Stolis Winner Victorious in 50th All-American
(From AQHA) - Jerry Windham's Stolis Winner kept his winning streak alive with an authoritative half-length victory in the golden anniversary running of the $1.9-million All American Futurity (G1) on September 1. One of three finalists saddled by Heath Taylor, Stolis Winner went 440 yards in :21.178 under reigning AQHA champion jockey G.R. Carter Jr., a former gymnast who did his customary backflip off of his mount after the race, then followed with several cartwheels on the track.
The victory was the first All American win for Taylor and second for Carter, who won the 40th anniversary running in 1998 with Falling In Loveagain.
“This race here will bring the (energy to do backflips and handsprings) out in you," said Carter. "This is what Quarter Horse racing is all about right here. You dream about this your whole life. Growing up, it's instilled in you.
“It was a two-horse race when the gates opened -- my horse and (runner-up) Jet Black Patriot were right together," he added. "I might have got just a head in front of him. I kind of let my horse run until I really got into him and when I did, he responded about halfway down the track. I was confident I had the race won, but I didn't take any chances.”
Before the race, Mighty Corona false broke and pushed the front doors of his gate open -- and that gave Taylor some anxious moments.
"I was worried that when (Mighty Corona) broke through the gate, it might have broken Stolis Winners' concentration," said the trainer, who also saddled finalists Jess Zoomin and Mighty Corona. "I was trying to watch all three horses. I was really proud of Jess Zoomin; he had a really rough trip. They were just laying on him from both sides. I thought he had an equally good chance to win the race. I was just trying to watch everything at the same time.”
“I've thought about this and worked toward this every day of my life, since I was nine years old," said Taylor. "This is what it's all about it. I think about it every day, and it finally came true.”
Stolis Winner was bred by Windham, a past president of AQHA and longtime resident of College Station, Texas. A 30-consecutive-year breeder, Windham has in his own name bred 510 starters, 47 stakes winners and the earners of more than $11.6 million.
Windham's homebreds include the late Indigo Illusion, American Quarter Horse racing's champion 2-year-old filly in 1983 and a producer of three graded stakes winners from 13 starters.
Stolis Winner is also one of 16 stakes winners from four crops sired by Stoli, a 10-year-old son of champions First Down Dash and Strawberry Silk and the sport's champion 3-year-old in 2001. Bred by the late Jackie Morgan and owned by a Guthrie, Texas-based syndicate, Stoli has sired 185 winners and the earners of more than $6.8 million from 337 starters, including reigning champion aged stallion Ketel Won.
Stolis Winner's dam, Veva Jean, is a winning and Grade 3-placed daughter of Runaway Winner who has produced three winners from as many starters. The gelding's All American victory marked his seventh win in eight starts and extended his win streak to six.
The $1-million winner's share of the purse increased Stolis Winner's earnings to $1,789,467, and he ranks eighth on the sport's all-time earnings list. His three stakes wins include the $1,106,320 Heritage Place Futurity (G1) at Remington Park on June 1 and the $625,000 Rainbow Futurity (G1) at Ruidoso Downs on July 20.
Windham also had connections to two other All American starters, as he bred and owns 20 percent of second-fastest qualifier Jess Zoomin and he bred eighth-fastest qualifier Winners Version, the only horse to qualify for all of Ruidoso Downs' Grade 1 futurities this year.
"I just didn't think he'd let anybody pass him," said Windham of Stolis Winner's All American performance. "We don't have any future plans for him. We'll just take it as it comes. He's nominated to the Lone Star futurities (the Grade 1 Texas Classic and Dash For Cash), but I don't know that we're going to ask him to do anything more.
"I felt really good about his chances going into the race, but it's a horse race, so you never know," he added.
Jet Black Patriot finished 1 3/4 lengths in front of third-place Jess Zoomin. Calif Fugitive, Jess Significant, This Wager Is Hot, Winners Version, Iamasurebet, Mighty Corona and Burner On completed the order of finish.
“My horse ran a nice race -- he just got outrun," said Jose Vega, who rode Jet Black Patriot for owners Richard and Janelle Simon and trainer Eric Curtis. "He was getting a little anxious in the gate, but he still broke really good, better than what he did in the trials.
Order of Finish: Stolis Winner, Jet Black Patriot, Jess Zoomin, Calif Fugitive, Jess Significant, This Wager Is Hot, Winners Version, Iamasurebet, Mighty Corona, Burner On.
Taylor Racing Stables - Racing News
Sep 13, 2008