All American: Dash'n'Down

Sleepy-runners Down Side Magician and Mon Ti Dash look for a big score in the All American Derby.

Q-Racing Journal

Sleepy Gilbreath with Mon Ti Dash. PHOTO: Richard Chamberlain

Dwayne “Sleepy” Gilbreath is a man of few words. He prefers to let results speak for themselves.

An example is the All American Derby (G1), where he’ll send out two qualifiers this Sunday, Mon Ti Dash and Down Side Magician.

“Mon Ti Dash is a good-minded colt,” says the trainer. “He run second (in his Derby trial), run right behind Houdini, and he’s come back great. He’s kinda small, but he has a nice, long stride – jumps a long ways for a little horse. So I look for a big race from this horse – if he just gets away from the gate good.”

And. . . .

“Down Side Magician has been kind of a hard-luck horse,” Gilbreath says. “He’s just as good as he can be, really tries, wants to do good. He trains up really big. He pulled up real good from the trials, too, so we’re looking for a big race from him, too.”

Bred by Vessels Stallion Farm, Mon Ti Dash was purchased for $49,000 at the 2012 Ruidoso Select Yearling Sale by Ponderosa Ranch/MCM Farms LLC of Long Beach, Mississippi. The sorrel colt by First Down Dash is the least-experienced runner in the Derby field, where he is set to make his fifth career start in the final. The horse started one race as a 2-year-old, where he finished fourth in maiden company at Delta Downs. Mon Ti Dash returned this spring at Sam Houston to break his maiden in a Sam Houston Derby (G3) trial. He stumbled from the gate in his June 13 trial to the Adequan Ruidoso Derby Challenge, but returned in the All American trials to finish second behind Houdini at 27-1 odds. Mon Ti Dash goes in the All American Derby with a record of 4-1-1-0 and $3,840.

“We just got him in May after we got out here,” Gilbreath says. “We didn’t have him as 2-year-old; the horse came to me from Bobby Martinez, so he was in real good shape. Bobby had run the horse in Houston this spring and he won a derby trial, but a thunderstorm and wind come in and knocked him out of the finals. For his first start here, we started him in a Challenge trial – and he fell: Drew the 10 hole, he walked in there and they kicked it, and he fell out of the gate and didn’t do any good there. So we just kind of sat on him till the All American Derby trials.”

Bred by R.D. Hubbard and J. Jones Jr. Int. Ltd., and racing for Hubbard and Jones’ J Bar 7 Ranch LLC, Down Side Magician is a bay gelding by The Down Side. He broke his maiden in his only start as a freshman, in June 2013 at Ruidoso Downs, and his second career race was a second-place finish in allowance company in April at Remington Park. Down Side Magician finished third in the May 24 trials to the Ruidoso Derby (G1) and in the July 4 trials to the Rainbow Derby (G1), and came into the All American Derby trials off a fourth in the July 19 Rainbow Derby Invitational (R). The gelding now has a record of 6-1-2-2 and $18,748.

“He’s been kind of a hard-luck horse,” Gilbreath says. “We ran him last year in a maiden race and he just blew ’em away, looked like The Big Horse as a 2-year-old. And two nights later, he colicked and had to have colic surgery, knocked him out of his whole 2-year-old year. Then we brought him back and run him once at Remington Park, and he run second while they were setting a track record going 350 yards. He’s a nice horse but just has kinda had a run of bad luck.

“So we’ll just have to see what happens.”

Nuff said.

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