Pedigree Analysis: AJs High

A freshman with a high-class pedigree.

Q-Racing Journal

AJs High wins the John Deere Prairie Meadows Juvenile Challenge. PHOTO: Coady Photography

Fall is in the air, with many parts of North America experiencing the unseasonably early chill of oncoming winter. But before the winter snow sets in (or, for you California folks, it drops down to a chilly 50 degrees in the mornings), we have a big event to look forward to in only four weeks: The Bank of America Challenge Championships at Prairie Meadows in Altoona, Iowa.

The Hawkeye State will see the return of one of the industry’s biggest nights for the second time in three years, a rare honor accorded to only a few tracks. The six championship races will offer more than $1 million to the contestants, and this weekend we were able to see some early previews as the host track hosted regional qualifying races.

This week we will look into the pedigree of $50,490 John Deere Prairie Meadows Juvenile Challenge winner AJs High, but first we have to stop and acknowledge the dam of $77,130 Bank of America Prairie Meadows Championship Challenge (G2) winner Stimulus.

Bred and raced by Jerry Windham, Stimulus is a gelding by Mr Jess Perry and out of Windham’s Runaway Winner mare Veva Jean. If that mare’s name sounds familiar, it sure ought to. Veva Jean is the dam of world champion Stolis Winner (by Stoli, $2,235,161), who when he retired from the track in 2011 was the sport’s all-time leading money earner. While that’s enough for many broodmares, Veva Jean has much more to give – in July, her daughter Trendi (a full sister to Stolis Winner) won the $900,000 Rainbow Futurity (G1). With Stimulus gaining his first graded stakes victory this weekend, and in addition to the past stakes-winning accomplishment of her Zoomin Winner (by Shazoom, $74,032), we have to tip our hat to this very good mare. Veva Jean’s foals have cumulative earnings of more than $2.8 million, and she now is the No. 4 all-time leading dam. She sits behind only Corona Chick, Runaway Wave and One Sweet Dash on that list.

And speaking of all-time broodmares, Runaway Wave is poised to take the all-time leader crown away from Corona Chick, with one good stakes race’s paycheck separating them and four foals out of Runaway Wave burning it up this year (including Merial Distaff Challenge Championship (G1) qualifier Whip Curl).  

But now we return to AJs High, a sorrel gelding bred and raced by Michael Teel of Columbia, Missouri, who is now qualified to run in the $150,000 John Deere Juvenile Challenge Championship (G2). Teel’s gelding was making his fourth career start and finished strongly to defeat a field that included Coronas Concierge. He has now earned $59,485 in a career that includes two wins and a third-place finish in four starts. He also qualified to the $791,000 Remington Park Oklahoma-Bred Derby (RG3) in which he ran seventh after being fractious at the start.

AJs High is sired by freshman sire Apollitical Jess and is out of the Rare Form mare Regally Rare.

Apollitical Jess was royalty from the moment he hit the ground in April 2007.

His sire is champion and leading sire Mr Jess Perry, who has done nothing but succeed in his entire 22-year-old life. From being a track-record setter and two-time champion in his $687,184-earning racing career, to siring the earners of more than $44.7 million in his sire career, Mr Jess Perry continues what is likely to be a future hall of fame career. Apollitical Jess’ dam is the Apollo (TB) mare Apollitical Time, who continues a fairy tale story that began in 2004 when trainer Juan Aleman and owner Juan Alberto Tirado Lizarraga plucked the freshman filly out of a $16,000 claiming race. She would move forward from that to bow from the track with a career record of 35-14-7-5 $904,242. She was a 10-time stakes winner (three times in Grade 1 events) and has three year-end championships.

Apollitical Jess was her first foal, and racing for Tirado’s Rancho El Cabresto Inc., he won or placed in 12 of 14 career starts and earned $1,399,831. Like his mother, he won the Los Alamitos Super Derby (G1), and also won the Champion of Champions (G1), and was second in the All American Derby (G1) and Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity (G1). He was the 2010 world champion, champion 3-year-old and champion 3-year-old colt on his way to the breeding shed.

Standing at JEH Stallion Station-Oklahoma, Apollitical Jess from his first crop has gotten 18 winners from 62 starters and the earners of more than $636,201. They include an All American Futurity (G1) finalist, fourth-place finisher Apollitical Blood ($231,425) and Restricted Grade 3-placed runner Great Grace ($99,502).

AJs High’s dam, Regally Rare, is by champion Rare Form and out of the On A High mare Summertime High. The winning mare is also the dam of running machine Struttin High (by Struttin To Beduino, $348,802), who at age 9 continues a career that has so far included 61 starts and four stakes wins. She is also the dam of stakes-placed runners Royal N Rare (by Royal Quick Dash, $46,177) and Streakin Rare (by Fredricksburg, $120,613). She has three yearlings: two fillies by DMNV Mountable named ENB Rare Mountain and Summer Kat, and a colt by Good Reason SA named Rare Tricks.

Her dam is Summertime High, a mare we have seen before as the dam of the Royal Quick Dash mare Summertime Quickie. Summertime Quickie, a stakes-winning earner of $108,243, is the dam of champion and sire Foose (by Stel Corona, $1,616,938). She is also dam of stakes-placed runner Azyouwish (by Separatist, $39,130), dam of stakes winner Make A Wish For Me (by Brookstone Bay, $37,459).

Summertime High is also the dam of stakes winners High School Secrets (by No Secrets Here, $90,376), Hawkinson Time (by Hawkinson, $86,501) and stakes-placed runners Summertime Fly (by Strawfly Special, $180,501) and Runaway Tyme (by Ocean Runaway, $118,888).

Her dam is Rainbow Futurity-placed runner Summer Encounter, dam of two All American Futurity (G1) finalists: Blazen Maven ($89,826), dam of Grade 1-placed runner Voghts Gold (by Shazoom, $127,886), and Dashing Encounter ($102,444).

So as fall arrives, here’s to summer blood pushing AJs High to further success this fall.

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