LQHBA Insider - By Martha Claussen November  24, 2017

YOUNG OWNER ROGELIO MARQUEZ JR. SAVORING DREAM YEAR

The exceptional year continues for Quarter Horse owner Rogelio Marquez, Jr.

The 23-year-old credits his love for horses to his grandfather and dad, who owned horses in their hometown of San Lorenzo, Rio Grande, Mexico. The family moved to Texas in the late 1980ís and currently reside in Rosenberg, Texas, a suburb of Houston. They own Marquez Contractors, specializing in concrete and road construction. Their successful business has allowed them to invest in racehorses and 2017 has rewarded them beyond their wildest expectations!

Undefeated Filly Heads to the Rich Lee Berwick Futurity

Itís hard for Marquez to contain his excitement when he talks about his filly Dashnunder Afullmoon. Bred in Louisiana by D & S Racing LLC, the daughter of Heza Fast Dash out of the Dash Ta Fame mare Full Moon Dasher was purchased by Marquez at the 2016 LQHBA Yearling Sale for $44,500.

Her success is, without a doubt, one of the premier racing "feel good" stories of the year, with a perfect combination of talent paired with one very lucky turn of events!

For starters, take the evening of the trials for the Lassie Futurity. She won her trial in :16.937 seconds and Marquez anxiously waited to see if her tenth-fastest time would hold. It did, sort of, tying her with Keithon Roberts and Oscar Rhoneís Fastdashing Lassie. Marquez and his dad made their way to the racing office for the shake for the tenth spot into the record Lassie Futurity purse of $322,285.

The shake went in favor of Dashnunder Afullmoon, much to the relief of Marquez.

"It was my first, and hopefully the last," he said. "It was so nerve-racking, but I have to give credit to Oscar. He congratulated us and said, Ďnow go out and win that thing and make my filly look goodí!"

Trainer Jose Sanchez had qualified two fillies for the Lassie with TTT Kas as the favorite. His son, Eddie, who celebrated his 19th birthday that day, rode Dashnunder Afullmoon, who rallied for the upset, defeating her stablemate at the wire. Ignored by the betting public, the talented filly left the gates at odds of 28-1, returning $59.40 to win to her loyal backers. Marquez reflected on the night of May 19.

"Obviously, we had faith in her," he said. "In her trial, J. R. Ramirez lost his whip and had to pretty much hand ride her to the wire. Eddie had breezed her at Sam Houston and gave us a sense of security; both he and Jose had confidence in our filly."

A celebration with friends and family took place and the next morning, Marquez made a visit to the Sanchez barn at 7:00 am to check on his Lassie champion.

"She looked great and had cleaned up her feed," said Marquez. "It really didnít sink in right away, but seeing her the next morning just gave me a tingling feeling. We had the best filly from 160 in trials! Itís hard to describe how incredible that was for me and my father!"

Her good fortune continued on June 17, when she won her 350-yard trial for the $705,495 Lee Berwick Futurity (RG1) in commanding fashion, setting the fastest qualifying time of :17.481.

Dashnunder Afullmoon is undefeated in three starts and has already earned $174,342 as she heads into the Lee Berwick final on July 8. Marquez also owns TF El Whiskey, a $42,000 LQHBA Sale purchase, who also qualified for the richest race of the Delta Downs meet.

Wild Tycoon Also a Strong Addition to the Stable

Itís not just the juveniles that are winning races this year for Marquez. He has won two stakes with Wild Tycoon, a 5-year-old son of Tempting Dash, who won the 110-yard Texas Twister at at Sam Houston Race Park and followed that up with an upset in the $25,000 Develop A Plan Stakes at Delta Downs. Claimed for $10,000 the speedster has won eight races and is trained by Carlos Saldivar.

"He was off for six months, but came back in great shape," said Marquez. "He has a good pedigree, but his heart is bigger than he is!"

Marquez is also looking forward to running San Lorenzo Corona, a full brother to AQHA and LQHBA Champion Open Me A Corona.

"We purchased him for $68,000 and he had several small issues that kept him out of action until June."

He was a winner in his 3-year-old debut and will run Saturday, July 8 in the $257,160 Delta Downs Derby for trainer Jose Sanchez.

†The wins in Texas and Louisiana have vaulted Marquez into the seventh-leading Quarter Horse owner in the country.

"We have spent a lot of money on our horses," he admitted. "You always have expectations, but never know what will happen. To be ranked that high is something I never dreamed of."

Evaluating Yearlings

Marquez and his dad have already looked over the online listing of the consignees for the 2017 LQHBA Yearling Sale.

"We have several we are interested in," said Marquez. "It starts with the pedigree, but we like to see the horses and make sure their conformation is good. I also look for a "good vibe" in the yearling; something special that stands out."

In his short time investing and owning Quarter Horses, Marquez has learned a great deal and has solid relationships with trainers Sanchez, Saldivar as well as Martin Trejo.

He has been welcomed warmly in Louisiana and is very pleased with the race dates and purse money. This year, he became a breeder, buying Rosouti from Jo Baya Foreman. She is in foal to Jess Louisiana Blue and is domiciled at Robicheaux Ranch.

"Rogelio and his daddy are great people," said Ryan Robicheaux, farm and breeding manager. "They love to go to the races and watch their horses run. We are happy to partner with them and know they will be as excited about breeding as they are with racing."

Tony Patterson, executive director of the Louisiana Quarter Horse Breeders Association, is grateful for the support that the Marquez family has lent to the annual LQHBA Yearling Sale

"Our association is always thrilled to welcome new buyers to our sale," said Patterson. "The Marquez family bought some very nice yearlings last August and it has been great to see the success of Dashnunder Afullmoon and other future champions. We look forward to welcoming Rogelio and his dad back this year and hope that they spot a few more quality Louisiana-bred yearlings."

Youth is Served

When racing insiders are asked what needs to be done to ensure the future of the racing industry, a common response is that sport needs a new generation of younger fans, owners, breeders.

Rogelio Marquez, Jr. could very well be the moniker for that movement. At just 23 years-old, he is fully invested, emotionally and financially in a sport that he loves and will hopefully pass on to his children in the future.

Louisiana Showcase Night at Delta Downs will be a very exciting night for the entire Marquez family. Should Dashnunder Afullmoon win the Lee Berwick as well as the Lassie, she will be just the fourth filly since 1981 to accomplish that impressive feat. Flashy Hemp (1985); Miss Go Avenger (1992) and Jessa Louisiana Zoom (2015) are the previous dual champions.

"Itís been amazing, almost surreal," Marquez admits. "We are all so happy that our investment is paying off, but more importantly, that we are able to share it with our family. This ride may not last forever, but we are enjoying every moment for now!"

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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.