island, Nebraska, is second vice president; Johne Dobbs of Champaign, Illinois, becomes the second woman elected as a member of the executive committee; and Johnny Trotter of Hereford, Texas, also is a new member.

If you witnessed or know of an historic event whose anniversary is next month, please contact the
Journal’s Richard Chamberlain at richc@aqha.org.