All American: One Hot Habit

One Hot Habit seeks another All American win for the Jones stable.

Quarter Racing Journal

Lisa Saumell has worked closely with One Hot Habit. PHOTO: Richard Chamberlain

Paul Jones has a habit of winning big races. Now he’s got another Habit. The stable of the 14-time AQHA champion trainer sent out One Hot Habit to give Jones the opportunity to win his fourth All American Futurity (G1).

Making her third career start in the August 20 trials, Turner Farms’ One Hot Habit broke from the inside post position and had the lead within the first 100 yards. The Walk Thru Fire filly grabbed more ground with each stride and held off the closing charge of Ruidoso Futurity (G1) winner Apolltical Chad, who came up a neck short at the wire. One Hot Habit had finished seventh in the Ruidoso Futurity.

With Eduardo Nicasio up, One Hot Habit was timed in :21.643, the second-fastest of the second day of trials, while Apolltical Chad went :21.685 as the 4-5 favorite.

 “One Hot Habit was one of the barn’s top 2-year-olds all year, in my top three right off the bat,” said Lisa Saumell, manager of Jones’ New Mexico operation, which won the All American Futurity in 2005 with Teller Cartel, 2006 with No Secrets Here and 2009 with Runnning Brook Gal, and the 2008 All American Derby with Noconi. The champion trainer every year since 2002, Jones is American Quarter Horse racing’s all-time leading trainer and has conditioned the earners of more than $80 million.

One Hot Habit and Apolltical Chad were both making their first starts since the Ruidoso final on June 12. One Hot Habit goes into the All American final with earnings of $36,050.

One Hot Habit is one of two All American qualifiers bred by Vessels Stallion Farm, which also bred The Marfa Lights. One of the sport’s all-time leading breeders with runners earning more than $30.8 million, Vessels bred All American Futurity winners Royal Quick Dash, Dash Thru Traffic and No Secrets Here, as well as Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity (G1) winners A Regal Choice and Your First Moon (dam of The Marfa Lights). They also bred All American Derby (G1) winners Old Habits (a half-uncle to One Hot Habit) and Meter Me Gone.

One Hot Habit races for Tommie Turner’s Turner Farms at Blanco, Texas, who purchased the filly for $29,000 at the Vessels Stallion Farm dispersal. In 2011, Blane Wood sent out Turner’s Jess Send Me to run second in champion Ochoa’s All American.

“Tommie and his wife are wonderful people, and they’re horsemen,” Saumell said. “It really helps to have owners who are horsemen, because you can talk to them and they understand you. I love these owners.”

One Hot Habit is by Walk Thru Fire, who has sired the earners of more than $29.3 million in his career, including world champion Last To Fire and seven other champions. The 19-year-old son of First Down Dash stands at Burns Ranch at Menifee, California.

One Hot Habit is one of seven winners from nine starters out of the stakes-placed Mr Jess Perry mare Jess Another Habit ($98,374). Jess Another Habit is out of First Femme, making her a half-sister to All American Derby winner and champion Old Habits, Grade 1 winner One More Habit and AQHA Supreme Champion Gotta Good Habit. The sorrel filly was foaled April 21, 2014.

“She’s almost a May baby,” said Saumell. “When the Turners got her, they sent her right to me and I’ve had her ever since. I love having them in the elevation. And I love breaking babies – it’s one of the things I do best. I like to look inside them and I like to really get to know them. I love having time with them on the ranch.”

The Jones operations maintains its New Mexico ranch at Tularosa, less than 40 miles west of Ruidoso.

“One Hot Habit’s a friendly filly who loves to be petted, and from Day 1 she has really been a dream to work with,” Saumell said. “Fillies usually come with an attitude – and they’re the ones that run! This filly didn’t come with an attitude and she runs. She’s been a sweetheart ever since, and I’ve been around her the whole time.

“This filly is so young, and just when you think you’ve got the weight on her, she grows another inch,” she continued. “Then you keep food in front of her and she’s grows some more. So that’s why decided we decided to put her in the Ruidoso (Futurity) trials – we said, look, it’s only 350 yards, let’s give her the out for the education. And then she qualified.”

The Ruidoso final was June 12.

“She ran a good race, still green, but nothing like we knew she was capable of,” Saumell said. “She showed herself early, how talented she was when we worked her. I do a lot of gate work at the ranch, and she’d always stand in there and poof! (Lisa clapped hands) She’d be gone. Poof! Gone! Poof! Gone. And she doesn’t make mistakes. Knock on wood. . . .

“So when we ran her in the Ruidoso, we were happy,” she said. “But once again, having horsemen as owners really helped: ‘Should we skip the Rainbow?’ They weren’t demanding, only asking. As a team, we figured out what to do. I said let the filly tell us. She came back with a little bit of (sore) shin on her, and I said the filly just answered our question.

“We could have band-aided it but you’re always much better off letting it heal,” Saumell noted. “And here we are. Patience gets you to the finish line much better, especially with a 2-year-old. You only have so many bullets in that gun, so shoot carefully.

“She is so good in the gate, so I’ve only worked her one time – once – since the Ruidoso Futurity,” Saumell concluded. “She was fit, so I galloped her and stood her (in the gate) but only worked her that one time between the Ruidoso and the All American. She’s so long and lanky and talented, I thought she was ready. And she was. She’s still growing like a weed. She was small when I got her and now she’s big. I think she’s going to run a big race. One Hot Habit is true-blue.”

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