LQHBA Insider - By Martha Claussen July  25, 2024


The afternoon of August 17 at Fair Grounds in New Orleans was not much of a treat in the weather department for the eleven $434,538 LQHBA Sale Futurity (RG1) trials. But a sloppy track was no deterrent for the Sanchez brothers who won five of the eleven heats, qualifying four for the rich final on September 8.

Lets get to know more about trainer Jose Sanchez, III, known as "Joe" and his younger brother, Eddie, who capably handles the riding duties for the barn.

Family Ties in Laredo, Texas

Joe is the older of the two brothers. He will turn 24 on September 24; Eddie celebrated his 20th birthday in May. They have been around horses all their lives, growing up in Laredo, Texas with both their grandfather, Luis, and father, Jose showing them the ropes. Other family members with strong racing backgrounds include their uncles, trainer Angel Sanchez and former jockey, Luis Ramirez.

Joe is a quiet, thoughtful young man with a tremendous instinct about horses, matched with a tireless work ethic. With his father serving a suspension, Joe, who had always been a central figure in the success of the Sanchez barn, thought long and hard about getting his trainer license.

"It was a big step and I was nervous about making the decision, but I am happy to be training these great horses," said Joe.

Like his father and grandfather, Joe is a "hands on" horseman. He reported that each of the qualifiers, Rl Fast Dash, Amending The Bar, Zoom By Me and Mr Coahuila came out of their trial wins in good order. They are back on the Sanchez farm in Stockdale.

"Well gallop them and stand them in the gate a week before the final," Joe said.

Joe credits the many owners who have supported the Sanchez barn including Rogelio Marquez, Jr,; Emannuel Villarreal and Julio Ramirez. Each have finalists in the LQHBA Sale Futurity. "We have so many good owners," he acknowledged. "They support us and have always been there for my dad, and now for me."

Julio Ramirez, who owns Amending The Bar, the second fastest qualifier, had no doubt that Joe would be a very capable trainer.

"Everything is working out well," said Ramirez. "Joe and Eddie are both young, but they know these horses and have very good resources behind them."

Both Joe and Eddie acknowledge that team work is essential to their success and that winning the LQHBA Sale Futurity would be the culmination of the hard work of those behind the scenes that rarely get the credit they deserve. The brothers appreciate grooms Sergio Lira, whose nickname is "Chino" and Gregario Reyes Lopez, also known as "Gollo"

"Our grooms are with the horses 24-7 and Jose Arriaga breaks all our babies," said Eddie. "We would not be where we are without them!"

Eddie was the first jockey to ride LQHBA 2-year-old Champion Filly, Dashnunder Afullmoon for owner Rogelio Marquez, Jr. She won the Lassie Futurity on his 19th birthday and he was also aboard for her victory in the 2017 Lee Berwick Memorial Futurity (RG1).

"Shes a phenomenal filly and the best horse Ive ever ridden," said Eddie. "I am so proud to have been a part of her amazing career."

Strong Bond Between Brothers

Their family ties are strong and the brothers are very close, but personality-wise, they could not be more different!

Eddie is 510" tall, confident with an engaging smile. He brushes off questions about his height and works with a doctor to ensure he can maintain his weight and stay healthy.

"I am tall, but can get really small on the back of a horse," he explains. "Ive heard the comments about my height being an issue, but love to prove those people wrong!"

Joe lost his hand in a farm accident when he was just 3-years-old. It was a tragedy that could have scarred him more emotionally, than physically. But, with the support of his family, a very sharp mind and undeniable determination, he persevered.

"He played football and the coach told the rest of us to quit complaining and look at the mental toughness of my brother," Eddie said proudly. "I love him to death, and am very proud of his success just beginning his career as a trainer. Hes learned so much from my dad and grandfather, but hes not afraid to do it his way."

Spare time is rare for both young men, but Joe studied automotive engineering at Laredo Community College and enjoys cars as a pastime. For Eddie, its all about family. He and his wife, Kassandra have a son, Eddie, Jr., who will turn two in four months. His stepdaughter, Kendra is 5-years-old. Eddie makes the trip to Laredo as often as possible to spend time with the kids.

"Eddie is maturing and is a very talented jockey," said Marquez. "Joe is young, but has a lifetime of experience."

Marquez will be in New Orleans on Saturday, September 8 when his finalists, Rl First Dash and Zoom By Me run in the LQHBA Sale Futurity.

"They are the true definition of Yin and Yang," stated Marquez. "As different as they are, together they make a great team!"

Photo: Kassandra, Eddie with his son Eddie, Jr and Jose Sanchez. Hodges Photography

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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.