LQHBA Insider - By Martha Claussen June  19, 2024


The 2019 LQHBA Yearling Sale concluded on Saturday, August 3 with across the board increases and a record sale topper of $605,000!. We thank each of the breeders, consignors and buyers for making this a record-setting event!

Each year, breeders ready their stock for the event hoping that their yearling takes the next steps to a successful racing career. Interestingly, many times the future racing champions are the less heralded prospects as they pass through the sales ring. We asked several Louisiana breeders to tell us about their biggest surprises.

Noted breeder and statesman J. E. Jumonville was inducted into the LQHBA Hall of Fame earlier this year. He owns Jumonville Farms in Ventress and he did not hesitate when asked about the biggest Jumonville Farms sale surprise.

"Easy question for me," he replied. "Jess A Saint, winner of the 2015 LQHBA Louisiana Million!"

He was quite an interesting evolution! Inspired by a trip to California to attend the Vessels Sale, the J.E. and his wife, Bunny, made a trip to Del Mar and a visit to the barn of Hall of Famer Bob Baffert.

"We visited with Bob and were able to see Vindication, the winner of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile," said Jumonville.

An injury derailed Vindication's career and opportunity to run in the Kentucky Derby. Jumonville followed him as a stallion, and took interest in a mare he sired named Laughing Saint.

"I paid $3,000 for her," recalled Jumonville. "She was small and immature and despite posting some bullet works, never started as a racehorse."

J. E.'s son Dutcher, suggested breeding Laughing Saint to Jess Louisiana Blue, who has sired money earners in excess of $17 million for Jumonville Farms.

Jess a Saint broke his maiden in trials for the 2015 Laddie Futurity at Delta Downs. He was the tenth fastest qualifier in trials to the LQHBA Louisiana Million, but closed gamely from the far outside post under jockey Raul Ramirez, Jr..

J. E. and Bunny, were in Seattle that evening and did not see the race, but Jumonville will never forget the phone call from his son.

"Dad, he won; he got up in the last jump!" recalled Jumonville.

Jumonville added that it is always rewarding when a yearling surpasses their expected sale price and mentioned Half Time Blues, who was a 2014 LQHBA Yearling Sale graduate.

"She was a Jess Louisiana Blue filly out of Vintage Dreams," he said. "We thought she would bring $30,000 or so; she sold for $102,000. Several prospective buyers had come to the farm before the sale, but we had no commitments, so that was a very pleasant surprise."

Chris and Kim Blanchet, own Blanchet Farms in Ville Platte, had several babies who came to mind when asked to look back on their consignments.

Tee Cos stands at Blanchet Farms and both Kim and Chris were pleased with the accomplishments of Gamey Tee Cos, a colt out of the Game Patriot mare Gamey Girl, who sold at the 2015 LQHBA Yearling Sale for $9,500.

"We had several Parti Wagons and Tee Cos babies and were not sure how they would do, but Gamey Tee Cos was probably the biggest surprise for us," said Chris.

The bay colt was sent to New Mexico where he ran second in the Grade 2, West Texas Futurity before running in trials for the All American Futurity at Ruidoso Downs.

Blanchet also shares the satisfaction in seeing future generations still active in the Louisiana breeding and racing industry.

"Mr. Glen Fontenot, one of the founding fathers of LQHBA, has sons that carried on his legacy, and his grandsons, Cameron, Ike and Chip are continuing in the industry. Trevor Soileau, grandson of John Soileau is another young man who is carrying on for the Soileau family. It is great to see the next generation stepping up!"

Robicheaux Ranch in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana continues to be the leading consignor in the LQHBA Yearling Sale and Ryan Robicheaux shares his story on the yearling that surprised them over a decade ago.

Streakin Patriot, born in 2003, was out of the second Game Patriot crop. Jude Robicheaux, patriarch of the family's farm, bought the February foal out of the Streakin La Jolla mare Streakin Ash for $5,700.

"He was already gelded and dad said he caught his eye in the sale ring," said Ryan. "He had never checked him out."

Jude called Ryan while he was busy selling the other yearlings consigned that year for Robicheaux Ranch and told him that he bought a gelding from Darrell Dugas for the employees of the ranch to run.

"My response was when I get a break I'll go see what you bought us," recalled Ryan. "Well I went see this big headed long-eared weak hip yearling and I was like no way! Then dad said someone offered him $1,500 over the ticket and I said take it, but he didn't!"

Streakin Patriot went on to run second in the 2005 Mardi Gras and Laddie Futurity; win the LQHBA Sale Futurity and run second in the Louisiana Breeders Futurity (now called the LQHBA Louisiana Million). He made 19 starts and earned $346,153.

"When we retired him we would turn out the yearling colts to grow up with him in his pasture," added Ryan. "Unfortunately we had to put him down because of laminitis two years ago and I cried like a baby."

David Dunn is the owner of Spring Hill Farms in Kaplan, Louisiana. The farm bred 2017 and 2018 Lee Berwick Futurity (RG1) winners as well as the 2018 LQHBA Yearling Sale top seller, Moonocracy.

Dashnunder Afullmoon was purchased for $44,500 by Rogelio Marquez, Jr. and $11,500 was the very astute purchase from Jose Estrada Quarter Horses for another daughter of Heza Fast Dash, Eysa Jess Jumpn.

"Dashnunder Afullmoon was a standout," recalled Dunn. "You couldn't find a flaw with her. "But Eysa Jess Jumpn was such a small filly; she could hardly see over the top of her stall!"

Dashnunder Afullmoon retired at the end of 2018 with eight wins from 11 starts and earnings of $711,951. Eysa Jess Jumpn continues to be impressive as a 3-year-old, undefeated in 2019 with two Grade 3 victories already this year. The diminutive filly, who could barely see out of her stall, has outrun a slew of classy colts and fillies, banking $671,502 to date.

These are just a few special LQHBA Yearling Sale graduates, who might have surprised their connections heading into the sale ring. But each went on to create memories that their breeder, owner, trainer and jockey will treasure for a lifetime!

The LQHBA Insider is a monthly feature written by Martha Claussen who 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.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

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.