All American: Joining The Team

Mike Joiner will saddle Thunderball B and Tempting Destiny in the All American Futurity.

Q-Racing Journal

Mike Joiner will saddle two in the All American Futurity. PHOTO: Andrea Caudill

By this time of the season, a lot of horses and quite a few horsemen have left Ruidoso Downs for the next stop on their schedule. Mike Joiner has sent some of his horses down the road, also, some to Zia Park at Hobbs, New Mexico, and others home to Frontera Training Center at El Paso. But he also has quite a few still left on the Mountain, where the trainer has four head qualified for Grade 1 races on Labor Day weekend: Thunderball B and Tempting Dynasty in the All American Futurity and Kates Dynasty and J Bar in the All American Derby.

Joiner is one of three trainers who have two qualifiers in the Futurity. Blane Wood has Sam Crow and Bodacious Eagle, and Umberto Belloc will saddle JM Miracle and This Fire Is Cold

Bred by Bielau Oaks, Thunderball B is by FDD Dynasty and is one of four winners from six starters out of the winning Heza Fast Man mare Hollywood A List, who is a half-sister to Ruidoso Futurity (G1) winner Okey Dokey Fantasy ($576,521, by Okey Dokey Dale) and has produced the earners of more than $238,000.

Thunderball B was purchased for $40,000 at the Ruidoso Select Yearling Sale, and now races for the partnership of Pat Guthrie, Billy Smith, Paul Blanchard and Fred Grooms of Rancho Mirage, California.

“Mike (Joiner) said that I needed to go over and look at this horse,” Smith says. “He really looked like a horse who wanted to run on down the track (at a longer distance). After I bought him, then all the partners wanted in on him.”

Thunderball B made his first start in the May 23 trials to the Ruidoso Futurity (G1), when he finished second by 2 3/4 lengths to Famous Corona Lady, who qualified for the Ruidoso final. His second start was in the July 4 trials to the Rainbow Futurity (G1), where Thunderball B finished half a length off the pace in fourth.

Making his third career start in the All American trials, Thunderball B broke his maiden while setting the fastest qualifying time by the narrowest of margins on the first day of trials. Thunderball B was in the 14th and final trial, where he clocked :21.336. Im A Fancy PYC clocked :21.337 in the 11th trial.

“Thunderball B has always shown talent,” Joiner says. “In his first race, the Ruidoso Futurity trials, he drew the outside and got lost out there. The 1 horse won the race, and he just couldn’t see that filly down in there. Then he drew the 1 hole in the trials for the Rainbow Futurity and he ran a little green, kinda ran in little spurts down through there.

“Then we ran him back in the (All American) trials, and he put it all together,” Joiner says “He run a big race and finished really strong. It looks like he’s figuring it out. I hope he improves a little bit off those trials.”

“Thunderball B is a real quiet horse, pretty laid back and he’s a real smart colt, just kind does whatever you ask him to do,” Joiner says. “He trains good. We’ve just walked him up till now. We’re going to gallop a couple times and stand him (in the gate) and that’d be it, that’ll be all he’d need to be ready for the final.”

Tempting Destiny is a sorrel gelding by sophomore sire Tempting Dash. The gelding is the first winner from three starters out of the stakes-winning Mr Jess Perry mare Dashingfordestiny ($56,961), who in 2010 scored in the TQHA Sires’ Cup Derby (RG3) at Sam Houston Race Park after competing the previous season in the Ed Burke Million Futurity (G1) at Los Alamitos.

Tempting Destiny is bred by Kirk Goodfellow and was purchased at the Ruidoso Select Yearling Sale for $75,000 by Mark Allen’s Double Eagle Ranch at Roswell, New Mexico. Tempting Destiny races for the Santa Teresa, New Mexico-based partnership of Allen, Dr. Leonard Blach, Henry “Butch” Southway and Joiner. Blach owns and manages the breeding farm Buena Suerte Equine at Roswell, and in 2009 he and Allen triumphed in Thoroughbred racing by winning the Kentucky Derby with Mine That Bird and in Quarter Horse racing by winning the Ruidoso Derby (G1) with Time For A Cigar.

Making his fourth career start in the All American trials, Tempting Destiny won his trial and clocked :21.529. Ridden in each of his races by G.R. Carter Jr., the gelding broke his maiden on first asking, in his May 23 trial to the Ruidoso Futurity (G1). He finished seventh in the June 8 final won by Kiss My Hocks, and then returned to finish second by a nose in the July 4 trials to the Rainbow Futurity (G1).

“Tempting Dynasty is a good-minded horse,” Joiner says. “He’s a little more revved up than Thunderball B. He kinda gets on the engine a little bit. He’s a little more of a handful than the others, to an extent, but he trains really good. He’s a real-good-feelin’ horse most of the time. So he’s a little bit different, as far as that part of it goes, but he does everything right on race day.

“I think he’s improving, but he’s been pretty consistent – he qualified out of these trials, he qualified for the Ruidoso Futurity and he missed the Rainbow by a hair. He ran second by a nostril in his Rainbow trial, and missed making the final by 2/100ths. We didn’t run him back in the Rainbow Juvenile (R). We ran him back in the All American trials and he won, so he’s a pretty consistent racehorse.”

And Tempting Destiny and Thunderball B are on the same team, where they have joined the Joiners.

“My son Cody trains on his own – has a few horses here and we talk all the time and whatnot, but he has his own deal and I’ve got my own deal,” Joiner says. “My youngest son Justin helps me all the time. Justin means a great deal to our program – he runs the barn down at Frontera and we swap horses back and forth all the time.

“We’re just proud to be here (in the All American) and we’re proud for our owners. We’ll see what happens.”

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