Danjer is the 2021 World Champion Racing American Quarter Horse

Danjer is the 2021 World Champion Racing American Quarter Horse

Danjer is owned by breeder Dean Frey in partnership with Downtime Enterprises LLC and Billy Smith and was also named champion aged horse and champion aged gelding.

A jockey rides a dark horse across the finish line.

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Danjer dominated the racetrack in 2021, and for those accomplishments, he was crowned World Champion Racing American Quarter Horse at the AQHA Racing Champions Announcement Ceremony January 12 at Heritage Place in Oklahoma City. He is owned by breeder Dean Frey in partnership with Downtime Enterprises LLC and Billy Smith and was also named champion aged horse and champion aged gelding.

Danjer was the 2020 champion aged horse and champion aged gelding, and only improved as a 5-year-old in 2021. He made seven starts, with five wins and two seconds, earning $651,113. His year was highlighted by victories in the Debbie Schauf Remington Park Invitational Championship (G1), Bank of America Challenge Championship (G1), Refrigerator Invitational Championship (G1), All American Gold Cup (G1) and Bank of America Canterbury Championship Challenge (G3). The gelding by FDD Dynasty and out of the Take Off Jess mare Shez Jess Toxic raced at five different racetracks in four states during his world champion year. He was trained by Dean Frey and ridden in all his starts by Cody Smith.

Eagles Fly Higher repeats as the champion aged stallion after winning two of nine starts and earning $107,902. The 5-year-old stallion by One Famous Eagle and out of the First Down Dash mare Lone Bet was bred by V.H. Harman Jr. and Robert Moudy III, and he is owned by Darling Farms and Valeriano Racing Stables LLC. He won the Eastex Stakes (G2) and Mr Jet Moore Stakes (G2). He was trained by Roberto G. Madrigal, Jaime Gomez and Casey Black, and ridden by James A. Flores, Jose Nicasio, Oscar Peinado and Mario Delgado.

The daughter of champion Fredaville, Kiss Thru Fire herself became a champion for owner and breeder Gentry Farms as the champion aged mare. At age 4, the Walk Thru Fire mare raced eight times, winning four races to earn $132,147. She was trained by Juan G. Aleman and Trey Wood and ridden by Raul A. Valenzuela. Her stakes wins include the Charger Bar Handicap (G1), Denim N Diamonds Handicap (G3), California Breeders Matron Stakes (RG3) and Sound Dash Handicap.

Multiple Grade 1 winner Jess Savin Candy was named the champion 2-year-old and champion 2-year-old gelding. Bred by Jim and Donna O’Neal and raced by Dutch Masters III, the son of Jess Good Candy out of the Pappasito mare Savin Grace won four of six starts and earned $1,046,200. Trained by John Stinebaugh and ridden by Francisco Calderon, his year was highlighted by victories in the Grade 1 Ruidoso and Rainbow futurities.

The champion 2-year-old colt is Golden Boi, a son of Favorite Cartel out of Logans Dash by Toast To Dash. He was bred and raced by M and G Farms Inc., trained by Valentin A. Zamudio and ridden by Ruben Lozano. Golden Boi won four of six starts and earned $488,791, including a victory in the Ed Burke Million Futurity (G1).

Revenant Moon is the champion 2-year-old filly after a season that included three wins in five starts and earnings of $224,418. Bred by Dosi and Norma Alvarez, Revenant Moon is by A Revenant and out of the FDD Dynasty mare Sochi Moon. She was raced by Trey Odom, Scott Bryant and Norman W. Allen, and trainer Trey Wood and jockey Jose Alvarez guided the filly to a year that included winning the Oklahoma Futurity (G2).

Empressum was impressive with nine wins from 10 starts and earnings of $969,755, and is honored as the champion 3-year-old and champion 3-year-old gelding. He was bred and is owned by Jeff D. Jones and Steve A. Holt, and is by Apollitical Jess and out of the First Down Dash mare Crazy Down Corona. He was trained by M. Heath Taylor and ridden by Rodrigo Vallejo, and won the Texas Classic Derby (G1), Ruidoso Derby (G1), Rainbow Derby (G1) and Remington Park Oklahoma-bred Derby (RG2).

Last year’s world champion Whistle Stop Cafe was honored again this year as the champion 3-year-old filly for owner Whitmire Ranch after a season that saw her win three races, including the Rainbow Oaks, and earn $247,854. She was trained by Trey Wood and ridden by Tanner Thedford. Whistle Stop Cafe was bred by American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame member Bobby D. Cox and is by Freighttrain B and out of the Mr Jess Perry mare Sinuous.

Another repeat champion is 3-year-old colt Dulce Sin Tacha, who won three of five starts, with two seconds, and earned $175,286. Bred by owners Bob and Jerry Gaston, he is by Jess Good Candy and out of the Tempting Dash mare Prissy Sin Tacha. Trained by M. Heath Taylor, he was ridden by Rodrigo Vallejo and James Flores.

The distance champion is Rogers Farms’ Wascallywittlewabbit, a 6-year-old gelding by Heza Motor Scooter and out of the Rabbits Rainbow mare Rabbits N Diamonds. He was bred by Mike Weatherly, trained by Michael W. Joiner and ridden by Benito Jude Baca. He won five of seven starts and earned $184,013, including the Cox Ranch Distance Challenge Championship (G1), Zia 870 Championship, Remington Park Distance Championship (G1) and Pauls Valley Stakes (G2).

Alberta-bred Destello De Luna is the Canadian champion for owners Jane Leech and Haley Moreno. Bred by Ken McFarlane, the gelding is by Lethal N First and out of the Toast To Dash mare A Mere Toast. Trained by William Leech and ridden by Ricardo Moreno, Destello De Luna won or placed in all six of his starts. He won two races, including the Alberta-bred Futurity (RG3), and earned $37,479.

The Danny Cartel filly Texana Cartel is the Mexican champion for breeder and owner Cuadra La Presita. The freshman filly is out of the Oak Tree Special mare La Texana Tree, and won three of five starts, with two seconds. She earned $218,905 under the guidance of trainer Ismael Ayala and riders Paul Osvaldo Rodriguez, L. Vidana and Jose Angel Ambriosio. Her stakes wins include the Subasta Selecta Futurity (RG2) and Garanones Futurity (RG2).

Repeating as the South American champion is Fantastic Fly Apollo, a 2017 colt racing for breeder Ademir Jose Rorato. The horse won both of two starts and earned $20,844. His wins include the GP Pres. Do Jockey Club De Sorocaba and GP Pres. Da ABQM - II Derby. He is by Fantastic Corona Jr and out of the Eyesa Special mare Flyapolloeyesa BR. He was trained by Rivail Rosa and ridden by B. Guimaraes.

American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame horseman Bobby D. Cox earns his fourth champion breeder title, again leading the industry by both money earned and races won, with his standouts including champion Whistle Stop Cafe. The champion owners, Dutch Masters III, this year saw their horses win at a 34 percent clip, led by champion Jess Savin Candy. Oklahoma-based trainer Jason Olmstead saddled the earners of more than $1.9 million and was honored as the Blane Schvaneveldt Champion Trainer for the first time. Also earning his first nod as champion jockey was Francisco Calderon, whose mounts earned more than $3.3 million.

For more information on AQHA racing, visit www.aqha.com/racing.