|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
Jockey Manuel Garcia confirmed Harris’ analysis of Primetime
"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.