Jess Featureme Quick Owner is All-Around Horseman

Melissa Miller knows winners, both in the show arena and the racetrack.

By Amy Owens
Q-Racing Journal
September 2, 2012

Jess Featureme Quick

Jess Featureme Quick

Jess Featureme Quick, who is racing in today's $2,234,539 All American Derby (G1), represents the racy side of breeder and owner Melissa Miller of Belton, Texas. The lifelong horsewoman also breeds and owns horses that compete in a variety of performance events. Her most successful has been Roo Star, the 2008 AQHA Superhorse. The title, one of the most prestigious honors a show horse can earn, is presented at the annual AQHA World Championship Show to the “MVP” horse that is most successful in several different events.

“Quarter Horses have led me to live a blessed life,” said Miller, who grew up showing former racehorses her father, Ed, ran at Texas bush tracks. “I love an athlete, so that's led me back to want to play in racing. Whether they're a cow horse or pleasure horse or racehorse, if they're a great athlete that's just a great honor to watch them perform.”

Miller, who owns between 10 and 15 show broodmares, partners on two racing-bred mares with her veterinarian, Dr. Theresa “Dr. T” Dwyer, who owns Dr. T's Equine Clinic in nearby Salado, Texas. Dwyer's background includes a stint in the early 1980s working for Dr. Leonard Blach at Buena Suerte Ranch in Roswell, New Mexico, after she graduated from Texas A&M University.

In 2007, Miller and Dwyer went shopping for a racing-bred broodmare at the Heritage Place Winter Mixed Sale. They found One Quick Cookie, a 4-year-old winning daughter of Royal Quick Dash who was in foal to Separatist. Miller purchased her for $41,000.

“She looks at pedigrees, and I look at conformation,” Miller said, referring to Dwyer. “I want (a mare) to look like a show horse.”

That year, AQHA was beginning to offer performance halter classes that required horses to have a Register of Merit, which One Quick Cookie had earned on the racetrack, and Miller began thinking about sending her racemare to the show ring. Meanwhile, One Quick Cookie had her first foal and was bred back to Separatist. Soon after the foal was weaned, One Quick Cookie went into show training. She performed well enough in her first two shows that she qualified to the World Show, where she placed a respectable fifth in the inaugural class.

“I get these wild ideas,” Miller said. “Quarter Horses are supposed to be the most versatile horse, so why can't we do different things with them besides what they were bred for? I just wanted to say, 'Hey this good-looking racemare went up there and competed with these show mares.' ”

Having proven herself, One Quick Cookie returned to being a broodmare full time. Her female family has become extremely fashionable with such members as champion and successful young sire One Famous Eagle and this year's Rainbow Futurity (G1) winner, Carters Cookie. Wanting to give One Quick Cookie every opportunity to succeed as a broodmare, Miller claimed the mare's first runner, One Famous Cookie, whom she'd sold as a yearling at Ruidoso, and raced her to place in two stakes at Hialeah Park.

Miller sent One Quick Cookie's next foal, Jess Featureme Quick, a son of Feature Mr Jess, to trainer Paul Jones and assistant Lisa Saumell, who oversees the New Mexico division of Jones' operation.

“To promote his mother, the best thing we could do was to put him in the best hands possible,” Dwyer said.

Jess Featureme Quick, who has made seven of his eight starts at Ruidoso Downs, enters the All American Derby with three wins and earnings of $12,330. On August 17, the gelding won the second of 10 Derby trials by a head and qualified with the 10th-fastest time of :21.472.

“We're just happy to be here,” Miller said. “Some of the other owners, if they don't win it are going to be disappointed. We're just happy to be at the party. Horses have led me to two of AQHA's biggest events, this and the Superhorse. I feel blessed and honored that I've been able to be associated with such good horses.”

Fans can watch the All American Derby and Monday's All American Futurity (G1)on TVG or free of charge at
www.qracingvideo.com. Q-Racing Video provides unlimited access to live and replay simulcast race video of most American Quarter Horse tracks in the United States and Canada. For complete coverage of All American week at Ruidoso Downs, visit www.aqharacing.com. Read the September issue of the Q-Racing Journal, the digital publication covering American Quarter Horse racing, for full post-race analysis, at www.aqharacing.com, and find us on Facebook (Q-Racing) or Twitter (@AQHARacing).