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Race record: 2-2-0-0 $5,400
Breeder: John Andreini
Owner: D & S Racing LLC
Trainer: Eddie Lee Willis
Qualifying jockey: Jimmy Dean Brooks
Qualifying time: :21.313
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Race record: The least experienced qualifier, Exquisite Stride came into the trials off his one start, when he broke his maiden on first asking in the July 4 trials to the Rainbow Futurity (G1). Running in the second heat on the second day of trials to the All American Futurity (G1), Exquisite Stride raced to the fastest qualifying time , putting up a :21.313 mark for the quarter mile that held up throughout the afternoon.
“In his Rainbow Futurity trial, he didn’t break and had to go around horses,” said jockey Jimmy Dean Brooks. Exquisite Stride won that trial by a nose but did not qualify for the Rainbow final.
Exquisite Stride also did not have the best of starts in his All American trial. He was forced out and bumped at the start.
“If we can just get him to break – but he is improving,” said Brooks.
While his starts are a work in progress, Exquisite Stride lives up to his name once he gets rolling. The Eddie Willis-trained colt devours ground with long, powerful strides that enable him to overcome his mistakes while competing in trials to classic Grade 1 races.
Pedigree: A 9-year-old son Corona Cartel and the champion Tolltac mare Jumping Tac Flash, Carters Cartel raced exclusively at Los Alamitos, where he earned $659,146 on the track. In 2007, he won the Kindergarten Futurity (G1), set a :17.179 track record at 350 yards in the Ed Burke Million Futurity (G1), was scratched from the final of the Pacific Coast QHRA Breeders’ Futurity (G1) and ran in the Golden State Million Futurity (G1), to end the year as the champion freshman colt. He retired the following season after finishing third in the Vandy’s Flash Handicap (G3). Carters Cartel has sired 14 stakes winners, 109 others winners and the earners of more than $3.77 million from 201 starters in three crops raced.
Exquisite Stride is one of two winners from three starters out of Tinys Lil Jess ($18,916), a winning daughter of champion Mr Jess Perry and the Grade 1-winning First Down Dash mare Tiny First Down ($317,881), who finished fourth in champion A Delightful Dasher’s All American Futurity (G1). Tinys Lil Jess’s other winner is Bass Lake, a Separatist gelding who earned $49,223 at Ruidoso and tracks in Oklahoma and Florida.
Breeder: Since 1980, John Andreini of San Mateo, California, has bred10 stakes winners, 123 other winners and the earners of more than $4.45 million from 219 starters. Included among them are stakes winners Deefirst ($319,029) and Illegal Fireworks ($181,847), and the Grade 1-winning stallion Volcom ($430,433), who sired this year’s All American qualifier JM Miracle.
Owner: Exquisite Stride was purchased for $20,000 at the Ruidoso Select Yearling Sale by David and Sherry Dunn’s D & S Racing LLC of Richton, Mississippi.
Trainer: In the last five years, Eddie Lee Willis has sent out 80 winners and the earners of more than $1.6 million from 430 starters. Willis is the son of Eddie Dean Willis, an all-time top-10 leading trainer who has conditioned the earners of more than $24 million. With earnings of more than $3.39 million last year, Eddie D. was the second-leading trainer in 2013, when he sent out Jimmy Brooks on champion Feature Hero to win the $2,809,784 All American Derby (G1), the richest race in Quarter Horse history.
Jockey: Jimmy Dean Brooks was the sport’s fifth-leading jockey in 2013, when he rode the earners of more than $2.9 million. Among his winners was champion Feature Hero, who he rode for Eddie Dean Willis to win the $2,809,784 All American Derby (G1), the richest race in Quarter Horse history. The son of legendary rider Roy Brooks, Jimmy has ridden the earners of more than $15.25 million, including 1,180 winners from 8,700 starts.
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