Q-Racing Blog: A Lot to Like
Let's look at the 3-year-old division.
By Ty Wyant | December 26, 2016
The 2016 3-year-old division was deep with no sophomore winning more than one Grade 1 stakes. Like the 2-year-old division, there was not a filly that won an open Grade 1 stakes.
The $350,000 The Championship at Sunland Park (G1) is on December 31 and there are 3-year-olds on the eligibility list. They could be dangerous and provide yet another 3-year-old with a single Grade 1 win.
Here are the 3-year-old Grade 1 winners with their 2016 records.
Big Lew (Corona Cartel-Executive Looks by Executive Menace)
As the year progressed, the better Reliance Ranches LLC’s Big Lew ran. After qualifying for the $1,068,631 Ruidoso Derby (G1) and the $1,224,488 Rainbow Derby (G1), Big Lew stepped forward at Los Alamitos for trainer Mike Robbins. The colt narrowly won his Los Alamitos Super Derby trial and then won the $767,750 Los Alamitos Super Derby (G1) for his first stakes victory. He backed up that effort with a third-place run behind Zoomin For Spuds and Heza Dasha Fire in the $600,000 Champion of Champions (G1).
EC Jet One (The Louisiana Cartel-Pretty Girl Perry by Mr Jess Perry)
Perfection is hard to beat and EC Jet One and Jess Good Candy were each undefeated in 2016 and they are each colts. Enrique Carrion’s homebred EC Jet One won four stakes in 2016. He took the $390,000 Hialeah Derby at the $204,000 South Florida Derby early in the year at Hialeah Park. Trainer Judd Kearl brought him back for the 440-yard All American Derby trials at Ruidoso Downs. He won his trial by one length and then took the $2.4-million All American Derby (G1) by one-half length as the 5-2 favorite. Her was retired after the All American Derby and stands his first season in 2017 at Granada Farms.
Fire At Will (Favorite Cartel-What Fire by Walk Thru Fire)
After a solid freshman season, Rosenthal Ranch LLC’s Fire At Will showed his class with a win in the $215,250 Los Alamitos Winter Derby (G1) on February 13. The Chris O’Dell trained gelding stepped up at 13-1 odds to prevail by one-half length in the Winter Derby over a field that included eventual top stakes horses Jess Good Reason, Rite Regal and Uno Corona Mas. Sadly, he was euthanized after the race due to injuries sustained in the effort.
Jess Good Candy (Good Reason SA-Jess Send Candy by Mr Jess Perry)
PV Quarter Horse Farms LLC’s Jess Good Candy, like EC Jet One, was spotless in 2016 while competing at the highest level. The Clint Crawford-trained colt was pointed at the rich derbies at Ruidoso Downs and prepared with an easy win in the $70,000 Mr Master Bug Handicap at Remington Park. He dominated the 400-yard Ruidoso Derby (G1) and his connections passed on the Rainbow Derby to point at the All American Derby. He was in the second All American Derby trial on a wet track and raced to a 1 1/4-length win with the fastest time at that point. The track became faster with each successive trial and Jess Good Candy’s time did not hold up as a qualifying mark. He was then retired and stands at Lazy E Ranch.
Valiant Rogue (Valiant Hero-Azoom Babe by Azoom)
Wyok Ranch LLC’s Valiant Rogue capped a three-race winning streak this summer at Ruidoso Downs with his 1 3/4-length domination of the Rainbow Derby (G1). He steadily moved up in class for trainer Kearl. He won a conditioned allowance race, his Rainbow Derby trial and then the 440-yard Rainbow Derby, his sole career stakes win.
Zoomin For Spuds (Zoomin For Bux-A Perfect Cocktail by Corona Cocktail)
Jim Walker’s homebred Zoomin For Spuds had a sensational fall run at Los Alamitos. The Monty Arrossa-trained gelding closed out his 2016 campaign with four consecutive stakes wins, capped by his win in the 440-yard Champion of Champions (G1) by a dead game head over defending world champion and 2015 Champion of Champions winner Heza Dasha Fire. He came into the Champion of Champions off wins in the $20,000 Blane Schvaneveldt Handicap, $25,000 Wrangler Stakes and his $15,000 Z. Wayne Griffin Director’s Trial.
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