Whistle Stop Cafe has been named the 2020 World Champion Racing American Quarter Horse, joining only Laico Bird before her as a 2-year-old filly who earned the world champion title.
Laico Bird earned her title in 1967. This past year, Whistle Stop Cafe was undefeated in six starts, earning $1,974,986. She was also the champion 2-year-old and champion 2-year-old filly.
Owners Whitmire Ranch of Sallisaw, Oklahoma bought her for a mere $42,000 as a yearling, and trainer Blane Wood and jockey Ricky Ramirez guided the filly to win her Heritage Place Futurity (G1) trial and the Heritage Place Juvenile. She then travelled to Ruidoso, where she won her trial and the final of the $1 million Rainbow Futurity (G1), and went on to win her trial and the final of the $3 million All American Futurity (G1).
Whistle Stop Cafe was bred by Bobby D. Cox and is by Freighttrain B and out of the Mr Jess Perry mare Sinuous.
The champion 2-year-old colt is Dulce Sin Tacha, who won five of six starts and earned $518,403 for breeders and owners Bob and Jerry Gaston. Dulce Sin Tacha is by Jess Good Candy and out of the Tempting Dash mare Prissy Sin Tacha. Trained by Heath Taylor and ridden by Rodrigo Vallejo, his year was led by a victory in the $1,031,211 Texas Classic Futurity (G1).
Apollitical Gold took his run everywhere he went to earn his champion 2-year-old gelding title. Racing for breeder Grant R. Cox Revocable Trust, the son of Apollitical Jess out of SRC Gold by PYC Paint Your Wagon won four of nine starts, with two seconds and three thirds. He earned $972,659. His key efforts included a victory in the Golden State Million Futurity (G1) and third-place finishes in the All American Futurity (G1) and Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity (G1). He was trained by Eddie Willis and was ridden by Justine Klaiber, Jimmy Brooks, and Cody Smith.
Supreme Race Horse Danjer was named the champion aged horse and champion aged gelding after a year that saw him win four of six starts and earn $326,061. The 4-year-old gelding, by FDD Dynasty and out of the Take Off Jess mare Shez Jess Toxic, was bred by Dean Frey and is owned by Frey, Downtime Enterprises LLC, and Billy Smith. Danjer’s Grade 1 wins include The Downs at Albuquerque Championship and the Bank of America Challenge Championship. He was trained by Dean Frey and ridden by Cody Smith.
The champion aged stallion is Eagles Fly Higher, a 4-year-old stallion by One Famous Eagle and out of the First Down Dash mare Lone Bet. Bred by V. H. Harman Jr. and Robert Moudy III, he is owned by Darling Farms, and won three of eight starts, with three additional placings and earnings of $209,973. He won the Sooner State Stakes (RG1), Eastex Stakes (G2), and Bank of America Prairie Meadows Championship Challenge (G2), in addition to two additional Grade 1 placings. He was trained by Casey Black and Jaime Gomez, and was ridden by Mario Delgado, Cristian Esqueda, Agustin Silva, and Jesus Ayala.
Michael Pohl and Martin Stacy’s homebred Curls Happy Wagon is the champion aged mare. She won half of her six starts during the year, earning $145,822, and won the Mildred N. Vessels Memorial Handicap (G1), Las Damas Handicap (G2), and Decketta Stakes (G2). The 5-year-old mare is by PYC Paint Your Wagon and out of the Spit Curl Jess mare Eye A Spit Curl Girl. She was trained by Stacy Charette-Hill and Juan Aleman and ridden by Armando Cervantes and Jorge Torres.
Tell Cartel made the most starts of any champion during the year, winning half of his 10 starts, with three additional placings, and earning $717,751 while earning the titles of champion 3-year-old and champion 3-year-old colt. Racing for breeder and owner Martha Wells, the Favorite Cartel colt out of the Chicks Beduino mare Chicks Tell won the Los Alamitos Winter Derby (G1), Los Alamitos Super Derby (G1), and El Primero Del Ano Derby (G3), and he was second in the Champion of Champions (G1). He was trained by Matt Fales, and ridden by Ruben Lozano, Eduardo Nicasio, and Jesus Ayala.
CERs Final Try honors the memory of his late breeder, Charles E. Robinson, as he is named the champion 3-year-old gelding. Racing for Christina Robinson, CERs Final Try won four of seven starts and earned three additional placings, earning $581,182. His achievements include a victory in the Rainbow Derby (G1) and placings in the Ruidoso Derby (G1) and All American Derby (G1). He is by One Dashing Eagle and out of the Corona Cartel mare BP Shes All Corona. He was trained by Tony Sedillo and ridden by Alfredo Sigala and Manuel Gutierrez.
The daughter of Apollitical Jess out of the First Down Dash mare Shesa First Ratify, Ratification is the champion 3-year-old filly. She races for her breeder Bobby D. Cox and won five of seven starts with one second-place finish and earned $327,308. She won the $315,739 Rainbow Oaks and $421,326 All American Oaks. She was trained by John Buchanan and Juan Vazquez, and was ridden by Francisco Calderon, Esgar Ramirez, and Agustin Silva.
The 2014 gelding Madewell is honored as the 2020 champion distance horse. He is a homebred for Ray L. and Davy Madewell, and won four of seven starts, with two additional placings, and earnings of $102,618. He is sired by Jess Jones and out of the A Streak Of Cash mare Streakin Peacock. His wins include the Cox Ranch Distance Challenge Championship (G1) and the AQHA Downs at Albuquerque Distance Challenge (G2). He was trained by Bernard Baca, and ridden by Benito Baca, Jorge Bourdieu, and Stormy Smith.
Freshman Eyesa Timber is the Canadian champion. Bred and raced by Wesley T. Oulton, the Alberta-bred gelding is by First Timber and out of the Mr Jess Perry mare Eyesa Perry. He began his year racing in the United States before returning home, where at Century Mile he won the Alberta-bred Futurity and Canada Cup Futurity (G3). He won four of seven starts, with two second-place finishes, and earned $56,491. The horse was trained by Wesley Oulton and Durk Peery, and ridden by J. Botello, Jose Rocha, and Jose Vega.
Cuadra La Presita saw its homebred Juanito Y Danny win three of four starts, earning $152,310, to be named the Mexican champion. The 2018 gelding by Danny Cartel is out of the Ought To Be First mare Toles. He won the Subasta Selecta Futurity (RG3) and was third in the Garanones Futurity (RG3). The horse was trained by Ismael Ayala and ridden by Yair Daniel Baez, L. Vidana and Jose Angel Ambrosio.
The South American champion is Fantastic Fly Apollo, a 2017 colt racing for breeder Ademir Jose Rorato. The horse won six of eight starts, with two seconds, and earned $66,861. His wins include the Campeao Dos Campeoes, Brasil II Triplice Coroa, and Sorocaba Futurity. He is by Fantastic Corona Jr and out of the Eyesa Special mare Flyapolloeyesa BR. He was trained by Rivail Rosa and ridden by B. Guimaraes and J. Santana.
American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame horseman Bobby D. Cox earns his third champion breeder title, as his horses earned more than $2.4 million more than any other breeder. Included among them are world champion Whistle Stop Cafe and champion Ratification. California horsewoman Martha Wells saw her horses, which include champion Tell Cartel, win at a 14% clip, and she is named the champion owner. Trainer Eddie Willis earned his first nod as the Blane Schvaneveldt champion trainer, with earnings of more than $2.7 million in the year, including champion Apollitical Gold. James A. Flores is the champion jockey for the second consecutive year, with earnings of more than $3.5 million.
For more information on AQHA racing, visit www.aqha.com/racing.