LQHBA Insider - By Martha Claussen June  20, 2024


You would get little debate from breeders, owners, trainers or jockeys that winning the prestigious All American Futurity (G1) at Ruidoso Downs is the greatest accomplishment in the sport of Quarter Horse racing.

Hart Farms in Kaplan, Louisiana, stands eight stallions: BF Farm Boss, Buckingham, Carters Cartel, Coronas Leaving You, Freighttrain B, Moonin The Eagle, Stoli and The Fiscal Cliff. They have the distinction of being the only Louisiana-based stallion farm with two finalists in this year’s All American Futurity. The 3-1 morning-line favorite, Whistle Stop Cafe is a son of Freighttrain B and first-crop sire Moonin The Eagle produced Flash Bak.

Suffice it to say, acquiring quality stallions is a highly competitive process. Owner Chad Hart shared the stories behind Freighttrain B and Moonin The Eagle.

Freighttrain B, sired by Pyc Paint Your Wagon, earned $421,761 with nine wins from 16 starts. He was a finalist in the Heritage Place Futurity (G1) and won the Black Gold Futurity Championship, Oklahoma Derby and Black Gold Derby.

“Mr (Dee) Raper stood him at Belle Mere,” explained Hart. “We always liked him and bought him from owner James Sills.”

In six crops, Freighttrain B has continued to produce a noted list of stakes winners and is ranked as the top sire of 2-year-olds in 2020.

Hart has a strong association with AQHA champion breeder Bobby D. Cox. They have partnered on a number of quality racing and breeding prospects and made history with the acquisition of Moonin The Eagle.

Moonin The Eagle, a son of One Famous Eagle, was a multiple Grade 1 winner of $548,985 in his racing career, in which he competed from 2014-2016. He banked $548,945 in 17 starts, winning four consecutive stakes in 2016. Named AQHA Racing Champion Aged Stallion in his 4-year-old season, he was high on Hart’s list as a stallion prospect.

“I watched his races and his speed impressed me,” said Hart. “I told Bobby that I wanted to buy him and headed to the sale thinking he would go for $1.4 million.”

However, the striking gray stallion was a hot commodity at the 2018 Heritage Place Fall Mixed breeding stock sale. The bidding was fierce, and Hart got his stallion for $2.1 million. It was a world record price paid for a Quarter Horse stallion at auction, exceeding the expectations of buyers, sellers and sales company officials.

“That was a tough call to make,” Hart admitted of informing Cox about the sale ticket.

As a first crop sire, Hart reports that Moonin The Eagle has been popular from day one.

“He’s been bred to a lot of mares and our faith in him his coming to fruition, “said Hart. “The best is yet to come with Moonin The Eagle.”

Hart is quick to acknowledge the support of Cox and Bill Melson, general manager at Cox Ranch as well as Hart Farms manager Jerome Bellard and Hart’s companion, Jody Nelson, who is active in many of the day-to-day functions.

“It takes all of us to make it happen,” acknowledged Hart. “We have a great customer base with mare owners who have been very loyal. It’s been an excellent year for us. Of the top four Quarter Horse money earners in 2020, four were bred by Hart Farms. We are based in Louisiana and are proud to do well here. Our goal is to have quality horses run everywhere.”

Good luck to the team at Hart Farms and wishing everyone the best throughout the action-packed Evangeline Downs 2020 Quarter Horse racing season. We know it will be filled with many thrilling highlights and rewards for the dedicated supporters of Louisiana breeding and racing!

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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.