All American: Little Man Flash

Sarah Donaldson-Rioux scores two homeruns for the "little guy" breeders.

Q-Racing Journal

Sarah Donaldson-Rioux bred All American finalist Too Flash For You. PHOTO: Andrea Caudill

Sarah Donaldson-Rioux wouldn’t miss the All American for the world. Not this one. Or this two. She’s the breeder of Too Flash For You in the All American Derby (G1) and a partner in the breeding of Mad About The Moon in the All American Futurity (G1).

Sarah and husband Adam Rioux (pronounced rio) have been married five years and they have one child, daughter Adeline, who will be 2 in October. The couple owns Born Running Ranch, where they have broodmares, raise babies and stand the American Quarter Horse stallion Coronas Blackdiamond and the Thoroughbreds Red Sky Dubai and Delhomme on 47 acres at Deming, New Mexico. They also are partners in the Hughes-Donaldson Horse Company with Larry Hughes, who ranches at Salida, Colorado, and raced the stakes-winning Rocket Wrangler gelding War Star Wrangler, who ran second in Justanold Love’s Champion of Champions (G1).

“Larry, with his son Britt, and I formed a partnership a couple of years ago to raise New Mexico-breds,” Sarah says. “They provide the mares, and basically I raise the babies, fit them and take them to the sale.”

Mad About The Moon is one result. Bred in the name of the Hughes-Donaldson Horse Company, Mad About The Moon is a bay gelding by champion First Moonflash, and one of three winners and the earners of more than $187,000 from seven starters out of the winning I Be Streakin mare Streaking Power, a half-sister to Ongoing Ta Fame ($644,746, by Dash Ta Fame).

“Larry owns Mad About The Moon’s mom, Streaking Power, and the partnership leased her and bred her to First Moonflash,” Sarah says. “She lived here and I foaled her out and then raised the baby. And then we split the phenomenal sum of $5,000 between us.”

Five-grand. That was what David Valdez paid for Mad About The Moon at the 2013 New Mexico-Bred Sale at Ruidoso.

“Mad About The Moon is a bit on the smaller side,” Sarah says. “Our farm name for him was ‘Little Man’. People would come to look at him, and when we’d pull him out all they’d say was, well, he’s too small, maybe you should just put him back in the stall. But Streaking Power’s babies have never been real big. That’s just the type and size of the horse she throws.”

The least experienced qualifier in the All American Futurity, Mad About The Moon finished fourth in his first race, a May 30 trial to the Mountain Top Futurity (RG3), and then returned to win against maiden company on July 21. Making his third career start, Mad About The Moon finished second to Bodacious Eagle in the seventh heat on the second day of the All American trials, and goes into the All American Futurity with a record of 3-1-1-0 and $6,748.

“He was a great colt to work with,” Sarah says. “He was kinda small, but he was one of my favorites that year. He was always ready to go, and everywhere he went was with purpose. But he didn’t give me any trouble. Everything was easy. He was a standout as a foal, but as he grew everybody else just kept growing taller. Streaking Power isn’t a real big mare, either, and I raised a bunch of her babies here for Larry, and they all kinda have the same body type. They’re nice babies, but they don’t get a lot of respect as yearlings, though, because people like the giant ones.”

Sarah laughs.

“But apparently it doesn’t matter.”

Coming in on the larger size is Too Flash For You, the first stakes winner that Sarah bred in her name of Sarah E. Donaldson-Rioux. She has bred three other winners and the earners of more than $199,000 from nine starters, including Too Flash For You’s stakes-placed half-brother Famous Pie (by Dash Ta Fame, $14,285).

A brown gelding by First Moonflash, Too Flash For You is one of seven winners and the earners of more than $318,000 from 11 starters out of the winning Rare Form mare Rare Pie ($11,084), who in 1996 ran in Darkelly’s Blue Ribbon Futurity (G1). The gelding sold for $20,000 at the 2012 Ruidoso Select Yearling Sale, and now races for Jose Espinosa of Edinburg, Texas, and Jim and Michele Laird of Doss, Texas.

“Too Flash For You was one of those foals that was really funny,” Sarah says. “He got into everything. He became kinda part of our family just because he had a crazy personality – a good personality, real good, but . . . crazy. I had a hard time keeping keep him in fence. He could get out of nearly anything. We have poly fences, with a pipe post and pipe top rail, but the fencing between is the kind of poly (tubing) that fiber optic cable is run in underground. It’s flexible and we put it up to prevent foals from hurting themselves. ‘Flash’ figured out that he could wedge his body through it and then somersault out, or he’d lift it up and go under it. So I had a hard time keeping him in a fence. I finally ended up putting up an electric tape because that was the only thing he wouldn’t go through – the little sucker! He could open gates!”
Too Flash For You broke his maiden on his fifth start and scored his sole win as a 2-year-old when he won his trial to the Zia Futurity (RG1) at Ruidoso Downs. He then finished ninth in the $409,434 final won by Handsome Jack Flash, who went on to win the All American Futurity and end last year as champion 2-year-old. That same season as a freshman, Too Flash For You ran in eight other races, including the Sunland Park Winter Futurity (G2), New Mexican Spring Futurity (RG2) and Mountain Top Futurity (RG3).

Undefeated in three starts this year, Too Flash For You opened his sophomore campaign in the $85,320 New Mexico HBA Stakes (RG2) on February 16 at Sunland Park and the $45,000 New Mexico Breeders’ Stakes (RG2) on May 18 at Ruidoso. He comes into the All American Derby with a record of 12-4-3-0 and $135,416.

Sarah and her husband will make their annual All American jaunt, but this weekend with a little more impetus than normal.

“We usually come up for a couple of days for the sale and the races,” Sarah says. “We’re coming up for the sale this Saturday and leaving after the race on Monday. Yeah, we wouldn’t miss it! At this stage, with everything that’s happening, we’re definitely going to be there!”

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