All the mud getting thrown in the business, I’d like to take the opportunity to share a short story about a gutsy filly that I hope will make you smile.
As told by Jerry Gaston: January 17, 2016 in Texas, the recip mare had gone into labor at 3:30am and would lay down, push a little, then get back up, until she managed to get the foal out just past the shoulders, then she quit, after a good half hour of labor. After a call to the vet who said PULL IT! they grabbed hold of those precious front feet and gently tugged the filly free, and miraculously all was well. They named her Rustys Miracle.
The filly grew up strong and pretty and had the looks and pedigree for the prestigious Select Sale, where she brought $61,000 from J&SM, Inc, which are John and Sue May. John passed away in 2014 but Sue, at 88 years young, still has plenty of life left and continues racing with her son Doug. Surely John was smiling when the filly left the sale under the care of J&SM.
Rustys Miracle came in 5th on her first start in the West Texas Futurity trials after the nerves got her at the gate, but still earned her ROM. She won her next out in a maiden, and then won her trial for the Ruidoso Futurity, missing the finals but making the consolation Ruidoso Juvenile Stakes where she placed 6 after some bumper car action.
She then went on to win her Rainbow Futurity trial and again, just missed the final but made the Rainbow Futurity Juvenile consolation. This time however, she claimed the win.
August, when the filly won her trial for the All American Futurity, we all collectively held our breath when it became apparent that she held the 10th place spot. Always rooting for a filly to make the final, I remember my groan learning she’d lost her spot when a prior DQ in the trials was overturned. The filly would then go on to a disappointing 9th place finish in the All American Juvenile after being DQ from 5th for breaking out and interfering with foes.
Rustys Miracle was given a good break and returned in March of this year to win her first out against allowance company. She then followed it up to win her trial for the West Texas Derby then had what I could only describe as a “filly moment” when she threw her head at the start and got left by the field, to finish 10th. Derby year is especially hard on fillies, the boys are bigger, they’re stronger, and being good enough to keep up with them is a challenge in itself, much less beating them.
Her next out scared me half to death, she was bumped and placed 3rd after a DQ and vanned off, and still managed to qualify, again, for the consolation, the Mr Jess Perry Stakes. Lethal Lil would win, with Rustys Miracle getting bumped yet again and fading to a 7th place finish.
In July she ran in the Rainbow Derby trials, with a disappointing 5th place finish and another trip in the van. Maybe it was a blessing in disguise, as she was given over a month off to R&R and come back for another shot at the big one, the All American Derby. And this is where we got another dose of deja vu, as the gritty filly won her trial and seemed poised to qualify for another AA… And then she’s tied, again, for that 10th place spot… And then the groan heard ’round the world as she would lose the shake and her spot in the final, just as she had last year for the AAF.
But like I said, this story has a happy ending…
Every year around AA time NM racing turns into a hormonal teenager and manages to go off the rails somehow. I call it Mayhem. There is drama, drugs, fights, lawsuits, crying, pretty much a Jerry Springer Show that takes place on the backside.
The hair testing this year pulled the rug out from under a few trainers, one of them having qualified for the AAD. With the DQ of that horse, Rustys Miracle overcame the losing shake and claimed her place in the final.
Someone must have given her quite the pep talk, because yesterday she proved she had been good enough to make the All American Futurity and she was good enough to WIN the All American Derby, despite a field of the best 3 year old QHs in the world, after buckets of rain, and plenty of Mayhem. She gave a 110% after that 440 yard dash and once again needed the help of the van to make it back, exhausted, but victorious. She is the first filly to win the Derby in 25 years.
I don’t know what the future holds for the sorrel filly, but she sure gave us all a much-needed happy story to remind us that “miracles” do happen, just keep believing and never give up hope.
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