Tic It To the Dance Captured the $208,900 Retama Park Derby 

SELMA, TX- It’s a major accomplishment to qualify and win the $700,000 TQHA Sale Futurity(RG1), the most prestigious stakes at Retama Park. On August 5, Dollar Bill did just that and made history as the champion of the richest race run since the opening of the Selma, Texas racetrack in 1995.


Juan Diaz, Jr. won last year’s TQHA Sale Futurity with Bye Corona Bye and qualified six for this year’s edition. He had an outstanding showing in the final, winning with Dollar Bill for owner Celeste Martinez. Herbert opted to ride Dollar Bill, who ran second in the $339,000 Louisiana Downs Futurity and won four races this year, including the $51,000 Sam Houston Juvenile. The gelded son of Kiss My Hocks was bred by Tyler and Naia Graham and purchased for $39,000 at the 2022 TQHA Yearling Sale.


Jockey Jose Herbert qualified the winner, who set the second-fastest qualifying time (:17.638) in his trial on July 21. Tonight, he broke well and held off a late charge from his stablemate Cooleys Cartel, crossing the wire in :21.812, equaling a 97 speed index.


"Honestly, Dollar Bill has run well for us all year," said Diaz. "He was solid in his trials and came back strong at Louisiana Downs and in the Juvenile at Sam Houston. Jose (Herbert) thought about which horse to ride in this final, but decided on Dollar Bill. When he came into the winner's circle, he winked at me and said 'I think I made the right choice!"


There is tremendous pride from each of the breeders who qualified for the rich futurity, including Tyler Graham who stands Kiss My Hocks. He is the sire of three finalists, Unseen NME, Dollar Bill and Hock It Is. This is the fifth crop by the 2014 AQHA 2-year-old Champion Colt and an exciting first for Graham.


“This is the first time we qualified three in a final,” he stated. “Dollar Bill was immature in the beginning but is one of the best movers and gets better each time.”


Dollar Bill has now won five of his six lifetime starts. With his TQHA Sale Futurity check in the amount of  $311,388, his earnings stand at $396,793.


Cooleys Cartel closed from the far outside post under AQHA champion jockey Francisco Calderon, followed by Hardtotempt and Gotagogh, completed the Diaz-trained superfecta. Hock It Is,  Hollywoode, Live Drive Dash,  Unseen NME, Chilitas and Jessa Tempting You completed the order of finish.



Dollar Bill joins a distinguished list of past champions, including War Colors, winner of the first running in 1999, Oak Tree Special, Azoom, Snowy Alibi, Triple Vodka and Relentless Dynasty.


Tic It to the Dance Captures the $208,900 Retama Park Derby
Also run on the card, Tic It to the Dance was a convincing winner in the $208,900 Retama Park Derby.

Owned by Jose Ruiz, Jr. and trained by Santiago Riojas, Jr, the gelding by Mr Jess Perry was ridden by Froylan Ramirez. He covered 400 yards in :20.251, earning a 94 speed index.


Tic It to the Dance ($8.20) was the second fastest qualifier from four trials on July 20.


“I bought him for $100,000 at the Ruidoso Select Sale,” said Ruiz. “It was a big investment, but I knew he could go 400 yards. I won my first race as an owner this year with him in the Leon Bard Stakes at Sam Houston. He broke so well tonight that I had faith that he and Froylan would get it done. Now I have the money to buy another good horse!”


Tic It to the Dance was bred by Bob and Jerry Gaston, out of Double Down Darling. He ran fifth in the Sam Houston Derby (G3) and was second in the Sam Houston Juvenile and qualified to the Dash for Cash Futurity (G2) at Lone Star Park as a 2-year-old.


Jess a Pyc Dash complete the exacta under jockey Ali Rivera, followed by fastest qualifier,

Apollitical Dynamite,  Apollitical Magic, Brock Landers, Eagle Powers, Dakota Gurl, Rgs Gold Wagon and Jess Pf Flyer. Phreedom was an early scratch.


Tic It to the Dance is five for 11 lifetime and added the winner’s share of $83,560 to his career earnings of $191,489. He is paid into the Texas Classic Derby, according to Ruiz.


Retama Park Promotions

The 2023 Retama Park Quarter Horse live racing season continues through Saturday, September 2. Fans can enjoy upcoming promotions including Family Fun Night on August 18 and September 2. Activities include bounce castles, petting zoo, pony rides. Kids 12 and under are free.  Terrace dining is every Friday and Saturday on live race nights. $24.95 on Fridays and 29.95 on Saturdays. Call 210-651-7000 Monday-Friday to make a reservation. Visit the Retama Park website for information on live and simulcast racing and special events.


About Retama Park

Retama Park is a Class 1 pari-mutuel horse racetrack located in Selma, Texas, just 20 minutes from downtown San Antonio. Live Quarter Horse races take place each summer, while simulcast wagering and races from around the world are shown daily. Managed by Penn Entertainment Inc. (NASDAQ – PENN), Retama Park opened in 1995 and will host its 28th year of operation from July 19 to September 2, 2023. For more information and racing schedules, please visit www.RetamaPark.comfollow on: FacebookInstagramTwitter, TikTok and YouTube.




Photos:  Coady Photography