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September 4, 2011
Llano Teller became American Quarter Horse racing’s newest millionaire on Sunday in front of a crowd of 14,643 at Ruidoso Downs with a half-length victory in the $1,317,015 All American Derby (G1).
The Texas-bred gelding by Teller Cartel stopped the timer at :20.867 for 440 yards over a good track with Ramon Sanchez in the irons for conditioner Jeffrey Reed. Breaking from post five, Llano Teller got off to a strong start and then held off Prospect To The Top to take home the $658,509 first-place check.
“He left real good today,” said Sanchez. “I was thinking if I had a chance to break, I’ve got a chance to be in front at the wire. He broke excellent and tried hard all the time.”
Llano Teller was bred by Terry Wootan’s Wootan Racing and runs for Wootan and Reed Land and Cattle Co., for whom he has now earned $1,528,632 with nine wins in 16 career starts. His other stakes wins include the Grade 1 Remington Park Futurity and Ruidoso Derby.
“When he left there like that, I thought, 'They won't catch him today.' Ramon did a magnificent job of riding him,” said Reed. “I've flown Ramon in a few times to ride horses and he's unreal on a horse he's never seen. I told him I thought he was on the real deal today.
“This horse has been really, really ready. It's been unreal the way he's trained,” Reed added. “I just kept telling myself … he will beat these horses today. It was gratifying to me that he did beat all these horses like he did. I want to thank (jockey) G.R. (Carter Jr., who qualified Llano Teller to the race); he got us to the dance, and Ramon danced with us.”
Llano Teller is the leading earner sired by 2005 All American Futurity (G1) winner Teller Cartel and one of nine winners out of the winning Mr Eye Opener mare Annie Eye Over.
“It's been a great partnership and a feather in everybody's cap from us to the groom,” said Wootan. “It's been wonderful. He's a good little horse.”
Reed indicated that the Texas Classic Derby (G1) at Lone Star Park could be up next for Llano Teller, who also earned a berth in the Champion of Champions (G1) at Los Alamitos with his All American victory.
“Whatever Mr. (Terry) Wootan does, that's what we'll do,” said Reed about the future plans. “He raised him; it's his baby so I'm just along for the ride.
Joel Tavarez’ Prospect To The Top put in a game effort to finish second under Roman Chapa, who picked up the mount after regular rider Jacky Martin was injured on Friday. The Coronas Prospect colt, who is trained by Ralph Muniz, finished three-quarters of a length in front of JLS Speed Horse Ranch Inc.'s JLS Mr Bigtime in third.
One Sweet Jess finished fourth, followed by Teller No Lies in fifth and The Printing Press in sixth. Cold Cash 123, the 6-5 favorite after winning the Rainbow Derby (G1) and posting the fastest qualifying time to the All American Derby, hesitated at the break and finished seventh. Motorcity Madman, DM Streakn Thru Fire and Flyin Fish completed the order of finish.
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