Monday, June 24, 2013
Reaper, a homebred Attila's Storm gelding racing for R.D. Hubbard and trained by Todd Fincher, rallied to win Saturday's $167,391 Mountain Top Thoroughbred Futurity (R) for New Mexico-bred 2-year-olds at Ruidoso Downs.
Under jockey Duane Sterling, Reaper made his 5-furlong trip in :59.44 after closing on the fractions of :21.57 and 45.32 established by pacesetters Zesty Salsa and Unsociable Major. The bay gelding returned a $10.40 win mutuel as the 4-1 third choice in the wagering.
Reaper became the eighth stakes winner sired by Attila's Storm, an 11-year-old son of Forest Wildcat who won two stakes from 2004-07, including the 6-furlong, $107,100 Toboggan Handicap (G3) at Aqueduct during his 5-year-old campaign.
Attila's Storm's 42 starters have earned more than $1.6 million and include multiple stakes winners Thermal and Dashkova, and Indication N M, a New Mexico-bred gelding who defeated open company in last year's 6-furlong, $55,090 Governor's Cup Stakes at Zia Park. The stallion is owned by James E. Helzer and R.D. Hubbard, and he stands for a $2,500 fee at Fred and Linda Alexander's A & A Ranch in Anthony, New Mexico.
A full brother to Thermal, Reaper is one of two winners from as many starters produced by Hang Glide, a winning 10-year-old daughter of the Storm Cat stallion Dome who ran second or third in six New Mexico-bred stakes from 2005-08. Hang Glide is a half sister to Sky Diver, a gelding by Corwyn Bay (IRE) who won the Free Spirit Handicap at Ruidoso Downs and Sandia Handicap at The Downs at Albuquerque in '03.
Reaper's third dam, the California-bred Wing Out mare Shywing, earned $453,830 from 1985-87 while winning five stakes and running second in the 1986 La Canada Stakes (G1) and Las Palmas Handicap (G2) at Santa Anita.
Reaper traces back to his fourth dam, Cheyenne Birdsong. An unraced Kentucky-bred daughter of the Windy City II stallion Restless Wind, Cheyenne Birdsong foaled 10 winners and four stakes winners from 12 starters. One of the mare's stakes winners, the Flying Paster gelding Creston, won the 1993 Balboa Stakes (G3) at Del Mar, while another, the Seattle Slew colt Compelling Sound, took the '91 Silver Screen (G3) and Will Rogers (G3) handicaps at Hollywood Park.
Reaper was coming off of a three-quarter length victory over the stakes-placed Vernissage in his career debut, the first of three Mountain Top trials on June 7. The winner's share of the Mountain Top final purse pushed his bankroll to $85,795.
Runner-up and 7-2 second choice Unsociable Major finished second, 1 ¼ lengths behind Reaper, to complete a $70.80 ($2) exacta. Beaumont Time, 2-1 favorite F M Forty One, Texas Time Teras, Mays Or Mantle, Zesty Salsa, Mancation, and Vernissage completed the order of finish. Qualifier Devilish Beast was scratched.
A $5,000 buy at last year's New Mexico-Bred Yearling Sale at Ruidoso Downs, Unsociable Major has won one of three starts and has earned $36,478 for his owner, Joel Barchardt. The gray or roan gelding by the Saint Ballado stallion Your Eminence broke his maiden with a three-quarter length win in the third Mountain Top trial.
Beaumont Time, a dark bay or brown gelded son of Your Eminence, has banked $22,157 from five outs for his owners, Anna M. Crowson and Tony Sedillo. A $5,000 purchase at the 2012 New Mexico-Bred Yearling Sale, the gelding ran third, 2 ¼ lengths behind Reaper, in the first Mountain Top trial. He also was a finalist in the colts and geldings division of the April 13, $95,126 Copper Top Futurity (R) at Sunland Park.