All American: Little Lynnder

The little filly that could, and might again.

AQHA Media

Amber Olmstead and Lynnder 16. PHOTO: Richard Chamberlain

Tom Maher sounds like a doting dad.

“We’re proud of the little filly,” said the South Dakota horseman of Lynnder 16, the sorrel Apollitical Jess filly that on Labor Day will go to post for the $3 million All American Futurity (G1).

An earner of $371,146, Lynnder 16 was one of this year’s leading 2-year-olds before she ever entered the gate for the August 17 All American trials. The filly broke her maiden on first asking in April, when she won her trial and the final of the $864,500 Remington Park Oklahoma-Bred Futurity (RG2). Shipped to New Mexico, she next won her Ruidoso Futurity (G1) trial and then ran third in the $100,000 Ruidoso Juvenile Stakes on June 10. Making her next start two months later, she clocked :21.535 while finishing second by a nose to Wokatee On Fire in the fifth of 16 heats on the first day of All American trials.

Trained by Jason Omstead and ridden in each race by Cristian Equeada, Lynnder 16 sports a record of three wins, one second and one third in five starts and will go to the gate as the sixth-fastest qualifier in American Quarter Horse racing’s richest event.

Lynnder 16 was bred by AQHA Past President and American Quarter Horse Hall of Famer Jim Helzer and his wife, Marilyn, who have bred the earners of more than $5.6 million and raced All American Futurity winner and world champion Refrigerator. Along with fastest qualifier Apocalyptical Jess, the filly is one of two qualifiers by champion and leading sire Apollitical Jess. An 11-year-old son of Mr Jess Perry, Apocalyptical Jess earned more than $1.3 million on the racetrack and has sired the earners of more than $20 million. The stallion stands at James Ranch at Wayne, Oklahoma.

Lynnder 16 is one of  four stakes winners, nine other winners and the earners of $999,153 from 16 starters out of Tinys Corona Queen, a winning daughter of leading sire Corona Cartel and the champion First Down Dash mare Tiny First Effort. Lynnder 16 is a full sister to stakes winners Apollitical Man ($143,406) and First Of 15 ($113,990), and the stakes-placed Rattle N Battle ($129,037), and a half-sister to the stakes-winning Foose mare Hardtoget ($119,650). Tinys Corona Queen is one of 23 winners from 32 starters out of her dam, who has produced the earners of more than $728,000, led by the stakes-winning One Famous Eagle stallion Eagles Span ($190,695).

“You have to give credit to the breeder,” Maher said. “When we qualified and won the Oklahoma-Bred this spring, I called Jim Helzer and thanked him. Jim told me he’d lost the mother, that she’d been hit by lightning, said she was the best broodmare he had. So I’ve asked Jim and his wife to sit with us at the All American banquet on Thursday night, if they can make it. Jim has paid his dues and he produced that baby. Jim is the breeder, and the breeder will always be on the papers. That’s the one thing that never changes: The breeder should always get credit for raising the horse.”

Maher purchased Lynnder 16 for $31,000 as a short yearling with partner Richard “Dick” Tobin at the 2017 Heritage Place Winter Mixed Sale.

An attorney in Pierre, South Dakota, Maher himself is a successful breeder, with a program that in his own name has produced 11 stakes winners and the earners of more than $1.2 million. He also has been successful in buying yearlings and racing horses in partnerships, such as with the champion One Famous Eagle stallion Hes Relentless, an earner of $616,380, for which he paid $63,000. Now owned by Maher in partnership with R.D. Hubbard and others, the 7-year-old Hes Relentless stands at Bob Moore Farms at Norman, Oklahoma, with his first crop set to race in 2019.

Maher’s partner on Lynnder 16 is a longtime friend from Maryville, Missouri.

“Dick Tobin is a really good guy,” Maher said. “He farms on the Missouri-Iowa line. I’ve known him for years and I’ve always liked him. He’s a guy I’ve watched do well at Prairie Meadows. He always takes the good and the bad in stride.”

Lynnder 16 falls on the good side.

“Dick had horses with Jason,” Maher said. “He had a full sister to Lynnder 16, a mare foaled the year before called First Of 15. He asked me if I would partner on Lynnder 16 and I said I would, so we bought her together. We were both expecting that she would bring more than $32,000. She’s from the family of Tiny Corona Queen, which is the same family as Eagles Span that my brother Bill and I ran. Bill wasn’t at the Heritage sale, so as it happened just Dick and I own this horse.

“I knew that family,” he continued. “We looked at her at the sale, and she was good sized and well balanced. She was a good, growthy filly from a family that has a lot of talent and hits a lot. And when it does hit, it can hit real big.”

After the sale, Tobin took Lynnder 16 home.

“Dick fed her until the fall,” Maher said. “Dick had her with about six yearlings on the pasture, and when they’d get to running, she was always going to the front, every time. And then when they’d get to where they had to turn around before they hit the fence, Dick would have his heart in his throat, afraid they were going to run into the corner panel. But she’d always pull up. She was that athletic and that smart.”

Fall came around, and the partners sent Lynnder 16 to Jason and Amber Olmstead at Pryor, Oklahoma.

“When we got her to Jason’s, Lynnder 16 started showing good,” Maher said. “Amber and Jason do a great job for us, helping us pick out horses and then breaking them. They help put a good mind on a horse. They do it themselves. Jason gets on them first – he’s the first one to throw a leg over them – and his horses are good loading, they’re good in the gate.”

The Olmsteads know what they are doing. The couple also conditioned Hes Relentless, who in 2013 ran in champion Handsome Jack Flash’s All American Futurity, so this is the second time in five years that Maher and the Olmsteads will have a starter in Quarter Horse racing’s signature event.

“She’s easy, she’s pretty well a natural, quiet in the barn, nothing but class,” Jason said of Lynnder 16. “I break all our babies. I’m the first one to ride them all for the first 30 days or so. We do a lot of ground work and stuff, so by the time we got on our babies, they’re pretty well as good as they can be for not ever seeing anybody on them before. First time I got on Lynnder 16 – ah, just another day. She went through the whole breaking process as easy as you could ask. No big deal.”

Running in stakes company at Ruidoso Downs is a big deal. Consider the Ruidoso Juvenile.

“She had a terrible trip,” Olmstead said. “She got ran over. She left good enough to win it, left there running, but got in a world of trouble and it just wasn’t our day. She got annihilated, but she circled a few horses and came back to run third, only beat just half a side for all of it, and ran down a couple of very nice horses to do that. That kinda erased all doubts I had on her going 440 yards.”

So then Lynnder 16 ran second going the quarter-mile in her All American trial.

“Half a jump sooner or half a jump later, she wins her trial,” Olmstead said. “She got out great, she left there running, and was probably in front. But that Wokatee On Fire came to her and really just went on by her – at one point, he had three parts of a side on her, and she leveled off and went to him. She made up a world of ground the last 100-150 yards, just to get outnodded. But she was really running on the end. So when the next race went out on the track, we were in the test barn and when she saw the horses out there warming up, her head came up, her ears pricked and she started squealing and strutting around like she was ready to go again.”

Lynnder 16 gets her chance on Labor Day.

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