Q-Racing Blog: Bargain Hunting

Two surprise fillies are climbing the Mountain Top.

Two surprise fillies are climbing the Mountain Top.

“One didn’t go to the sale because it was all messed up, and about nobody wanted the other one,” quipped trainer West Giles with a smile about his two-fastest qualifiers to the $345,000 Mountain Top Futurity (RG3) for New Mexico-breds on June 16 at Ruidoso Downs.

It is another example that a horse doesn’t know its value or when the next futurity payment is due.

It is fortunate that Joe K. Rios’ fastest-qualifier, Another Chick Flick, has found any use in life.

A year ago, she was blind and her future could not be more uncertain. Enter Wendy Miller, who manages the filly, and the Rios family. Another Chick Flick became a cause for Miller.

The filly was turned out with cattle, goats and about everything else around the ranch, and her vision gradually started to improve. When they were roping, Another Flick Chick was tied to the fence. She watched – as well as she could – for hours. She also took in the sounds, smells and bustle.

Another Flick Chick has improved to the point that she has full vision in her left eye and about 90 percent vision in her right eye.

“Her sight has never been any issue,” said Giles. “It doesn’t bother her. She holds her head straight and doesn’t tilt it to favor either eye.”

Miller and the Rioses liked the daughter of First Moonflash because she was a good mover.

“Every time I watched her move, I liked her. So, we took her and then took it easy with her,” said Miller.

Another Chick Flick, who is out of the stakes-winning Major Rime mare Rime Has A Chick, has been constantly improving.

“She is tall, lean and maturing,” said Giles. “She has put on 50 pounds since the Spring Futurity trials (March 16).”

After a rough trip in her Spring Futurity trial, Another Flick Chick made a big step forward in her Mountain Top Futurity trial. The 10-1 outsider pulled out to a 1-length win. Her time of :18.049 for 350 yards was the quickest mark from the 10 trials.

Mike Abraham and Paul Blanchard’s Jess Fire Chick was offered at sale and brought a bid of $5,000. Abraham is the filly’s breeder.

A daughter of Jess A Chicks out of the Walk Thru Fire mare Required Fire, Jess Fire Chick has shown promise ever since she arrived at Giles’ barn.

Jess Fire Chick made her debut in the Mountain Top Futurity trials and came through with a convincing 1 1/2-length score and the second-fastest qualifying time of :18.051.

“She looked good,” said Giles. “In all of her works, she has tried and looked like a pro. I worked her with two horses who were each second in their Spring Futurity trials. She worked heads up with them.”

Less than a year ago, deep-pocketed yearling buyers and their entourages were chasing down shiny, muscular, black-type yearlings and looking to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars for each of the best prospects. At the same time, there was a yearling who would never make it to the sale because she was trying to gain her sight and another that sold for $5,000, with half that sum coming from her breeder.

Those two outcasts could be the headliners in a matter of days.

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