All American: Derby Fate

Peighnt Your Fate tries to make history again for his breeders.

AQHA Media

Multiple Grade 1 finalist Peighnt Your Fate. PHOTO: Richard Chamberlain

Peighnt Your Fate. How’s that for a name?

“I don’t know, I wish I could tell you,” said Gary McKinney, with a laugh, of the horse that on Sunday will go to post in the $1.2 million All American Derby (G1). “My daughter-in-law, Lesli, had something to do with that. I’ve tried to look up the definition, but there’s nothing I could find other than it’s a color or type of paint.”

McKinney laughed again.

“But you’ve got to practice spelling it.”

McKinney is CEO of Reliance Ranches LLC, which bred and owns the brown colt by PYC Paint Your Wagon, who in the All American Derby will be represented by four qualifiers.

“He’s a real nice horse out of a real good mare, and of course, PYC Paint Your Wagon is a great sire,” McKinney said. “We really like him. He’s real fast.”

Reliance Ranches has raced the earners of more than $5.8 million, including 2013 All American Derby winner Feature Hero, as well as Grade 1 winners Rock You and Big Lew. The McKinneys have bred the earners of more than $1.5 million, including stakes winners The Charm Of Corona, SC Vapor Trail and American Hustler.

In addition to Peighnt Your Fate, PYC Paint Your Wagon sired Derby qualifiers Papaws Paint, PYC Fun N Fancy and Wagon Chick V. A Grade 1-winning earner of $889,581, PYC Paint Your Wagon has sired the earners of more than $31.3 million, putting him at No. 7 on the all-time sire earnings list. The 15-year-old son of Corona Cartel is owned by a partnership and stands at Reliance Ranches’ Lazy E Ranch at Guthrie, Oklahoma.

Peighnt Your Fate is the first winner from two starters out of the stakes-placed Mr Jess Perry mare Fate Cant Weight ($34,171). Bred by the Double Bar S Ranch of California, Fate Cant Weight is out of Wortherweightingold, a daughter of Double Bar S’s good mare Gold Daze, who also produced the champion Feature Mr Jess gelding Jess You And I ($1,851,691). Fate Cant Weight has three yearlings, one by Corona Cartel named Giving Freely and two by Coronado Cartel named Find My Place and Oil Company Bum.

“So we like the horse,” McKinney said. “Peighnt Your Fate is very fast. But we’ve had a little trouble holding him together because he runs fast enough to hurt himself. He’s very fast, and early on, everybody really thought he was going to do very well. But he kept hurting himself – hurting shins, hurting suspensories, hurting knees and those sorts of things. So we X-rayed him after the trials and he’s in good shape. I expect a good race out him. If he gets away clean, it could get real interesting.”

Trained by Mike Robbins, the lightly raced Peighnt Your Fate comes into American Quarter Horse racing’s richest derby with earnings of $93,643 and a 6-1-2-2 record. Peighnt Your Fate contested the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity (G1) last year. He initiated his derby-year efforts in a July 22 Ruidoso allowance, then was third in his August 19 All American Derby trial behind Dashnunder Afullmoon and Hes Limitless.

“We ran him four times last year,” said Robbins, who conditioned world champions Sgt Pepper Feature, Dashs Dream and Special Leader, and a really nice 2-year-old named First Down Dash. “Peighnt Your Fate qualified for the Los Al Two Million, but he got in trouble away from the gate in the final and ran sixth. Then he had a chip in his knee and we took it out. We started him twice this year. He ran second the first time here at Ruidoso, and had the fourth-fastest time in the Derby.”

“He needed that first race back, obviously,” Robbins said. “He got a little tired in the trials, but it was a good tired – I mean, he bounced back and he’s really doing good. We’re looking for him to run a big race.”

Robbins takes things easy with Peighnt Your Fate. Since the trials, he has galloped him a couple of times and stood him in the gate.

“He’s a relaxed kind of horse, calm and laidback, a really good stud colt to be around,” Robbins said. “He’s been that way ever since we broke him last year. He’s like an old horse to handle and gallop, always has been. He just goes out there and does his business. He’ll get a little play in him, but not anything hard to handle. We want him to be a little bit that way, actually.”

Peighnt Your Fate has been ridden in both races this season by Stormy Smith, a talented jockey who has ridden the earners of more than $16.5 million, including Grade 1 winners Givinitaroyaleffort, First Prize Robin, AJs High, Chances Are I Wil and Cascia Babe.

After the All American Derby, Peighnt Your Fate will go to California for the Los Alamitos Super Derby (G1).

“When horses come off this mountain, they really do good,” Robbins said. “Coming the other way, it’s the opposite. When they come up from sea level, they need a good 30-35 days up here.

“We ran him once before the Derby trials and he ran a good race,” he continued. “He needed that. His first race was at 350 (yards) and he ran second, ran a really respectable race. He was a little tired. But to get ready to go 440, he needed it. He came back really good from the trials, also a little tired, but he bounced back really good and it should set him up for the Derby. I certainly think he’ll improve off the trials.”

Peighnt Your Fate clocked :21.388 in his trial, which put him in the Derby that also includes such sprinters as All American Futurity (G1) winner Fly Baby Fly.

“Yeah, that makes it interesting,” Robbins said. “This is a nice field, absolutely. It’s really a pretty even field. There are some really good horses in it. I think ‘Peighnt’ will do well in there.”