Challenge Championships: Eagle Kiss

Kissed By An Eagle is prepped for the John Deere Juvenile.

Quarter Racing Journal

Kissed By An Eagle gets a kiss from Peggy Brown. PHOTO: Richard Chamberlain

One of the top John Deere salesmen in the country and his wife have a top qualifier in the October 29 John Deere Juvenile Challenge Championship (G2) at Los Alamitos.

Mark and Peggy Brown will be on hand to watch their homebred gelding Kissed By An Eagle in Saturday’s $150,000 season-ending championship.

Kissed By An Eagle (One Famous Eagle-Dreaming Of Kisses by Legendary Dreamer) earned his berth with a wire-to-wire victory at 23-1 odds in the $44,820 John Deere California Juvenile Challenge Stakes on August 20 at Los Alamitos.

With Cesar DeAlba in the irons for Rafael Orozco in the California Challenge, Kissed By An Eagle sprinted 350 yards in :17.609. The sixth-fastest qualifier to the California Challenge final, Kissed By An Eagle scored by half of a length over another One Famous Eagle gelding, Kindergarten Futurity (G3) winner One Proud Eagle, while the fastest qualifier and 1-5 favorite, Beehive Futurity winner Bannister, finished three-quarters of a length off the pace in third.
 
Bannister went on to win the $118,200 Wild West Futurity on Sunday, October 23, at Los Alamitos. In that race, the Browns’ homebred Bos On Time (Bodacious Eagle-One Prompt Chick by Chicks Beduino) finished seventh.

An earner of $27,303 who has won three of six career races, Kissed By An Eagle followed his Challenge victory with a half-length score but in a non-qualifying time in the September 11 trials to the PCQHRA Breeders Futurity (G2).

Kissed By An Eagle is a true family project. The Browns bred and raised the gelding on their ranch at American Falls, Idaho, near Pocatello. They also bred the gelding's dam, Dreaming Of Kisses, an earner of $41,945 who won the 2010 Bitterroot Futurity (RG2) at Pocatello Downs. Dreaming Of Kisses is an 8-year-old daughter of the Browns’ homebred Chicks Beduino stallion Legendary Dreamer ($35,532), who Blane Schvaneveldt sent out to score in the 2004 Jens L. List Jr. Memorial California Breeders Stakes (RG3) at Los Alamitos.

“He was a beautiful baby,” says Mark Brown, who has spent more than 30 years as one of John Deere’s most successful dealers. “Kissed By An Eagle was a nice colt, good to handle, just a really nice individual. He was in the pasture with the other colts, like Bos On Time, and he’d run and buck and play with them. He wasn’t over-aggressive – he was actually sort of a pet. But his mother was a pet, too.”

In addition to his three wins from six trips to post, Kissed By An Eagle has also run third twice. His only off-the-board finish was in his second start, when he finished a well-beaten sixth after a stumble and rough trip in the June 5 trials to the Ed Burke Million Futurity (G1).

“Jordan Hadley broke Kissed By An Eagle up in Idaho, and then we sent him down to Rafael (Orozco), who was Blane Schvaneveldt’s assistant trainer for years,” Brown says. “He’s been at Los Al all summer. Rafael has always liked him – he loves him. We had to castrate him after the Ed Burke trials, because he just wasn’t paying attention, and I think that just about broke Rafael’s heart. Rafael didn’t want to cut him, but it had to be done, and since then he’s done real well. We’re looking forward to Saturday night.”

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