LARC NEWS Posted: 8/26/2018 11:50:13 PM

             Richard Frandsen has bred some outstanding Quarter Horses in recent years. The horseman from Roy, Utah bred the outstanding Grade 1 stakes placed runner Decati, campaigning the Special Leader gelding in partnership with his son, Skip. Decati would go on to win 13 races and over $276,286 while winning the Bitterroot Futurity and Intermountain Futurity in 2007 and running third in the Grade 1 All American Derby in 2008. Six years after Decati was born, Frandsen welcomed SS Paydirt to earth in 2011. The son of Carters Cartel would also be a big success on the racetrack, winning eight of 21 starts while earning $134,403. He won the 2014 Sam Houston Classic and was third in the 2014 Grade 1 Los Alamitos Winter Derby.

In 2016, the Frandsen-bred Favorite Motion was born. The son of Favorite Cartel made his career debut at Los Alamitos this past Friday and like Decati and SS Paydirt before him, he showed that he was born to race. With Cruz Mendez aboard for trainer Jose Flores, Favorite Motion broke sharply from the rail and sailed to a 1 ½ length victory in a time of :15.487. Los Alamitos track announcer Ed Burgart said in his call of the race that he couldn’t wait to see Favorite Motion race 400 yards.

“He was born in April, so we tried to take our time with him,” Frandsen said. “We wanted to have him ready for the Kindergarten Futurity trials, but that didn’t work out because he shin bucked during training. We waited with him and once his first start came around, I was concerned about how he’d do in him first time under the lights. Fortunately, he broke really well and we’ve always known that he is fast.”   

All three of Frandsen’s aforementioned runners have been out of his 18-year-old broodmare, Mia Ta Fame, a top producer sired by Dash Ta Fame and out of the Raise A Secret mare With Real Intent. Mia Ta Fame raced for owner/breeder Michael Isom during her 2-year-old campaign in 2002, winning the Silver Dollar Futurity in Wyoming in the process. She was purchased by Frandsen before the start of her sophomore campaign. Mia Ta Fame’s first outing for her new owner was a success, as she won a minor stakes at Laurel Brown Racetrack in May of 2003. She followed it up with a second place finish in a trial to the Silver Dollar Derby in Wyoming before running seventh in the final, which would be the final outing of her racing career.

“She bowed a tendon,” Frandsen said. “We retired her when she was three. She didn’t make a lot of money, but she’s produced a lot of nice horses for us.”

Decati, SS Paydirt, and now Favorite Motion have combined to give the Frandsens their share of visits to the winner’s circle, plus some memories that will last a lifetime. Their biggest race came in 2008 when Decati shared the starting gate with the likes of champions Noconi and Heartswideopen in the All American Derby at Ruidoso Downs.

“It was something,” Frandsen remembers. “I knew Decati was good, but to make it to the All American Derby final was a dream come true. As a 2-year-old, we paid the $50,000 to make him eligible to race in the trials to the All American Futurity. We didn’t make the futurity final, but we came back with him to run in the All American Derby trials. I’m just a blue-collar man from Utah and it was just thrill to be running with the big boys in the All American Derby trials. I figured that weren’t going to make the final, but here we were. In his trial, he stumbled and knocked the horse next to him. We were in the number two hole, while Heartswideopen was racing from the one hole. After the bad start, we were way behind, but then my horse goes around Hearstwideopen and now I’m to her inside. We made a nice late move, but she beat me by less than a length. Decati ran the 440 yards in :21.18, and that was after a bad start. We had the fourth fastest qualifying time to the All American Derby. In the list of qualifiers, it was Noconi with the fastest time, Heartswideopen second, Wild Sixes third, and Decati with the fourth fastest time. I had been talking to a lady by the rail and I remember telling her that I was just excited to be a part of the trials. After the race, she turned to me and said, “Mister, you got to have more confidence in your horse.” I was shocked. I remember driving 850 miles back home and I was so excited. I was wide awake the entire drive home.”   

Frandsen was still in awe when it came to the All American Derby final. He asked Skip and trainer Denny Ekins if they thought Decati had a shot to run fourth. They both told him, that they had a chance to win it all. It rained hard on the day of the final, something that Decati had never experienced.

“When the gates opened, our horse was moving pretty good out of the gate,” Frandsen said. “We crossed the wire right behind the top two finishers. I thought we finished fourth again, but then the photo finish signed came down and it showed that we had finished third, just ahead of Wild Sixes, and behind (champions) Noconi and Heartswideopen. I couldn’t believe it.”  

Frandsen, 74, has loved Quarter Horses his entire life. The native of Ogden, Utah acquired his first horse when he was 18-years-old. Frandsen served in the Army’s Special Forces Reserves unit as a paratrooper.

“I went to jump school and ended up doing 28 jumps,” Frandsen said. “I was 19 when I was about to do my first jump and I remember thinking, ‘What am I doing here?’ I was nervous, but it turned out that I enjoyed it. When they pinned those wings on me after my training was done, that gave me a lot of confidence.”

Back at home, Frandsen worked in a few local businesses before finding his niche as part of Ogden’s fire department. He remained there for 23 years. To make ends meet, he also worked installing drywall. Through it all, horses have been one of the main joys of his life.    

“Decati and SS Paydirt earned good money,” he said. “Now we have this Favorite Cartel gelding and we’re very excited about him. My son, Skip, and I really love Favorite Motion and Jose Flores has always been high on this horse. We’ve brought him along slowly because of his shins and he was never pushed out of the gates in morning works. He’s big, muscular, and has a nice confirmation. While SS Paydirt was about 1,100 pounds, this horse is already about 1,200 pounds. I wish he was still a colt. We think he might be faster than Decati and SS Paydirt. My friends think I’m nuts for saying that, but I honestly believe it. Of course, only time will tell, but you invest a lot of money in this sport in order to have moments like his winning debut on Friday night. I couldn’t sleep at all on Friday because I was so happy.        

“Jose will continue to bring him along slowly. He’ll probably need an outing before the Golden State Million Futurity trials. He’s also in the trials to the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity and he’s in the El Primero Del Ano Derby, Golden State Derby, and Los Alamitos Super Derby in 2019.  We’re having a great time with this horse. We think he’s a 400-yard horse and I think he’ll go 440. I’m not a rich man, but I’m living my dream. I’m having a ball. We have great hopes for this horse.”



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