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All American Futurity Qualifier: First Valiant Sign

 FIRST VALIANT SIGN
Brown gelding, Valiant Hero-First Painted Sign by PYC Paint Your Wagon

Race record: 5-2-2-1 $498,680
Breeder: The Mixer Ranch
Owner: Scott Bryant, Joe Dee Brooks, R. Lee Lewis, Derrol Hubbard
Trainer: Mike Joiner
Qualifying jockey: G.R. Carter Jr.
Qualifying time: :21.582

Pedigree Analysis 

Race Record: Ruidoso Futurity (G1) winner First Valiant Sign established himself as the probable favorite for the $1.5 million first-place check in the $3 million All American Futurity (G1) on Labor Day at Ruidoso Downs. The brown gelding by Valiant Hero sprinted 440 yards in :21.582 to set the fastest qualifying time from the 17 heats on the second day of trials.

First Valiant Sign was brilliant in the 12th trial. Sent to post as the 1-2 favorite, the powerful gelding showed he is a true quarter-mile runner by easily disposing of his competition in the last half of the 440 yards to win by a length.

Carter qualified four of the 10 All American Futurity finalists over the two days of trials, including Jess Good Candy, Sky Bo Dash and Giving It All.

“I’ll get on all of them before the futurity,” Carter said. “But it would be really tough not to ride First Valiant Sign.”

Now an earner of $498,680, First Valiant Sign shows only two wins from his five starts, but has never been worse than third and was just a neck away from racing for the $4 million All American Triple Crown Bonus that would be awarded to the connections of any horse that wins the Grade 1 Ruidoso, Rainbow and All American futurities. After breaking his maiden in the $750,000 Ruidoso Futurity on June 7, he was second in his Rainbow Futurity trial and qualified for the $1 million final. In the July 19 Rainbow Futurity, First Valiant Sign was bumped around between horses at the start and rallied to make up ground with brilliant speed, but came up a neck short to Tres Friends and was forced to settle for second.

“I’m still so excited,” co-owner Derrol Hubbard, son of Ruidoso Downs owner R.D. Hubbard. “We knew we had a special horse and he is just a sweetheart. Most people don’t get one horse like this in their lives.”

Breeder: The Mixer Ranch breeding program has seen much success in 2015, with First Valiant Sign’s win in the $750,000 Ruidoso Futurity (G1), just one week after A Tres Of Paint (by Tres Seis) finished runner-up in the $1,170,000 Heritage Place Futurity (G1). Both 2-year-olds are out of the Mixers’ First Painted Sign. In total, Mixer Ranch has produced earners of more than $1.4 million, including 19 winners and five stakes winners out of 75 starts. 

Owners: Scott Bryant, Joe Dee Brooks, R. Lee Lewis and Derrol Hubbard's partnership is based in Levelland, Texas, and they have already seen much success in 2015 with First Valiant Sign. The brown gelding has finished in the money in every start, with one win, two places and one show, amassing $496,280. They purchased him at the Ruidoso Select Yearling Sale for $100,000.

Trainer: A top-10 all-timing leading trainer, Michael W. Joiner has conditioned earners of $20 million, with 655 wins and 75 stakes wins out of 3,838 starts. His resume includes the 2004 All American Derby winner Brimmerton; 2014 All American Gold Cup (G1) winner DM Streakin Thru Fire; and Kates Dynasty, the 2013 AQHA racing champion 2-year-old filly. He also trains qualifier McClintock B.

Jockey: The No. 1 all-time leading jockey, G.R. Carter Jr. has amassed $69.2 million in career earnings, including 3,784 wins and 362 stakes wins out of 23,825 starts. Carter was in the irons aboard All American Futurity winners Falling In Loveagain (1998) and Stolis Winner (2008). He rode Dashing Perfection to the 1997 All American Derby championship. Carter is the sport's most decorated AQHA champion jockey (1993, 1997, 2003-2008, 2011-12).

Pedigree: Bred by Robert and Jill Mixer’s Mixer Ranch at Edmond, Oklahoma, First Valiant Sign is one of 24 stakes winners, 160 other winners and the earners of more than $11.2 million from 318 starters in five crops raced by Grade 1 winner Valiant Hero ($668,633), who sired champion and All American Derby (G1) winner Feature Hero ($1,418,960).

An 11-year-old son of First Down Dash, Valiant Hero is out of the Chicks Beduino mare Corona Chick ($591,326), who was a champion on the racetrack, broodmare of the year off of it and this year was inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame. Corona Chick is the dam of 11 winners and the earners of more than $3.6 million from 14 starters. Included among them is Corona Cartel ($557,142), who is by the First Down Dash stallion Holland Ease and is the leading living sire of racing American Quarter Horses with progeny earnings of more than $48.7 million. Valiant Hero is a full brother to champion and All American Futurity winner Corona Cash ($1,542,880) and stakes winner Corona Czech ($125,759). Owned by a syndicate, Valiant Hero stands at Lazy E Ranch at Guthrie, Oklahoma.

First Valiant Sign is the first stakes winner out of the Grade 1-winning PYC Paint Your Wagon mare First Painted Sign ($284,911). All three of First Painted Sign’s starters are winners, including the 2-year-old Tres Seis filly A Tres Of Paint ($284,556), who finished second in the May 30 Heritage Place Futurity (G1) and ran in the Rainbow Futurity (G1).