Rare Form, c. 1993
Rare Form, c. 1993
Rare Form, 2880681
Sire: The Signature
Dam: Especially For You by Dash For Cash
1991 Register of Merit
1992 Superior Race Horse
1992 Mexico Champion 3-year-old colt
1992 AQHA Champion 3-year-old colt
1992 AQHA Champion 3-year-old
Bred by Vessels Stallion Farm of California, Rare Form was the third of four foals out of Especially For You, a daughter of Dash For Cash which failed to light the board in three lifetime starts.
Foaled in 1989, Rare Form was purchased for $14,000 as a yearling in 1990 at the Heritage Place Sale in Oklahoma City by Jose De Jesus Jimenez Sanchez, a peanut grower in Mexico. Taken that night to trainer Sam Valdivia’s farm near Sallisaw, Rare Form was found the next morning lying in his pen, barely breathing and his forehead crushed. Rare Form had run head-on into the pipe railing, and major reconstructive surgery was necessary to repair his collapsed nasal passages. Jimenez considered selling the colt right away, but was told no one would buy him.
Rare Form won seven of 10 starts in the United States in 1991. Sent to Arturo Ruiz at the Hipodromo de las Americas in Mexico City, he debuted with an allowance win. Then, running against the best field Mexico had to offer in the Mexican National Championship, he equaled the track record of :17.32. He was then returned to Valdivia at Remington Park to run in the Special Effort Stakes, where he set a track record with a time of :17.53.
Retired at the end of 1993, Rare Form entered stud in 1993. From 542 starters in 10 crops, the stallion sired 335 winners and the earners of $8.77 million. His 30 stakes winners include champions Fabulous Form, Especially Rare, Joanna Kate and One Rare Bug.
Though it wasn’t the richest win of his career, perhaps Rare Form’s most impressive performance was the QHBC Sophomore Classic (G2). G.R. Carter Jr. picked up the mount when Steve Treasure broke his wrist the morning of entries.
“I had the pleasure of riding Rare Form that one time,” recalled Carter. “I remember it like it was yesterday – it’s one of those races that sticks out in my mind because of the way it shaped up. Mr. Moore had just paid a lot of money for the horse, and he sent him to Bob Gilbert in California. Bob was pretty apprehensive about it, because this was the first time he ran him and the colt’s first time under lights that year.
“Rare Form warmed up pretty good and went in the gate fine. But I guess he wasn’t paying attention, because when they kicked it, he just stood there. We got left by three lengths – I’m sitting on him watching the whole field run away, and I’m thinking, ‘Oh man, what have we done?’
“When he finally left, I’m telling you, he left,” declared Carter. “We’re halfway down the track, I’m still beat over a length, and I know I’ve got the race won. I’ve never had such a feeling of confidence like I had that night, to be that far behind in a straightaway race and know that it’s over. This was a good field of horses – Royal Trips, Leaving Memories, Dashing Cleat; these aren’t plugs – and he’s passing them like they’re loping. After the race, we were in awe. I’ve never overcome a break that bad and won. It still gives me goose bumps thinking about it.”
Rare Form died at 15, just as the 2004 breeding season was starting. The stallion was found injured in his paddock, where he had apparently broken his pelvis. The fans loved him, and everyone seemed to claim him as their own – a California-bred, Oklahoma-running, Mexican speedster.