Sunday, September 08, 2013
Brian Theriot rode Hunting Dixie to a one-length victory in Sunday’s $37,000 E.T. Springer Stakes (R) for New Mexico-bred Thoroughbreds at The Downs at Albuquerque.
Saddled by Ross Amestoy for owners Pierre and Leslie Amestoy of Albuquerque, Hunting Dixie covered 7 furlongs in 1:21.77. The $22,200 winner’s share of the purse increased his earnings to $147,415.
Hunting Dixie, a 5-year-old bay gelding, was bred by Pillar Property Services Inc. of Denver, Colorado. His sire, Halory Hunter, was a Kentucky-bred son of Jade Hunter who won the 1998 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (G2) at Keeneland Racecourse and ran fourth in that season’s Kentucky Derby (G1) at Churchill Downs.
Halory Hunter has sired 116 winners, including five stakes winners, from 154 starters, and his runners have earned more than $6.038 million. The stallion died as a result of foundering in August 2007. He stood in Kentucky, Iowa, and New York before he moved to stand at Double LL Farms in Bosque, New Mexico, in ‘05.
Hunting Dixie’s dam, Dixie Kiss, is a winning 11-year-old daughter of the Dixieland Band stallion Chimes Band. Racing in New Mexico from 2004-06, Dixie Kiss earned $68,048 from 16 outs, and her race record included second-place finishes in the 2005 El Paso Times Handicap at Sunland Park, La Fiesta Handicap at The Downs at Albuquerque, and Aspen Cup Handicap at Ruidoso Downs.
Dixie Kiss has produced two winners from as many starters, including Kiss My Hennessy, a half brother to Hunting Dixie who won last year’s Rio Grande Senor Futurity (R) at Ruidoso Downs, and the colts and geldings division of the Copper Top Futurity (R) at Sunland Park.
Hunting Dixie’s third dam, the Graustark mare Steal A Kiss, won the 1987 Sheepshead Bay Handicap (G2) at Belmont Park and was a full sister to Tempest Queen, the winner of five graded stakes in ‘78, including the Acorn Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park and Spinster Stakes (G1) at Keeneland.
Campaigned exclusively in New Mexico, Hunting Dixie has won six of 24 races. The gelding was coming off of a third-place finish in the 5 1/2-furlong, $37,000 Casey Darnell Pony Express Stakes (R) at Albuquerque on August 24.
Playin Tough finished second and was followed by Sapello Cantador, 11-10 favorite Groushy Apadana, Ministerial, and Minister Cash.
Playin Tough races for Michael and Jeanne Fuhs, who also bred the 5-year-old son of the Hennessy stallion Touchdown Ky. The gelding has won three of 15 starts and has banked $53,717, and his race record includes a second-place finish to stablemate Spinning Touch in the 1 1/16-mile, $37,000 Lineage Stakes (R) at Albuquerque on August 24.
Sapello Cantador won last year’s 1-mile, $50,000 University of New Mexico Handicap (R) at The Downs at Albuquerque. All told, the homebred 5-year-old gelded son of Valet Man has won four of 26 outs and has earned $125,174 for Dr. Miguel Gallegos’ Gallegos del Norte Racing of Albuquerque.