Q-Racing Blog: All-American Axioms

Q-Racing Blog: All-American Axioms

Several traditional truisms came true in this year's All American Futurity.

KJ Desparado wins the All American Futurity

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By Ty Wyant

Horse racing has been going on since man first became mounted on two horses. I believe they probably raced each other and bet something of value.

Over the thousands of years that man has been racing their steeds, many axioms developed. Some are ancient and some have developed since racing information has become much easier to obtain, mainly through the internet. No longer does anyone have to wait until a monthly magazine appears in their mailbox to get news. Now you just go online.

KJ Desparado’s win in the $3 million All American Futurity (G1) supported several axioms.

One axiom is that the astute handicapper or serious fan of American Quarter Horse racing should always watch the replays of races that are available online, like at Q-Racing Video on the AQHA website. Quarter Horse racing is a sport in which small things that aren’t obvious in past performances can become big things in the horse’s upcoming race.

Owned by John and Kathy Lee with Ruben Mares, KJ Desparado raced in the $1 million Rainbow Futurity (G1) two starts ago and drew Post 2 on a sloppy and sealed track. He got a start that immediately took him out of the race. He stumbled out of the gate and brushed with the horse in the third post position. He ended up racing down the rail to a seventh-place finish at 10-1 odds.

Next up were the All American Futurity trials in which KJ Desparado was running in the last of 15 trials on the first of two days of trials. He started from the ninth post position as the 1-9 favorite and broke in at the start and hit the horse in the eighth post position. It was another poor start, yet he was able to go on and win by 3 lengths with the day’s fastest time.

The “buzz” at Ruidoso started soon after that trial. Track regulars and folks who had watched the replays of those races were saying, “If he can get a good start, he just may win the All American.” People who depended strictly on past performances probably did not know the extent of his trouble.

In the All American Futurity, he finally acted like a professional coming out of the gate. He got a clean start, had a wide berth and ran down FDD Scout to win by neck and pay $11.80 to win on a $2 wager.

Another axiom, this one with a much longer history, is that runners take various routes to big races and find success in those important races.

New Mexico-based trainer Wes Giles took the Arizona-bred gelding to Turf Paradise in Phoenix for his first two starts, including the $88,391 AQRA Turf Paradise Open Spring Futurity. He started from the sixth post position in the futurity and was severely bumped at the start. The horse in the fifth post position was disqualified and KJ Desparado was moved up from fifth to fourth.

KJ Desparado then qualified to the $1 million Ruidoso Futurity (G1) and the Rainbow Futurity. This led to his All American Futurity victory and current career earnings of $1,602,868. It all started at Turf Paradise as a career launching point.

Obviously, KJ Desparado has the breeding to win the All American Futurity. He won it; therefore, he has the breeding.

The gelding is the third All American Futurity winner in four years for his sire, Apollitical Jess, who will be standing next year at Bob Moore Farms, as David James, who has managed his career at James Ranch for many years, retires. Apollitical Jess also sired All American Futurity winners Apocalyptical Jess and Mr Jess Jenkins, in addition to All American Derby winner Apollitical Blood. 

World Champion Apollitical Jess won the Champion of Champions (G1) and the Los Alamitos Super Derby (G1) while setting Los Alamitos track records in each race.

Apollitical Jess’ dam, Apollitical Time, was named champion aged mare with wins in the Los Alamitos Championship (G1) and the Mildred Vessels Memorial Handicap (G1) during her championship campaign. She also won the Los Alamitos Super Derby (G1) and the Governor’s Cup Derby (RG1).

The dam of KJ Desparado, Tres Veses, is a stakes-placed daughter of Tres Seis who produced New Mexico State Fair Breeders Derby (R) runner-up Hardtookiss and five futurity or derby finalists from seven foals to race.

Third dam Runaway Kate won the 1995 Texas Juvenile Challenge and was a Restricted Grade 1 finalist. She then produced Canada Championship Challenge (G3) winner Katies Sign and TQHA Sale Futurity second-place finisher Jazzy Sixes.

This is the family of champion 2-year-old filly Kates Dynasty, Texas Classic Futurity (G1) winner Mr Queens Mystery and Los Alamitos Million (G1) and Golden State Futurity (G1) winner First Place Queen.

Giles prepared KJ Desparado to run the race of his life on the biggest day of his life. After a series of troubled races and a trip to Arizona, Giles had the horse ready to win the sport’s largest purse.

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