angle-left Q-Racing Blog: Paying Off

Q-Racing Blog: Paying Off

A summer's rest is paying off for Mental Error.

text size

Bobby Simmons’ Mental Error showed that a summer rest can result in a superlative performance and mark the horse as one who could move forward throughout the remainder the year at Los Alamitos.

Mental Error, simply destroyed his competition in the seventh of seven trials to the $355,000 PCQHRA Breeders Futurity (G2) on October 5.

The colt started with his rivals and quickly the race was over. He flew away to win by a stunning 2 lengths. His time of :17.437 for the 350 yards was easily the top qualifying mark by nearly 2/10ths of a second.

“He ran his strongest race of the year,” trainer Paul Jones said. “He’s always been one of my top 2-year-olds.”

Mental Error was busy early in his 2-year-old campaign. After turning in his required two qualifying works, he made five starts before July and showed he was a top prospect. He was second by a neck in the $361,799 Robert Adair Kindergarten Futurity (G2) behind Chayito Cartel, who raced in the Breeders Futurity trials and did not quality with a second-place run.

In late June, Mental Error was a troubled fifth in the Ed Burke Futurity.

“He was given a breather and we freshened him up,” Jones said. He resurfaced in the Breeders Futurity trials on September 15.

The Breeders Futurity trials showcased his sire, Favorite Cartel, who is co-bred and co-owned by Jones. The top-five Breeders Futurity qualifiers are Favorite Cartel offspring.

Favorite Cartel is on a roll. His daughter Tequila Sangria won the $125,000 Mildred Vessels Memorial Handicap (G1) over older distaffers the weekend after the Breeders Futurity trials. He has also sired three 2019 Grade 1 winners, and his offspring have won or placed in more than 20 graded stakes this year.

“Favorite Cartel is having an incredible year,” Jones said. “All of them run down the racetrack.”

Favorite Cartel is by the late Favorite Trick (TB), who was Thoroughbred racing’s Horse of the Year as a 2-year-old before being discovered as a sire of American Quarter Horses. He sired top runners Tricky Dust ($428,581) and Prankster CF ($230,013) before being purchased with the intention of standing him to Quarter Horses. Tragically, the sire died in 2006 after only one full season at stud, and only has 135 foals. Fortunately, Favorite Cartel is carrying on his legacy.

“Favorite Cartel is an outcross. Our industry has been needing an outcross and he’s been making this work with the Thoroughbred outcross,” Jones said.

Mental Error lines up against an excellent field. “This race is consistently a good group of horses,” Jones said. “It’s not easy to win.”

Among those in the field is Cesar Nunez’s $365,500 Governor’s Cup Futurity (RG2) winner Pitbull, who was third behind Mental Error in their Breeders Futurity trial, and Dr. Ed Allred’s homebred Governor’s Cup Futurity finalist Up For Speed. They are both by Favorite Cartel.

Mental Error will probably pass on the $1 million-est. Golden State Million Futurity (G1) and point at the $2 million Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity (G1) in December, according to Jones.

“If he repeats his trial one more time, I’ll be more than happy,” Jones said. “If he repeats it three more times, it will be unbelievable.”

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