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From The Speedhorse, November 1977


 

 May 2007 Quarter Racing Journal article about Lisa Anderson's Azure Te bred

next-career racehorse.

 


 

by Bill McNabb

 

At the time this article was written, Azure Te was the leading living Thoroughbred sire of Quarter Horse money earners.



 
In 1976 Azure Te had 40 finalists in 31 major stakes races with purses of $20,000 or more and at fifteen he has established himself as one of the great sires of the breed along with Go Man Go and Three Bars. Even though a stallion may have the potential for greatness as a sire, the extent of his success and fame rests on the judgment of his owners. Azure Te was fortunate enough to have been syndicated by a respected group of Quarter Horse breeders headed by Jay Pumphrey of Fort Worth, Texas. Jay, who is Trustee and General Manager of the Estate of S.B. Burnett, Tom L. Burnett Cattle Company, 6666 and Triangle Ranches, masterminded one of the most successful stallion promotions in the history of the Quarter Horse breed.

The popularity of the great Top Deck and Three Bars lines had produced a number of fine mares and the need for a new outcross for racing Quarter Horses became increasingly evident to Jay. In 1965 Jay Pumphrey and Ted Wells, Jr. began a search for a class Thoroughbred with the speed and looks to become a leading sire in the Quarter Horse breed....

Azure Te was the only three year old in the 1965 Hollywood Express Handicap which he led all the way and won by two lengths. He led the Hollywood Lakes and Flowers Handicap wire to wire and had career earnings of $199,022. In 26 lifetime starts, Azure Te led at the quarter in 18 and was beaten by a head in 4; led at the half in 19 and was beaten by a head in 2; led at five furlongs in 16 and was beaten by a head in two. His speed is backed by a pedigree of speed in which 61 of 62 horses in the first five generations of his family tree were either stakes winners or stakes producers.

In 1967 a friend told Ted Wells about Azure Te and that he thought the horse might be acquired. Ted and Jay ran a check on the horse's racing record in the Racing Secretary's office at Ruidoso Downs and Jay told me, "We were most impressed with the quarter times, times away from the gate, half mile times and the

class he was running against." Wells tried twice to contact the owner, L.K. Shapiro, but was unsuccessful. Later Jay called Reggie Cornell, a friend and trainer at Hollywood Park, and asked if he knew Shapiro. Cornell did and agreed to contact him on behalf of Pumphrey. Time passed

without any word until finally that fall Ted received a flyer announcing that Azure Te would be selling in the Fall Thoroughbred Sale at Pomona, California. He tried unsuccessfully to reach Jay who was shipping cattle at one of the ranches. Jay returned to learn that Ted had talked to J.R. Cates, for whom Ted stood Savannah Jr., about putting together a group of breeders to buy Azure Te and that Cates offered to buy all of the horse and let Ted stand him. Jay felt that the important thing was for the horse to be made available  to Quarter Horse mares, providing his conformation matched his racing record and pedigree, and he told Ted to proceed with Cates and The Burnett Ranches and he would surely send some mares to the horse. As a result Jay did not attend the sale and Azure Te was struck down at $45,000 to another buyer.

Ted and Jay, regretful of losing the horse, rehashed the sale. Apparently the Cateses, after discussing Azure Te with other breeders at the sale, felt the horse could be bought very cheaply and consequently set their sights too low. Even so, Ted felt the horse was a steal...

[Jay and Ted went to California to see the sire of Azure Te, the outstanding Thoroughbred sire Nashville.] ...The following day Ted and Jay drove to Desi Arnaz's ranch and found Nashville to be very bit the horse they had imagined. He was a stakes winner of  of $90,895 and a sire of stakes winners. He was a very fast horse from a line of fast horse, Nasrullah by Nearco. The Nasrullah line produced such outstanding horses as Indian Hemp, Zip Pocket, Bold Ruler, What Luck and Fleet Nasrullah. Jay and Ted were further impressed by the fact, that as a two year old, Nashville had outrun Bold Ruler at six furlongs by 1 1/4 lengths at Belmont. Anxious to pursue the purposes of their trip, the passed up a chance to look at Azure Te's mother, Blue One, but Jay saw her two years later at Flag Is Up Farms and, although she was a Thoroughbred, she appeared to Jay to be "a grand big Quarter mare."

 

Nasrullah

 
Note: Jay and Ted found agents of the new owner of Azure Te, and after a great deal of negotiating, they purchased Azure Te.

The syndication of Azure Te was completed within two weeks of February 28, 1968 when letters were mailed to twenty Quarter Horse breeders offering fourteen of the thirty-three total shares for sale. The balance of the shares was purchased by Ted Wells, who stands Aazure Te, Jay Pumphrey, syndicate manager, and the Estate of S.B. Burnett and Tom L. Burnett....

From Azure Te's first crop of foals, all but one starter was a winner and all that had more than one start had a speed rating of 80 or better....From 1971, when his first crop of foals raced, through the 1977 All American, he is tied with Go Man Go in producing eight All American finalists.

The popularity of Azure Te's colts was also becoming evident in the sale ring. Seventeen lots by Azure Te averaged $14,235 in the 1972 All American Futurity Sale, the second highest average of any living sire who had more than one lot in the sale....

Azure Te showed himself prominently in the sale ring in 1973 as Quick Six was the high selling horse at the Twin Classics Yearling Sale at $23,000 and Figure Eight Bars, bred to Azure Te, topped Jack Dyer's Sale at $150,000....But the All American Futurity was still the big promotion grounds for Azure Te. In the first three years that Azure Te's foals raced he had the fastest or second fastest qualifiers for the All American out of a total of 1,989 nominees.

Azure Te is now old enough to begin looking at his record as a broodmare sire and at first glance, it appears that he may excel in that area also. Three daughters of Azure Te had starters in 1976 and all were ROM. In 1977, up to August, he has had fourteen daughters with starters and eleven are ROM. What makes these statistics so pertinent is that those seventeen mares were bred to sixteen different stallions. Are Azure Te's daughters capable of producing stakes winners? Coquette, a full sister to Hot Kiss, by Azure Te and out of Be Sure Peggy by Be Sure Now, is the mother of Hot Idea, who won the 1977 All American Futurity. Azure Te seems to be a double barreled producer, passing on speed from his sire's side (Nashville) and transmitting the broodmare siring abilities of his dam's side (Blue One by Count Fleet by Reigh Count).

 

Jay's determination to find the right horse and his persistence in overcoming the obstacles in buying him has paid off, but the rewards are far from over.
 


 

 

2005 Statistical Summary for the Quarter Horse Progeny of Azure Te TB:

17 crops, 1070 foals, 839 starters, 580 winners, 46 stakes winners, 50 stakes placers,

140 stakes finalists, 623 ROM, 53 Superior Race Awards, 6 World Championships,

2 World Champions.

His offspring are known for their speed, versatility, conformation and good minds.

Ranked very high on the lists for top sires, derby and maturity horses,

leading sire of money earners, leading sire for All-American Futurity finalists,

and the list of all-time leading broodmare money earners.

 

 

 

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Teri and Donovan, Wellsville, UT, 1984.

 

Donovan on Zurenotalady (descendent of Azure Te), Provo, UT, 1991.