Monday, September 02, 2013
Fifth-fastest qualifier Handsome Jack Flash, a New Mexico-bred gelding by First Moonflash owned by Norma Alvarez, Brenda Alvarez, and Debra Laney, scored an upset victory in Monday’s $2.6-million All American Futurity (G1) at Ruidoso Downs.
Prepped by Juan M. Gonzalez and ridden by Jaime Parga Leos, Handsome Jack Flash made his 440-yard trip in :21.166, and his margin of victory was a neck from runner-up Reagal Eagle. The $1.3-million winner’s share of the purse -- the richest in the stakes’ 55-year history, increased the gelding’s earnings to $1,482,271 from five starts, all in New Mexico.
Handsome Jack Flash is just the third New Mexico-bred to win the All American Futurity. The others were By By JJ (2003) and champion Real Wind (1976).
“It was my first All American ride, and I was nervous before the race,” admitted Leos, who has ridden Handsome Jack Flash in all five of his races, including his second-place finish to Hes Relentless in the eighth of 14 trials on August 15. “I settled down in the gate. My main concern was getting away well. Once we got to the lead, he just kept giving me all he had.”
Gonzalez, a veteran New Mexico-based horseman, was the trainer of By By JJ when that gelding won the 2003 All American Futurity.
“Winning the All American for the first time is the best thing in the world,” said Gonzalez. “Now winning it twice -- there are absolutely no words to describe it.”
Handsome Jack Flash was bred by Laney, who lives in Tularosa, New Mexico, with her husband, Stacy. The gelding’s sire, First Moonflash, is an 8-year-old son of the First Down .Dash stallion First To Flash who was the AQHA champion aged stallion in 2009.
First Moonflash’s top runners include First Place Moonfast, the runner-up to winner King Of Pop in the May 26, $133,000 New Mexico Breeders’ Futurity (RG2) at SunRay Park in Farmington. Handsome Jack Flash represents his sire’s first crop to race.
Handsome Jack Flash’s dam, Shez Jess Nice, is a 10-year-old mare by 1994 AQHA champion 2-year-old Mr Jess Perry. The gelding traces back to his third dam, Five Oclock Rush, a multiple stakes-placed Arizona-bred daughter of the My Lark stallion Such A Rush who won 10 of 18 starts from 1982-84.
Handsome Jack Flash has won four of five races, including the July 28, $409,000 Zia Futurity (RG1) for New Mexico-breds at Ruidoso Downs.
Laney and Norma Alvarez have been friends for nearly 20 years. They and Brenda Alvarez, Norma’s sister-in-law, partnered on Gonna Cha Cha, a gelding by Gonna Ro Sham Bo who won last year’s Zia Futurity.
Norma Alvarez and her husband, Dosi, bred and raised First Moonflash, who stood the 2013 season for a $5,000 fee at W.L. Mooring’s Double LL Ranch at Bosque, New Mexico.
“When he was born, (Handsome Jack Flash) was just drop-dead gorgeous,” said Norma Alvarez, who serves as a New Mexico Horse Breeders’ Association trustee. “He reminded me so much of First Moonflash. He’s always been a favorite on the farm, and he has a really good personality. He wants to please, and he’s kind of a character.
“You can call him from across a pasture, and he’ll just come running to you,” she added. “He’s a cool horse.”
Fastest qualifier Wagon Tales finished third in the All American Futurity, a neck behind Handsome Jack Flash. Especially Tres, the 2-1 favorite, Skuze Please, You N How Many More, Hes Relentless, Wagon Full Of Gold, Fatal Policy, and Houdini completed the order of finish.
Larry Gamez rode Reagal Eagle, a colt by One Famous Eagle who ran fifth in the July 21, $1-million Rainbow Futurity (G1) at Ruidoso Downs.
“I thought we had it,” said Gamez of Reagal Eagle’s runner-up effort. “Wagon Tales was drifting out and we had a clear path. He’s a great horse. I thought this would be my chance.”