Second Career Star: Bodacious Eagle
Second Career Star: Bodacious Eagle
By Andrea Caudill
Fourteen wins. Four Grade 1 wins. Three champion titles. $1.2 million earned. One world champion title.
Bodacious Eagle has done more than enough for his owner and AQHA Past President Johnny Trotter of Hereford, Texas, but the gelding continues to achieve more even after leaving the racetrack.
Trotter acquired the horse as an embryo when he bought the mare Bodacious Dream at auction from La Feliz Montana Ranch LLC of Las Vegas, Nevada. She is a daughter of Corona Cartel and out of the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame mare Dashing Phoebe.
Bodacious Eagle is a son of Trotter’s homebred One Famous Eagle, who was a champion and earner of more than $1.3 million himself before retiring to stud. Owned by a syndicate and standing at the legendary Four Sixes Ranch at Guthrie, Texas, the stallion set the freshman sire earnings record and has to date sired the earners of more than $31.4 million, including his first world champion, One Dashing Eagle.
Bodacious Eagle’s first race was in 2014, and he showed his talent from the start. In his freshman year, he was third in the Ruidoso Futurity (G1), fourth in the Rainbow Futurity (G1), fifth in the All American Futurity (G1) and tenth in the Los Alamitos Million Futurity (G1).
The following year he’d earn his first Grade 1 win – the Texas Classic Derby – and earned another in 2017 with the Leo Stakes (G1).
He’d join his equine family in their championship-winning ways in 2018, when he won the All American Gold Cup (G1), led at every call in the Champion of Champions (G1) and earned two more Grade 1 placings, which culminated in being named the sport’s world champion, champion aged horse and champion aged gelding.
He retired with a record of 14 wins, seven seconds and three thirds in 33 starts, and earnings of $1,293,444.
“He’s a special horse,” Trotter said.
After Bodacious Eagle won the Champion of Champions, Trotter had plenty of offers to buy the horse, but he brought him home instead. When the horse was ready to try a second career, he delivered him to leading trainer Ross Roark, who conditioned him for halter competition.
The sorrel gelding has earned 16 halter points in performance halter geldings, including seven grand champion titles.
It is a significant achievement, as he joins only two others in the history of the most versatile breed on earth to earn both an overall racing world champion title and AQHA points. To find the other horses, you have to go all the way back to Jet Deck, who was the 1963 world champion before earning five halter points, and Maddon's Bright Eyes, the 1949 and 1951 world champion who earned four halter points.
At the 2020 Farnam AQHA World Championship Show, Bodacious Eagle and Roark entered the competitive open performance halter geldings class, and the horse earned himself another prestigious honor, as he earned a top 10 placing in the class against the best in the world.
The performance halter class judge the horses on conformation, but requires all of the contestants to have earned a performance or a racing Register of Merit.
Bodacious Eagle was the only horse shown in the finals that came up through a racing qualification.
“He’s an athlete, a big-time athlete, and a big-hearted, good-minded horse,” Trotter said.
The gelding, now age 9, is back home with Trotter, and is on vacation before they consider his third career.
“We haven’t started riding him yet,” Trotter said. “He’s just a pet over at the house now.
“We’ll get him going good, and there’s no telling what we’ll do with him,” Trotter continued. “He’s got a mind good enough to do a lot of things with him.”
The specifics of what he wants to do is up to Bodacious Eagle, but one thing that is certain is the care and attention the world champion will continue to receive from his owner.
“I’m not sure what’s in store for him, but we’ll have fun with him,” Trotter said. “He’s got a home here at my house for the rest of his life.”
Second Career Stars is an ongoing series on retired racing American Quarter Horses in new careers. If you know of a horse that should be featured, write to firstname.lastname@example.org. AQHA News and information is a service of the American Quarter Horse Association. For more news and information, follow @AQHA Racing on Twitter, "like" Q-Racing on Facebook, and visit www.aqha.com/racing.