Q-Racing Blog: On to the All American
Trainer Wes Giles discusses the future of Ruidoso Futurity winner Apolltical Chad.
By Ty Wyant | June 17, 2016
Trainer Wes Giles says there is a 98-percent chance this his Ruidoso Futurity winner, Apolltical Chad, will make his next start in the trials to the $3 million All American Futurity (G1) on August 19-20 and skip the trials to the $1 million Rainbow Futurity (G1) on July 9.
Nueve Racing’s Apolltical Chad, a gelding by Apollitical Jess, raced to a head win over A Revenant in the 350-yard Ruidoso Futurity on June 12. Nueve Racing is comprised of nine people from six states.
That decision has some basis on Wild Six, a 2-year-old who won the 2007 West Texas Futurity (G1) and Rainbow Futurity (G1) before finishing sixth as the favorite to champion Heartswideopen in the All American Futurity. The daughter of Tres Seis was out of the fight during the last half of the All American.
“Wild Six was a very fast horse. It was the first time that I had a favorite in the All American,” said Giles. “We learned a lot from her. If she would have had one less race during her 2-year-old year, she probably would have had a very good shot of winning the All American that year. There was just one race too much for that filly at that time. She was getting where she was just a little bit tired.
“That discussion has been going with this horse, Apolltical Chad. Is that one race at the Rainbow too much for Apolltical Chad. Do you wait? This horse gets fresh. So, do you wait and hope he doesn’t get too fresh, or if you run in the Rainbow it could be one too many races before the All American. None of us in the group has ever won the All American Futurity, so that’s the one that everybody wants.”
Giles has been learning about horses for virtually all of his 56 years. He started at the boots of a master, his father Ed Giles. Wes was working on chariot horses with his dad in 1967 and “I was drug around the racetrack since then.”
Ed Giles, the winner of 2,000 races, is a legendary trainer out of Intermountain area and was based in Utah. Wes was taking some of his father’s horses to race in Wyoming when he was a teenager. That built into Wes having 30 head of his father’s horses in Wyoming.
Ed is officially listed at 1,998 wins, however Wes won two races for him after his father died. We’ll give Ed those two wins. He earned them.
“My dad was a real horseman. He really loved running them,” said Wes. “He enjoyed breaking babies and we broke our horses on the chariot. That would help them break better from the gates. He stayed close to home. He went one winter to Los Al and he spent two winters at Sunland Park.
“I learned how to pay attention to a horse from him and watch and see the signs if a horse was off or not. You could be sitting in the grandstand, he would see the horse on the backside and he would say, ‘The horse has a suspensory on the right side.’ He was very sharp on seeing where a horse was off. Watching that and explaining how the horse was moving and where you had a problem.”
Wes first went to New Mexico in about 1983 with Mackay West, who was in the Sunland Fall Derby.
“The speed limit was 55 and we had this one-seat pickup with me, my wife, the jockey and his wife and we loaded up and headed down,” said Wes. “I got to El Paso and went into the barn area and it was pretty disgusting at that time and I told everyone, ‘I’ll never come back to El Paso ever again.’ Now I live down by there, so you never say never in this world. But, it’s changed considerably from what it was like back then.”
After that trek, Wes realized New Mexico could be in his future.
“When Farmington (SunRay Park) opened up we were looking for something for older horses,” said Wes. “There was no money for older horses in Wyoming and Utah, so I came down one fall. I had a pretty good summer, I’d won a lot of futurities and my horses made about $200,000. That fall, in two months, we made the same amount of money with a third of the number of horses.
“I said, ‘You know this is not a bad deal.’ The next year I ran first-second or first-second-third in every futurity and my horses made about $200,000. I thought, I could never have a better year than I just had. It was the same year that Crow River was a 2-year-old. We sold Budj because he was our fourth-best 2-year-old, and he went on to the Champion of Champions. We had all these good 2-year-olds.”
Crow River won three futurities among his five stakes wins.
Budj won three stakes, including his Z. Wayne Griffin Director’s Trial to earn a spot in the 2007 Champion of Champions
“That’s when I started staying in New Mexico. You know, it’s hard to make a living in Utah and Wyoming. I can make a lot more money being here, even if I’m not a big fish,” said Wes.
In addition to Wild Six, an earner of $601,632, Wes trained the amazing New Mexico-bred Miracle Snow.
Melvin Neugebauer’s homebred Miracle Snow started 62 times over nine years and won 17 races. He finished in the top-three 40 times and earned $734,261 while racing entirely against New Mexico-bred competition.
“Miracle Snow was an iron horse. He was like the family horse” said Wes. “We got him mid-summer of his 2-year-old year and had him running through 11-years-old. The horse never, ever let us down; he tried every time. He retired sound. You don’t run a horse for nine years and retire sound. It just doesn’t happen anymore.
“This horse was that kind of horse. He’s here at Ruidoso today and he is still in a stall over here. He likes being at the racetrack. He has a leisure life. He doesn’t have to do anything if he doesn’t want to. When I get time I get on him and ride him. I should ride him more often because he would be happier if I would. He doesn’t owe anybody anything.”
Wes is a hands-on trainer. He’s old school, ponying his own horses to the gate. He also has his wife, Jill, training their horses at tracks competing with Ruidoso Downs on on the New Mexico circuit.
They are a winning team, and now they are taking a big-time shot at the All American Futurity.
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