Pedigree Analysis: Significant Heart

A young filly looks to capture a big prize.

By Andrea Caudill
Q-Racing Journal
November 26, 2013

significant heart

Significant Heart. PHOTO: Scott Martinez

The holiday season is officially underway. This coming weekend, most folks will be cutting into a turkey to celebrate Thanksgiving, then begin hanging Christmas lights in anticipation of the next big celebration coming at the end of December.  Midway between those major holidays is another major holiday for racing American Quarter Horse fans – the $750,000 Champion of Champions (G1) on December 14.

The race is the richest in the country for older horses, gathering the best runners in the nation, and it is a champion-making event. In the 41 editions to date, only two horses that won the prestigious race did not take home a championship title that same year, while 26 of the winners were world champions in the year of their victory.

It is notable that of the seven invitations given out so far that have been available to horses 4 and up, nearly  half are over the age of 5 – and 30 percent are owned by 8-year-old horses. One of those horses, Rylees Boy last year set the age record at 7 for winners, but he and Vodka With Ice are looking to bump it up a notch this year – aged, indeed.

The most recent Champion of Champions contender added, via the wild-card Z. Wayne Griffin Director’s Stakes on Saturday, is indeed a wild-card horse. Abigail Kawanananakoa’s Significant Heart surprised with a confident win at 9-1 over the likes of champion Hez Our Secret and world champion Cold Cash 123. Kawananakoa plucked Significant Heart from last year’s Heritage Place Winter Mixed Sale, paying $130,000 for the royally-bred filly from the dispersal of La Feliz Montana Ranch. Last year the filly qualified to the $382,000 PCQRHA Breeders’ Futurity (G2), but this year has found her stride with five wins in six starts, including the Lanty’s Jet Handicap and $168,500 PCQHRA Breeders’ Derby (G3). She has a record of 11-5-0-2 and earnings of $106,477. Significant Heart was bred by La Feliz Montana Ranch LLC of Las Vegas, Nevada.

If it seems like a tall task for such a young filly to take on aged males, don’t fear. She merely needs to follow on the trail blazed by the likes of Cash For Kas, who in 2004 ran the race of her life to defeat juggernauts such as world champion Be A Bono ($1,313,347), champion Catchmeinyourdreams ($1,040,929) and world champion Whosleavingwho ($1,334,842); or world champion Blues Girl Too, who in 2007 put an exclamation point on the richest distaff career in history by daylighting the likes of champions Little Bit Of Baja ($877,525), FDD Dynasty ($1,173,001) and Country Chicks Man ($736,777). And let’s not forget champion Flame N Flash, who last year was only inches away from a win in the race behind the valiant champion Rylees Boy ($1,422,839).

Also it is wise not to discount the blood that courses Significant Heart’s veins.

Her sire is all-time leading living sire and No. 2 all-time sire Corona Cartel. The great stallion demonstrated his own ability to win over the Los Alamitos loam, taking three stakes wins (including the Los Alamitos Million Futurity (G1)) and earning $557,142 in his 14-race career. Retired to Lazy E Ranch at Guthrie, Oklahoma, the now-19-year-old stallion from 13 crops to race has sired the earners of more than $43.3 million, the winners of 1,946 races and 228 stakes. Among them is the aforementioned Blues Girl Too, who earned $2,032,328 in her 13-race career.

Significant Heart is the first foal out of Grade 1 winner Jess Significant, a sorrel mare by Mr Jess Perry out of champion Significant Speed. Bred by Henry Brown, Jess Significant began her racing career in the trials and final of the West Texas Futurity (G1) and then a win in the Ruidoso Futurity (G1). She contested world champion Stolis Winner’s All American Futurity (G1), and then made appearances in the Hobbs America Futurity (G2), Southwest Juvenile Championship (G1), Rainbow Derby (G1), Lubbock Stakes (G3) and Zia Park Championship (G1). Jess Significant retired with earnings of $419,589, and now has three 2-year-olds and three yearlings, including the yearling First Down Dash filly Significant Jess, the yearling FDD Dynasty filly Waitin On Mindy and the yearling Ocean Runaway filly See Jess Runnin.

Jess Significant is by No. 3 all-time leading sire Mr Jess Perry and out of champion Significant Speed. Significant Speed (Duel Fuel-Dash Master Miss by Dash For Destiny) was bred by Gus Barakis’ Scarlett Hill Farm Inc. at Weatherford, Texas, and is now owned by Bobby Cox. The 16-year-old mare is a two-time Grade 1 winning earner of $517,605 who was the champion 3-year-old filly and champion aged mare in 2000 and 2002, respectively. From 20 foals, Significant Speed has produced 15 starters and 8 winners with earnings of $694,464, including Grade 2 winner So Significant (by Relagate (TB), $103,708) and Grade 1 competitor Fasten Your Cuflinks (by Azoom, $30,285).

Jess Significant’s second dam, Dash Master Miss, was bred by AQHA Past President Jim Helzer, and has been an important mare for Scarlett Hill Farm. The Grade 1-winning mare earned $249,430 in her 31-race career. From 21 starters she has produced 18 winners. Besides Significant Speed, she is also the dam of Grade 1 winner winner Push The Pace (by Special Task, $513,119), and stakes winners Significant Cartel (by Corona Cartel, $132,333) and Front Running Speed (by Vital Sign, $73,542).

The horses currently invited to the Champion of Champions:

Rylees Boy (winner of Los Alamitos Winter Championship)
Last To Fire (winner of Vessels Maturity)  
Feature Hero (winner of All American Derby)
Priceless Feature (winner of Remington Park Championship)   
Check N Fetch (winner of Mildred Vessels Memorial Handicap)  
Matabari (winner of Los Alamitos Super Derby)
Ochoa (Robert L. Boniface Los Alamitos Invitational Championship)
Vodka With Ice (winner of Bank of America Challenge Championship)
Significant Heart (winner Z. Wayne Griffin Directors’ Trial)  

The final berth will be handed out on Wednesday, in the weather-delayed Zia Park Championship (G1).

But no matter the outcome, December 14 will certainly be a holiday worth celebrating.