Pedigree Analysis: RCJ Major Storm

Time to celebrate a major New Mexico storm.

Q-Racing Journal

RCJ Major Storm wins the Jess Burner Handicap. PHOTO: Coady Photography

It’s not often we get to celebrate a major storm. Sure, we can celebrate a good rainfall (especially those of us suffering endless droughts), but a major storm, like a hurricane, usually leads to devastation. Fortunately, the kind of major storm I’m going to talk about is the best kind: a good racehorse. Specifically, Linette Sanchez’s RCJ Major Storm, who on Saturday devastated the field in the $85,000 Jess Burner Memorial Handicap (RG1).

It is his second consecutive Restricted Grade 1; he also won the $170,480 Namehimastreaker New Mexico Cup Classic in October at Zia Park. RCJ Major Storm is a 5-year-old stallion with 30 career starts, nine career wins and seven additional placings. He has earned $359,228. He was bred by R.C. “Punch” and Suzanne Jones of Tatum, New Mexico. He is by Brookstone Bay and out of the Major Rime mare Major Kia.

The Joneses are iconic horsemen, and they are the only married couple to be separately inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame. They also sit in the Ruidoso Downs Racehorse Hall of Fame

Punch came from a ranching background, and was deeply involved in racing and rodeoing, breeding and serving as a leader in livestock organizations. Suzanne was riding at a high level even at a young age. She was an early trainer for the show jumping superstar later known as Nautical, star of Disney’s award-winning documentary The Horse With The Flying Tail. She trained several international jumping prospects and in 1953, she herself qualified for the United States Equestrian Team. At 89 years of age, she continues to win major awards in show competition. She has also been highly influential as a youth mentor, and was an AQHA judge for 31 years. Together they have bred American Quarter Horses for more than 50 years. They have bred 229 starters that have earned more than $3.1 million on the racetrack, including 14 stakes winners.

The foundation of their breeding program was Suzanne’s Thoroughbred mare Maroon, whom Punch had unsuccessfully tried to buy before Punch and Suzanne married. The mare created a legacy for them, with RCJ Major Storm a seventh-generation descendant of Maroon.

Maroon produced 13 foals, of which 11 faced the gates and six returned winners. Among them were stakes winners Marooned, Je Roon, De Roon and Dirk One Eleven.

One of her foals was Marooneo, a daughter of Leo, who to the cross of Jet Deck produced the 1968 filly Mar Deck. Mar Deck ran – she won the 1971 New Mexico Breeders’ Derby – and then produced. Her most important was her second, the Scout Leader mare Rule The Deck.

Rule The Deck won or placed in 29 of 34 starts, and earned $522,165, with three stakes wins and her biggest career paycheck (for $164,240) coming with a second-place finish behind Higheasterjet in the 1982 All All American Gold Cup.

She then entered the broodmare band, producing five-time stakes winner Kuhi Kuhi ($159,925) as well as the unraced Mr Eye Opener daughter Pakea Kai.

Pakea Kai in turn produced the likes of stakes winner Pakea Bay (by Brookstone Bay, $132,543), and her Rabbits Rainbow filly PK Rainbow, who is the dam of stakes winner PK Bay (by Brookstone Bay, $198,352).

In 2001, Pakea Kai dropped the Major Rime filly Major Kia, who won or placed in four of her five career starts. Major Kia is the dam of RCJ Major Storm, who again demonstrates the family’s nick with Brookstone Bay. From six starters, Major Kia has produced four winners and three stakes winners. In addition to RCJ Major Storm, she is also the dam of Four Corners Senora Stakes (RG3) winner Incoho Tes (by Rabbits Rainbow, $91,104) and New Mexican Spring Fling (R) winner Kia Won (by Ketel Won, $175,655).

Note that Kia Won finished third in the Jess Burner Handicap.

Maroon’s lineage also has produced the likes of top distance horse Kama Shootin ($284,069), four-time stakes winner A Roon ($269,079), Madam President ($122,934) and Good Catch ($94,068), among many others.

RCJ Major Storm’s sire Brookstone Bay is a 13-year-old son of First Down Dash out of the Coup De Kas (TB) mare Le Ritz. A Superior Race Horse who earned $184,769 on the track, Brookstone Bay is a full brother to Valors Gold ($319,071), Remarkably Ritzy ($200,138) and La Reina De La Noche, the dam of stakes winner Zoomin Daphne.

Brookstone Bay has from six crops to race sired the earners of more than $5.6 million. They include champion and All American Futurity (G1) winner Runnning Brook Gal ($1,363,012). Brookstone Bay is owned by A&C Racing and Roping and stands at Midwest Equine & Veterinary Hospital at Trafalgar, Indiana.

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