Big Night for Featuring a Rockette and Alfonso Lujan in the $111,520 TQHA Sires’ Cup Futurity at SHRP

(Saturday, August 13, 2005) - The Texas Quarter Horse Association might want to consider renaming their annual $111,520 TQHA Sires’ Cup Futurity to the Upset of the Meeting Futurity. For the second year in a row, the prohibitive favorite and fastest qualifier has been defeated by a rising star filly. Last year it was Shake Em Fever dealing a blow to superstar Azoom and tonight Featuring a Rockette registered the upset over fastest qualifier and multiple-stakes winner, Primetime Dream.

Featuring a Rockette, a 2-year-old daughter of Feature Mr Jess was bred in Texas by James and Marilyn Helzer. Owned by Graciela Medina of Brownsville, Texas and trained by Janie Hernandez, she was sent off as the longest shot in the nine-horse field at odds of 36-1, but solidly demonstrated her talent in the Grade 2 stakes. Ridden confidently by Alfonso Lujan, who had four winners on the Saturday night card, Featuring a Rockette zoomed by her rivals, crossing the wire of the 350-yard final in :17.896. Lujan, one of the best young Quarter Horse riders in the country, had admiration for his filly.

"In the trials, she wasn't quite ready to run,” commented Lujan. “She had a little lay off and she qualified. I thought she'd come back a whole lot better in the finals and sure enough, she did. She stood in the gate real good and she was ready to run. She runs with a kick on the end, but in the trials she just let the race run and didn't give me that extra. Today, she gave me that little extra and just enough to win."

Trainer Hernandez was thrilled following the victory, which was the third career win for Featuring a Rockette, who added $44,608 to her lifetime earnings.

"I told the owner to pinch me because I can't believe it,” said Hernandez. “Right now, I just can't answer any questions because I'm just too excited."

Fastest qualifier Primetime Dream was seeking his fifth consecutive win for trainer James V. Harris, finished third.

"This is the way it is with horse racing,” said Harris. “I haven't had a chance to talk to the rider yet, but I think he just got outrun. I don't think he has any excuses; we just got outrun."

Jockey Manuel Garcia confirmed Harris’ analysis of Primetime Dream’s effort.

"By the time we got out of the gate, he was running good but just got tired,” acknowledged Garcia. “The first thirty yards he was running good but then he just weakened."

Featuring a Rockette paid a highest stakes win mutuel of $75.80. Rebs Royal Dasher, the second longest shot on the board at 32-1, set the pace under rider Danny Lavergne, but was caught by the winner at the wire. The 8-2 exacta lit up the toteboard paying $1,091.60 and the 8-2-9 trifecta returned $6,447.80. A steward’s inquiry was lodged against third-place finisher, All American Winner, ridden by Mark Page. The gelding lugged in at the start of the race and was disqualified and placed ninth. Jo Edna, Strawfly Passum Ron, Snow in April, Kwik Kokopelli and Six Royal Fortunes completed the order of finish.

Hernandez indicated that Featuring a Rockette will make her next start at Louisiana Downs in October.

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