01/31/2014 2:12PM

Wolf Pack Jack named Iowa-bred Horse of the Year

Coady Photography
Wolf Pack Jack, Iowa-bred Horse of the Year for 2013, won two stakes races as a 3-year-old.

Wolf Pack Jack has been named 2013’s Iowa-bred Horse of the Year, edging out Boji Moon by a narrow margin to earn the honor.

The Iowa Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners Association bases it annual honors on earnings. Wolf Pack Jack earned $154,770 during his 3-year-old campaign, while Boji Moon earned $149,234 as a 2-year-old in 2013. Both also earned their respective divisional awards.

Wolf Pack Jack won four of six races in 2013, and only finished off the board once. The Hat Trick gelding captured the Gray’s Lake Stakes by a neck, and later in the season won the Iowa Breeders’ Derby, also by a neck.

Wolf Pack Jack races for trainer Ray Tracy, Jr., who owned and bred the gelding with his wife, Sherri. Their association with the horse began when they acquired two mares in foal to the Sunday Silence stallion Hat Trick for $1,000 each in 2009. Tracy later re-sold one of the mares to a friend, Terry Judge.

“I didn't know a lot about the mares, I went by Hat Trick,” Tracy said. "At that time it wasn't known what he would be [as a sire], and he's turned out to be really good. … They both have similar pedigrees and I couldn't tell which one of the mares was better. When I went to his house and dropped one off, I dropped the back one in the trailer off to him. I could have gave him [Dream Win, dam of Wolf Pack Jack] instead if she had been the first one we unloaded.

“When I saw the babies, mine was really ugly and his was beautiful, and I thought, 'Boy, I messed up,'" Tracy said. "[Wolf Pack Jack] was ugly, but his legs weren't. He had good bone and his legs were correct. But he had a big head and he never carried a lot of weight. He's changed a lot. He's filled out a lot. He's still not a beautiful horse, but he has all the tools.”

Wolf Pack Jack is the only foal out of the unraced Dream Win, who died of colic in 2010. She was named Iowa’s Broodmare of the Year for 2013.

Champion juvenile Boji Moon holds the distinction of being the first Iowa-bred to win a stakes race in Kentucky, taking the Kentucky Downs Juvenile. The Cactus Ridge gelding finished his season with three wins from five starts, including a victory in the Iowa Cradle Stakes.

The other equine honorees are Haforuhaforme (Bravo Bull) as champion 2-year-old filly; Sumting Wong (Pikepass) as champion 3-year-old filly; You Funny Man (Humming) as champion older male; and Rudy’s Edge as champion older female. Added Edge, the sire of Rudy’s Edge, led the state’s stallions by earnings.

William Hobbs was the state’s outstanding breeder, with Sandra Rasmussen as champion owner.

The champions will be honored at the ITBOA awards banquet on April 27 at Prairie Meadows.