Pedigree Analysis: Jess A Saint

A million-dollar outcross.

Q-Racing Journal

Jess A Saint (outside) wins the LQHBA Futurity. PHOTO: Coady Photography

Jess A Saint on Saturday won the $1 million Louisiana Quarter Horse Breeders’ Association Futurity (RG1) at Evangeline Downs, making him jess a bargain: the horse sold for $7,200 at last year’s LQHBA Yearling Sale, and now has bankrolled $464,816 for owner Julio Rios of Edinburg, Texas.

He also has quite a pedigree.

The lack of outcross options is a looming problem on racing breeders’ horizons. Of the top 20 leading sires of money earners this year, only two do not have Corona Cartel, Mr Jess Perry or First Down Dash (or First Down Dash’s full sister) within two generations. Of the two exceptions, one is a grandson of Chicks Beduino with First Down Dash (twice) in the third generation. The final exception is Tres Seis, who as the son of the Streakin Six stallion Sixarun and out of the blue hen Reb’s Policy (TB) mare Our Third Delight, is the sole true outlier in the group.

This is, to be sure, not a new problem for racing, and many wise horsemen are working diligently at finding fresh blood. Combining this while still getting blinding speed is not an easy task to succeed at, nor for the faint of heart, and it is good to see that the horse’s breeder J.E. Jumonville, who has been trying crosses on Thoroughbreds for many decades, has struck gold yet again.

Jumonville bred Jess A Saint in partnership with his wife, Bunny. The gelding is by their homebred champion Jess Louisiana Blue and out of the Thoroughbred mare Laughing Saint.

Jess Louisiana Blue is a 17-year-old son of Mr Jess Perry out of Jumonville’s homebred mare The Louisiana Girl. Jess Louisiana Blue earned $170,682 on the track, and was the sport’s champion aged stallion in 2002. From 10 crops to race, he has sired the earners of more than $12.4 million, including the LQHBA Futurity favorite, Jessa Louisiana Zoom, and finalist My Favorite Blue. He stands at Jumonville Farms at Ventress, Louisiana. 

He, too, is a product of Jumonville’s willingness to explore outcrosses. The retired Louisiana state senator, who this year accepted his AQHA Legacy Award as a 50-year cumulative breeder, has bred some of his top mares to Thoroughbred stallions, such as the great mares Justanold Love, Leading Star, Dashingly and Queen For Cash to top Thoroughbred Alydar. The most successful of these crosses, though, was when he crossed his $2.9-million yearling purchase, the Seattle Slew son Louisiana Slew (TB), on his champion mare Little Blue Sheep to produce The Louisiana Girl. In addition to Jess Louisiana Blue, she is the dam of top freshman sire The Louisiana Cartel and producers Louisiana Eye Opener and This Girl Is Special, among others. And, of course, the reverse cross: Jumonville owned such Thoroughbred mares as Brenda Beauty (Cornish Prince-Lyvette by To Market), from which he produced the Truckle Feature mare Brenda Feature, the dam of Feature Mr Jess.

In the current case study, the dam is Laughing Saint, an unraced daughter of champion Vindication out of the Saint Ballado mare Devine Laughter. This is her first foal.

Vindication, like successful Quarter Horse sire and Thoroughbred Favorite Trick, was a freshman champion in his sport. And, like Favorite Trick, he died far too young, passing away in 2008.

Devine Laughter is Laughing Saint’s dam, and was a stakes winner who earned $101,898 in her career. She produced only two foals, and is the only foal out of her dam, French Ballerina.

Laughing Saint’s third dam is Song Of Syria, a daughter of Damascus, who produced Thoroughbred champion 2-year-old Chilukki ($1,201,828), herself the second dam of Thoroughbred champion Cuqui’s Love ($240,483).

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