Sunday, November 13, 2011
Richard R. Shearer's A First Caller, a homebred 6-year-old gelding by Calligrapher, sprinted to a half-length victory in the 440-yard, $50,000 New Mexico Breeders' Quarter Horse Championship (RG3), as The Downs at Albuquerque ended its 54-day meet on Sunday.
Saddled by James J. Gonzales II, ridden by Oscar Rincon, and sent to post at odds of 31-1, A First Caller covered his quarter-mile trip in :21.330 and earned a 100 speed index. The $30,000 winner's share of the purse increased his bankroll to $433,404.
A First Caller's dam, Might Be A First, is an Arizona-bred 15-year-old daughter of First Down Dash, American Quarter Horse racing's 1987 world champion and all-time leading sire. Might Be A First has foaled five winners from six starters.
A First Caller is a full brother to two stakes-placed runners: Mightys First Call, a mare who ran second in two New Mexico-bred stakes from 2006-07, including the $356,410 Zia Futurity (RG1) at Ruidoso Downs, and Call Me First Fast, a mare who ran second in the '04 Zia Futurity and third in that season's Shue Fly Stakes (RG1) at Sunland Park.
One of A First Caller's half sisters, the Heza Fast Man mare Fast First Call, ran second to Zip First in the 2002 Ruidoso Futurity (G1).
A First Caller was just two weeks removed from a ninth-place finish in the $170,480 New Mexico Cup Quarter Horse Championship (RG1) at Zia Park. All told, the gelding has won nine of 37 races, including the 350-yard, $100,000 Mesilla Valley Speed Handicap (RG1) at Sunland Park in '08.
A First Caller returned a $64.60 win mutuel and teamed with runner-up Dueling Juan for a $475.80 ($2) exacta. Miracle Snow finished third, a nose behind Dueling Juan, to complete a $496.20 ($2) trifecta.
FM Silver Mist, the 5-2 favorite, ran fourth and was followed by Love Me Caliente, Visible Injun, Fly Down Chick, Mightys Last Call, Iseeyoustaring, and KC Royal Flush.
An 8-year-old gelding by the Beduino (TB) stallion Dooley Authorized, Dueling Juan races for A & F Racing LLC, Argoitia, and Fotou. Dueling Juan has won 14 of 55 starts, including the 2007 Mesilla Valley Speed Handicap, and he has banked $439,337.
Miracle Snow is a homebred 7-year-old gelding by 1998 AQHA champion aged stallion Dean Miracle. Miracle Snow has won 10 of 42 races and has earned $393,555 for his owners, Melvin and Mary Neugebauer, and his stakes resume includes a victory in the 2010 Lineage Quarter Horse Championship (RG3) at The Downs at Albuquerque.