- Horse Racing - Eyesa Special runs fastest All American ever

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Tuesday, September 5
Eyesa Special runs fastest All American ever

RUIDOSO DOWNS, N.M. -- Eyesa Special, Jack Brooks and Jacky Martin were too tough a trio to catch on All American Futurity day.

Eyesa Special
The $1 million All American Futurity win was the third in four races for Eyesa Special.
The 2-year-old colt Eyesa Special ran the fastest 440 yards in the history of the world's richest quarter horse race Monday. He hit the wire two lengths in front of the filly Fashionisanattitude and with some help from a tailwind, was timed in 21.097 seconds.

Eyesa Special earned $1 million from the record purse of $2.2 million for the partnership of Jim Pitts of Wichita Falls, Texas; Terry Bell of Lawton, Okla.; and Homer Hill of Dimmett, Texas.

The $1 million win was the third in four races for the imposing gray, but familiar territory for Brooks and Martin. Over the past 22 years, they have teamed to write a legacy in quarter horse racing not likely to be matched anytime soon.

Brooks, who in 1959 arrived at Ruidoso Downs with one thoroughbred mare, has now won eight All Americans, five more than any other trainer. It was Martin's seventh win and all were aboard horses trained by Brooks. No other jockey has won the All American more than three times.

The other wins in the futurity for the two were Moon Lark in 1978, Mr Master Bug in 1982, Mr Trucka Jet in 1985, Merganser in 1988, Strawberry Silk in 1989 and Dash Thru Traffic in 1992. Brooks also saddled 1998 winner Falling In Loveagain, with jockey G.R. Carter.

And this one was the easiest of all.

Breaking from the No. 3 post position, Eyesa Special took the lead moments after the nine-horse field left the gate and midway through the sprint was already two lengths in front.

"I hand-rode him most of the way," Martin said. "I hit him a time or two and it was really all over then."

Brooks, who watched the start of the race from behind the gate, considered the California horse Copper Buff his biggest threat.

"I felt if I could break with Copper Buff, we'd have a heck of a shot to win it," Brooks said. "It's not three or four jumps and you can see our horse is hanging with him and I knew what he was going to do later on. I headed for the winner's circle."

Brooks and Martin went through a difficult split in 1995, but at the start of this year decided to get back together.

"We've been a million miles together and we should have never parted company," Brooks said. "But it might have been the best thing for both of us. It made both pick our heads up and look a little bit ... because we'd had it so good for so long."

Brooks said the colt bled internally during the running of the race but pulled up in good shape and veterinarian Bob Story said the colt did not suffer any serious problem.

Eyesa Special's winning time surpassed the 21.18 by Winalota Cash in 1995.

Brooks said he knew last winter, when he started training Eyesa Special, what type of speed the colt had.

"Back then, he was one of the best things we'd ever had," Brooks said. "He proved it today."

Fashionisanattitude, the No. 10 horse, closed strongly on the outside to finish second, but posed no threat to Eyesa Special. The filly, owned by Joe Kirk Fulton of Lubbock, Texas, won $406,120.

Gilbert Ortiz, who rode Fashionisanattitude, said the filly was more concerned with crowd noise than racing.

"I had a good trip, but the mare never really got to running," he said. "She was tweaking her ears back and forth and looking around all the way down. When she bears down, she can really run and it might have been close. We might even could have outrun him."

First Down N Surfin, who has yet to win a race in four starts, was a half-length back in third and earned $174,008 for Daniel Lucas, a retired doctor from Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

The rest of the field, in order of finish, was: Eye On Paydirt, Copper Buff, Whosleavingwho, Beccas Quick Six, Ima Royal Winner and Blazen Maven.

Eyesa Special paid $7.60, $4 and $3. Fashionisanattitude returned $4.40 and $3.20, while First Down N Surfin paid $4.80 to show.

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American Quarter Horse Racing

 All American Futurity
Eyesa Special wins trainer Jack Brooks his record eighth All American Futurity.

 Jack Brooks
Jack Brooks compares this year's All American victory to his seven others.

 Jacky Martin
Jockey Jacky Martin talks about his winning ride aboard Eyesa Special in the Futurity.