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Press ReleaseJune 14, 2014
Air Born Leader returned to his winning ways Saturday, June 14, taking home his fourth straight title in the $114,000 Born Runner Classic at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino. The win for the grey gelding was the 12th of his career and extended his hold as the all-time leading Indiana-bred Quarter Horse with career earnings now in excess of $454,000.
After a dull effort in the trials and a fourth place finish, Air Born Leader was the seventh quickest qualifier out of 10 for the Born Runner Classic Final. Now 6-years-old, the son of Leader Of The Class had struggled in only two starts of 2014. Last year, he scored three wins in eight outings, only missing the board once in those starts.
“The last two times out were just out of character for him,” said trainer Tom Mosley, Jr. “He felt good, but I could tell he just wasn’t happy. The last few days, I could tell a difference in him and I could tell he felt happy again.”
Air Born Leader, with Indiana Grand’s all-time leading jockey Harold Collins aboard, had to be happy with their start. A clean break put the gelding in good positioning early on. The duo had a clear shot from post four in the center of the track. Air Born Leader led the field of 10 the entire 400-yard dash, fending off a late charge by race favorite Chilled Six Pack and 2014 Leading Jockey Shanley Jackson from the far outside. Air Born Leader held on to win by a head at the wire over Chilled Six Pack. Beach Meter and Christian Esqueda held tough along the inside to finish a neck back in third.
The time of the race was :20.007, establishing a new stakes record for the Born Runner Classic. The race, which was in its fifth running, is named after a very successful sire in the state of Indiana, Born Runner.
“We brought him (Born Runner) in to our farm in Carbon, Indiana, from Oklahoma in 1988,” said CW Mullenix, owner of Born Runner. “He changed the scenery of Quarter Horse racing in the state of Indiana. I’m very touched with what the folks (Quarter Horse Racing Association of Indiana) have done in honor of him with this race. And, all five years the winners have been out of Born Runner mares, which makes it exceptionally nice.”
Born Runner passed away several years ago. As a result, Mullenix did not replace him at his farm and now only has broodmares at his operation.
Randy Thompson is the owner and breeder of Air Born Leader, whose dam, Air Born Jazz, has been an important part of his operation. Unfortunately, she passed away three years ago, so no future siblings will be coming along behind Air Born Leader.
Thompson has been very active in Quarter Horse racing in the state of Indiana for more than a decade. He is the all-time leading owner at Indiana Grand and with his latest win from Air Born Leader, he surpassed $1 million in earnings as an owner. Thompson also saw something different in Air Born Leader the past two starts, but he had faith in Mosley that things would turn around.
“He just wasn’t himself in his two previous races this year,” said Thompson. “But he proved he could turn it around and on the big day (Born Runner Classic) he showed up.”
Air Born Leader was the fourth pick on the board, paying $12.60, $4.00 and $3.40 across the board. The gelding, who has a very unique running style with a low head carriage, is now 10 for 22 over Indiana Grand’s oval and the latest victory was his sixth career stakes win.
“He is a very easy horse to train and he’s all class,” said Mosley Jr. “From the first time he ever ran, he had a unique way of running. I didn’t think I liked it at first until he became successful. Now, I don’t mind it at all.”
Air Born Leader always appears calm and easy going. However, Mosley noted that he is very strong and very focused when he comes to the paddock. The Mosley Stable credits Victor Deleon, his groom, for keeping him calm. Deleon walks him with two hands on the lead to keep him in check.
Air Born Leader will most likely be back to defend his title in the Bob Woodward Memorial Stakes, scheduled for Saturday, August 9. Prior to that date, there are several more Quarter Horse stakes on the docket at Indiana Grand.
Matt Frazier conditions Chilled Six Pack for owner Dula Racing LLC. The Raymond and Vickie Duke Indiana-bred is by Chilled Corona from the Packin Sixes Jr mare Six Packin Robin. Shanley Jackson rode the multiple stakes winning 5-year-old who boosted his bankroll to $227,686 after pocketing $22,800 for the second place effort.
Beach Meter finished a neck off the leaders to earn her first blacktype finish for owner Ramon Correa Maya. Christian Esqueda rode the 3-year-old daughter of Escondido Beach for trainer Salvador Rojas. The sorrel filly earned $11,400 for the effort. Sheri Miller bred Beach Meter from the Meter Me Gone mare Run The Meter.
Completing the Born Runner Classic field were WH Design By Dash, Bugs Dash Of Honey, Its Chilly, Free Kittens, Achieve The Speed, Romped and WH Beach Baby.
The second of six nights in 2014 dedicated to all Quarter Horse racing at Indiana Grand is slated for Saturday, July 5. Three stakes, the $25,000-added Leader Of The Class Stakes, the $35,000-added Indiana Grand Classic and the $35,000-added Bradford Stakes will take place along with trials for the Jaguar Rocket Futurity and the Heartland Futurity, which will run finals on Saturday, July 26. The evening will be complemented by several activities, including fireworks following the racing program.
Live Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing continues through Saturday, Nov. 1 offering racing Tuesday and Wednesday at 2:05 p.m. with Friday and Saturday action beginning at 5:05 p.m. Thursday racing will be added at 2:05 p.m. July 17. For more information, visit the Website at indianagrand.com.
AQHA News and information is a service of the American Quarter Horse Association. For more news and information, follow @AQHARacing on Twitter, watch the AQHA Racing Newscast and visit www.aqharacing.com.
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