Q-Racing Blog: The G1 Freshman

Time to take a look at the top of year's crop.

Time to take a look at the top of year's crop.

It’s that time of year again, and I’m not talking about the holidays. It’s getting to be time to consider the 2016 champion running horses. Let’s take the following few weeks to look at the 2016 Grade 1 stakes winners by age division.

We’re not in the predicting business, however if a horse is a champion then there is a strong chance that horse has an open Grade 1 stakes victory. However, we have an exception this year, as no filly won an open Grade 1 futurity last year. We are not considering restricted Grade 1 winners for the sake of some semblance of brevity.

This week, we’ll look at the two-year-olds and then move forward with the three-year-olds and then the older division.

Two Grade 1 Wins
Imperial Eagle (One Famous Eagle-Jenuine Joy by Genuine Strawfly)
8-5-2-0, $1,641,507

Charles Robinson’s Imperial Eagle is the only 2-year-old with more than one Grade 1 victory. The gelding became a leading championship contender when he won the $3-million All American Futurity at 440 yards on Labor Day as the 3-1 favorite. He fought with The Marfa Lights, another true 440-yard runner, to win by a neck. The member of the Tony Sedillo barn backed up that effort when he ran another gutty race at a quarter mile in the $200,000 Southwest Juvenile Championship at Zia Park. He was behind the horses on each side of him and grabbed another gear to power past his rivals for the one-length win that showed he was easily the best horse in the race.

One Grade 1 Win
A Revenant (Mr Jess Perry-Thewayouwantmetoo by Mr Eye Opener)
4-3-1-0, $604,800

Owned by the partnership of Johnny Cope, R.D. Hubbard, Ray Willis’ Rafter W Stables and Henry “Butch” Southway, A Revenant raced to his Grade 1 victory in his final 2016 start and almost gained a second Grade 1 victory. The colt won the $1-million Rainbow Futurity over 400 yards by prevailing by a neck. The Mike Joiner-trained A Revenant was the 3-10 favorite in the Rainbow Futurity after finishing second by just a head to Apolltical Chad in the $1-million Ruidoso Futurity.

Apolltical Chad (Apollitical Jess-Fast Prize Tracy by Shazoom)
5-2-2-0, $621,226

Nueve Racing’s Apolltical Chad flew to the top level of juveniles at the start of the Ruidoso Downs’ season with that game win over A Revenant in the 350-yard Ruidoso Futurity. Trainer Wes Giles and the nine owners that comprise Nueve Racing decided to pass on the Rainbow Futurity and point at the All American Futurity. The gelding had a troubled start, however gained ground to finish in fourth place.

Chazaq (Corona Cartel-All About Ease by First Down Dash)
7-4-3-0, $531,415

Dutch Masters III’s Chazaq started the Los Alamitos’ futurity schedule on the top shelf with a second in the $428,400 Robert Adair Kindergarten Futurity (G3) on May 15 and two starts later was standing in the winner’s circle after the $1,070,000 Ed Burke Memorial Futurity. The Jaime Gomez-trained gelding handled future Grade 1 winners Worth Doing and Lotta Blues Man by a confident one-half length.

Duponte (American Runaway-Havannah Goodtime by Ivory James)
8-3-2-0, $647,034

Owned by breeder Bobby Cox with Homero Parades and Kristen Ashley Parades, Duponte is a competitor that has shown he can battle the best throughout the year with graded futurity wins at three different tracks. In the year’s first futurity, the $267,700 Harrah’s Entertainment Futurity (G3) at Louisiana Downs, he showed he would be a horse to be dealt with throughout the year with a three-quarter-length victory. The colt raced to his Grade 1 win two starts later with a one-length conquest of the $1,083,420 Heritage Place Futurity at Remington Park. The Josue Ponce-trainee rounded out his three futurity starts with a second-place run in the $384,615 Dash For Cash Futurity (G2) at Lone Star Park on October 8.

High Plains Perry (Mr Jess Perry-Sky Chicks by Chicks Beduino)
5-4-1-0, $453,380

When Paragon Farms LLC’s High Plains Perry, finally, got his opportunity in a Grade 1 futurity, he made the best of it. The gelding won three futurity trials, all to Grade 1 races, and was second in his All American Futurity trial. His final trial win placed him in the $1-million Texas Classic Futurity and he came through with a gritty head win for the training team of Trey and Blane Wood. Trey saddled him for the Texas Classic Futurity while Blane was his trainer at Ruidoso Downs.

Lotta Blues Man (Favorite Cartel-Lotta Love For Robyn by First Down Dash)
7-5-1-1, $875,763

Lucky Seven Ranch’s homebred Lotta Blues Man was dangerous throughout the Los Alamitos Futurity season for trainer Mike Casselman. The gelding showed promise in his third start when he raced to a third-place finish in the Ed Burke Futurity behind Chazaq and Worth Doing. He reached that potential in the $982,000 Golden State Million Futurity when he went to the lead and scored a one-half length win while Worth Doing finished third. Lotta Blues Man and Worth Doing hooked up in the $1,950,000 Los Alamitos Two Million with Worth Doing posting the narrow head win.

Worth Doing (Walk Thru Fire-Callan Rocks by Corona Cartel)
9-6-2-1, $1,179,101

Knight Farms’ Worth Doing, trained by Mark Skeen, was a warrior in Grade 1 futurities at Los Alamitos. The gelding qualified for four futurities and was rewarded with his Grade 1 victory in the Los Alamitos Two Million on December 11. Before that dead-game head win in the Two Million, Worth Doing was second in the Ed Burke Futurity, second in the $382,500 Governor’s Cup Futurity (RG2) and third in the Golden State Million.

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