December 30-January 1 Stakes Recap
A recap of non-graded stakes.
December 29, 2016
Following is a recap of all official American Quarter Horse stakes for the week of December 30-January 1. For recaps of graded stakes, Bank of America Racing Challenge events, and stakes with purses of $100,000 or more, see the individual recap stories in the Racing News section. This page will be updated throughout the week.
Ron Hartley's One Proud Eagle, a homebred son of One Famous Eagle trained by John Cooper, earned his third stakes victory in Friday's $20,000 Holiday Handicap for 2-year-olds.
Ridden by Ramon Sanchez, One Proud Eagle went 350 yards in :17.677 and recorded an 89 speed index while defeating Tough To Figure by a head. The gray gelding's win was his fifth in eight starts, and the $11,000 winner's share of the purse pushed his bankroll to $275,105.
“John used to call him the ugly duckling, but look at him now,” Hartley said with a laugh. “He’s done great for us. I didn’t have him in a lot of big futurities this year, but he’s in four derbies in 2017. This race was a good prep for the Los Alamitos Winter Derby trials (on January 21).”
One Proud Eagle is out of Guy Chasing, a winning 11-year-old daughter of Fishers Dash. His second dam, the Raise A Secret mare Girl Secrets, won three graded stakes at this track in 1998, including the Grade 1 Golden State Derby.
One Proud Eagle's resume includes victories in the May 15, 300-yard Robert Adair Kindergarten Futurity (G2) and October 30, 350-yard John Deere Juvenile Challenge Championship (G2). Cooper recalled the talent the gelding showed early on.
“He was always there, but you would look at all the big old horses and he’s the little guy on the end,” Cooper said. “When you went to breeze him, all of the sudden he came to the top. Like (Rod MacPherson) used to say, ‘The cream will come to the top on the good ones.’ We didn’t have him in many futurities last year, but that could be a good thing now. He’s very sound and we have a fresh horse.
"We were probably going to give him another work, and we felt why not try to pick up some money instead of working him for free," the trainer added.
Jess Hawk finished third, a half of a length behind One Proud Eagle, and was followed by Scholarly, One Sweet Jewel, Bannister, and Janes Cartel.
This track ended 2016 with a Quarter Horse stakes doubleheader on Saturday. In the richest of the two races, Las Vegas Ranch's Arizona Icon sprinted to a 1 3/4-length victory in the $20,188 Arizona Stallion Owners' Futurity (R).
Ridden by Vince Guerra for trainer Matt Fales and racing against a 13-mph head wind, Arizona Icon covered 400 yards in :20.186 on a track officially labeled "good." The homebred son of the Corona Cartel stallion Texas Icon earned an 87 speed index and the $11,766 winner's share of the purse.
Arizona Icon is out of Jess Perfect Girl, a winning 11-year-old daughter of Feature Mr Jess who ran third in the 2007 Yavapai Downs Futurity (G3). The gelding has won three of six starts, including the October 30 AQRA Turf Paradise Futurity, and he has earned $30,226.
Frozen Icon, Sniper 1, A Mere Icon, Blown A Way, Cozie Icon, Fastest Texas Icon, El Cementero, Also Good, Hc Betinis Choice, and Long Colt completed the order of finish.
Also on Saturday, May Be Fantastic Sa made his first start against older runners a winning one, as the sophomore colt earned a clear 1 1/2-length victory in the 440-yard, $17,500 Turf Paradise Championship.
Racing against a reported 13-mph head wind on a track labeled "good," May Be Fantastic Sa covered his quarter-mile trip in :21.826. Emilio Tapia rode the Fantastic Corona Jr colt for owner Orlando Guerrero and trainer Ubaldo Guerrero.
May Be Fantastic Sa was bred in Oklahoma by Gianni Franco Samaja. The colt has won five of his 11 races and has banked $47,956, and his resume includes the December 4, 400-yard AQRA Turf Paradise Derby.
Jess A Cowboy finished second and was followed officially by Block N Tackle, Quick Dynasty, Bomb Diggity, Fighter Gone Wild, Closing Time, and Shaboomator.
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