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Q-Racing Blog: The First Half

Looking over the year's early leaders.

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By Ty Wyant

The 2019 racing season is halfway home and get prepared for the second half. The rest of the year promises to boost the intrigue and cement championships.

While the great races this past weekend will surely cause some changes, the most recent AQHA Racing Poll provides a creditable glimpse at the top stakes horses’ relative merits and is a good basis for analyzing the first half of 2019. So, let’s take a brief look at the top-5 2-year-olds and the top-5 older horses. These horses will be ones to watch for the rest of the year.

Note: This poll was taken before the $1,030,000 Ed Burke Memorial Futurity (G1), so it doesn’t reflect Flokie’s win by the narrowest of margins over Dreams Divine. They could figure in the next poll.

2-year-olds

1-Uptowne Babe
Sam Green’s Uptown Babe moved to the top of the rankings with her three-quarter-length win in the $1,073,100 Heritage Place Futurity (G1) and raised her earnings to $512,657. The daughter of Mr Jess Perry was a close third in the $895,210 Remington Park Oklahoma-bred Futurity (RG1).

2-Fernweh
Rusty Allred’s Fernweh jumped up to the poll’s second position after prevailing by a head in the $1-million Ruidoso Futurity (G1) at Ruidoso Downs. Trainer Trey Wood said that will be the final 2019 start for the Favorite Cartel daughter since she had a small chip removed from her right knee and won’t return to racing until next year. While she figures to be overtaken in the polls during the later half of the year, the best thing was done for the horse and we can look forward to her sophomore campaign.

3-Trump My Record
Cruz Nava’s Trump My Record has done everything right. The colt has won each of his four starts, including a pair of futurities. The Apollitical Blood son won the $254,070 Harrah’s Entertainment Futurity (G3) by a neck and the $459,700 Sam Houston Futurity (G2) by one-half length.

4-EC Revenge
Elizabeth Logan’s EC Revenge is also unbeaten from four starts. The Hes Relentless-sired gelding won the $396,700 Oklahoma Futurity by one length and then the $100,000 Remington Park Juvenile by one length.

5-TF Shez Jess Dashin
Down South Racing LLC’s TF Shez Jess Dashin was second by a neck in the $305,269 Mardi Gras Futurity (RG2) and came back to win the $339,931 Louisiana Lassie Futurity (RG2) by three quarters of a length. The Sir Runaway Dash daughter has won three of her four starts.

Older Horses

1-Apocalyptical Jess
Bill Robbins’ Apocalyptical Jess was the 2018 champion 2-year-old gelding and may be even better this year. The Apollitical Jess son has won each of his four 2019 starts. He won the $319,975 Remington Park Derby (RG3) by a dominating 1 3/4 lengths and then took the $958,800 Ruidoso Derby (G1) by a game neck to push his earnings to $2,081,773. Look for him this weekend in the Rainbow Derby (G1) trials. 

2-Political Attraction
Rogelio Marquez Jr. and Kathy Robinson’s Political Attraction went three-for-three in stakes races at Remington Park this spring while moving up in class and was named horse of the meet. The Apollitical Jess-sired gelding won the $50,000 Eastex Stakes (G2) by three quarters of a length, the $100,000 Sooner State Stakes (RG1) in a dead heat and the $255,680 Remington Park Championship (G1) by one length.

3-Apollitical Pence
Dunn Ranch’s homebred Apollitical Pence has thrived at Los Alamitos and Remington Park. A gelding by Apollitical Jess, Apollitical Pence was second by a neck to Powerful Favorite in the $211,000 El Primero Del Ano Derby (G3) at Los Alamitos and then won the $367,800 Heritage Place Derby (G2) by a neck at Remington Park.

4-Powerful Favorite
Rosenthal Ranch LLC’s Powerful Favorite is 4-for-4 this year with a couple of derby wins at Los Alamitos. The Favorite Cartel-sired gelding dominated the $198,700 Los Alamitos Winter Derby (G1) by 1 1/4 lengths and took the El Primero Del Ano Derby by a neck over Apollitical Pence.

5-Zoomin For Spuds
Jim Walker’s homebred Zoomin For Spuds has been one of the premier older geldings over the past several years and is in peak form this year. The 6-year-old son of Zoomin For Bux made his sole stakes appearance this year in the $157,200 Brad McKinzie Los Alamitos Winter Championship (G1) and fought to a head win as the 9-5 favorite.

AQHA News and information is a service of the American Quarter Horse Association. For more news and information, follow @AQHA Racing on Twitter, "like" Q-Racing on Facebook, and visit www.aqha.com/racing.