Q-Racing Blog: Distinctive Honor

Q-Racing Blog: Distinctive Honor

Two new mares receive the rare Dam of Distinction honor.

Empressum wins the 2022 Go Man Go Handicap

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By Ty Wyant

If you state that an American Quarter Horse mare is a Dam of Distinction, then you really don’t have to say anything more.

The Dam of Distinction honor says it all. It says that the broodmare is beyond elite and her production record glistens with produce that have won at the highest level. Plus, they have done it through multiple foals.

Recently, we have added two mares who can now carry this rarified title. They are Crazy Down Corona and Rock Candy SA.

Jeff Jones and Steve Holt’s Crazy Down Corona has produced millionaire champions Empressum and Hes Judgeandjury, while Valeriano Racing Stables’ Rock Candy SA is the dam of 2022 leading money earners A Pollitical Candy V and Rock A Jess V.

Crazy Down Corona is a Dam of Distinction because two of her offspring became 2022 champions. Empressum was named world champion, aged champion and champion aged gelding, while Hes Judgeandjury was honored as champion 2-year-old and champion 2-year-old gelding.

Crazy Down Corona, a daughter of First Down Dash, was a genuine race mare who qualified for the Heritage Place Futurity (G1). Obviously, she took off as a broodmare and her starters have earned $3,650,419. This lofty earnings mark is primarily due to Hes Judgeandjury ($1,931,167) and Empressum ($1,620,025).

The now-3-year-old Hes Judgeandjury spent his 2-year-old season competing entirely in Grade 1 futurities and their trials. He qualified for every futurity after winning his respective trial.

Hes Judgeandjury started eight times and recorded five wins and a pair of third-place finishes.

The gelding started his career at Ruidoso Downs in the Ruidoso Futurity trials. He won his trial and finished third in the Ruidoso Futurity (G1). He had his only off-the-board finish when he was fifth in the Rainbow Futurity (G1) and then rebounded with his neck win in the All American Futurity (G1).

The son of Hes Relentless then went to Los Alamitos and finished third in the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity (G1).

Empressum has had an incredible career. Coming off a champion 3-year-old career in 2021, he thrived in 2022. He started the year with a second in The Championship at Sunland Park (G1) and then went to Los Alamitos.

At Los Alamitos, he won the Vessels Maturity (G1), the Go Man Go Handicap (G1) and the Champion of Champions (G1). He was second in the Robert L. Boniface Los Alamitos Championship (G1). 

The Champion of Champions was a career-defining effort. Against one of the deepest fields in Champion of Champions history, he powerfully pulled away for a 1 1/4-length win. The Equibase chart prophetically said “world champion” in the comment line.

Rock Candy SA, a daughter of Good Reason SA, is remarkable because she attained Dam of Distinction status at just 10 years old and with eight starters. She was a modest racehorse while mainly competing in allowance and optional-claiming races. She did qualify for the Heartland Futurity at Horseshoe Indianapolis.

The Good Reason SA daughter earned her Dam of Distinction honor by having two offspring among last year’s top-10 money earners, A Pollitical Candy V ($817,053 in 2022) and Rock A Jess V ($675,823 in 2022).

Apollitical Candy V had a stellar summer at Ruidoso Downs with wins in the All American Derby (G1), Rainbow Derby (G1) and the Ruidoso Invitational. He was then fourth in the Los Alamitos Super Derby (G1) and fifth in the Champion of Champions (G1).

The gelding put on a show in the All American Derby. He gained the advantage midway through the 440-yard stakes and then pulled out to a 1 ¾-length win.

Rock A Jess V won the All American Juvenile and then improved in the Texas Classic Futurity (G1). He had a clean start and raced with the leaders. The 2-1 favorite proved best in the second half of the 400-yard stakes with a handy three-quarter-length advantage at the finish line.

The gelding by Apollitical Jess concluded his 2-year-old season with nine starts and five wins, a pair of seconds and a third.

Crazy Down Corona and Rock Candy SA are now among the most exclusive broodmares in Quarter Horse racing. They earned it.

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