Texas Red Army Shooting For The Stars On 2015 Triple Crown Trail
Texas Red Army Shooting For The Stars On 2015 Triple Crown Trail: Going into the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, the Afleet Alex sired Texas Red carried the hopes of fans longing for a son of the 2005 Preakness and Belmont Stakes winner to become just as successful. Texas Red backed his supporters with a resounding come from behind win, as the colt took advantage of an early cavalry charge towards the lead and capitalized as the best closer.
The ownership includes a colorful group of five partners including Keith Desormeaux (also the trainer), Lee Michaels, Dr. Gene Voss, Wayne Detmar and Partnership Manager Erich Brehm Sr. With the addition of Hall of Fame jockey Kent Desormeaux, the Texas Red story looks set to skyrocket even further as the colt remains successful.
Mr. Brehm, originally a Chicago native, moved to Dallas, Texas in 1982. At that time, horse racing was not legal in Texas. He started dabbling in horse pedigree and with the help of Josh Pons at Country Life Farm, purchased his first horse, a Seattle Slew mare in 1991. Six years ago Mr. Brehm had a young horse named Super Freddie and was looking for a Louisiana based trainer. He was introduced to trainer Keith Desormeaux, who took on Super Freddie but recommended it be a short hold. Along with longtime friend, Dr. Gene Voss, Mr. Brehm began buying horses claimed or purchased through Keith Desormeaux. From the very beginning it has been a successful relationship.
Dr. Voss it should be noted is one of the few people to have won a G1 race with a QH – Remington Park Futurity with Darlin Sixarun and G1 TB race with On a Soapbox – Coaching Club American Oaks. Janet Brehm, Erich’s wife, taught Lee Michael’s daughters kindergarten at the Da Vinci School in Dallas. Both are now in college. Lee and Janet have been close friends ever since. Wayne Detmar is a business associate of Erich’s and the standout gambler of the group. Just ask anyone who saw him after the Breeders Cup!
On the phone, Brehm spoke about Texas Red’s current success and future plans. He explained what about the colt initially attracted Desormeaux’s attention.
“The horse is a physical masterpiece,” Brehm said quoting Keith Desormeaux. “Being out of Afleet Alex and the Chilean mare Ramatuelle (sired by Jeune Homme), his pedigree was a little cold and a little unknown at the time of the Keeneland September sale. He just got overlooked and Keith jumped on him.” Texas Red was purchased for $17,000 as a pinhook prospect but Keith asked Brehm if he would consider racing the big colt in a partnership. And that was the beginning of the Texas Red partnership.
Brehm is certain that Texas Red will have no problem getting the classic distances. His Chilean and Argentinian pedigree on the dam side is nicely stacked in that direction, as most South American influences offer stamina. Second dam Villa Torlonia’s sire Roy was considered a standout in South America, and still influences top horses today as a broodmare sire.
For example, Idolo Porteno, a son of Jump Start out of Idealidad (a daughter of Roy), won last year’s Gran Premio Carlos Pellegrini (GI), the most important race in South America. The race is run on turf as well, which hints that Texas Red has the pedigree to run on any surface.
In 2003, Texas Red’s lightly raced dam Ramatuelle won three allowance races in a row in Chile, and was bought to the United States by Stonestreet Stables. She raced for the John Sadler barn and won twice at Santa Anita in two allowances races, and later on ran three more times for the barn in a few stakes races placing fourth, third and then fifth.
Her third place finish came in the (GIII) 2005 Desert Stormer Stakes at Hollywood Park. After running fifth in the A Gleam Invitational, Ramatuelle stayed in the country to be bred. Afleet Alex covered Ramatuelle years later, and Texas Red ended up as her fifth foal.
Even before winning two-thirds of the Triple Crown, Afleet Alex showed route ability running second in the 2004 Breeders Cup Juvenile and the Champagne the race before. The following year, Alex won the 2005 Arkansas Derby, ran third in the Kentucky Derby, then won the aforementioned Preakness and Belmont. He was retired after the Belmont Stakes.
When asked about the two-year-old Eclipse Award, Mr. Brehm sounded confident.
“Of course, I think we should win it,” Brehm stated. “I’m surprised about many of the comments from sportswriters who say how Texas Red’s run in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile flattered American Pharoah”. AP beat one stakes horse in his 2 G1 victories. Texas Red beat 2 G1 winners, a G3 winner and 5 other stakes winners, by 6 ½ lengths in the championship race. If Texas Red doesn’t win, you diminish the significance of the Breeders Cup.”
Brehm added, “That being said, I really like and respect the Zayats and their contribution to the game. If we have to lose, I prefer it be them and wish them the best with AP in 2015.”
Mr. Brehm answered a couple more questions on Texas Red, such as his pending schedule leading up to the Kentucky Derby. For now, they plan to start off the season at Santa Anita.
“The path may be the San Vicente, the Risen Star and then either the Santa Anita Derby or the Louisiana Derby,” Brehm explained. “Keith’s call.”
Brehm believes Texas Red acts as a smart and confident racehorse. But, Texas Red was not always a standout while training towards his debut in Florida under the watchful eye of April Mayberry, even though he trained with another promising runner.
“When he was at the farm preparing to go to the track, he trained with (Zenyatta’s son) Cozmic One and I don’t think they thought much of him until his very last work when he sort of ‘woke up,” Brehm said. “It was then that April’s mom Jeanne said, ‘he trained like a good horse today.’ That was really our first sign of racing progress. He was always big and gorgeous.”
Perhaps Texas Red’s size helps the colt navigate the Kentucky Derby field in May, but Brehm thinks luck is needed, along with skill and an experienced jockey. Brehm points out that Kent Desormeaux won the 1998 Derby on a similarly priced horse for owner Mike Pegram and trainer Bob Baffert.
“You always need some amount of good luck to win the Derby,” admits Brehm. “We have a jockey that’s done it three times so that is a huge advantage.”
Brehm added, “Here’s some trivia for you … another horse that won the Kentucky Derby with that style of closing was Real Quiet, and interestingly enough, the owner, Mike Pegram paid $17,000 for him. The same price we paid for Texas Red. Oh, and the jockey on Real Quiet … Kent Desormeaux!”
According to Brehm, each partner paid $7,000 a piece to get in, and not one of them has had to spend another penny since. That is a pretty nice way to get into horse syndication.
Breeders’ Cup Juvenile 2014 Texas Red Replay: