You and Me Partners
Year Inducted: 2012
Introduced by legendary Hall of Fame trainer Jack Brooks in the early 1990s, Terry Bell and Homer “Bud” Hill soon began working together in the ownership and breeding of American Quarter Horses, forming the You And Me Partners. The pair enjoyed tremendous success, almost immediately, and even extended their partnership at times to include others in their winning ways. Through it all, Bell and Hill were the common names in the owner line of multiple graded stakes winners.
Bell of Lawton, Okla. and Hill of Dimmitt, Texas, shared more than just a love of owning winning racehorses. Both had cattle businesses in their respective areas while Bell was also involved in the moving and storage business for most of his life.
Shortly after beginning their racing venture together, You And Me Partners, along with Tom Irvine, visited many winner’s circles thanks to Runaway Cash who won 11 of 22 career starts including the 1992 Sunland Park Winter Futurity. Placing their runners with Jack Brooks, definitely increased the chances of big wins for the You And Me Partners, who hit their biggest jackpot at the beginning of the new millennium.
Along with Jim Pitts of Burkburnett, Texas, Bell and Hill won the top prize in Quarter Horse racing when Eyesa Special won the $2.2 million All American Futurity in 2000. Trained by Brooks and ridden by Jacky Martin, Eyesa Special won the richest All American Futurity ever and the partners held that claim until the 2011 edition surpassed it with a purse of $2.4 million. Eyesa Special was voted Champion 2-year-old for 2000.
Hill served as the breeder for many of the runners who would carry the You And Me Partners silks. His broodmare Mighty B Doll was a producer of stakes quality racers including Mighty Invictus. Fast, durable and consistent, Mighty Invictus qualified for eight Grade 1 futurities or derbies in his two years of competition. During his 2-year-old campaign in 2004, Mighty Invictus was fourth in the Remington Park Futurity, sixth in the Rainbow Futurity at Ruidoso Downs, and fifth in the All American Futurity won by DM Shicago. The next year as a 3-year-old Mighty Invictus was third in the Ruidoso Derby, fourth in the Rainbow Derby and fourth in the All American Derby before finally getting his due in the fall. Mighty Invictus broke through and won the Dash For Cash Derby at Lone Star Park in October 2005 before finishing eighth in the Texas Classic Derby there in his final career start.
Owned by the You And Me Partners and James & Marilyn Helzer, Mighty Invictus won six of 17 career attempts and posted earnings of $303,137. He now serves stud duty at the JEH Stallion Station in Wynnewood, Oklahoma for the same owners he represented while racing.
Hill’s mare Mighty B Doll also produced another colt with tremendous ability. Mighty B Valiant quickly turned heads in 2011 when he reached the races at Remington Park for the You And Me Partners. The large sorrel colt was colossal compared to his 2-year-old peers, literally leaving foes in his shadow while breaking his maiden by 2-3/4 lengths. He then qualified for and won the $780,000 Remington Park Futurity by three-quarters of a length.
Mighty B Valiant, trained by longtime Brooks assistant Raymond Vargas, just missed the biggest payday of the Remington Park season when he was second by a half-length behind High Rate Of Return in the $1,000,000 Heritage Place Futurity. His freshman season came to a close at Ruidoso Downs where he was fifth in the Rainbow Futurity and then did not qualify for the All American Futurity. Mighty B Valiant pulled in over $542,000 while winning four times as a 2-year-old.
You And Me Partners had all ends of the breeding that produced Mighty B Valiant as they also owned the colt’s sire, Valiant Hero along with Henry & Melinda Brown. The group raced Valiant Hero at age two and three, enjoying success with him on the track when he won the $1,000,000 Texas Classic Futurity at Lone Star Park in December 2006. He started his sophomore season with a score in the $190,000 Heritage Place Derby at Remington Park before running second in the Rainbow Derby and then fifth in the All American Derby at Ruidoso Downs. After earning $668,633, Valiant Hero moved on to his stallion career at the Lazy E Ranch in Guthrie, Oklahoma for his owners.
A second All American Futurity victory eluded the You And Me Partners again in 2011 as Jess Cuervo, a colt they bred and owned, finished sixth in the sport’s top event. Jess Cuervo won four of seven starts as a 2-year-old and would be the final opportunity that You And Me Partners would have to win the All American.
In April 2012, Terry Bell passed after a long illness, bringing to conclusion one of the top Quarter Horse racing partnerships of the modern era. You And Me Partners bred the winners of over 100 races with earnings of nearly $2 million. They shared the joy of winning with the aforementioned graded stakes winners and others including Crater Lake, Conner Can and Paintyourownwagon. Together, along with other partners, You And Me Partners enjoyed many years of thrills and triumphs that every racehorse owner or partnership strives to attain.