Friday, January 31, 2014
The New Mexico Horse Breeders' Association honored its 2013 Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse champions during its Zia Awards Banquet at the Marriott Uptown Hotel in Albuquerque on Thursday.
During the banquet, which was emceed by author and noted longtime racing media personality Chris Kotulak, a total of 21 awards were presented. Breeders Mike H. Carson and Bill D. Carson were honored with the 2013 Julep Cup by the Lexington, Kentucky-based The Blood-Horse Magazine. The Carsons bred and raced 2013 New Mexico-bred champion Thoroughbreds Mr. Wizard and Lady Genius.
Handsome Jack Flash, an AQHA champion and winner of the 440-yard, $2.6-million All American Futurity (G1) at Ruidoso Downs, was last year’s top New Mexico-bred 2-year-old colt or gelding. Bred by Debra J. Laney of Tularosa, New Mexico, raced by Laney, Norma Alvarez, and Brenda Alvarez, and trained by Juan M. Gonzalez, Handsome Jack Flash won four of five starts, all at Ruidoso Downs, and earned $1,482,271, and his two season stakes wins included a half-length victory in the 400-yard, $409,434 Zia Futurity (RG1) for state-breds.
Debra Laney’s Shez Jess Nice, an 11-year-old daughter of champion Mr Jess Perry and the dam of Handsome Jack Flash, was the 2013 Quarter Horse Broodmare of the Year.
The following Quarter Horses were also honored: Desert Delight Cash (top older mare, owned by Red Box Carriers Inc., bred by the Estate of T. Jerry Lee), Bet On Ballou (top older horse or gelding, owned by Quarter Circle W Bar LLC, bred by Carl D. Dahl), Aful Alibi (top 3-year-old filly, owned by Joel Varela Sr., bred by Leonard P. Blach), Jess Rueben James (top 3-year-old colt or gelding, owned and bred by Currie J. Maben), and Mitey Moon (top 2-year-old filly, owned and bred by Debra J. Laney).
First Moonflash was both the top Quarter Horse stallion and freshman stallion for 2013, as the Grade 1-winning 9-year-old son of First To Flash and 2009 AQHA champion aged stallion sired the earners of $2,243,679, including Handsome Jack Flash. First Moonflash is owned by Pierre J. Amestoy Jr., Maria G. Gonzalez, and Mike C. Abraham, and he stands at W.L. Mooring’s Double LL Farm in Bosque, New Mexico.
Lady Genius, a homebred chestnut daughter of Quinton’s Gold campaigned by Mike H. Carson, Bill D. Carson, and Leach Racing LLC, was honored as the top New Mexico-bred 2-year-old Thoroughbred filly for 2013. Miss Einstein, a multiple stakes winning 16-year-old daughter of Beau Genius and the dam of Lady Genius and 2013 New Mexico-bred champion older Thoroughbred horse or gelding, was honored as last year’s top Thoroughbred broodmare.
Other NMHBA Thoroughbred awards went to Rose’s Desert (top older mare, owned and bred by Joe R. Peacock Sr.), Mr. Wizard (top older horse or gelding, owned by Mike H. Carson, Bill D. Carson, and Leach Racing LLC, and bred by Mike H. and Suzanne Carson), Way To Go Gerda (top 3-year-old filly, owned and bred by Larry W. Strain), Hush’s Storm (top 3-year-old gelding, owned by Dale and Carey Taylor, Joe Dee Brooks, and Jon Hogg, and bred by JEH Stallion Station NM), and Reaper (top 2-year-old colt or gelding, owned and bred by R.D. Hubbard).
Desert God was honored as the top Thoroughbred stallion for 2013, marking the fourth consecutive year that the now-pensioned 23-year-old son of Fappiano has earned the award. The sire of Rose’s Desert and a total of 23 stakes winners, Desert God is owned by H. Joe Allen, and he is currently living on Allen’s farm in Abilene, Texas.
Diabolical, an 11-year-old multiple graded stakes winning son of Artax, was last year’s top freshman Thoroughbred stallion. Diabolical is owned by Fred Alexander and J. Kirk Robison, and he stands at Fred and Linda Alexander’s A & A Ranch in Anthony, New Mexico.
Also, a Distinguished Service Award was presented to Harold Payne of El Paso, Texas. In 2013, Payne retired after a successful career in the racing industry that included a long stint as general manager of Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino in southern New Mexico.