Pedigree Analysis: Ochoa

An all-time great runs one of his greatest.

By Andrea Caudill
Q-Racing Journal
October 14, 2013


Ochoa. PHOTO: Scott Martinez

Ochoa has already accomplished a lot in his 15-race career. Spanning only three seasons, the gelding has risen to the top of the all-time earnings list, with $2,762,615 banked to date. He is a four-time champion and AQHA Superior racehorse. His stakes victories include the Grade 1 All American Futurity, All American Derby and Rainbow Derby.

On Sunday night, he added to that list the $150,000 Robert L. Boniface Los Alamitos Invitational Championship (G1). Without ever being asked, Ochoa cruised the 440 yards in :21.276. Behind him were champions Hez Our Secret ($855,051) and Rylees Boy ($1,422,839), as well as Grade 1 horses Jess Lips ($387,004), Chivalry SR ($356,856), Priceless Feature ($591,293) and Aha Moment ($318,712).

I and the rest of sprint track media have written quite a bit about Ochoa before, but consider this: Trainer C. Dwayne “Sleepy” Gilbreath called it one of the horse’s best races. Yes, we’re talking about the horse that won the All American Futurity by daylight and the All American Derby in-hand. Could it be that the 4-year-old gelding, like his predecessor Refrigerator (who Gilbreath saddled in the All American Futurity), will start out as a great freshman and improve from there?

Bred by co-owner John T.L. Jones Jr., Ochoa is by Tres Seis and out of the Stoli mare Stolis Fortune. Jones’ wife, Brenda, famously repurchased him from the Ruidoso Select Yearling Sale for $25,000.

“He’s a smart horse, well-made,” Jones said way back in 2011, after the horse won the All American Futurity. “We liked him as a baby. He’s by a horse that wasn’t very popular at the time and out of a (non-winning) mare – that’s about the extent of my genius – but I didn’t really want to sell him.”

When Jones crossed his Stoli mare on Tres Seis, the bay stallion was a third-year sire whose early crops included Wild Six, winner of the 2007 West Texas and Rainbow futurities (both G1) and a finalist in the All American Futurity.

Tres Seis was bred by Mrs. Gwendolyn Eaves and is by Sixarun out of the good mare Our Third Delight, an AQHA dam of distinction. Tres Seis won or placed in nine of 12 starts, while earning $856,901. He would finish second in the 2001 All American Futurity, Rainbow Derby and All American Derby by a combined distance of half a neck, but won the Golden State Futurity (G1) by a half length.  

Now, from eight crops to race, Tres Seis has sired the earners of more than $16.5 million. He is also the sire of Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity (G1) winner Tres Passes ($1,504,928), Refrigerator Handicap (G1) winner Diamond Tres Seis ($294,690), Grade 2 winner Jess Tee Off ($281,566), etc. Owned by a syndicate, Tres Seis stands at JEH Stallion Station – Texas.

Ochoa's dam, appropriately named Stolis Fortune, saw the starting gate four times, but never got closer than 1 1/2 lengths to the winner’s circle. Bred by L/J Farms of Alexandria, Louisiana, the mare is a half sister to Grade 2 winner Fortune First (by First Down Dash, $98,147). Her sire, Stoli, is the sire of former all-time leading money earner Stolis Winner ($2,235,161). Stolis Fortune, who is now owned by Julianna Hawn Holt, has two winners from two starters, with her other starter being Perez (by Fly Jess Fly, $9,128). Her yearling is by Fantastic Corona Jr and is named Top Texas Wildcatter.

But Stolis Fortune’s dam, Splashing Fortune, is a half sister to the tremendous producer Beat Your Pants Off. Among Beat Your Pants Off’s foals are the champion and champion-producing Tolltac mare Jumping Tac Flash ([$147,065], dam of champion Carters Cartel [$659,146], Grade 1 winner Tac It Like A Man [$417,763] and Grade 1-placed Flash First [$351,719]); champion and sire Splash Bac ($135,505); champion producer Catch This Dash (dam of champion Feature Mr Bojangles ($690,074)); and Diva Reba (dam of Grade 1-placed Metallic Lion ($263,045)).

Both Splashing Fortune and Beat Your Pants Off are out of the stakes-placed Jet Creek mare Splashing Bunny, a 1979 mare bred by E.L. and Velma Weber of Ute Park, New Mexico. Splashing Bunny is also the dam of stakes winner BCR My Main Man ($167,577).

Splashing Bunny is out of the Bunny Bid mare Ester’s Bunny, a daughter of Esters Little Klu (TB). This family also produced champion Six To Five ($290,159);On A Bunny (dam of 2006 All American Futurity runner up Gun Battle [$669,449] and world champion barrel racer FM Radio) and stakes winner Chicagoland ($105,702).

Ochoa races for owners Jones’ J Bar 7 Ranch, Monte and Katsy Cluck and Doug Benson.
“He’s something else isn’t he?” said Monte Cluck of Ochoa. “I can’t wait to see the finish line picture to see his ears pricked up. (Roy) never used the whip on him tonight. It’s an honor to be involved with this horse. It’s all about this horse.”