11/03/2013 8:15AM

Quarter Horse champion Tempting Dash sells for record $1.7 million

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Tempting Dash, a champion Quarter Horse seized by federal authorities in a money-laundering case tied to the Los Zetas cartel in Mexico, sold for a record $1.7 million on Friday during the first day of a fall mixed auction at Heritage Place in Oklahoma City.  The price is the highest ever paid for a racing Quarter Horse at auction, according to an official with Heritage Place.

Tempting Dash was 2-year-old champion of 2009 for a season that included Grade 1 wins in the Texas Classic Futurity and Dash For Cash Futurity at Lone Star Park. He is now a stallion. John Simmons purchased Tempting Dash, a son of First Down Dash. The horse was consigned by VSE Corp., on behalf of the U.S. Treasury Department.

Others horses the VSE Corp., consigned on behalf of the U.S. Treasury Dept., were Separate Fire, a champion 2-year-old filly and current broodmare who brought $460,000 from McCollee Land and Livestock; Dashin Follies, dam of multiple Grade 1 winner Pyc Paint Your Wagon who brought $250,000 from Vincent P. Genco; and Mr Piloto, the 2010 All American Futurity winner and a current stallion who brought $85,000 from Grant Farms. 

Federal authorities seized more than 400 horses in the case, with 379 of them selling last November at Heritage Place. The horses brought about $9 million, topped by A Dash of Sweet Heat, who sold for $1 million.

In May, a federal jury convicted four men of using drug-trafficking funds from the Los Zetas cartel to “purchase, train, breed and race American Quarter Horses in the United States,” according to a release from the offices of U.S. Attorney Robert Pitman.