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All American Derby Qualifier: Feature Hero

FEATURE HERO
Bl. g. Valiant Hero-Illegal Feature by Feature Mr Jess

Watch Qualifying Race

Race Record: 13-3-3-3 $126,528

Breeder: Lana Merrick &/or Kent Jackson
Owner: Reliance Ranches LLC
Trainer: Eddie Willis
Qualifying jockey: Jimmy D. Brooks
Qualifying time: :21.276

Race record: With Jimmy Brooks in the irons for Eddie Willis in the seventh trial, Feature Hero finished second by a head to Louisana Corona. As a 2-year-old, Feature Hero finished third in the Remington Park Juvenile Stakes (R) and was fourth in the Rainbow Futurity (G1). This year, the gelding finished second in the April 20 Remington Park Oklahoma Bred Derby (R) and competed in the May 26 Jack Brooks Stakes (RG3). Feature Hero came into the Derby trials off a third in the July 6 trials to the Rainbow Derby (G1), where he finished a half-length off the pace of Joker On Jack, who went on to run third in the July 20 Rainbow final won by Wicked Courage.

Breeder: Feature Hero is one of three winners $180,000 and the earners of more than from six starters bred by Lana Merrick and Kent Jackson of Cheyenne, Oklahoma.

Owners: Feature Hero races for Gary Dale McKinney’s Reliance Ranches LLC of Llano, Texas. Reliance Ranches also race Coronado Cartel ($314,348), who on April 20 scored in the $720,000 Remington Park Oklahoma Bred Futurity (R).

Trainer: Feature Hero is trained by Eddie D. Willis, who has conditioned 1,252 winners and the earners of more than $21.39 million from 7,686 starters. Willis has sent out the winners of 10 Grade 1 races, this year including Priceless Feature in the Remington Park Invitational Championship on June 1.

Qualifying jockey: Feature Hero is ridden by Jimmy Dean Brooks, who has won 1,102 races aboard 8,307 mounts that have earned more than $12 million. The son of ageless Ruidoso and Oklahoma Quarter Horse Racing halls of fame jockey Roy Brooks has won four Grade 1 races, including riding Priceless Feature in the Remington Park Invitational Championship on June 1.

Pedigree: Feature Hero is by the 9-year-old First Down Dash stallion Valiant Hero ($668,633), who won the 2006 Texas Classic Futurity (G1) and the 2007 Heritage Place Derby (G2). Valiant Hero is one of four stakes winners and seven other winners out of race champion and 1997 broodmare of the year Corona Chick, who has produced the earners of more than $3.62 million. Corona Chick is the dam of champion and All American Futurity (G1) winner Corona Cash ($1,542880); second-all-time leading sire Corona Cartel, who has sired the earners of more than $42.49 million; and Corona Czech, who has sired the earners of more than $4.5 million. From 184 starters in three crops raced, Valiant Hero by 109 winners, including 13 stakes winners and the earners of more than $4.66 million. Valiant Hero also is the sire of All American Futurity (G1) qualifier Houdini.

Feature Hero is the first winner from three starters out of the winning Feature Mr Jess mare Illegal Feature ($23,410).