Wrangler Racing Aces Blog

Three Olives N Smoke and a night at the beach.

Quarter Racing Journal

Three Olives N Smoke and a night at the beach.

 Three Olives N Smoke. PHOTO: Coady Photography

A Quarter Horse—Shaken, Not Stirred
By Jonathan Horowitz

Three Olives N Smoke’s name comes from a combination of a brand of vodka and the bay gelding’s dam, Smokin Corona.  That’s appropriate considering that one of the most talented Colorado-bred Quarter Horses in history has displayed his mother’s speed and has given his connections a lot to toast about on the racetrack.

Three Olives N Smoke was perfect in five races at Arapahoe Park as a 2-year-old in 2015, including the Cherry Creek and Rocky Mountain futurities. He made his 3-year-old debut on the opening day of the 2016 season at Arapahoe Park on May 20 and posted the fastest qualifying time for the Lucille Rowe Derby to be held on June 4.

“I’ll never own another horse like 'Hank', and mind you, I’ve had some nice horses,” breeder and owner Margo Schares of Eastlake, Colorado said about the horse she’s affectionately dubbed for country singer Hank Williams. “That horse hasn’t been tested.  We don’t know what kind of gas he has in that tank. He has such a great mind and is great to be around. I’m really an advocate of a horse that’s easy to be around.”

Schares has been around all types of racehorses for as long as she can remember. She recalls how her grandfather Samuel Fedders Webster, who was involved in harness racing, drove a buggy to church on Sunday mornings and then raced fellow churchgoers in a city park on Sunday afternoons in Fort Collins, Colorado, in the 1940s and 1950s. Her father, Harold Webster, and uncle, Sam Webster Jr., raced Thoroughbreds on the Colorado fair circuit before adding Quarter Horses to their stable at Centennial Race Track.  When Schares’ father sold his farm in the mid 1980s, he transferred his broodmares to his daughter.

“If you can’t lick ’em, you might as well join ’em,” Schares said.

Schares teamed with trainer John Hammes for stakes success with Smokin Corona and later with the mare’s stakes-winning Colorado-bred offspring Smokin Brown Eyes and Midori N Smoke. But it’s the broodmare’s latest racing foal, the Jess Louisiana Blue-sired Three Olives N Smoke, that’s giving his connections hope that Arapahoe Park could see some particularly special performances in the track’s 25th consecutive year of racing in Colorado.

 Beach Cartel. PHOTO: Linscott Photography

Another Day at the Indiana Beach
by Martha Claussen

It might not be beach weather yet in Shelbyville, Indiana, with the weekend forecast predicting temperatures in the 60's and scattered thunderstorms. But, on Saturday night, you can be assured that the progeny of Escondido Beach will be well-represented in the eighth running of the $75,000 Born Runner Classic.

The likely favorite in the 400-yard feature will be #1 Beach Cartel, a son of Escondido Beach, bred and owned by Sheri Miller. The true "horse for the course" has won seven of his 10 starts at Indiana Grand and six of his seven efforts at the distance of 400 yards.  Trained by top Quarter Horse conditioner, Randy Smith, Beach Cartel polished off his sophomore season with a victory in the $120,200 Sterlie Bertram Memorial Stakes last October. He returned to action on April 30 with a commanding victory in a $20,000 allowance under rider Rodney Prescott, prepping the grey gelding for another successful campaign.

Smith will saddle four runners in Saturday's feature, which will run as the ninth race on the evening card. He enjoyed a record-setting 2015 at Indiana Grand with most wins and most purse money earned by a trainer in the history of the track. Smith recorded 44 wins and purses in excess of $1 million last season at Indiana Grand.

He has another solid contender in #5 DNA Dales Quick Cat, a daughter of Quick Action(TB), who has run second to Beach Cartel in her last two starts. Regular rider Giovani Vazquez-Gomez stays aboard the 4-year-old mare, who has hit the board in 10 of her 16 starts.

Smith could wrap up the trifecta with #4 Beach Birde, a 4-year-old daughter of Escondido Beach, also bred and owned by Miller. She will be making her stakes debut, but has been solid in her allowance efforts in 2015. Jose Beltan will pilot the speedy mare, who sports a lifetime record of 9-4-2-1 at Indiana Grand.

It will be interesting to see how #8 Hand of Doom runs in his first start of 2016. Brett Mennen's homebred son of To Be a Corona was unraced as a 2-year-old, but quickly racked up three consecutive wins last year. He won the $100,000 Harley Green Derby last June, and raced three more times, finishing fifth in the Sterlie Bertram Memorial.  Anthony Cunningham will give a leg up to Cesar Esqueda.

 It's a great weekend for Quarter Horse racing with opening day Friday at Ruidoso Downs and an extended weekend of action at Remington Park.  But tune in Saturday evening for the Born Runner Classic at Indiana Grand; you will see some nice Escondido Beach runners with no sunscreen required!

Wrangler Racing Ace Martha Claussen's Top Four Selections:
#1  Beach Cartel
#5 Dna Dales Quick Cat  
 #4 Beach Birde
 #8 Hand of Doom


Wrangler Racing Aces in May

Visit the Q-Racing Aces page on Facebook or follow them @HorseRacingAces on Twitter for timely updates on Quarter Horse racing across North America. The Wrangler Racing Aces are following the horses, jockeys, trainers and milestones at Los Alamitos, Remington Park, Indiana Grand, Delta Downs and Ruidoso Downs, which opens on Friday, May 27.