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October 28, 2011
Should Throwin Fits win Saturday night’s $200,000 Adequan Derby Challenge Championship (G1) at Los Alamitos, there is no doubt that tears will flow in the winner’s circle.
Alan and Sharon Colley of Caldwell, Texas, own and bred Throwin Fits. They felt he had some potential and sent him to their friend and fellow Texan, American Quarter Horse trainer J. Benny Pennington.
“Benny took the horse for us as soon as he was broke,” said Alan Colley. “He took his time with him, bringing him up on smaller races and was very supportive.”
Throwin Fits broke his maiden last June at Delta Downs and did not resume racing until February at Louisiana Downs. He won back-to-back races at Louisiana Downs and Delta Downs before running in the trials for the Adequan Delta Derby Challenge.
“His year was focused on getting qualified for the Adequan,” said Colley. “Benny was there for the horse, despite battling melanoma. Even with radiation and chemotherapy, Benny still came to Vinton for the Challenge race.”
Throwin Fits won the Adequan Delta Derby Challenge in a dead-heat and punched his ticket to Los Alamitos. Pennington oversaw his training at Retama Park, where he made his last start on July 23. Then, tragically, Pennington suffered a massive heart attack on July 28 and died two days later.
It was a devastating loss for the Colleys and so many Texas horsemen and fans of Pennington and his wife, Wanda.
Alan Colley asked who would be a capable trainer in California for Throwin Fits and they were referred to Mike Joiner and his son Cody. On October 8, Throwin Fits arrived in the barn of Cody Joiner.
“He’s a very nice horse and has settled in fine,” said Joiner. “Alfonso Lujan, who rode him at Retama, will be here. Benny Pennington’s death was a terrible loss, and I hope the horse will give a good account of himself.”
It will be a bittersweet winner’s circle celebration for the Colleys should Throwin Fits run a championship effort on Saturday night. Many Texas and Louisiana trainers, owners, breeders, racing fans and friends will laud Throwin Fits and remember a wonderful horseman.
Post time for Saturday’s Bank of America Challenge is 7:00 p.m. Pacific time. The 19th Bank of America Racing Challenge Championships, the season-ending championship event of AQHA's purse and bonus awards program, will be televised on TVG. Racing fans will also be able to watch it live, free of charge, on Q-Racing Video at www.qracingvideo.com. Check www.aqharacing.com for the latest news and information. BY MARTHA CLAUSSEN
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