All American Derby Qualifier: The Marfa Lights
THE MARFA LIGHTS
Sorrel Colt, One Famous Eagle-Your First Moon by First Down Dash
Race Record: 8-2-3-1 $457,220
Breeder: Vessels Stallion Farm LLC
Owner: Michael and Beth Harper
Trainer: Jose Villafranco
Jockey: Larry Payne
Qualifying time: :21.501
RACE RECORD: The Marfa Lights last year was second in the All American Futurity (G1). He has contested each of the Ruidoso derby trials, and qualified to the All American with a second-place run behind De La Eagle in the ninth trial.
BREEDER: One of the sport’s all-time leading breeders with runner earnings of more than $31.9 million, Vessels Stallion Farm LLC bred champions Moonin The Eagle, Moonist, Hez Our Secret, Little Bit Of Baja, Apollitical Time, Hardly Hateful, Your First Moon, Old Habits, IBA Dasher, Hateful Hanna, Meter Me Gone, Rare Form, Dash Thru Traffic and Royal Quick Dash.
OWNER: Michael and Beth Harper of San Antonio, are 20-year breeders who have raced in their own name 22 winners from 130 starters and the earners of $634,876.
TRAINER: Jose Villafranco has trained six winners from 75 starters and the earners of $109,520.
QUALIFYING JOCKEY: Veteran Larry Payne has since 1975 ridden the earners of more than $32.2 million. Among the top horses he has swung a leg over are champions A Real Man and Oak Tree Special, as well as Grade 1 winners First Valiant Sign, High Rate Of Return, Southern Takes All, Outdashing, Send Me The Candy, Willie Wanta Dash, Naviaux, Smoke N Sparks, Some Dashing Dude, Stoli Angel, Lady Tenaya and Better Than Never.
PEDIGREE: The Marfa Lights was a $145,000 Ruidoso Select Sale purchase.
The full brother to champion Moonin The Eagle ($556,100), The Marfa Lights’ sire is One Famous Eagle, who sired three of the 10 qualifiers to this race, as well as two in the All American Futurity. Himself a champion as well as a world champion sire, the son of Mr Jess Perry won or placed in nine of 11 career starts, including three Grade 1 wins, and earned $1,387,453. From only six crops to race, he has sired the earners of more than $20.1 million, including world champion and All American Futurity (G1) winner One Dashing Eagle.
Dam Your First Moon is a champion and dam of distinction. The mare was champion 2-year-old in 2001 and, as a broodmare, has produced 10 winners from 14 starters and the earners of more than $2.1 million. In addition to Moonin The Eagle, she is also the damr of champion Moonist ($878,468) and stakes winners Jess My Moon ($78,150) and Stray Cat ($58,638).