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By Andrea CaudillQ-Racing JournalApril 21, 2014
To win first time out is a good step in a freshman colt’s career. Even better when it’s in a trial to a futurity. And it’s best yet when done in track record-smashing style, quickly followed by a dominating win in the final, in this case the $563,950 Sam Houston Futurity (G2).
So begins the career of Tyler Graham and Conda Maze’s Kiss My Hocks, who is 2-for-2 with $227,380 in career earnings and a career-high 109 speed index. The colt with a sassy name had a driving finish in the 330-yard futurity at Sam Houston on Saturday night, running the distance in :16.719. His record in the trials was :16.433.
Foaled February 2, 2012, Kiss My Hocks was bred by Graham in partnership with John Mayers. Foaled in Texas, he is by Temping Dash and out of the Tres Seis mare Romancing Mary.
The 7-year-old Tempting Dash made a similar splash as a freshman. The royally bred son of First Down Dash out of eventual broodmare of the year A Tempting Chick blasted on to the racing scene in October 2009, winning his Dash For Cash Futurity (G1) trial by 1 3/4 lengths, then returning in the 400-yard final to set a :19.379 track record. The full brother to multiple-Grade 1 winner A Tempting Dash ($541,959) then won his Texas Classic Futurity (G1) trial by 3 1/4 lengths and returned in the final to lower his own track record to :19.205 while winning by 2 3/4 lengths. The horse never posted a speed index below 101 in those four starts, and collected $673,970. A few weeks later, he would also collect honors as the sport’s champion 2-year-old colt, but fans would not see him on-track again.
The sorrel colt acquired piroplasmosis, a blood-borne parasite transmitted by biting ticks or contaminated needles, preventing him from racing but not affecting his breeding ability. He retired to stud, and while technically a second-year sire, he sees his first full crop race this year. From his freshman crop of six foals, he had four starters, three of which were winners in 2013. Currently he has 29 starters, with 11 winners and the earners of $361,600. Kiss My Hocks is his first stakes winner, although he is also the sire of stakes-placed runners A Dashing Valentine ($25,068) and Lovethewayoulie ($12,830). Last year, he stood at No. 7 on the list of 2013 leading sires by average yearling sale prices, with a $34,067 average with 18 head sold.
Tempting Dash was sold last November for a record $1.7 million at the Heritage Place Fall Mixed Sale in Oklahoma City. Purchased by John Simmons’ Simmons Ranch of Burnet, Texas, the stallion brought the highest price of any racing American Quarter Horse sold at public auction. He stands at Granada Farms at Wheelock, Texas.
John Mayers of Laredo, Texas, owns Kiss My Hocks’ dam, Romancing Mary. A 9-year-old mare by Tres Seis and out of the Rolls Of Romance mare Romancin Ashley, Romancing Mary won or placed in 12 of 14 career starts, earning $163,294. Her stakes resume includes a second-place finish in the 2007 edition of the Sam Houston Futurity (then a Grade 1), and third-place finishes in the Longhorn Futurity (G2), Dash For Cash Juvenile Invitational (R), Manor Downs Derby (G2) and Texas Classic Derby (G1). She was fourth in the Sam Houston Derby (G2) and ninth in the Heritage Place Derby (G1).
From six foals to race, she has produced three winners, with Kiss My Hocks her first stakes winner. She is also the dam of My Famous Romance (by One Famous Eagle, $27,634), a finalist in the 2013 Firecracker Futurity (G2).
Romancing Mary is a half sister to freshman filly Awesome Ashley (by Inseperable, $23,176), who at the moment of Kiss My Hocks’ win at Sam Houston was cooling out after finishing third in the Laico Bird Stakes (R) at Remington Park only 20 minutes earlier.
Both of the mares are out of Romancin Ashley, who won or placed in five of 18 starts and earned $43,407 in her career. Opening a family tradition that her daughter and grandson would continue, she would finish fifth in the 2000 Sam Houston Futurity (then G1), and would also finish fourth in the Retama Park Derby (G1).
Her dam, In It To Win It, was twice stakes placed, and was also a finalist in the 1992 Heritage Place Futurity (RG1). The mare is out of Elan Too, a half sister to All American Futurity (G1) winner Elans Special (by Special Effort, $1,186,540) as well as stakes winners Reach Together (by Raise Your Glass (TB), $193,261) and Special Elan (by Special Effort, $100,831).
Romancing Mary’s sire, Tres Seis, last year was among the leading broodmare sires by money earned, standing at No. 22. The 15-year-old stallion was the broodmare sire of, among others, last year’s Sam Houston Futurity (G2) winner Especially Tres ($385,380).
Kiss My Hocks is expected to head next to Ruidoso Downs.
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