The AQHA office is closed Thursday, December 25, Friday, December 26, and Thursday, January 1.
Q-Racing JournalMarch 6, 2014
Reliance Ranches’ 2013 champion three-year-old Feature Hero makes his 2014 debut against Oklahoma-breds in the $70,000 Mighty Deck Three Stakes during a doubleheader with the $50,000 Eastex Stakes (G2) on Sunday at Remington Park.
Feature Hero (Valiant Hero-Illegal Feature by Feature Mr Jess) earned the champion 3-year-old and champion 3-year-old gelding titles with a single stakes win, however he made that stakes win in the race with the largest purse in the history of American Quarter Horse racing. The 440-yard All American Derby (G1)’s purse was $2,809,784 and 23-1 outsider Feature Hero earned $1,180,110 of his career earnings of $1,362,263.
The Eddie Willis-trained Feature Hero fought like a champion in the All American Derby. The gelding had plenty of racing room at the start and surged to the lead. Bon Accord made a strong bid, but Feature Hero gamely dug in to hold off that rival for the neck win.
The 440-yard All American Derby was, obviously, the championship crowning race of his career. He was also second against Oklahoma-breds in the $253,000 Remington Park Oklahoma-bred Derby (R). He earned his Champion of Champions invitation in the All American Derby and moved to Los Alamitos after that derby score. He was third in the $25,000 Town Policy Handicap and fourth behind world champion Last To Fire in the $750,000 Champion of Champions (G1) at 26-1 odds.
The Mighty Deck Three Stakes is Feature Hero’s first start since the Champion of Champions in December.
Irene Velasquez’s Big Boi (Oak Tree Special-Bosanova Baby by Corona Cartel) has the class to face Feature Hero and likes Remington Park. After finishing second by a head in the 2012 Texas Classic Futurity (G1), he began his 2013 campaign at Remington Park and won the $136,000 Oklahoma Derby and made a third-place run behind 2013 champion 3-year-old colt Brace For Bernal in the $285,780 Heritage Place Derby (G2). His only start since the Heritage Place Derby last June was a troubled trip in his Dash For Cash Derby trial in October.
Elite Oilfield Services’ BPs Jumpn Frisco (Jumpn-Frisco Fling by Dash For Cash) comes off a strong meet at Hialeah Park and should be in sharp form. The Alfredo Gomez-trained gelding took nose decisions in the $27,000 The Signature Stakes over 350 yards and a $19,500 allowance race at 250 yards before finishing off-the-board in the $27,000 Beautiful Prairie Stakes at 250 yards.
The 350-yard Eastex Stakes is a more contentious race than the Mighty Deck Three.
The Miguel Banuelos-owned and -trained Kuhl Wave (Wave Carver-Shazooms Doll by Shazoom) should be dangerous after winning five of nine starts last year and thriving at Remington Park. She won the $50,000 Mr Master Bug Stakes (R), was second by a nose in the $54,000 Easy Date Stakes and third in the $52,500 Decketta Stakes (G3) last spring at the Oklahoma City track.
The former $7,500 claimer Kuhl Wave went on to win the $26,000 Merial Arapahoe Park Distaff Challenge and the $146,800 Altoona Derby (G3) at Prairie Meadows.
Randall Dees’ All Out Arrogant (FDD Dynasty-Oh So Arrogant by Chicks Beduino) comes to Remington Park after winning his latest two stakes starts at Los Alamitos for trainer Cody Joiner. The gelding won the $20,000 John Deere Stakes over eventual Grade 1 winner Jabuti Eagle SA and rolled to a three-quarter-length win in the $25,000 Cypress Stakes over 2011 Champion of Champions runner-up Sparky E Boy on January 24.
Wade Helton’s Llano Cartel (Teller Cartel-Eyesa Lil Cuervo by Lil Bit Cuervo) moves back up to the stakes ranks after winning a pair of Hialeah Park allowance races in his latest two starts. A year ago at Remington Park, the gelding won the $54,750 Jack Brooks Stakes (RG3) over a field that included eventual champion Feature Hero and All American Derby qualifier Louisana Corona.
Llano Cartel has four wins from nine starts at Remington Park and has finished on the board in 19 of 25 career starts with 10 wins.
AQHA News and information is a service of the American Quarter Horse Association. For more news and information, follow @AQHARacing on Twitter, watch the AQHA Racing Newscast and visit www.aqharacing.com.
See more AQHA Partner benefits