All American: Taking Another Shot

A life in racing has a shot at the All American Derby.

AQHA Media

Another Shot will try for the All American Derby. PHOTO: Richard Chamberlain

Tommy Lipar has always been in racing, and now he’s got Another Shot.

“I had a drag-racing team and won a couple championships with it,” said Lipar, 68, who races Another Shot in the name of his Paragon Farms LLC at Conroe, Texas. “I was in snowmobile racing when I was young, and 2008 through 2012, I had a professional snowmobile racing team that did quite well.”

It’s a similar deal with Lipar’s trainer, Blane Wood, who’s also always been in racing. A lifelong racehorseman whose father, Leo Wood, sent out champion Pie In The Sky to score in the 1979 All American Futurity, Blane has conditioned the earners of more than $17 million, including four Rainbow Futurity winners – the most recent being this year’s MM Fourinthemorning – and qualified three finalists to the 2018 All American Futurity (G1).

Lipar and Wood are taking Another Shot to the All American Derby (G1). A sorrel gelding by Tempting Dash, Another Shot won three of five races as a 2-year-old and ran in Thecartelofmiracle’s $851,776 Texas Classic Futurity (G1). With three starts this year, he comes into the All American Derby off a second by half a length to Jess Move You in their August 19 trial. Another Shot has earned $35,864 while compiling a record of 8-3-1-1.

Another Shot is bred by John Simmons’ Simmons Racing at Burnet, Texas. Since 2013, Simmons has bred the earners of more than $341,000, with a 35 percent win-place-show record, including Grade 1 finalist Tempting Special. In 2013, Simmons purchased sire Tempting Dash.

An 11-year-old son of First Down Dash, Tempting Dash was an undefeated champion on the track, where he earned $673,970 while scoring in the trials and finals of the Grade 1 Dash For Cash and Texas Classic futurities. From six crops to race, Tempting Dash has sired the earners of more than $6.9 million, led by champion Kiss My Hocks ($1,199,385). Tempting Dash  is also the broodmare sire of current All American Futurity qualifier Im Jess Special V. Now owned by a syndicate, Tempting Dash stands at Granada Farms at Wheelock, Texas.

Another Shot is the first starter out of the maiden Stoli mare Fontanas Stoli, a half-sister to the Grade 1-winning Okey Dokey Dale stallion Okey Dokey Fantasy ($576,521). Fontanas Stoli is from the immediate female family of Fast Debonair ($455,658) and Endless Ocean ($265,322). Lipar purchased Another Shot at the Texas QHA yearling sale.

“Blane picked him out and I agreed with him,” Lipar said. “We liked his sire, we liked his mama and we liked his conformation.”

“We really liked his mama a lot,” confirms Trey Wood, Blane’s son and assistant trainer. “Dad and I had talked about his mama a bunch, and his third dam was really good. We had tried to buy a couple of her babies and hadn’t been able to get them bought. But we got this horse bought. Another Shot is a big horse – a big, pretty, 440-looking horse. That’s what he is – a pure-dee 440-looking horse. He’ll run all day long.”

Another Shot has been ridden in each of his three races this year by champion jockey Ricky Ramirez, who has ridden more than 1,100 winners and the earners of more than $29.7 million, including this year’s Rainbow Futurity (G1) winner MM Fourinthemorning.

Lipar made his mark in real estate development, and in 2013, took his housing company public. He is now a shareholder in the company, LGI Homes, which is run by his son Eric. Lipar and his wife, Melany, also have daughter Nicole and sons Aaron and Joseph or “Joe,” and eight grandchildren.

Melany rides dressage horses. Her husband made the transition from racing motorized horsepower to running the flesh-and-blood type.

“Charlie Patterson is a friend of mine in the same business I was in,” Lipar said. “Charlie was in horse business in ’80s, but he got out of it in the downturn and then got back in after the downturn. It was probably in the ’90s when Charlie called me and said, ‘Tommy, I’ve got a good horse. Why don’t you buy half of him?’ I said OK. I probably invested in three or four or five horses over the next 10- or 12-year period, and went to watch some races at Ruidoso just for fun.”

Patterson had some really nice horses. He and wife Dixie have bred the earners of more than $2 million, including stakes winners Jesse James Jr, Jesstified, Morning Snow and Loose Perry.

“So then when I sold the housing company – which is what you’re doing when you take it public – I stepped back and kind of semi-retired,” Lipar said. “I still do real estate deals and own part of a mortgage company, but still I wanted to do some sort of racing. I decided to do what Charlie did.

“We have a farm on 80 acres at Conroe, where I built a barn for my wife’s dressage horses,” he continued. “So I had the room and thought I’d buy some racehorses, get some good ones, put them on the farm and breed them. Four years ago, I bought my first racehorses. I called Butch Wise, who’d I known for years through Charlie, and said, ‘Hey, Butch, give me a list of trainers.’ Butch sent me a list, I called the first one and didn’t get an answer, so I called the second one and that was Blane Wood. I told Blane I wanted to get in the racing business and he said, ‘Well, come on up and see me.’
“I met Blane at Ruidoso and bought five or six horses that first year,” Lipar recalled. “High Plains Perry and Tough To Bee were two of them, and both of them earned over $600,000. So the next year, we bought a few more and here we are.”

The first babies born on Lipar’s Paragon farm are in the Ruidoso Select Sale this weekend at Ruidoso.

And now the Lipars and the Woods are taking the “Shot” at the richest derby in American Quarter Horse racing.

“Shot’s an easy-going horse,” Trey said. “He likes to train. We just have a little trouble with him in the gate. He’s not bad in there. He just moves around, doesn’t really want to focus on his job. He doesn’t do anything bad, he’s not a stupid horse at all. He just lacks a little bit in the focus area. When he stands up in the gate and looks down the track, he runs races like he did last year in his All American trial and Texas Classic trial.

“If Shot’ll stand up in there and break, he’s tough to beat,” Trey continues. “I really think he’s doing the best right now that he’s done all summer. He drew perfect – he loves the outside. He’s been down on the inside all summer. If the horse gets away a little bit better than he did in the trials, I think he can dang-sure pick up a pretty good check. He’d have to run the race of his life to win it, but I think at least he can hit the board, be in the top four.”

Trey paused and reflects on the possibilities.

“Another Shot’s always been a nice horse,” he said. “He wasn’t a standout, but he’s a late-maturing horse and we always thought he’d be a better 3-year-old. But he really hasn’t produced much this year. So if he’s going to run a big race, this is the one we want him to.”

The Woods want a big race as much for the owner as they do for the horse they are training for him.

“Tommy is as solid as they get,” Trey said. “He’s the kind of guy you want to train for. Never gives you problems, doesn’t ask questions, lets you do your job. Do whatever you want and he stands behind you 100 percent. He’s as good a client as you could ever train for.”