Lena's Bar

Lena's Bar

Inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 2003.

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Lena’s Bar (TB) came from a line of great runners and passed on the legacy.

Lena’s Bar (TB) was bred and owned her entire life by legendary horseman and American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame member Walter Merrick.  The chestnut mare was sired by Three Bars (TB) and out of Lena Valenti by Gray Dream in 1954.

The mare did not start her running career until she was 3.  New Mexico was the only state that allowed Thoroughbreds to compete in regular Quarter Horse races during the 1950s.  However, Thoroughbreds were not allowed to participate in the Quarter Horse futurities for two-year-olds.  Lena’s Bar finally got her start in 1957, starting eight times and winning four.

On July 26, 1959, Lena’s Bar won the 400-yard Bright Eyes Stakes at Ruidoso Downs and three weeks later took the 400-yard Miller Motel Allowance at the same track.  She ran against world champion racing horses Go Man Go, Vanetta Dee and Double Bid. 

Lena’s Bar also won the Buttons and Bows Stakes and C. L. Maddon’s Bright Eyes Handicap, both at Albuquerque in 1958.  By the end of her career, she started 76 races against Quarter Horses, garnering 24 wins and earning $28,311.

Lena’s Bar was put into Merrick’s broodmare band in 1962.  She produced five foals, each of which won races and earned Registers of Merit on the track, while earning $557,199.

The mare’s two most successful offspring resulted from her courtship with Jet Deck, a racing world champion who was the first Quarter Horse to earn more than $200,000 on the straightaways.  Jet Smooth became successful on the track, in the show arena and as a breeding stallion.  Easy Jet, her last foal, and perhaps her most famous foal, redefined what it was to be a champion racing Quarter Horse.  He was inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 1993.

Lena’s Bar was inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 2003.


Biography updated as of March 2003.