ATTENTION: The AQHA office will be closed Thursday, November 27, and Friday, November 28, in observance of Thanksgiving. We look forward to serving you again Monday, December 1. 

Pedigree Analysis: Midori N Smoke

A lot of Cherry Creek history surrounds just one mare.

By Andrea Caudill
Q-Racing Journal
June 17, 2013

midori n smoke

Midori N Smoke. PHOTO: Coady Photography

If you’re going to look at pedigrees of stakes horses, how about this one: The mare who produced 30 percent of the field in the $86,920 Cherry Creek Futurity (RG3) won the race herself back in 2002 and also produced the 2010 edition’s winner?

The mare in question is Margo Schares’ homebred Corona Cartel mare Smokin Corona, and on Saturday at Arapahoe Park, her Special Leader filly Midori N Smoke got up to win the futurity by a head as the 6-5 favorite. Midori N Smoke’s half siblings Caravella N Smoke by Shazoom and Disaronno N Smoke by Heza Fast Dash finished fifth and ninth, respectively.

Smokin Corona is out of Schares’ Rocket Wrangler mare Julies Jem. Schares, of Eastlake, Colorado, was a partner on both Julies Jem and her dam, the stakes winning Dr Kirk mare Kirks Jewel, with the mares’ breeder, Harold Webster of Fort Collins. They raced Julies Jem to seven placings in 17 starts, including three stakes placings. Julies Jem is a half sister to three-time stakes winner Tough To Call (by Jet Dance, $62,102) and stakes placed Special To Us (by Special Effort, $39,579).

Schares acquired the two mares outright in 1997. Julies Jem with her second (and last) foal produced the Corona Cartel mare Smokin Corona in 2000. The bay mare raced nine times, with four wins, two seconds, one third and earnings of $85,861. Her career-best speed index of 108 was earned in her second start – the 2002, $103,680 Cherry Creek Futurity (RG3), where she put in a big late run to win by a half length. She went on to win the Mile High Derby (G2) with a track-record :19.671 for the 400 yards.

Smokin Corona’s sire is a 19-year-old son of Holland Ease out of Corona Chick. He has stood his entire career at Lazy E Ranch at Guthrie, Oklahoma, and has sired the earners of more than $14.3 million from 1,075 starters. The stallion is the No. 2 leading living sire, only a few hundred thousand behind Mr Jess Perry (who also has two more crops to race).

Smokin Corona would finish racing and begin her new career as a broodmare in 2004. Her first foal was the Grade 1 finalist Our Trace Of Smoke (by Tres Seis, $28,520). Her remaining foals would represent her in four of the past five Cherry Creek Futurities: Smokin N Stokin (by Panther Mountain, $16,096) would race seventh in the 2009 Cherry Creek. Smokin Brown Eyes (by Mr Eye Opener, $38,902) would win the Cherry Creek in 2010, and Tuaca N Smoke (by Streakin La Jolla, $8,837) would be ninth in 2011. Smokin Corona did not have a foal in 2010 and subsequently was not represented in 2012.

She made up for it in 2013, as all three of her 2011 foals entered the race. Caravella N Smoke is co-owned by Schares and Brad Thomas, and the other two fillies are both owned by Schares.

Incidentally, Smokin Corona and all six of her foals that raced in the Cherry Creek were trained by John Hammes.

Midori N Smoke has now won two of three starts and earned $41,196. She smoked her Cherry Creek trial by 3 1/2 lengths to notch a 106 speed index. Her first start in a maiden event at Remington Park was a second-place effort to eventual Heritage Place Futurity (G1) runner-up Hes Relentless ($173,780).

Her sire Special Leader was the sport’s world champion in 1991. The stallion was bred and owned by American Quarter Horse Hall of Famer Joe Kirk Fulton of Lubbock, Texas, and won or placed in 13 of 18 starts while earning $292,605. One of his biggest victories was as an 18-1 longshot in the 1991 Champion of Champions (G1), when he defeated a field that included two-time world champion Refrigerator, champions Isaws Sugar Bear, Takin On The Cash, Jazzing Hi, Apprehend, Tee Roy Reb and See Me Gone and top runners Reckless Dash and Frisco Flare. Special Leader also won the 1991 All American Gold Cup (G1) with a smashing 2 1/4-length victory, earning a career-high 103 speed index.

A son of Special Effort out of the Dash For Cash mare Miss Eye Opener, Special Leader has sired 19 crops to race. His progeny have won more than $13.3 million, with 501 winners, including 64 stakes winners, from 750 starters, including champion Leading Spirit. Special Leader died in 2012.

Smokin Corona has produced six winners and two stakes winners from seven starters. She has one yearling, a colt by Bigtime Favorite named Big Time Smoke In.

And while we're on the subject of Colorado stakes families -- a nod has to go out to Richard and Genevieve Herrman's breeding program. Their homebred Iza Sugar N Spice (Toast To Dash-Iza Flyin Eye by Mr Eye Opener) won the $43,360 Lucille Rowe Derby, while her half sister Nifty Fury (by Furyofthewind) represented the family in the Cherry Creek Futurity. The Herrmans and their breeding program were featured in the February 2012 Q-Racing Journal.