LQHBA Insider - By Martha Claussen June  19, 2024


This has been quite the year for Five Bar Cartel, who stands at Robicheux Ranch in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana. He is the leading AQHA Freshman sire with 12 winners, including two graded stakes champions in his first crop.

Five Bar Cartel Surpassed $1 Million in Earnings in His Racing Career

As a racehorse, Five Bar Cartel was highly accomplished in both his 2-year-old and 3-year-old campaigns. Owned by San Gregorio Racing Stable, Inc, the son of Corona Cartel won the Ed Burke Million Futurity (G1) and was a finalist in the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity and Golden State Million Futurity. He was honored as the 2013 AQHA Champion 2-year-old colt. The next year, he ran second in the 2014 All American Derby (G1) and retired with a record of six wins from 11 starts and earnings of $1,068,825.

Trainer Danny Montes remembers his talent as a juvenile, when he won his first four career starts including the prestigious Grade 1, Ed Burke Million.

“He was like a pro from the beginning,” said Montes. “He didn’t break perfectly; it usually took him a jump and then he got rolling.”

Montes selected jockey Saul Ramirez, Jr., who he described as the “money rider” to pilot the Chestnut colt. Ramirez, who retired from the saddle two years ago, would go on to play a significant role in the next step for Five Bar Cartel.

It’s no surprise to the California-based conditioner that Five Bar Cartel is already producing such exceptional progeny. Montes has followed his 2018 starters with interest and was blown away by Shakeshakeshakeit’s victory in the $359,715 Laddie Futurity (RG2) on May 19 at Delta Downs.

“It was so similar to Five Bar Cartel’s win in the Ed Burke,” explained Montes. “He broke from the nine hole and didn’t have a great break but came running. There was such a strong physical resemblance; it was unbelievable!”

Major Acquisition for Robicheaux Ranch

Ryan Robicheaux, who along with his parents, Jude and Regina, have built an impressive stallion roster for their farm. Game Patriot, Heza Fast Dash, Jet Black Patriot, Fast Prize Jordan and Furyofthewind have produced earners of over $64 million. Two years ago, Ryan beat out a slew of competing breeding farms for Apollitical Blood.

"His trainer Juan Aleman is a great guy and introduced me to the owners (Rancho El Cabresto Inc.)," explained Robicheaux. "I made several trips to Dallas and could feel the others breathing down my neck, but I was persistent. He is a great addition to our stallion roster."

The history on Five Bar Cartel is quite interesting! Ryan made a trip to Ruidoso Downs in 2014 when Five Bar Cartel was a finalist for the All American Derby. He was under the care of trainer JJ Gonzalez and Robicheaux stopped by the barn for a visit. JJ was not there, and his groom was reluctant to take the 3-year-old out of his stall.

“I’ll be honest,” said Robicheaux. “He looked like an ordinary horse, so I left!”

Gonzalez called and asked him to come back to take another look at Five Bar Cartel.

“JJ told me he was special, and when he took him out of his stall, I knew what he meant,” admitted Robicheaux. “His color is amazing, but so many other things stood out. He had great balance, neck and shoulders, plus a presence that can’t really be explained!”

Robicheaux had been looking for a Corona Cartel to add to the Robicheaux Ranch stallion lineup, but the Dash Ta Fame influence on the dam side, was an added plus.

"With Dash Ta Fame in his breeding, I can cross with anything," he added. “I was very lucky that I had an “inside source” in Saul. He knew the San Gregorio family very well, and they agreed to send him to us in Louisiana.”

Five Bar Cartel’s book filled quickly for 2018. His son, On Point, was the $182,000 sale topper at the 2017 LQHBA Yearling Sale. Purchased by Steve Holland of TM Ranch and trained by 2017 LQHBA and AQHA champion trainer Kenny Roberts, he will make his debut at Delta Downs on June 1. If all goes well, he will advance to trials for the Lee Berwick Memorial Futurity on June 16.

“It’s all pretty exciting,” admitted Robicheaux. “When Shakeshakeshakeit won the Laddie, I was thrilled for the Taylor family and the ownership group, Show Me Da Money. But I don’t think anyone was happier that me! He is the first millionaire we have ever stood. This horse is so special!”

The Growth of Louisiana Breeding

Five Bar Cartel joins a distinguished group of Louisiana-based stallions who were very successful with their first crops. Heza Fast Dash, Jet Black Patriot, Struttin to Beduino, Oak Tree Special, Achievement, Coronas Leaving You, Zoomin for Bux, Triple Vodka, Tee Cos and Sizzlin Cartel had standout crops in their first year.

“We congratulate Robicheaux Ranch on the success of Five Bar Cartel with his first crop," said Tony Patterson, LQHBA executive director. "He joins an exceptional core of Louisiana-based stallions that continue to produce some of the best Quarter Horse champions in the country. It is very exciting to see the continued growth of our state’s breeding, racing and sales programs."

Just this week, Montes and “Miss Aurora” as Robicheaux calls the co-owner of San Gregario Racing Stable Inc., made the 27-hour drive from California to Louisiana to visit Five Bar Cartel. Montes acknowledged that his futurity champion had not forgotten him, sticking out his tongue for a scratch, just as he had done in his Los Alamitos barn in 2013.

“We are all excited to see the success he is having as a stallion,” said Montes. And it’s pretty darn inspiring to see the way that Five Bar Cartel has impacted so many people in the past five years. There are many folks who say that racing is a business, and they remain on an even keel with the highs and lows of the sport and breeding Quarter Horses.

But Five Bar Cartel has stirred a passion in those who experienced his greatness as a graded stakes champion, as well as the growing number of owners witnessing his rising star as a stallion. And he’s just getting started!

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The LQHBA Insider is a monthly feature written by Martha Claussen for www.lqhba.com. She served as publicity director at Sam Houston Race Park for ten years. She continues to be active in writing, fan education and Quarter Horse racing publicity in Texas, Louisiana and other regions in North America.