Beduino came to Los Alamitos
not long after that, hoping to meet Charger Bar in a match race. Banks
began working him in the states.
"I qualified (350 yards) him one morning in
17.80 seconds at Los Alamitos and they got on me because I didn't let him
run," he says. "I think he was probably the fastest horse I ever rode of any
was at Los Alamitos that Frank Vessels, Jr., then president of Los
Alamitos Race Course, first got a look at the big gray horse from south of
"Frank had a pretty good eye for horses,"
recalls Millie Vessels, now president of Los Alamitos, of her late husband.
"He came home and told me, 'Mildred, I think this horse could be some kind
While that recommendation may have carried
a lot of weight, it's difficult to market those words alone and turn them
into paid breedings. After all, no one else in the quarter horse world knew
anything about Beduino.
But Vessels felt so strongly about the
prospects of Beduino at stud plus the young colt Timeto Thinkrich the
Vessels Stallion Farm was running at the time he sold the stallion
Charger that was the cornerstone of the breeding operation.
Beduino did have his good looks, the
blazing speed he had demonstrated to a few in the business, and a letter
from Daily Racing Form bloodlines expert Leon Rasmussen saying, "This
Beduino certainly has an interesting pedigree and it is not difficult to
discover where he gets his brilliance" going for him.
His first crop, foaled in 1976, was small
but interesting. He had seven horses reach the track—five of them were out
of Vessels mares—and they finished their careers with average earnings of
$18,047, although one carried the load for much of the rest.
What A Woman, a daughter of the great
champion mare Whataway To Go. was stakes placed in four races, including a
third in the $181,000 La Primera Del Ano Derby, a third in the $114,100
Fresno Futurity and a second in the $35,000 Juvenile. She finished her
career with $80,142 in earnings.
Not a bad start but certainly not
overwhelming. There was no waiting line.
The crop of 1977 was again relatively
small—14 reached the track—but there were two horses in the group that
boosted Beduino's standing. The first was out of a Vessels mare named
To Go and she was named Fishers Favorite
and the other was out of an unknown
mare named Sissy Quick and she carried the handle of Coast Is Clear.
Fishers Favorite made an immediate impact
as she became the fastest qualifier to and second-place finisher in the rich
Skoal Dash For Cash Futurity. She went on in her career to win the Sophomore
and Miss Princess Handicaps and placed in six others while earning more than
Coast Is Clear took a little longer
developing and she finished her career without a stakes win but a stakes
placed performance. Still, her July 1980 allowance victory in a near record
:17.48 seconds for 350 yards startled enough people to help make Beduino a
respected sire in the quarter horse industry.
But being respected is a far cry from
having your door knocked down.
Runners continued to come, however, in the
form of Just A Play Mate, a daughter of Me To that went on to win the 1981
West Texas Futurity and earn more than $125,000, and Aladuino. a son of
Alamitos May that way the Governor's Cup Futurity and Derby and the El
Primero Deo Ano Derby while earning $400,000.
Successes like those are enough to insure
any sire a full book, but a year like 1983 guarantees a waiting list.
Last spring  word filtered back from Bay Meadows that trainer
Dennis Ekins apparently had a runner.
"This colt really acts like a runner,"
jockey John Ward said on a trip to Southern California after working the
He started once and produced a victory, and
the talk of being perhaps one of the best two-year-old at Bay Meadows grew
Less than a month after those rumblings
out of the peninsula track, a Beduino colt—Tolltac—had
won the $364,000 Bay Meadows Futurity for Ekins and Ward, and the incredible
year of Beduino that had started with Aladuino's El Primero Del Ano Derby
victory was off and winging.
By the time the year had ended, Beduino's
two-year olds had dominated the national scene.
Tolltac finished the year with three Grade
1 victories in the Bay Meadows Futurity, Kindergarten and Golden State
futurity, along with a second in the Dash For Cash. He earned more than
$800,000, while being named the nation's outstanding two-year-old and
Another Beduino two-year-old came along in
1983 that turned more than a few heads. Indigo Illusion, a daughter of Copy
Capri, came to Los Alamitos late last summer after some successes in
Louisiana. She quickly won the Las Ninas Handicap and then stunned everyone
with an overwhelming victory on a hot August afternoon in the Faberge
Futurity when she ran 440 yards in 21.26 seconds—not far off Dash For Cash's
:21.17 track record.
Indigo Illusion closed out the year with
two more stakes wins and earnings of more than $600,000 and was named the
country's best freshman filly.
Another two-year-old came along strongly in
1983 sired by Beduino. His name was Check The Charts, a horse that earned
over $184,000 with a victory in the Budweiser Invitational Championship in
Arizona and a third in the Dash For Cash.
In all, when the year had been completed,
Beduino's statistics had fared better than any other sire in the nation
except Dash For Cash.
Among 1983 money earners of any age, Dash
For Cash had sired earners of $5,249,552 among 135 starters for an average
of $38,886 per starter. Her produced 18 stakes victories.
Beduino was represented by 70 horses among
1983 money earners of any age and produced earnings $2,238,817, an average
of $31,983. He produced 15 stakes wins. However, when broken down to just
the two-year-old category, Beduino's average moved even past that of Dash
For Cash. Among two-year-olds, Beduino's 33 starters earned $1,842,257 for
average earnings per freshman of $55,826. He produced 12 stakes victories.
Dash For Cash's two-year-old statistics
included 68 starters for total earnings of $2,850,711, an average of
$41,922. He had seven stakes wins to his credit.
Any time a stallion is being included in the same sentence with Dash For
Cash, he has established himself and Beduino has indeed
The gamble that Frank Vessels, Jr. had
taken by joining with Justo Fernandez to stand the big gray son of Romany
Royal at the Vessels Stallion Farm had paid tremendous dividends.
There have been several offers made to
purchase Beduino but for now the partnership of Millie Vessels and Justo
Fernandez does not seem inclined to sell.
After all, there is a waiting list and that
usually means business is good.
Just like people who like good food will
search out the best restaurants in town, people who like fast horses will
search out the best sires available and Beduino is indeed one of those.