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Florida-breds and the Breeders’ Cup...

AWinning Combination Congratulations to the connections of Musical Romance, winner of the 2011 Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (G1). She became the 24th Florida-bred to achieve greatness on racing’s biggest stage.

Musical Romance (f. Concorde’s Tune – Candlelightdinner, by Slew Gin Fizz)

Breeder: Ocala Stud Owner: Pinnacle Racing Stable and William Kaplan Trainer: William Kaplan Jockey: Juan Leyva There’s no substitute for success. Find your next champion in Florida.

For more information, contact the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders’ and Owners’ Association at (352) 629-2160 or visit us on the internet at www.ftboa.com.

Florida... the Best State for Business

www.facebook.com/thefloridahorse


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December 2011 VOL 54/ISSUE 10

CONTENTS FEATURES Florida-bred Awesome Feather gallops in Gazelle stakes at Aqueduct. By Michael Compton

By Amanda Roxborough

Tampa Bay Downs got underway Dec. 3, marking the Oldsmar oval’s earliest opening in its 86-year history. By Doug McCoy Stonewall Farm Ocala held its stallion show in early December in Ocala. Photos by Serita Hult

Adam Lazarus of Pinnacle Racing Stable is enjoying the success of Florida-bred Musical Romance. By Jo Ann Guidry

Romantic Dinner, granddam of numerous stakes winners through years, has created a black-type legacy for Ocala Stud Farm. By Jo Ann Guidry

Turbo Compressor rolls in Carl Rose Classic at Calder’s Florida Million. By Michael Compton Kerry Thomas, owner and founder of Thomas Herding Technique, studies the mental capabilities of racehorses through his unique approach of emotional conformation profiling. By Amanda Duckworth

DEPARTMENTS/COLUMNS EPA announces new reporting requirements By Jamie A. Cohen

By Connie Duff Wise

By Paul Moran

4 THE FLORIDA HORSE • DECEMBER 2011

COVER PHOTO: COURTESY NYRA CONTENTS PHOTO OF FIRST DUDE: SERITA HULT


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801 SW 60th Avenue • Ocala, Florida 34474 (352) 732-8858 • Fax: (352) 867-1979 • www.ftboa.com EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

Michael Compton BUSINESS MANAGER

Patrick Vinzant ART DIRECTOR

John Filer CONTRIBUTING EDITOR

JoAnn Guidry ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT

Beverly Kalberkamp CORRESPONDENTS

Jay Friedman, Doug McCoy, Cynthia McFarland, Mark Shuffitt

PUBLISHER Florida Equine Publications, Inc. (A corporation owned by the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders’ and Owners’ Association)

Executive Office - 801 SW 60th Avenue • Ocala, Florida 34474 BOARD OF DIRECTORS Phil Matthews, President/Board Chairman Brent Fernung, 1st Vice President Francis Vanlangendonck, 2nd Vice President Sheila DiMare, Secretary Bonnie M. Heath III, Treasurer EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Richard E. Hancock CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER

Caroline T. Davis

© THE FLORIDA HORSE (ISSN 0090-967X) is published monthly except July by THE FLORIDA HORSE, INC., 801 SW 60th Ave., Ocala, Florida 34474, including the annual Statistical Review in February. Opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of Florida Equine Publications or the Florida Thoroughbred Breedersʼ and Ownersʼ Association. Publication of any material originating herein is expressly forbidden without first obtaining written permission from THE FLORIDA HORSE©.

Statistics in the publication relating to results of racing in North America are compiled from data generated by Daily Racing Form, Equibase, Bloodstock Research Information Services, and The Jockey Club Information Systems Inc., the copyright owners of said data. Reproduction is prohibited. A dvertisin g co py d ead lin e 5th o f mo n th p recedin g p ub licatio n. Su bscrip tio ns and ch ang e of add ress: Please m ail to – Circulation s D ep artment. T HE FL ORIDA H ORS E, 801 SW 60th Ave., O cala, Florida 34474.

Printed by Boyd Brothers, Inc.

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American Horse Publications • FLORIDA MAGAZINE ASSOCIATION • MEMBER BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU

FTBOA OFFICERS AND BOARD OF DIRECTORS Phil Matthews, President Brent Fernung, First Vice President Francis Vanlangendonck, SecondVice President Sheila DiMare, Secretary Bonnie M. Heath III, Treasurer

DIRECTORS Joe Barbazon Craig Bernick Dean DeRenzo Roy Lerman Diane Parks

Linda Appleton Potter George Russell Jessica Steinbrenner Charlotte C. Weber Eddie Woods

EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT

Richard E. Hancock THE FLORIDA HORSE • DECEMBER 2011 5


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welcome

Florida-breds Angelofdistinction (above) and Ron the Greek

6 THE FLORIDA HORSE • DECEMBER 2011

n Dec. 10, the day of Hartley/De Renzo’s annual stallion show at the Ocala farm, offspring of two Hartley/De Renzo stallions found themselves in the spotlight as well.Angelofdistinction, a son of With Distinction, and Ron the Greek, a son of Full Mandate, notched stakes victories while Florida breeders watched their sires on parade. During Cotillion Day presented by Lambholm South at Tampa Bay Downs, Angelofdistinction scored the first stakes win of his career taking down top prize in the $75,000 Inaugural Stakes at six furlongs and joined the ranks of Decisive Moment, For Oby and Italo as stakes winners sired by Hartley/De Renzo’s With Distinction. Bred by Valerie Ammirato and owned by Brenda Tabraue and Andrea’s Farm, Angelofdistinction rolled through the stretch in a wild finish and held on for a head victory over Wildcat Creek at the wire. Angelofdistinction covered the distance in 1:11.49. The $7,500 OBS graduate was acquired by his owners as a yearling. He had only a maiden victory to his credit prior to the Inaugural, but was gelded after a last-place finish in the Jack Price Juvenile Nov. 12. “I don’t think the operation changed his demeanor much, but apparently he wants to run faster that way, so I’m not going to complain about it,” said winning trainer Daniel Pita. “He was working lights out—he breezed last week at Calder with a 135-pound exercise rider up, and I took him in :47 4/5 (:48 officially). We also closed his blinkers a bit. I was always high on him from the beginning.” The winner was ridden by Pablo Morales. “He really grabbed the bit getting near the stretch,” said Morales. “And after that it was my job to find him a lane and let him do his stuff. It was close at the end but he was still trying hard.” On the same day, less than an hour later, Ron the

O

Greek broke sharply in the Queens County Stakes at Aqueduct, assuming command around the first turn of the 13⁄16-mile test. Under Junior Alvarado, he dictated the pace through fractions of :24.30 and :49.35 for a half mile, while only slightly pressed by long shot Fonda Ronda Won and race favorite Inherit the Gold. Rounding the far turn, Ron the Greek was engaged by Inherit the Gold, who cruised up to the leader’s flank. Ron the Greek had plenty in reserve, though, and shook loose from that rival in deep stretch when roused by Alvarado. He hit the wire 2¼

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Michael Compton/JOE DIORIO PHOTO

Well-Timed Success

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lengths clear of Inherit the Gold, and completed the distance in 1:56.84 over the inner track. “He broke pretty good and I just let him get comfortable all the way,” said Alvarado. “He took the lead nice and easy. When I asked him to pick it up, he gave it to me. When he felt the horses coming to him on the outside, he just kept going and going. In the end, he did everything easy. The Queens County was the second consecutive stakes win for the Florida-bred, who won the Sunny and Mild Stakes by five lengths in his last start on Nov. 17. He was bred by Jack Hammer and is owned by his breeder in partnership with Brous Stable and Wachtel Stable. Conditioned by Bill Mott, Ron the Greek now has earnings of $239,665. He has won five of 15 lifetime starts. “We just wanted to let him break and be where he is comfortable,” said Rodolphe Brisset, Mott’s assistant trainer. “He’s an older horse and he knows what he’s doing, the main thing is to not go against him.” ■


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Stonewall Farm Ocala Announces Florida-bred Big Drama, the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) and Eclipse Award champion, will stand the upcoming breeding season at Stonewall Farm Ocala. His stud fee has been set at $10,000. “To stand an Eclipse Award champion is tremendous for the farm,” said Michelle Hemingway, bloodstock director at Stonewall. “He fits perfectly into our program here. We know he’s going to be an important sire.” By Montbrook out of last year’s Florida Broodmare of the Year Riveting Drama, Big Drama is a Harold Queen homebred. Big Drama concluded his career with 11 wins from 19 starts and earnings of $2,746,060. In addition to capturing the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1), Big Drama set a Gulfstream Park record for six furlongs earlier this

year when he won the Mr. Prospector Handicap (G3) in 1:08 for trainer David Fawkes. Big Drama also won the Whippleton Stakes at Calder in September. “He was a standout sprinter on the dirt,” said Hemingway, “and we’re excited to be able to offer Florida’s breeders a stallion like him.” Also joining Big Drama at Stonewall is popular millionaire General Quarters, Burning Roma and Hull. By Sky Mesa—Ecology, by Unbridled’s Song, General Quarters won the Blue Grass Stakes (G1), the Turf Classic (G1) at Churchill Downs and the Sam F. Davis Stakes (G3) at Tampa Bay Downs, and retires with earnings of $1,226,655. “We’re thrilled and excited to stand General Quarters,” said Hemingway. “He was a

HORSEPHOTOS.COM

By MICHAEL COMPTON

phenomenal racehorse with an exciting story and he is a multiple Grade 1 winner with a wonderful pedigree.” Owned and trained by 77-year-old Tom

Florida-bred Back Talk

COADY PHOTO

Florida-bred Backtalk to Stand at Vinery

GoldMark Farm’s Backtalk, a multiple graded stakes-winning son of dual classic winner Smarty Jones, has been retired from racing and will stand the upcoming breed8 THE FLORIDA HORSE • DECEMBER 2011

ing season at Vinery Florida, it was announced last month. “Backtalk possessed a determined acceleration which made him a thrilling competitor on the track and we are honored to stand him at such a quality farm as Vinery,” said T. Paul Buhlman, owner of GoldMark. Florida-bred Backtalk was a top 2-year-old through the summer of 2009. A debut winner at Churchill Downs by nearly three lengths, he made his next start in the Grade 3 Bashford Manor Stakes. After stumbling at the start, he quickly recovered and went on to win by a length. His third start came in Saratoga’s Grade 2 Sanford Stakes and he made it three wins in a row, defeating eight rivals. Trained by Tom Amoss, Backtalk won his first start at age 3, taking the Sports-

man’s Paradise Stakes. He followed up that victory with a placing in the Grade 3 Illinois Derby. He retired having won or placed in 11 of 15 starts, eight of them stakes, with earnings of $405,051. “We look forward to seeing him pass on his imposing conformation and precocious abilities to his offspring,” said Todd Quast, GoldMark’s general manager. Bred in the Sunshine State by CloverLeaf Farms II, Backtalk is out of the stakes-winning Affirmed mare Apasionata Sonata. He is a half-brother to multiple graded stakes winner and Grade 1-placed Bsharpsonata, a winner of nearly $600,000. Backtalk will stand for $3,500 stands and nurses. For more information, contact Declan Doyle at (352) 307-8485.


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Decisive Moment Digs Deep for Delta Mile Win By MICHAEL COMPTON

HORSEPHOTOS.COM

New Arrivals

fering Florida’s breeders fantastic opportunities to breed to the best sire lines and keep mares in the state. There’s no reason to go outside Florida.” Stonewall also announced the arrival of Hull, winner of the 2009 Derby Trial Stakes (G3) at Churchill Downs and Burning Roma. By Holy Bull out of the Chimes Band mare Band Queen, Hull won three of seven lifetime starts and earned $129,530. “We’re thrilled to bring the Holy Bull line back to Florida,” said Hemingway. “We believe this further demonstrates our commitment to Florida’s breeders.” Trained by Dale Romans and owned by Team Valor International, Heiligbrodt Stable and Gary Barber, Hull broke his maiden at first asking at Fair Grounds, winning a sixfurlong maiden special weight by nearly five lengths. After taking a Turfway Park allowance contest by nearly eight lengths, Hull proved four lengths best in the Derby Trial at 7 ½ furlongs. Burning Roma won the Futurity Stakes (G1) as a juvenile. He won five stakes at age three, including the Sam F. Davis and the Tampa Bay Derby. He went on to capture stakes races each year he ran through age six.

COADY PHOTO

McCarthy, General Quarters proved to be one of the more chronicled stories of the 2009 Kentucky Derby (G1). After winning the Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland that year, General Quarters and his 75-year-old retired school teacher turned trainer were popular in Louisville. McCarthy had claimed General Quarters out of his career debut at Churchill Downs, halting the horse for $20,000. It didn’t take long for General Quarters to prove his class. McCarthy took his charge to Tampa Bay Downs where he promptly finished second in the Inaugural Stakes and the Pasco Stakes before winning the Sam F. Davis Stakes (G3) there. General Quarters had a troubled trip in the Kentucky Derby and wound up 10th. He returned as a 3-year-old to finish second in the Louisiana Handicap (G2) at Fair Grounds, and second in the Mineshaft Handicap (G3) and the New Orleans Handicap (G2). He also finished third in the Stephen Foster Handicap (G1) behind subsequent Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) winner Blame. “Our goal all along has been to bring high-pedigreed stallions to the state of Florida,” said Hemingway. “This is about of-

Florida-bred Decisive Moment has run some of his best races at Delta Downs, finishing second in last year’s rich Delta Jackpot Stakes (G3) and winning the Jean Lafitte Stakes there in January. Last month, Ruben Sierra’s 3-year-old homebred son of Hartley/De Renzo stallion With Distinction summoned another impressive effort to win the 9th running of the $125,000 Delta Mile. Under Kerwin Clark, Decisive Moment wasted little time revealing the game plan. Taking advantage of his inside draw, Decisive Moment assumed command and the rail heading into the first turn. California shipper Hoorayforhollywood pressured him the entire trip down the backstretch through fractions of :23.28, :48.09 and 1:12.45. Clark had Decisive Moment under a drive around the far turn and the Sunshine State product even lost the lead for a short time when Hoorayforhollywood edged about a half-length clear in upper stretch. Decisive Moment fought back gamely down the stretch to prevail by a neck on the wire. He covered the mile in 1:38.49 for trainer Juan Arias. The $75,000 first-place prize money lifted Decisive Moment’s career bankroll to $685,630.In addition to last month’s win and his score in the Jean Lafitte, Decisive Moment also won this year’s El Kaiser Stakes at Calder.

Florida-bred Decisive Moment (blue silks)

Racing for Sierra’s Just for Fun Stable,Decisive Moment has now won four of 15 starts and placed in six others. He finished second behind Animal Kingdom in this year’s Spiral Stakes (G3) at Turfway Park. After prompting the early pace in this year’s Kentucky Derby (G1), also won by Animal Kingdom, he faltered late and wound up 14th. Decisive Moment is produced from the Dehere mare Lady Samira. With Distinction, a 2001 son of Storm Cat—Extravagant Woman, by Alydar, is among the leading juvenile sires in Florida. THE FLORIDA HORSE • DECEMBER 2011 9


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Vineyard Haven and J P’s Gusto to Journeyman Stud

10 THE FLORIDA HORSE • DECEMBER 2011

BENOIT & ASSOCIATES PHOTO

MCCUE PHOTO

he did while facing top company his entire career, they just don’t make them much classier than Vineyard Haven. On top of his talent and class, he’s physically exceptional and a very sound horse. We’re thankful to Darley for the opportunity to stand him, and we think he’ll be popular among breeders.” By champion sire Successful Appeal, J P’s Gusto was one of the top 2-year-olds in the country in 2010, reeling off four consecutive stakes victories. Based in California early in his career, he broke his maiden in the Willard Proctor Memorial Stakes at Hollywood Park before winning the Hollywood Juvenile Championship Stakes (G3), Best Pal Stakes (G2) and Del Mar Futurity (G1). J P’s Gusto also showed his quality by stretching out around two turns with a pair of game runner-up finishes at 11⁄16 miles in the Norfolk Stakes (G1) and CashCall Futurity (G1). As a 3-year-old, J P’s Gusto finished a troubled second being Grade Florida-bred Vineyard Haven (blue silks) 1 winner Archarcharch in the Southwest Stakes (G3), and he turned Vineyard Haven, a three-time Grade 1 winner and multiple back to sprinting in June to impressively win the $400,000 Red LegFlorida champion, has been retiured from racing and will stand his end Stakes by a decisive 6 ¾ lengths, stamping himself as one of the first season in 2012 at Brent and Crystal Fernung’s Journeyman Stud. fastest 3-year-old sprinters in the nation. Joining Vineyard Haven will be J P’s Gusto, a Grade 1-winning juve“J P’s Gusto represents the quality we’re always looking to get here nile and top 3-year-old sprinter. to Journeyman, so we’re thrilled to have him,” said Brent Fernung. In 2008, Vineyard Haven was one of the top juveniles in the coun- “He was a great 2-year-old and a top-class racehorse to the day he retry after back-to-back Grade 1 wins in the Hopeful Stakes (G1) at tired. On top of the ability, his pedigree makes him a natural for Saratoga and Champagne Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park. He won three Florida. Successful Appeal was a fast Florida-bred and has turned out of four starts as a juvenile and also placed in the Sanford Stakes while to be one of the top juvenile sires in the world.” bankrolling $419,000 that season. His sensational run earned him the J P’s Gusto was being pointed for the seven-furlong King’s Bishop Stakes (G1) at Saratoga before sustaining a career-ending injury title of Florida’s champion 2-year-old. At three, Vineyard Haven defeated older horses in the DeFrancis while training up to the race. He retires with an impressive record of Memorial Dash Stakes (G1) at Laurel, stamping himself as one of the five stakes wins from six starts at sprint distances, and owns three leading sprinters in the country. He also placed in the prestigious Cigar runner-up finishes in graded stakes around two turns. As a 2-yearMile (G1) and Forego Stakes (G1) old, he was weighted sixth highJ Pʼs Gusto and at season’s end was honored est on the 2010 Experimental Free as Florida’s champion 3-year-old Handicap at 120 pounds. colt and champion sprinter. Owned and campaigned by All told, Vineyard Haven, a son Gem Inc., J P’s Gusto hails from of Lido Palace (CHI)—Princess the multiple stakes-winning Caller Aloha, by Aloha Prospector, comI.D. mare Call Her Magic, who is peted in eight Grade 1 races and a half-sister to the dam of chamearned $772,750 in a stellar career. pion Proud Spell. An earner of $811,760 lifetime, J P’s Gusto “Vineyard Haven is all joins a current roster of 13 stalFlorida, and he embodies the lions at Journeyman Stud, which great tradition of top racehorses was the Sunshine State’s leading produced here,” said Brent Ferstud farm in 2011 by mares bred. nung. “When you look at what


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By MICHAEL COMPTON Florida-bred Made to Love Her left little doubt who was best in last month’s $100,000 Moccasin Stakes on a rainy afternoon at Hollywood Park. Reserved off the pace early, the 2-year-old daughter of Stevie Wonderboy angled outside for clear sailing in the stretch, collared pacesetter and fellow Florida-bred Woebegon at the head of the lane and cruised to a fourlength score in the seven-furlong fixture under jockey Rafael Bejarano. She covered the distance in 1:23.88 for trainer James Kasparoff. “I was in perfect position right out of the gate,” said Bejarano. “She surprised me a little bit today. I knew she was going to run well, but not that well. From the first time I rode her to the second, she improved, but today she showed me a really big kick. She was still running strong at the wire. Seven or 7½ furlongs may be her best distance.” Bred by Sienna Farm, the chestnut is owned by Copper Penny Stables. Made to Love Her was sold by Alfredo Ronso sold at OBS March for $30,000. Rono acquired her as a yearling for $20,000. “I liked her conformation and she is out of a stakes-placed mare. I’m really excited about her future,” said Ronso. The $60,000 winner’s share of the purse increased her earnings to $113,960. Evelyn’s Dancer, the longest shot in the field at 16-1, rallied for second, a head in front of 8-5 favorite Eva’s Joy. Woebegon and 12 THE FLORIDA HORSE • DECEMBER 2011

Lady Hokulea completed the order of finish. Kasparoff, who was winning his first stakes race at Hollywood Park, said Made to Love Her could return in the $250,000-guaranteed Hollywood Starlet Dec. 10. She would have to be supplemented to the Grade 1 – which is run at 11⁄16 miles over Cushion Track – for $10,000, plus an additional $10,000 to start. “There really weren’t any (allowance races), so you either have to run in a stakes or ship somewhere else,’’said Kasparoff. “This seemed like an ideal spot. She really likes Hollywood

Park quite a bit, she trains very, very well here. “I wanted to run her seven furlongs. I thought it would be an excellent distance for her and the timing was perfect. She got an excellent trip and ran fantastic. We’ll see how she comes out of the race and we’ll look at the Hollywood Starlet.’’ Made to Love Her is produced from the Storm Boot mare Love Boot. She has now won back-to-back races. She broke her maiden last time out at Santa Anita in her fifth lifetime start.

Jeranimo Much the Best in Citation By MICHAEL COMPTON Florida-bred Jeranimo, seventh in the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) at Churchill Downs, returned on just three weeks rest and crushed a competitive field in the Citation Handicap (G2) Nov. 26 at Hollywood Park. Sent off as the 17-10 favorite against eight rivals, Jeranimo was reserved off the early pace set by Bob Black Jack. Jockey Garrett Gomez swung Jeranimo wide for the stretch run and they simply powered home to prove much the best. The winning margin was 2 ¾ lengths. He covered the 11⁄16 miles over the turf in 1:40.87. “He relaxed real well and found himself in a nice little spot,” said Gomez. “They weren’t going very fast and he was real comfortable and traveling well. He settled in beautiful and it was just a matter of finding somewhere to go. When I showed him some where to go he put it all together.’’ Bred in the Sunshine State by Brylynn Farm, the son of Congaree is owned by B. J. Wright and is conditioned by Mike Pender. “The doubters and naysayers were saying, ‘coming back with three weeks rest?’ I actually started believing that stuff,” said Pender. “But you follow your horse, I guess. He’s just so push button. Everything he does seems so easy for him. He takes everything in stride and wakes up every morning with a big happy smile on his face and says let’s just go out there and do it. He’s the epitome of a race horse. “I promised him win, lose or draw after the Breeders’ Cup (Mile) I was going to give him at least 60 days, but there I am going back in 21,” he added. “About a week after he got back here he was bouncing and prancing on the way to the track. He didn’t blow out a match after I two-minute licked him. He was just screaming breeze me. It was almost like the Breeders’Cup gave him that extra foundation that he needed.’’ Jeranimo has now won seven of 24 starts and earned $810,400. BENOIT & ASSOCIATES PHOTO

Florida-bred Made to Love Her

BENOIT & ASSOCIATES PHOTO

Made to Love Her Takes Moccasin Stakes at Hollywood Park

Florida-bred Jeranimo


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Lifetime Breeding Rights Being Offered to First Dude Double Diamond Farm has announced a Gold Cup Pass (lifetime breeding right) to First Dude, a Grade 1-winning son of Stephen Got Even—Run Sarah Run, by Smart Strike, who will stand his first season at the Ocala Farm as the property of Donald Dizney and Taylor Made Stallions. Each lifetime breeding right (LBR) will entitle the holder to one percent interest in the horse if sold and will entitle them to one free season once the terms of the LBR were fulfilled. Each LBR requires a non-refundable down payment of $500 to participate in the program. Once the down payment is satisfied, participants in the program will have to pay $15,000 through breeding two separate qualified mares that end up producing a live foal, over a maximum of three breeding seasons.

14 THE FLORIDA HORSE • DECEMBER 2011

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For more details on the program, contact Double Diamond Farm at (352) 237-3834.


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...a golden opportunity

First Dude

Stephen Got Even—Run Sarah Run, by Smart Strike 2012 Fee: $7,500 Live Foal

Standing at Double Diamond Farm in Ocala, Florida, with a career bankroll of $1.4 million.

Winner:

(G1) Hollywood Gold Cup (G3) Alysheba Stakes

Placed:

(G1) Blue Grass Stakes (G1) Preakness Stakes (G1) Belmont Stakes (G1) Haskell Invitational (G1) Travers Stakes (G2) Pennsylvania Derby Call for information on our Gold Cup Pass (lifetime breeding rights)

“He is the best older horse in the country. He is just beautiful. He’s a big, solid and smart horse. He is very balanced for a big horse. He had speed and could carry it long. That's what made him so special.”—Bob Baffert

A history of success begins with attention to the individual.

Property of Donald Dizney and Taylor Made

Also Standing American Spirit • Wekiva Springs • Contact Roger Brand, Jimmy Alexander or Melissa Anthony for stallion inquiries 899 S.W. 85th Ave., Ocala, FL 34481 • (352) 237-3834 Fax: (352) 237-6069 • visit-www.doublediamondfarm.com

COGLIANESE PHOTO

HORSEPHOTOS PHOTO

FIRST DUDE is by the influential A.P. INDY son STEPHEN GOT EVEN, sire of BC Juvenile (G1) winner and promising sire STEVIE WONDERBOY, who has already "The way he carried his speed around produced 2 black-type winners, including recent two turns to go with his athleticism and size Moccasin SW at Hollywood Park in makes him everything I look for in a sire." MADE TO LOVE HER. —Ben Walden Jr.


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Awesome Feather gallops in Gazelle 16 THE FLORIDA HORSE • DECEMBER 2011

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By MICHAEL COMPTON lorida-bred Awesome Feather remained undefeated following an emphatic score in the 116th edition of the Gazelle Stakes (G1) Nov. 26 at Aqueduct. Last year’s Eclipse champion juvenile filly made it eight straight victories without a loss. In what figured to be a stern test for the daughter of Journeyman Stud stallion Awesome of Course, Awesome Feather made short work of her rivals in only her second start of the season. Under her regular pilot, Jeffrey Sanchez, Awesome Feather tracked the early pace of Love and Pride through fractions of :24.93 and :48.97. She appeared eager to run down the backstretch against the restraint of Sanchez, who let her begin to roll approaching the quarter pole. Awesome Feather put away the pacesetter with ease and drew clear through the stretch when put to a drive. She prevailed by 5¼ lengths and completed the 11⁄8 miles in 1:50.01. The $150,000 winner’s share of the purse boosted her earnings to $1,681,746. “She is little, but she is unbelievable,” said Sanchez. “I didn’t go to the lead, I sat there, took back. At the half-mile pole, I knew I was going to win the race. I had a lot of confidence in her.” Awesome Feather was bred by Fred and Jane Brei’s Jacks or Better Farm, who campaigned her through her championship season at two last year under the tutelage of trainer Stanley Gold. She began her career at Calder and swept her division of the Florida Stallion Stake series in 2010.

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After winning the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) to cap her perfect season, Awesome Feather was purchased at auction for $2.3 million by Stronach Stables and transferred to trainer Chad Brown. A tendon injury delayed her sophomore debut until Oct. 5 when she captured Belmont Park’s Le Slew overnight stakes by two lengths. “She’s got the heart of a champion,” said Brown. “We just try to stay out of her way in the morning training her and just try to take care of her, day-to-day. She does the rest every day. It was a pretty special win. “She trained so well in the morning, I’m not surprised [she won the Gazelle like that],” added Brown.

She’s got the heart of a champion. We just try to stay out of her way in the morning training her and just try to take care of her, day-to-day. She does the rest every day.

— trainer Chad Brown

18 THE FLORIDA HORSE • DECEMBER 2011

“You just never know going to race speed, with everything she has been through, what’s going to happen. But with the way she’s training, it doesn’t surprise me she’s capable of uncorking a run like that. She’s so sharp and strong in the morning – she’s a super talented horse.” She is tentatively scheduled to make her next start in the Sunshine Millions Distaff on Jan. 28 at Gulfstream Park, Brown said. “We’ve just been taking it day-by-day with her,” said Brown. “As long as she’s 100 percent healthy, we’ll probably see her in the Sunshine Millions at Gulfstream. “That’d be the plan, but we’re going to see how she is first, but if she’s OK, that’s where I’d go.” ■


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A Favorite By AMANDA ROXBOROUGH ovember in the north is always an exciting time for horsemen. With racing meets coming to a close and the weather getting cold, the prospect of shifting scenes to Florida, despite the work involved, is never a challenge. Gulfstream Park, with its beautiful palm trees and ocean breezes, is always a favorite winter racing destination. Six years ago the demolition balls were swinging and up popped the new Gulfstream Park. It was sleek and innovative with a south Florida Mediterranean flair and something new to the horsey crowd, a casino. The new Gulfstream was immediately hit with protest by the residents that really mattered, the horses. The new paddock and saddling features had to be tweaked for the equine stars and then the owners had their beefs as well. True to management’s commitment to the racing industry,

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President and General Manager Tim Ritvo continues to focus on upgrades and incentives for fans and horsemen at the Hallandale Beach oval

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these issues have been continuously addressed and improvements have been made throughout the plant. As horsemen and fans grew accustomed to the changes, even more construction and improvements were implemented. Today, the casino is in full swing, as is the Village at Gulfstream with stores and restaurants. Gulfstream Park opened Dec. 3 for the 2011-12 season after finally gaining respect from the masses last year. Last season’s stand showed positive results and generated a real buzz about things getting back to some of the Gulfstream charm from past years. One of the key ingredients to the success just might have been someone who was from the good old days, Tim Ritvo. Hired as the president and general manager last year before the start of the season, Ritvo brought with him a tack room full of experience that was relatable and respected by all sides of the game. A former jockey, getting his start at Suffolk Downs in 1982, he rode for five years and notched more than 500 winners before trading in his silks for a suit and joining

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the management side of the industry. He was a placing judge, patrol judge, clerk of scales, as well as an assistant racing secretary at Suffolk downs. He then moved to Florida and was a successful trainer on the circuit for 20 years. “I like to think I bring common sense, like a lot of horse related things, good surfaces, the fans’needs. I bring my 30-plus years of experience,” Ritvo said. “The opportunity to work here for Mr. Stronach, who absolutely loves Thoroughbred racing, enables me to not just look at it from the business side, but also to look at from the horse side of it to make sure we have championship racing and the horsemen are getting what they need.”


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Winter Racing Destination

Last year’s stats are proof positive that Gulfstream Park is resurfacing as a role model for all sides of the racing industry and Ritvo couldn’t be happier for the sport he is intensely devoted to. “The biggest highlight of last year for me was being up 15 percent in on-track handle,” he said. “To be up at all in a tough game is what we were most proud of.” With the on-track handle up, as well as an increased nationwide handle and field sizes the highest in the country, there was definitely a reason for Gulfstream management and Ritvo to believe they are on the right track. This year brings even more upgrades and incentives for fans, handicappers and horsemen. Free seats have been added east of the tiki bar and patio, as well as new

The biggest highlight of last year for me was being up “ 15 percent in on-track handle. To be up at all in a tough game is what we were most proud of. ” —Tim Ritvo

tiki huts with TVs and picnic tables for fans to bring their coolers and enjoy the races and a new video screen at the sixteenth pole in the infield for those fans. A total of seven new screens and boards have been added this year, including a new tote board and video board in the infield at the wire. Speaking of the wire, this year brings the addition of a second finish line approximately 100-feet past the sixteenth pole. The placement

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of the new finish line will allow races at a mile and a sixteenth to be run around two turns. As a former trainer, Ritvo knows the importance of getting a two-turn distance race into a young horse, especially critical if you are pointing to the classic races. Another key technological advancement at Gulfstream Park this year is the new Trackus system. A tracking device imbedded in the saddle towel of the horses. ”It is an expensive project, but we are committed to truly give the handicapper a chance to evaluate the race, enjoy and see how the horses are moving,” said Ritvo. “It’s good for the game from the handicapping aspect of it. It’s the future of the game.” Gulfstream also has a new mobile betting system, called M Bets, which allows betFlorida-breds have al- tors to wager from a cell phone or ways done very well, my iPad while on the track property. The popular Sunshine Millions wife has Mucho Macho Day has changed; this year’s event Man, a top horse in the will be for Florida-breds only. “The country and he’s a Florida- past years it was California vs. bred. For years the Florida Florida, but the California breeders program has been a great and horsemen felt it wasn’t workprogram. There is probably ing as well for them, so basically they will have one out there on the no better place to break or West Coast. We took over the six train than in Florida. races, with purse adjustments to —Tim Ritvo continue the tradition and it was our third-largest-day of last year’s season.” “Florida-breds have always done very well, my wife has Mucho Macho Man, a top horse in the country and he’s a Florida-bred,” he added. “For years the Florida program has been a great program. Florida’s stallions continue to thrive, have Breeders’Cup winners, Breeders’Cup champions and great horses all around the country. There is probably no better place to break or train than in Florida.” While Ritvo proudly shows off the new additions at the facility, he continues to focus on what else his team

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can do to keep raising the bar. “We are throwing a lot of stuff out there in our December opening week. With Latin festival day and lots of action we are trying to create awareness that we are open,” he said. “Yes we are a casino, yes we do have great food and superb restaurants and high-end shops in the village but the bottom line is from December to April it’s about racing. The pageantry of the horse and topclass racing are here.” “The thing is, this is more of what racing is going to become today, smaller grandstands, more boutique meets,” Ritvo said. “That’s the vision Mr. Stronach had. He wanted good restaurants, clean and safe places for people to come and that’s what we’re trying to sell with this new venue.” On a personal note for Rtivo, Gulfstream stands for so much that is important to him. “My biggest goal this year is to increase on-track handle and attendance,” he said. “On a national level, we want to showcase our program as a full entertainment facility with new crowds, but we never forget the people who take care of the horses. “A dormitory facility for the grooms and workers also makes Gulfstream unique and the Gulfstream AfterCare program for placement of racehorses post-life on the track is very important. Mr. Stronach matches the horsemen’s charity, Florida TRAC Fund, dollar for dollar and it comes right out of his bottom line. He continues to give back to the sport that he loves. Not everyone is going to love the idea that he built a building here or he’s done this there, but the bottom line is that he’s a true horseman. “I am honored to be in this seat,” Ritvo added. “For someone who loves the sport as much as I do this a chance to make sure things are right for the horsemen, right for the track and keep the human interest side in focus. It’s rewarding to continue to contribute and try to make it an even better sport.” ■


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Noah’s Expense (right) won the first race of the Tampa meet Dec. 3.

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Tampa Bay Downs got underway Dec. 3, marking the Oldsmar oval’s earliest opening in its 86-year history. By DOUG MCCOY he reshuffling of racing dates in South Florida that began in December with the opening of Gulfstream Park a month earlier than normal has made an impact in Oldsmar. When Gulfstream Park scheduled its opening for Dec. 3, management at Tampa Bay Downs made some changes as well and also held its opening card that day, marking the earliest opening in the track’s 86-year history. As a result of the early opening in Oldsmar, stables such as those of Antonio Sano, who topped the trainer standings at the last two race meetings at Calder, will have stalls at Tampa for the first time. As will Daniel Pita, whose runners won at a 20-percent clip this past season while racing primarily at Calder. These stables will join those of Jorge Navarro, who had a very strong meeting at Tampa last winter and Leo Azpura Jr., a horseman from a family whose name has been associated with Florida racing for years. “By opening earlier we hope to give Florida horsemen an attractive option as to where to race this winter and in winters to come,” said Allison Deluca, racing secretary at Tampa Bay Downs. “From the response we’ve had not only from horsemen who base in Florida but trainers from other parts of the country, we feel we should have the strongest and deepest roster of stables in the track’s history.” A look at the stall list bears out Deluca’s comments. High profile trainers such as H. Graham Motion and Hall of Famer Jonathan Sheppard will have horses stabled on the grounds for the first time, alongside trainers Will Phipps and Juan C. Vazquez, who led the trainer ranks at Delaware Park this season. It should be noted that the list of “locals” is far from a weak group, starting with Jamie Ness. Ness had several divisions racing this past summer and fall, and finished second in the standings to Vazquez at Delaware. Others returning this season include Gerald

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Jenny’s So Great (right) surged to a one-length victory in the secondfastest running in the eight-year history of the Lightning City on opening day.

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Bennett, who tied for the top spot with Ness last season, Tom Proctor, Joan Scott, Jane Cibelli, Derek Ryan, and Leigh Delacour. The Tampa Bay Downs stakes schedule will again be topped by the Grade 2, $350,000 Tampa Bay Derby on March 10. The Derby has emerged in recent years as one of the more popular prep races for Kentucky Derby and Triple Crown hopefuls. Super Saver, who was third in the 2009 running of the race, came back later in the spring to take that year’s Run for the Roses, while Street Sense used a win in the 2007 Derby as a stepping-stone to victory in that year’s Kentucky Derby. Last season Drosselmeyer, who won the Breeders’ Cup Classic, made his first start of the season over the local surface. Of course the Derby isn’t the only stakes race on the schedule this winter. The $250,000 Grade 3, Sam F. Davis on Feb. 4 has also been used as a useful prep by many of the top 3-year-olds in the country. Other top offerings such as the Grade 3 Hillsborough Stakes for fillies and mares on the turf on Festival Day with the Derby and the Grade 3 Endeavour Stakes, also for fillies and mares on the turf on Feb. 4, and the Florida Oaks on the same program spice up the winter’s offerings. Florida-breds will be in the spotlight again on April 7 when six $75,000 stakes will be run with all of those rich offerings restricted to Florida-breds. Fans should have a much easier time following their runners this winter as Tampa has joined Keeneland, Woodbine, and Churchill as tracks employing the new TRAKUS tracking system. TRAKUS uses state-of-the-art technology to track the runners from the time the gate is opened until the finish, transmitting that information to both Equibase and the local video system. The positions of the horses during the running of the race will be displayed on televisions throughout the plant in moving blocks like chicklets, thus giving fans and bettors a bettor idea of their selections’ running position as the race evolves. In addition to being better able to follow their runners during the course of the race, fans will also be able to see how much ground their runners may have saved or lost during the race as TRAKUS will display the number of feet the winner covered during the race along with the distance ran by all of the other runners in the field. The system will also provide more accurate margins between the runners at the different points of call which will eventually make past performances more precise and accurate for the bettor.

26 THE FLORIDA HORSE • DECEMBER 2011

The backstretch personnel will also find it a little easier to get food and drink during their working day as track management has purchased a portable lunch wagon that will travel throughout the backstretch during training hours offering a menu of food and beverages. This will allow backstretch workers to get food and drink without having to walk from their respective barns to the track kitchen, a trip that can take some time to those stabled in the far reaches of the backstretch. Despite having ridden more than 2,400 winners in her career, jockey Rosemary Homeister Jr. felt she had something to prove on opening day at Tampa Bay Downs. Her mount in the $75,000-guaranteed Lightning City Stakes, Jenny’s So Great, ran as if she felt the same way. Homeister guided the 4-year-old Canadian-bred filly through a narrow opening in deep stretch and Jenny’s So Great responded like a champion, surging to a one-length victory from late-running Supreme in the five-furlong turf test in a swift 56.02 seconds, the second-fastest running in the eight-year history of the Lightning City. Defending race champion Suzzona and Bounding Bi dead-heated for third. Jenny’s So Great, who was bred by former pop star David Cassidy and is owned by Vicki and Bill Poston, paid $7.80 as the favorite in the 11-horse field. An Opening Day crowd of 4,869 enjoyed a superb


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day of racing and postcard weather as Tampa Bay Downs kicked off its 86th season. Total handle of $4,393,254.91 represented an increase of about $200,000 from last year’s opener; on-track handle was $376,401.30. Homeister, who also won the 10th race on Floridabred Vanquisher, was eager to show she has returned to top strength after giving birth to daughter Victoria Rose this summer. “I am delighted and relieved to win this,” Homeister said. “Delighted, because I am back ‘home’ before my best fans, and relieved because I know I am fit and ready. I worked hard all fall to get ready and took eight mounts today. This was my second win (since returning to action at Churchill Downs). I am fit and I am ready.” Servis spread the credit equally between Homeister and Jenny’s So Great, a daughter of Stonewall Farm Ocala sire Greatness out of the mare Jenny’s Search, by Lost Soldier, who won the Grade 3 Royal North Stakes at Woodbine in August and was beaten less than two lengths by Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint winner Musical Romance in a Grade 2 stakes at Presque Isle Downs two starts back. “She’s a little runner who can really motor,” Servis said. “I was feeling good coming up to the race. If she gets beat she gets beat, but they were not going to beat her without running their ‘A’ race.”

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Perennial leading Tampa Bay Downs trainer Jamie Ness had a perfect opening day, saddling three winners in three starts for owner Midwest Thoroughbreds. Ness, who is second in the nation in wins in 2011, won with Phil’s Tango in the fourth race, Mindy Michelle in the sixth and Rich Hero in the ninth. “Pinch me – it’s a great year and today was a great day,” Ness said. “The horses all ran good and got good trips. Everything worked great. I’ve had many days when my horses were all spotted good and nothing went right. Everything fell into place today, and it’s great because we’re back home and I got to see a bunch of my friends today.” Also feeling right at home was jockey Leandro Goncalves, who rode four winners. Goncalves is third in the nation in wins for 2011. “I’ve had a wonderful day,” said Goncalves, who won on Why Pretend in the second race; Heiko in the fifth; Mindy Michelle in the sixth, and Rich Hero in the ninth. “I had a great season here last year and I hope to do as well or better. My agent works so hard—he deserves most of the credit. We have good relationships with the trainers here at Tampa and everything is getting better every year.” ■ —Tampa Bay Downs Publicity contributed to I am delighted and relieved to this report.

win this, Delighted, because I am back ‘home’before my best fans, and relieved because I know I am fit and ready. —jockey Rosemary Homeister Jr.

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All for R Adam Lazarus (third standing to the left of the horse) of Pinnacle Racing Stable is enjoying the success of Florida-bred Musical Romance

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By JO ANN GUIDRY

dam Lazarus, the founding and managing partner of South Florida-based Pinnacle Racing Stable, never gave up on romance. More specifically, Florida-bred Musical Romance. When the Concorde’s Tune filly, purchased for $22,000 at the 2009 Ocala Breeders’Sales Company’s April juvenile sale, cracked a pastern on but her second day of training, Lazarus didn’t walk away from the equine relationship. But he did allow the other partners on the filly to opt out and sell back their shares to him. Meanwhile, he paid for the surgery and subsequent four-month rehab time. Then when she successfully returned to training, Lazarus once again sold ownership shares in 50 percent of the filly; trainer Bill Kaplan retained his

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BREEDERSʼ CUP LIMITED PHOTOS

Romance 50-percent ownership. The Pinnacle Racing Stable ownership share of Musical Romance includes nine partners. It was a bet on romance that paid off for Lazarus. In 2010, Musical Romance became Pinnacle Racing Stable’s first stakes winner when she captured the Sweettrickydancer Stakes. On the season, she would also post two other wins and was stakes-placed five times on her way to banking $154,751. And then like all good relationships, the romance moved on to the next level in 2011. Musical Romance racked up four stakes wins, including the Presque Isle Downs Masters Stakes (G2). In addition, she also notched impressive seconds in both the Princess Rooney Handicap (G1) and Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes (G2). Her earnings

neared the $700,000 mark. When Kaplan suggested running in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1), Lazarus’ romantic nature was tested again. Not Breeders’ Cup nominated as a foal, Musical Romance would have to be supplemented. The cost? An eyebrow-raising $130,000. Together, Lazarus and Kaplan came up with the money just in time to make the supplement deadline. Chalk up another one for storybook-romance endings. On Nov. 5 at Churchill Downs, the supplemented Musical Romance won the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint and collected the $540,000 winner’s share of the $909,000 purse. With the win, Musical Romance became a Breeders’ Cup champion, a Grade 1 winner and a millionaire all at once. THE FLORIDA HORSE • DECEMBER 2011 33


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All for Romance The 4-year-old filly, bred by Ocala Stud and out of the Slew Gin Fizz mare Candlelightdinner, has career earnings to date of $1,217,850. “It was a huge risk and a big bet,” said Lazarus, 44, a NewYork native who moved to the Miami area in1990. “But the Thoroughbred sport is about risks and dreams. And it doesn’t get any bigger than the Breeders’Cup and the risk paid off big time.” For Lazarus, who attended Appalachian State University on a baseball scholarship, the attraction to Thoroughbred racing was love at first sight. Or rather initially to the statistical side of the sport. After graduating with a communications degree and moving to South Florida, Lazarus ended up at Calder Race Course out of curiosity on a free afternoon. “I’m a sports fanatic and participate in fantasy sports leagues where statistics are everything,” said Lazarus.

I also buy strictly Florida-breds because we are a based “ in Miami and want to take advantage of the state-bred programs. I like to buy two year olds because the partners can get involved almost immediately in the racing game.

—Adam Lazarus

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“I was intrigued by all the numbers in racing, everything from speed figures to percentages and pedigree analysis. I immediately thought this was an interesting sport that I wanted to be involved with in some way. ” While Lazarus began attending the races on a regular basis, as fate would have it, his father Wayne had a golf buddy who just happened to be a Thoroughbred trainer. In fact, Bill Kaplan was a well-known and highly successful trainer. Kaplan’s list of outstanding racehorses includes Seacliff, Dream On Dream On, Fortune Pending, Mr. Livingston, Castlebrook, Goldarama, Storm in May and I’mawildandcrazyguy. “I was already a fan of Bill when my dad introduced us and suggested I get into racehorse ownership,” said Lazarus, who is a sales manager with the Aventura-based branch of ZENO Office Solutions. “The first horse I owned a piece of was with Bill in 2001. That horse never broke its maiden and then had a career-ending injury. But


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I still wanted to be in the Thoroughbred business.” Deciding that partnerships were the best way to be in the sport and bring others in as well, Lazarus formed Pinnacle Racing Stable in 2002. He attracted partnership interest by “taking out a small ad in the Daily Racing Form and putting fliers on car windshields in the parking lot at Calder and Gulfstream Park.” Today, Pinnacle Racing Stable includes 30 partners who have various percentages in its horses. Lazarus, who relies on Kaplan’s expertise in selecting and developing young horses, attends the juvenile sales with the goal of buying one or two horses. Once Lazarus makes a purchase, only then does he offer the horse as part of a Pinnacle Racing Stable partnership. Each horse is set up as a limited liability corporation and all investors share in the monthly expenses. “I focus on fillies with a price range of $35,000 and below,” said Lazarus. “I also buy strictly Florida-breds because we are a based in Miami and want to take advantage

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of the state-bred programs. I like to buy two year olds because the partners can get involved almost immediately in the racing game.” In addition to Musical Romance, Pinnacle Racing Stable currently has five other horses in training with Kaplan. The group includes stakes-placedAnother Romance, who while similarly named is no relation to Musical Romance. By Saint Anddan out of the Friendly Lover mare Love To, Another Romance was purchased for $23,000 at the 2011 OBS June juvenile sale. She was second n the Cassidy Stakes on Oct. 1 at Calder and has to date earned $46,165. “I love bringing people into the Thoroughbred business,” said Lazarus. “And partnerships are a great way for a lot people who wouldn’t otherwise be able to get into the sport to do it. Yes, there are risks, And, yes, there are highs and lows. But that’s true with most investments and it’s hard to beat the excitement of Thoroughbred racing.” And, of course, a little romance doesn’t hurt either. ■

Musical Romance winning the Breedersʼ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint.


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All in

The Family By JO ANN GUIDRY

racehorse, winning $67,730 in 30 starts. And Grade 3 stakes winner Gourhen Florida-bred Musical Ro- having always liked the family, O’Farrell met Dinner; stakes winners mance won the 2011 Breeders’ thought taking the mare in trade was a good Queen Amira (GB) and Gaston A; and stakesplaced Evening Concerto and I’mroyallyCup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1), it deal. “It was the Dr. Fager line and Victorious mecke’d. was the latest and most rewarding dividend “It’s a family that has definitely been very paid on a deal made 17 years ago. A horse- Meg had produced a graded stakes winner for men’s trade for services rendered has led to a us,” said O’Farrell, “And good broodmares good to us,” said O’Farrell. “We have three of broodmare family that has produced four are hard to come by, so I thought it was a good Romantic Dinner’s stakes-producing daughters and one of her stakes-winning grandgraded stakes winners, including two Grade 1 deal for us.” O’Farrell was right. Indeed, it was a good daughters.” stakes winners, four stakes winners, and two Potluck Dinner, Almost Aprom Queen and deal. A very, very good deal. stakes-placed runners to date. For Ocala Stud, Romantic Dinner would Candlelightdinner are the trio of stakes-proIn actuality, everything was set in motion in 1985. Mike O’Farrell, owner and president produce stakes winners Lady Gin and Sea of ducing daughters of Romantic Dinner in the of Ocala Stud, bought Victorious Meg for Green, as well as stakes-placed Decennial. Ocala Stud broodmare band. Also from the $20,000 at that year’s Ocala Breeders’ Sales Lady Gin, a 1997 filly by Saint Ballado, won family is stakes winner Queen Amira (GB), Company’s October , granddam of Musical Romance, Rigoletta, mixed sale. By Soy Numero Uno, VictoriGourmet Dinner and others, has created a blacktype legacy for Ocala Stud ous Meg was out of multiple stakes-producer Cricket Club, by the a trio of stakes, including the 2000 Wooden by Forestry and out of the Saint Ballado mare legendary Dr. Fager. For Ocala Stud, Victori- Star Stakes where she set a Hawthorne Race Lady Gin, who was a stakes-winning daughous Meg produced graded stakes winner Track course record of :56.19 for about five ter of Romantic Dinner. O’Farrell purchased Nome, by Double Sonic. Later bred to Ocala furlongs. Sea of Green, a 1998 colt by Sea- Queen Amira in foal to Tapit for $85,000 at Stud stallion Who’s for Dinner, Victorious cliff, won five stakes and was stakes-placed the 2009 Keeneland November sale. Queen Meg produced a 1989 dark bay filly. At the 11 times on his way to banking $651,797. De- Amira has a 2010 Tapit filly, a 2011 Mont1991 OBS February juvenile sale, Ocala Stud cennial, a 2008 filly by Trippi, was third in brook colt and was bred to Montbrook this sold the Who’s for Dinner filly for $15,000 to the 2011 Queen Tutta Stakes at Belmont Park. season. Potluck Dinner, a 1996 mare by PenWilliam Terrill. But it wouldn’t be the last Romantic Dinner died in 2010 and Decennial telicus, is the dam of graded stakes winner time that O’Farrell would see the filly named was her last foal. “Romantic Dinner turned out to be just the Gourmet Dinner, an earner of $989,660, Romantic Dinner, who was bred by Ocala kind of broodmare I was hoping for,” said stakes winner Gaston A. and stakes-placed Stud, O’Farrell and Ed Wiest. “Some time in late 1994, I got a call from O’Farrell. “Actually, I guess she turned out to I’mroyallymecke’d. She has a 2011 colt by In Summation and was bred to Montbrook this Billy Terrill,” recalled O’Farrell. “He said that be even better than I had hoped.” That’s because not only did Romantic Din- season. he and his partners had bred Romantic Dinner Almost Aprom Queen, a 2000 mare by to a stallion in New Jersey and he wanted to ner produce stakes winners, she created a make a deal. He wanted to send the mare blacktype legacy for Ocala Stud. Romantic Montbrook, is the dam of Grade I stakes windown to Ocala Stud, have us foal her out, raise Dinner is the granddam of Grade 1 stakes ner Rigoletta, who won the 2010 Oak Leaf winners Musical Romance and Rigoletta, Stakes (G1), and stakes-placed Evening Conthe foal and then we could keep the mare.” Romantic Dinner had earned her keep as a Grade 2 stakes winner Vuelve Ruben M. and certo. Almost Aprom Queen has a 2010 High

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Romantic Dinner

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Florida-breds Musical Romance (above), Rigoletta (center) and Gourmet Dinner (below)

ROMANTIC DINNER 1989 bay mare, by Who’s for Dinner— Victorious Meg, by Soy Numero Uno

Breeders: Ocala Stud Farms, J. M. O’Farrell & Ed Wiest DAM OF:

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All In The Family

Cotton colt, a 2011 In Summation colt and was bred to Concerto this season. Candlelightdinner, a 2002 mare by Slew Gin Fizz, is the dam of Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup champion Musical Romance and Grade 2 Puerto Rican champion Vuelve Ruben M. Candlelightdinner has a 2010 colt by Montbrook, a 2011 filly by Montbrook and was bred to Circular Quay this season. Of course, the current star of the broodmare family replete with blacktype is Musical Romance. Bred by Ocala Stud, Musical Romance is a 2007 filly by the deceased Ocala Stud stallion Concorde’s Tune. She was sold by Ocala Stud for $22,000 to William Kaplan, agent for Pinnacle Racing Stable, at the 2009 OBS April juvenile sale. Campaigned by Pinnacle Racing Stable and Kaplan, Musical Romance became a stakes winner when she captured the 2010 Sweettrickydancer Stakes at Calder.

She went on to earn $154,751 on the season. But even better things were to come in 2011. After winning the Ema Bovary Stakes and U Can Do It Stakes, Musical Romance was second to Sassy Image in the Princess Rooney Handicap (G1) at Calder. She added a win in the Barb’s Dancer Stakes before notching her first graded stakes tally in the Presque Isle Downs Masters Stakes (G2). The Kaplan trainee then added a second to Holiday Kitten in the Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes (G2) at Keeneland. Next stop was the Breeders’ Cup at Churchill Downs. Supplemented for $130,000, Musical Romance made the investment pay off with a victory in the $909,000 BC Filly & Mare Sprint (G1). To date, Musical Romance has career earnings of $1,217,850. “When you’re a small commercial breeder like we are, these are the kinds of broodmare families you

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dream about,” said O’Farrell. “We’re delighted to see others have success with the horses we breed and sell. And it doesn’t get much better than breeding and selling a Breeders’ Cup winner.” All thanks to a horsemen’s trade. ■

SW Lady Gin SW Sea of Green SP Decennial GRANDDAM OF:

38 THE FLORIDA HORSE • DECEMBER 2011

COURTESY BOYD GAMINGS

GR. 1 SW Musical Romance GR. 1 SW Rigoletta GR. 2 (PR) SW Vuelve Ruben M. GR. 3 SW Gourmet Dinner SW Queen Amira (GB) SW Gaston A. SP Evening Concerto SP I’mroyallymecke’d


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Florida... the Best State for Business

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From coast to coast, Florida’s tax-friendly, pro-business environment is poised and ready to attract new companies and create new employment opportunities. No tax on stallion seasons. No personal state income tax. No individual capital gains tax. National leader in veterinary and equine research. Ranked third in the U.S. for number of horses and size of horse industry. Feed and animal health items, along with other specific items, are also exempt. Horses are exempt from sales tax when purchased from their original breeder. Florida’s greenbelt exemption provides property tax breaks for Florida horse farms. Physical climate allows for year-round training, racing, showing and business opportunities.

FLORIDA THOROUGHBRED BREEDERS’ AND OWNERS’ ASSOCIATION 801 SW 60th Ave. • Ocala, FL 34474 • 352-629-2160 Fax: 352-629-3603 • www.ftboa.com • info@ftboa.com

FLORIDA DEPT. OF AGRICULTURE AND CONSUMER SERVICES Adam Putnam, Commissioner 850-921-7916 • Fax 850-922-0374 e-mail: michael.ryshouwer@freshfromflorida.com 407 S. Calhoun • 427-A Mayo Building, Tallahassee, FL 32399


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FLORIDA Million

Turbo Compressor

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rolls in Carl Rose Classic


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perfectly and I “Heputbroke him on an easy lead.

He was very impressive. —jockey Luis Saez.

By MICHAEL COMPTON

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F

lorida-bred Turbo Compressor made his first start at Calder Casino and Race Course a memorable one in the $150,000 Carl Rose Classic (includes $50,000 FTBOA Funds) during the Miami track’s Florida Million program on Nov. 12. The 3-year-old Todd Pletcher charge assumed command at the break under Luis Saez. He established a clear early lead and simply cruised down the backstretch while being stalked by race favorite Mad Flatter. As he led the charge around the far turn, he repelled bids from Mad Flatter and a closing Manicero. He bounded away from his rivals through the lane to hit the wire 10½ lengths clear of Manicero, who finished 1¼ lengths in front of Mad Flatter in third. He covered the 11⁄8 miles in 1:51.92. “I’m very happy,” said winning ride Luis Saez. “He broke perfectly and I put him on an easy lead. He was very impressive. When I asked him, he responded good and drew off. This is my first ride for Todd Pletcher. I’m glad he won. I hope I can ride for him again.” Turbo Compressor is a 3-year-old son of Halo’s Image—Dixieland Event, by Wild Event. He was bred by Bridlewood Farm, sold at OBS April in 2010 and is owned by P and G Stables and Off the Hook Racing. Winner of the Curlin Stakes at Saratoga over the summer, Turbo Compressor finished fifth in a stakes race at Belmont Park last time out. “He obviously didn’t like the blinkers (on) last time, so we took them off,” said Ginny DiPasquale, assistant to Pletcher. “This race was a natural for him with the distance and the fact that he’s a Florida-bred. He’s won races before going wireto-wire like he did today. We’re into Palm Meadows for the winter and something at THE FLORIDA HORSE • DECEMBER 2011 43


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Gulfstream Park would probably be next for him.” Like Turbo Compressor, Bad Debt made his Calder debut a winning one, taking down top prize in the $125,000 Bonnie Heath Turf Cup (includes $50,000 FTBOA Funds). Ridden by Kendrick Carmouche, Bad Debt rolled down the center of the track to defeat Picou by threequarters of a length, covering the 11⁄8 miles on turf in 1:49.70. Roman Tiger finished third. “He had a really good trip,” said Carmouche. “They told me the best part of this turf course is on the outside and that’s where he wants to be. Once I got him angled out, I just set my hands down on his neck and let him settle in. When I asked him, he gave me his best effort. It didn’t bother him at all getting shuffled back at the start—that’s really where he wants to be. When I tightened up on him, he knew what he was there to do. I would like to thank the crew, grooms and everyone for doing a great job getting him ready.

A 4-year-old gelded son of Grand Reward out of the Pleasant Tap mare Pleasant Ring, Bad Debt was bred by Pennston Farms Inc. and is owned by Robert Leibner. Michael Trombetta is the conditioner. “All the credit for what this horse has accomplished goes to Michael,” said Liebner. “I claimed him for $35,000 on June 18 of 2010 at Monmouth Park on his recommendation. He said this horse belongs on turf to do his best. He really started to get good at Gulfstream last winter. He’s now had six wins and four seconds in his last 10 starts. He’ll stay here for the winter at Palm Meadows and Michael will decide what’s next. It’s been a wonderful day and this (Florida Million) is a wonderful program.” The $150,000 Elmer Heubeck Distaff (includes $50,000 from FTBOA Funds) appeared to be a match race between Sweet Repent and Successful Song, but it was long shot My Pal Chrisy who emerged victorious in the 11⁄16-mile test. Ridden by Luca Panici for owner and trainer Padarath Lutchman, My Pal Chrisy defeated race fa-

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Florida-bred Bad Debt

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ter. She had a good trip and at the three-eighths pole I started to follow the favorite up the center. I waited for the stretch and she finished fast.” My Pal Chrisy is a 3-year-old daughter of Alex’s Pal—Strike South, by Strike the Anvil. She was bred

Florida-breds My Pal Chrisy (above) and Gibson (below)

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vorite Sweet Repent by 3¼ lengths and covered the distance in 1:45.79, which tied the stakes record set in 2004 by Hopelessly Devoted. “This was her second time going the distance, so it was much easier,” said Panici. “She relaxed a lot bet-

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by Shade Tree Thoroughbreds and provided Lutchman his first stakes score. “I bought her privately as a two-year-old before she raced,” said Lutchman, who races all the horses he trains under Tonys Investments. “I was running her short earlier this year and she was closing like she wanted to go longer and training that way, too. So that’s when I tried her in the Stage Door Betty and she won. I was confident she would run good again today. We’ll see how she comes out of it and consider the Sunshine Millions (Distaff) and other options.” Another long shot, Gibson, posted the upset in the $125,000 Jack Dudley Sprint (includes $50,000 from FTBOA Funds) in his first try at Calder. Ridden by Daniel Centeno for trainer Gerald Bennett, Gibson defeated race favorite and defending Dudley champion Pashito the Che and covered six furlongs in 1:10.54. Ribo Bobo finished third. Gibson went off at odds of 34-1.

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Florida-bred Italo

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“He really ran big,” said Centeno. “They did a good job by keeping him here for a couple of weeks. He had been on the synthetic track, but handled this (surface) perfectly. We knew after his last work, he would run good but he showed much more than we expected. He went to the lead and never looked back.” Gibson is a 3-year-old gelded son of Gibson County—Megan’s Cracker, by Slew the Slewor. He as bred by Laurie D. Hall and Ron Woody and is owned by Sundance Thoroughbreds. “He had been running pretty good races on the synthetic tracks, but I really don’t think he cared for them that much,” said Bennett. “He’s just gotten so good, I decided to try this race. We’re getting more involved in the Florida program. We’ve got seven mares at Harold Queen’s farm and four two-year-old fillies (2012) that are Florida-breds.” The Arthur Appleton Juvenile Turf went to Italo, who defeated Burning Time by three-quarters of a length in the 11⁄16-mile turf test. In the tight photo finish, it was another head back to Twin in third place. Bred by Harold Plumley, Italo is a 2-year-old son of

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Florida-breds For Oby (left) and Yara (below)

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Hartley/De Renzo stallion With Distinction—Dance For the Queen, by West by West. The $42,000 OBS graduate is owned by trainer Wesley Ward and Ice Win Stable. Italo began his career at Longchamp in France. He won his career debut there and then finished last in the Coventry Stakes (G2) at Ascot. He was last in the Saratoga Special (G2) in August and finished fourth in a Keeneland stake prior to his victory. For Oby notched the first stakes win of his young career in the $125,000 Jack Price Juvenile (includes $50,000 FTBOA Funds). A Maestre Racing Stable homebred, For Oby stalked the early pace, took command in the stretch and repulsed a bid from Rev It Up late to register a half-length victory in the seven-furlong fixture. He covered the distance in 1:24.93 under Julio Garcia. Another offspring of With Distinction, For Oby is out of the Mining mare Sexy Seattle. Pedro Maestre

saddled the winner. Prior to the Jack Price, For Oby had finished third in the Dr. Fager division of the Florida Stallion Stakes series for his first stakesplacing. Yara assumed command early in the $125,000 Joe O’Farrell Juvenile Fillies (includes $50,000 FTBOA Funds) and never looked back under Luis Saez to win the seven-furlong event by 5¼ lengths. Given Enchantment finished second and Sinner’s Gold was third. She covered the distance in 1:24.90. Owned by Peras International, Yara is a daughter of Bridlewood Farm stallion Put It Back out of the Gilded Time mare Ashlee’s Lady. Jose Garoffalo is the trainer. Tracy Pinchin’s homebred Sinister Brew rallied in deep stretch to capture the $100,000 John Franks Juvenile Fillies Turf (includes $50,000 FTBOA Funds). Piloted by Elvis Trujillo, Sinister Brew is trained by Jose Pinchin, the owner’s husband. By Milwaukee Brew out of the Gold Case mare All Saint’s Day, Sinister Brew covered the 11⁄16 miles on turf in 1:44.16. ■

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Florida-bred Sinister Brew

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48 THE FLORIDA HORSE • DECEMBER 2011


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(ex•cel•lence) noun

the fact or state of excelling; superiority; distinction; possessing good qualities in high degree.

For the fifth consecutive year,

Get noticed

352.732.8858 The Florida Horse is the official publication of the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders’ and Owners’ Association www.ftboa.com • www.facebook.com/thefloridahorse

Publisher: Richard Hancock • Editor in chief: Michael Compton Business manager: Patrick Vinzant • Art director: John Filer Administrative assistant: Beverly Kalberkamp


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Kerry Thomas, owner and founder

50 THE FLORIDA HORSE • DECEMBER 2011

COURTESY KERRY THOMAS

of Thomas Herding Technique, studies the mental capabilities of racehorses through his unique approach of emotional conformation profiling.


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By AMANDA DUCKWORTH t is a rare man who looks into the face of longstanding convention and says, “We can do this differently.” Kerry Thomas is one of those men. As the owner and founder of Thomas Herding Technique, the 43-year-old is seeking to fundamentally enhance how Thoroughbreds are bred and raced. The cornerstone of his philosophy is a technique called emotional conformation profiling. That is, instead of the traditional way of judging a horse by its physical conformation, Thomas puts his focus on the mental capabilities of the equine in question. In short, he is looking for trainable minds. “Everybody knows what that horse is; my job is to identify the ingredients that make up who that horse is,” explained Thomas. “To me, the mental capacity controls the physical output. Patterns of behavior translate to patterns of motion.” Although it took decades for Thomas’ focus to shift to Thoroughbreds, he came by his knowledge honestly. In 1989, he began independent research to learn more about the social structures of wild horse herds in Wyoming and Montana. “To really understand any species, you need to research and understand the environment in which they are geared to live in,” Thomas said. “Just because we have taken them out of that environment and domesticated them, the basic instincts of the horse are still there.”

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A quirk of Thomas’ own genetics led him to believe it was not the physical but the mental that governed herd dynamics. This came about because he is color blind and could not depend on traditional ways of labeling horses. “I didn’t have a way to identify the horses by their color types,” said Thomas. “The only way I could identify individuals of similar size was by personalities, how they communicated and where they were in the herd. “I developed emotional conformation profiling out of pure necessity. I didn’t have any other way to catalog these horses. Once I began to do that, I realized there is a whole other world. It is a window to the invisible. It manages their entire life.” Thomas’ original goal was to take the information he gathered in the field and apply it to developing therapy horses for children in need. Although that remains a passion, Thomas began turning his attention to sport horses as well. Then in 2006, the Pennsylvania-based horseman experienced an epiphany while on a tour of New Bolton Center. While there, he got to meet Barbaro, the ill-fated winner of that year’s Kentucky Derby. “When I laid eyes on him, that was it,” said Thomas. “I knew right then and there that it was the racing industry that I loved. It was one of the most powerful personal moments that directed my career.” That meeting, combined with a fascination for THE FLORIDA HORSE • DECEMBER 2011 51


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A Different Approach

Kerry Thomas

The No. 1 question is how is the mind going to operate the body that you make? If you are making that investment, you should have all the information in your back pocket before you make that decision. That adds value to your investment choices.

—Kerry Thomas

Seabiscuit, caused Thomas to focus on racehorses. While not everything he learned from wild horses can be transferred to the racing scene, he believes much of it can. Now, he is setting out to prove it. “It is difficult being a new pebble in an old pond, but my philosophy is you can’t have progress without some evolution once in a while,” said Thomas. “Our work at THT has been geared toward identifying the characteristics of classic horses with temperaments that can get them there. I am not trying to usurp anyone’s business. We structure ourselves to fit into the needs of an existing program.” THT offers a variety of services to interested clients. For instance, Thomas and his employees can create a short list at a sale, or they can shorten the more traditional short list a client is likely to already have. They also can help with horses that are in training that are not living up to their potential. “You may be hoping to make homemade bread and you have the ingredients for lasagna,” said Thomas. “You need to know that. We can’t change who the horse is. It may not be good news for the owner, but I am going to be honest. But then we can find innovative ways to make them the best they can be. “I don’t look at the horse as a commodity, I look at the horse as an athlete. They react to things. They are not machines or robots. We need to take that into consideration when we are developing programs for horses and when we are buying and breeding these horses.” Two things potential clients learn early on is that Thomas does not make any of his decisions based on pedigree and those at THT will not intentionally help pick out the next Lost in the Fog. Emotional conformation profiling is designed to identify classic type runners, not the lightening quick ones. “If someone wanted to find a champion sprinter, I would tell them not to hire us,” said Pete Denk, THT’s sales/racing analyst and representative. “We will pass over sprint horses. Kerry picks high dynamic, high class horses that have the ability to perform at classic distances. That is what he finds. It can be a great horse, but if it is a sprinter, he is not going to like it. It’s not what the system does.” Using what he learned in the wild, Thomas identifies the running style, class and distance aptitude of a horse based on its emotional conformation and herd dynamic.To do so, he pays attention to how it manages its space, moves into new space and reacts to multiple stimuli around it. This test does not have to be conducted at high rates of speed, and an initial consultation takes no longer than one designed to judge a horse’s physical conformation. “Those observations and the way Kerry is able to read

52 THE FLORIDA HORSE • DECEMBER 2011

into a horse that is standing during a basic inspection tells you a lot about what that horse will be like as a racehorse,” said Denk. “Distance aptitude and racing class are the two most practical applications of what Kerry can read.” Of course, when asking people to change their ways, most want to see proof. Like everything else in horse racing, it will take some time for stories of success or failure to emerge from the program THT offers. However, although Thomas is not a betting man and his system is not meant for bettors, those who have listened to him have profited nicely in recent major races. In a story for Kentucky Confidential, Thomas identified Animal Kingdom and Dialed In as the horses with the best chance to win the 2011 Kentucky Derby based off of his profiling of the field. On Twitter, he publicly selected Drosselmeyer to win this year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic, and amongst friends had picked him to win the 2010 Belmont Stakes. These predictions were all based off what Thomas gleaned from photographs and video replays of the competitors. Even accounting for the incorrect hypothesis about Dialed In, if someone had wagered $2 to win on each of those picks, their $8 investment would have returned a combined $103.40. While building his business, all Thomas is asking for is an open mind as he sets up consultations with major players in the game. One person who has taken note of what Thomas has to say is trainer Chuck Simon. “In the back of my mind, I’ve always felt we pay a lot of attention to the physical aspects but not so much the mental aspects of horses,” said Simon. “You just need to talk to Kerry for five minutes to realize how committed he is and how much he believes in this” Ideally, Simon and Thomas would like to work together in an effort to implement some of THT’s philosophies on a small stable of horses.


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“There are a million ways of choosing horses at a sale and a million ways to train one, but the mental and emotional aspect is definitely something that is almost completely untouched,” said Simon. “I am not sure how far we can get with that, but I think it is somewhere we should definitely explore. Any way you can learn to better understand horses has to be a good thing.” Beyond the racetrack, Thomas also hopes to apply his philosophies to the breeding shed. It is accepted that a stallion and mare should be physically compatible, but Thomas argues they should also be mentally compatible. “The No. 1 question is how is the mind going to operate the body that you make?” said Thomas. “If you are making that investment, you should have all the infor-

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mation in your back pocket before you make that decision. That adds value to your investment choices.” The year ahead also looks to be a big one for those at THT. Thomas’ first book, Horse Profiling: The Secret to Motivating Equine Athletes, is slated to be published in the spring, and the team will continue trying to make headway in the Thoroughbred industry. As Thomas works on building a racing clientele base, he is aware that it is an uphill battle. “I want to be a positive face; I want to show the good side of what is possible in racing. I won’t give up, and I won’t quit. I am going to get pushed away in some places, and that’s just business. It’s just life. I’ll pick up my cowboy hat and keep going.” ■

PHOTOS COURTESY KERRY THOMAS

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HORSE COUNCIL NEWS

EPA Announces New Reporting Requirements The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has published a proposed rule concerning reporting requirements for Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs). Some large horse facilities, such as racetracks, training facilities, stables, shows, exhibitions, and fairgrounds are considered CAFOs and could be subject to the proposed reporting requirements. Most horse farms, ranches, stables and shows are not considered CAFOs. The proposed rule does

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not change current EPA regulations concerning what constitutes a CAFO or permitting requirements, it only involves new information submission requirements. EPA regulations concerning the Cleaning WaterAct are very complex. No horse operation that may be considered a CAFO should rely on this Washington Update to understand what is being proposed and what their obligations under current law and regulations maybe. Owners and operators of any horse facility, be it a breeding farm, ranch, training facility, stable, race track, sale, horse show, fair or exhibition, should seek competent advice to ensure their facilities are in compliance with current EPA regulations and how any proposed regulatory changes could impact their operation.

Proposed Options The EPA’s stated purpose for the proposed rule is that it lacks basic information about most CAFOs. The EPA is proposing two options for collecting information. Option one would require all large and medium CAFOs t o submit the following information to the EPA; The name and contact information of the owner or authorized representative of the CAFO.

The location of the CAFO

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54 THE FLORIDA HORSE • DECEMBER 2011

Whether or not the CAFO currently has a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit and the permit number if the CAFO does. The type and number of animals confined at the CAFO for the previous 12 months. Where the CAFO applies manure, litter and process wastewater and the total number of acres under the control of the CAFO available for land application. CAFOs would submit this information through a survey form provided by the EPA. This option would exempt CAFO located in states that already collect this infor-

mation through an approved NPDES program and chooses to provide the EPA with that information. Option two would only require CAFOs to complete asurvey form if they are located in focus watersheds that the EPA has determined to have water quality concernsassociated with CAFOs.

Equine CAFOs A horse operation could be considered a CAFO if it keeps or raises horses in “confinement” for at least 45 days in a 12-month period and there is no grass or other vegetation in the confinement area during the normal growing season. The areas associated with confinement at horse facilities include the stables and “production area,” which is the area where the horses are housed and manure is stored. Such area includes stables, stalls, walkers and walkways; it does not include pastures, paddocks or similar unconfined areas. Additionally, current regulations have a threshold number of horses for determining if a horse operation is a CAFO. A facility is considered a large CAFO if it confines 500 or more horses for 45 days in a 12-month period. A facility is a medium CAFO if it confines 150 to 499 horses and (1) the facility discharges pollutants into U.S. waters through a man-made ditch, flushing system or other similar device; or (2) the horses come into direct contact with surface waters running through the area where they are confined. Operations with less than 150 horses are generally not considered CAFO unless specifically designated as such on a case by case basis. The EPA is seeking comments on the proposed rule including the preferred option for reporting information, the ability of CAFOs to provide the requested information,or any other comments. The deadline to submit comments is Dec. 20, 2011.


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FARM MANAGEMENT

Year-End Thoughts s we come to the end of 2011, it’s hard to believe that a whole year is almost complete. December makes us think of the past year and reflect upon things that are important now and determine what should be important for the upcoming years. So, here are some thoughts that everyone, horseperson or not, should take a moment to consider as we bring 2011 to a close. Our springs help support local economies throughout this great state. Visitation at springs is influenced by clear water and beautiful and abundant plants and wildlife. Florida has more artesian springs (700 of them) than any other place in the world. And annual visits to the 100 largest springs in Florida are estimated to have an annual economic value in excess of $300 million. But consider this: the concentration of nitrogen is also rising rapidly in many of our springs in response to things like agricultural practices and urban development. And, more importantly for every living creature is this: water is the new “oil” in the world, with only 2.5 percent of the earth’s water being fresh and almost twothirds of that being locked up as ice. With an ever growing population and increased use of excess nutrients being infused daily into our drinkable water, careful management practices are needed more than ever to help keep our water pure. While proper horse manure handling and fertilization are only two pieces of a large pie which contribute to potentially impacting our water, they are still areas which can make a difference in protecting life’s most precious resource. “Best Management Practices” for horse farms are simple, science-based management practices which will not adversely affect the springs and aquifer. These practices will also serve as good guidelines for ways in which to carefully maintain your farm. Take time to think about the farm’s manure handling methods, fertilization techniques, whether or not you soil test and how often, plus all other farm management practices

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that might increase nutrients to the springs and aquifer. And we should also try to think about how farms potentially increase the “carbon footprint.” There is a lot of talk about “carbon footprint” these days and how it can be reduced to help the environment. Your carbon hoof print refers to the environmental impact you have due to your part of the horse industry. It’s been discussed before, but many everyday farm related activities inadvertently pollute our environment. Manure and wastewater management, toxic chemicals in grooming products, medical wastes and other garbage, carbon emissions from tractors, trucks, weed trimmers and other engine machinery are just some areas which increase our “carbon hoof print.” So, try and think of all the impacts you and your horse have on the environment, both for the water and other natural resources. Look for ways to help everyone keep this amazing state the great place it is to breed, raise, race and show horses. I hope these suggestions give you some things to reflect upon and think about as we move into 2012. This is a beautiful state and home to some of the best and most successful horses of all breeds and disciplines. Please contact me if you have any questions or concerns. All of the University of Florida local county Extension Offices (throughout the state) can help your farm to improve its management practices. And don’t forget, anyone having specific problems is always welcome to contact me. So, here’s to a Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year!

Schedule a Farm Call: Jamie A. Cohen Farm Outreach Coordinator UF IFAS/Marion County Extension Service 352-671-8792 • jamiecohen@ufl.edu THE FLORIDA HORSE • DECEMBER 2011 55


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NEWS BITS

Mary King Celebrates HSBC Windfall

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Mary King, who recently claimed $150,000 Badminton and Burghley (GBR), fourth at Pau after becoming this year’s HSBC FEI Classics™ (FRA) and eighth at Luhmühlen (GER) gave champion, is celebrating yet again after clinching King a season-end tally of 601 points. This put a $50,000 bonus as the HSBC Rankings leader at her at the top of the HSBC Rankings with a 15the end of the 2011 season. point lead over William Fox-Pitt King, who celebrated her 50th (GBR), who finished the season in birthday in June of this year, will be second place, 73 points ahead of Anpresented with her prize at the drew Nicholson (NZL). British Equestrian Writers’AssociFox-Pitt, winner of the HSBC FEI ation annual awards lunch on Dec. Classics™ last year, looked set to se15 at the London International cure the HSBC Rankings bonus this Mary King Horse Show in Olympia. season after taking over the world numThis is the first time King has finished the ber one spot at the beginning of September. Howseason at the top of the rankings since being de- ever, the HSBC Rankings are run on a rolling clared world number one at the end of 1991. 12-month basis and not a calendar year, with the First and second-place finishes in the HSBC FEI best six results for that 12-month period taken Classics™ in Kentucky (USA), third at both into account. As the latest rankings list is based on results obtained between December 2010 and November 2011, Fox-Pitt’s second-place finish at Pau in November 2010 have been dropped from his tally, reducing his points total to 586. “It’s really wonderful to be the first winner of

Florida Native Publishes Equine Children’s Book

Brittany Bevis loves horses, riding, books and children.The Punta Gorda, Florida, native— now a resident of Aubrey, Texas, puts her academic background in English and journalism to work in her career at Equine Chronicle, where she works as website editor. But when she’s not at her laptop, she’s riding competitively or signing copies of her new children’s book, Two Foals, a Dash of Sprinkles and a Cherry on Top! Bevis’book, written with heart and insight, is destined to find its way onto bookshelves in horse-loving homes all acrossAmerica.The book is published by Caballo Press ofAnnArbor, publisher of equine-themed books for horse-lovers and readers of all ages. Bevis found the trip to the literary world by way of her academic background; her career and her avocation as a rider of formidable talent. She majored in English and journalism in college, and is a 10-time American Paint Horse World and Reserve World Champion: Western Riding, Horsemanship, Showmanship, Hunter Under Saddle, Equitation, and Amateur Versatility are among Bevis’ claims to fame. 56 THE FLORIDA HORSE • DECEMBER 2011

this bonus from HSBC for finishing at the top of the rankings,” said Mary King, “and adding that to my win in the HSBC FEI Classics is a great early Christmas present! Of course my top horses will be aimed at the Olympics next year, but I’m lucky enough to have plenty of horsepower, so I’ll be able to compete in the HSBC FEI Classics series as well. It’s going to be an exciting year!” Giles Morgan, HSBC Group Head of Sponsorship, said: “The HSBC Rankings have been incredibly hard-fought this season with riders putting in outstanding performances, much to the excitement of Eventing fans around the world. “It was neck and neck between Mary King and William Fox-Pitt this season, with both of them putting in really impressive performances, demonstrating the strategic, physical and mental abilities necessary to compete in eventing at this level. But it was Mary who eventually came out on top and we are delighted to be able to acknowledge and reward her incredible achievement as leader of the HSBC Rankings.”

Putnam Applauds ERC Approval of Florida’s Water Quality Standards The Environmental Regulation Commission (ERC) last month unanimously adopted Florida’s proposed rule for numeric nutrient surface water quality standards for Florida’s lakes, streams, springs and many estuaries. “The unanimous action by the ERC reiterates that Florida knows best how to protect Florida’s water resources,” said Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam.“The ruling sends a strong message to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that, based on its strong history in protecting water resources, Florida is prepared to continue developing and implementing water resource protection programs.” Once ratified by the Florida Legislature, the rules will be submitted to EPA for approval. These rules are intended to replace EPA’s numeric nutrient criteria promulgated in December 2010. “I urge EPA – upon receipt of Florida’s nutrient standards – to act swiftly in approving them in their entirety, restoring Florida’s rightful place in protecting its water resources.” EPA’s numeric nutrient criteria have been criticized for being inconsistent with its own guidance documents and the advice of its Science Advisory Board. “The Florida standards reflect the best science of setting effective water quality standards and contain detailed expectations that will assure Florida’s valuable water resources are protected and those that are impaired are restored.” EPA has previously acknowledged that Florida has developed and implemented some of the most progressive nutrient management strategies in the nation. Florida has placed substantial emphasis on the monitoring and assessment of its waters and, as a result of this commitment, has collected significantly more water quality data than any other state. For more information about the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, visit www.FreshFromFlorida.com or follow Commissioner Putnam on Facebook, www.facebook.com/adamputnam, and Twitter, @adamputnam.


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Your

FLORIDA HORSE PARK

2011 Reflecting:

You Make All the Difference I

ter and Horse Park hosted an inaugural Legislative Trail Ride and Cookout – a day designed to introduce Florida’s elected officials and community leaders to the Park. More than 130 decision-makers from throughout the region joined us (or had staff representing) for riding, tours of the Park and personal visits. It was a special day with amazing volunteers, diversified sponsors and dignitaries at the Park listening to our story, our current and future economic impact, and our solid plans for the future. As with so many projects, the success of the Park continues to depend on your personal and financial involvement. I can honestly say that the Florida Agriculture Center and Horse Park would not be in existence without you. We wish you and yours the greatest of Season’s Greetings and Happy Holidays. Join us as we continue to count our blessings. Join us on Facebook, visit our website, send us a text. And if it’s in your heart to help us continue moving forward, send a tax-deductible contribution to the Foundation for the Florida Horse Park.

You make ALL the difference. Sincerely, Connie Duff Wise Chairman of the Board Florida Agricultural Center and Horse Park

COURTESY FLORIDA HORSE PARK

t’s not just a mantra and it’s never been just a motto – it’s the real deal: at the Florida Agriculture Center and Horse Park, YOU make all the difference. But, really, what does that mean? It means…YOU have unique access to 500 acres of green space, trails, outdoor activity and ecotourism at the Park. It means – if you’d like to be involved – you can help us in an organized effort to responsibly continue developing a world-class Ag/Equine facility like no other in the Southeastern United States. It means…you’re part of the family of people who care about Florida’s agricultural and equine interests, and it means we’re all pulling in the same direction of unity, congruity, community. The 2011 year is one for the record books at the Park. Not only are we seeing the physical realities of our $1 million grant from the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development (OTTED) in major infrastructure, but we’re seeing increased involvement from local, state and industry interests. On Nov. 18, the Florida Agriculture Cen-

THE FLORIDA HORSE • DECEMBER 2011 57


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Following are the “FTBOA Chase to the Championship ” Point Standings through November 30, 2011. Two-Year-Old Colt/Gelding Fort Loudon (Awesome of Course) - 19 Currency Swap (High Cotton) - 15 Vexor (Wildcat Heir) - 5

Jacks or Better Farm Inc Stonecliff Farm Carlos Rafael & Briggs & Cromartie Bloodstock

Jacks or Better Farm Inc Klaravich Stables Inc & William H Lawrence Gold Mark Farm LLC

Stanley I Gold Teresa M Pompay John C Kimmel

Ocala Stud Jacks or Better Farm Inc Jacks or Better Farm Inc

Karl Watson, Michael Pegram & Paul Weitman Jacks or Better Farm Inc Jacks or Better Farm Inc

Bob Baffert Stanley I Gold Stanley I Gold

Live Oak Stud Glen Hill Farm Dianne D Cotter

Live Oak Plantation Karl Watson, Michael E Pegram & Paul Weitman Dianne D Cotter

Thomas Albertrani Bob Baffert H Graham Motion

Ocala Stud Hardacre Farm LLC Jacks or Better Farm Inc

Blinkers On Racing, Dave Aurelio, Robert Butler, Joleen Coons, Lapso, et al Hardacre Farm LLC Stronach Stables

Mike Puype Amy Tarrant Chad C Brown

Preston Stables LLC Jules Boutelle Robert V LaPenta & Fred J Brei

Charles L Dickey Justin Sallusto Nicholas P Zito

Pinnacle Racing Stable & William A Kaplan IEAH Stables, Whizway Farm, Robert Teel and Pegasus Holding Group Stables Peter D Fuller

W Kaplan Richard E Dutrow Milton W Wolfson

Two-Year-Old Filly Candrea (Trippi) - 12 Redbud Road (Awesome of Course) - 8 Awesome Belle (Awesome of Course) - 7

Three-Year-Old Colt/Gelding Brilliant Speed (Dynaformer) - 43 Coil (Point Given) - 26 Toby’s Corner (Bellamy Road) - 18

Three-Year-Old Filly Turbulent Descent (Congrats) - 55 Pomeroys Pistol (Pomeroy) - 34 Awesome Feather (Awesome of Course) - 17

Older Male (Four-Year-Olds and up Colt/Gelding) Flat Out (Flatter) - 45 Teaks North (Northern Afleet) - 33 Jackson Bend (Hear No Evil) -32

Nikolaus Bock Brylynn Farm Inc Jacks or Better Farm Inc

Older Female (Four-Year-Olds and up Filly/Mare) Musical Romance (Concorde’s Tune) - 44 Amen Hallelujah (Montbrook) - 25 Trip for A.J. (Trippi) - 14

Ocala Stud Thorobeam Farm Peter D Fuller

Male Sprint (Three-Year-Olds and up Colt/Gelding, race distances one mile and less) Jackson Bend (Hear No Evil) - 30 Aikenite (Yes It’s True) - 17 Trappe Shot (Tapit) - 17 Apriority (Grand Slam) - 16

Jacks or Better Farm Inc Brylynn Farm Inc Hobeau Farm Donald R Dizney

Robert V LaPenta & Fred J Brei Dogwood Stable Mill House Donald R Dizney

Nicholas P Zito Todd A Pletcher Kiaran McLaughlin David Fawkes

Female Sprint (Three-Year-Olds and up Filly/Mare, race distances one mile and less) Musical Romance (Concorde’s Tune) - 44 Turbulent Descent (Congrats) - 40 Pomeroys Pistol (Pomeroy) - 34

Ocala Stud Ocala Stud Hardacre Farm LLC

Pinnacle Racing Stable & William A Kaplan Blinkers On Racing, Dave Aurelio, Robert Butler, Joleen Coons, Lapso, et al Hardacre Farm LLC

W Kaplan Mike Puype Amy Tarrant

Jules Boutelle B J Wright Live Oak Plantation

Justin Sallusto Michael Pender Thomas Albertrani

Robert Smithen Peter Fuller Frank Carl Calabrese

Brian A Lynch Milton W Wolfson Nick Canani

Male Turf (Three-Year-Olds and up Colt/Gelding, races run on the turf) Teaks North (Northern Afleet) - 33 Jeranimo (Congaree) - 27 Brilliant Speed (Dynaformer) - 23

Brylynn Farm Inc Brylynn Farm Inc Live Oak Stud

Female Turf (Three-Year-Olds and up Filly/Mare, races run on the turf) Bay to Bay (Sligo Bay) - 13 Trip for A.J. (Trippi) - 10 Romacaca (Running Stag) - 9

Adena Springs Peter Fuller Cashel Stud Inc

■ Selection Criteria for Florida-bred champions Year-end divisional champions will be determined using the “FTBOA Chase to the Championship” point system, a ranking that awards points for success in stakes races. The “FTBOA Chase to the Championship” allocates points for stakes wins in graded races, open-company stakes and Florida’s signature racing days, with the number of points awarded based upon the classification of the race. International stakes race status is governed by the International Cataloguing Standards Committee. The first three finishers in all Group/Graded and listed races appearing in Part I of the International Cataloguing Standards and International Statistics Book printed by The Jockey Club receive “black-type” designation. Ten point bonus to be awarded to any 2-year-old colt or filly sweeping all three legs of the Florida Stallion Stakes in determining the Champion 2-year-old Florida-bred. The Florida-bred with the most points in each division on December 31 is deemed champion of that division. Horse of the Year, Broodmare of the Year and Breeder of the Year will be voted on by the FTBOA Board of Directors and announced at the FTBOA’s annual awards dinner. In the case of a year-end tie in points in any division, earnings will be used to decide the tiebreaker. — Points are assigned as follows: 58 THE FLORIDA HORSE • DECEMBER 2011

■ World Thoroughbred Championship ■ Sunshine Millions (equivalent to a Grade 2 Stakes Race): Breeders’ Cup Race: Win: 20 points Place: 15 points Show: 10 points

■ Grade 1 Stakes Race: Win: 15 points Place: 10 points Show: 5 points

■ Grade 2 Stakes Race: Win: 5 points Place: 3 points Show: 2 points

■ Grade 3 Stakes Race: Win: 3 points Place: 2 points Show: 1 point

Win: 5 points Place: 3 points Show: 2 points

■ Other Florida-bred Signature Race Days (equivalent to a Grade 3 Stakes Race):

(The Florida Million, Florida Cup, Florida Stallion Stakes Series): Win: 3 points Place: 2 points Show: 1 point

■ Open-Company Stakes ($50,000 + Purse) Points for WIN ONLY: Win: 2 points


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Leading Florida Sires The following list includes currently active, deceased, and pensioned stallions, with racing results updated through December 2, 2011. Statistics provided by The Jockey Club Information Systems Inc.

WILDCAT HEIR Name

Sire Name

Farm Name

Wildcat Heir

Forest Wildcat

Journeyman Stud

GRAEME HALL

LEROIDESANIMAUX NA Stk Gr Earnings Strtrs Wnrs SW's Wins SW's Earnings

Leading Earner

Leading Earnings

Yrlg Sold

Yrlg Avg

2yo Sold

2yo Avg

$215,061

24

$26,458

16

$39,531

$4,527,087

176

101

8

13

2

$4,633,320

John Johny Jak

Leroidesanimaux (BRZ) Candy Stripes

Stonewall Farm Ocala $3,908,409

86

47

5

7

4

$4,162,815

Animal Kingdom

$1,904,900

21

$37,293

3

$53,500

Graeme Hall

Dehere

Winding Oaks

$2,975,856

121

72

3

3

3

$2,982,631

Duke of Mischief

$719,881

12

$19,342

5

$17,600

Chapel Royal

Montbrook

Signature Stallions

$2,708,260

205

92

1

2

0

$2,717,275

Navy Chapel

$108,855

17

$14,629

11

$19,836

With Distinction

Storm Cat

Hartley/De Renzo

$2,489,033

129

62

3

5

0

$2,513,256

Decisive Moment

$409,300

21

$26,200

39

$25,612

Concorde's Tune

Concorde Bound deceased

$2,343,058

75

37

1

5

1

$2,376,304

Musical Romance $1,040,734

7

$27,214

Strong Hope

Grand Slam

Winding Oaks

$2,141,997

118

63

2

4

0

$2,254,049

Clement Rock

$226,494

4

$2,375

4

$16,750

Greatness

Mr. Prospector

Stonewall Farm Ocala $2,206,186

72

43

3

9

1

$2,209,157

Immortal Eyes

$269,215

1

$1,000

1

$2,000

Put It Back

Honour and Glory Bridlewood

$2,022,990

166

65

7

10

2

$2,174,685

It's Me Mom

$157,300

32

$17,556

24

$27,000

Pomeroy

Boundary

Vinery

$2,046,406

77

41

6

10

2

$2,147,603

Pomeroys Pistol

$461,188

13

$28,423

17

$78,235

Montbrook

Buckaroo

Ocala Stud

$2,100,446

82

42

3

6

2

$2,113,279

Tackleberry

$599,667

4

$16,500

12

$35,142

Halo's Image

Halo

deceased

$2,032,777

78

41

5

8

1

$2,037,249

Atlantic Hurricane

$391,033

4

$5,675

4

$12,250

D'wildcat

Forest Wildcat

Vinery

$1,817,720

111

54

1

1

0

$1,970,631

D'wild Ride

$115,175

19

$18,142

25

$30,079

Full Mandate

A.P. Indy

Hartley/De Renzo

$1,897,478

115

63

2

2

0

$1,901,494

Full of Gut

$124,120

3

$1,400

5

$17,540

Value Plus

Unbridled's Song Stonewall Farm Ocala $1,804,302

115

63

1

1

0

$1,833,738

All Due Respect

$100,638

21

$10,976

4

$41,250

Concerto

Chief's Crown

Ocala Stud

$1,590,581

74

53

1

3

0

$1,591,245

Vuelve Ruben M .

$146,987

1

$2,386

4

$23,375

Roar of the Tiger

Storm Cat

deceased

$1,583,763

111

54

3

4

0

$1,583,763

Tazz

$134,691

6

$8,833

9

$14,667

Three Wonders

Storm Cat

deceased

$1,481,962

101

54

1

2

0

$1,495,699

Trelawny

$112,741

Suave

A.P. Indy

Vinery

$1,330,441

97

47

1

1

0

$1,488,001

Indy Tune

$82,546

16

$6,433

2

$6,500

West Acre

Forty Niner

Stonehedge South

$1,379,026

49

34

4

4

1

$1,379,026

Watch Me Go

$258,070

1

$2,500

5

$9,900

THE FLORIDA HORSE • DECEMBER 2011 59


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Leading Florida Juvenile Sires The following list includes currently active, deceased, and pensioned stallions, with racing results updated through December 2, 2011. Statistics provided by The Jockey Club Information Systems Inc.

AWESOME OF COURSE

CHAPEL ROYAL

WITH DISTINCTION

Name

Sire Name

Farm Name

NA Stk Gr Earnings Strtrs Wnrs SW's Wins SW's Earnings

Awesome of Course

Awesome Again

Journeyman Stud

$779,799

7

3

3

6

0

$779,799

Fort Loudon

$333,485

With Distinction

Storm Cat

Hartley/De Renzo

$606,746

47

14

2

2

0

$627,503

For Oby

$114,712

21

Chapel Royal

Montbrook

Signature Stallions

$570,470

45

17

1

2

0

$570,470

Navy Chapel

$108,855

Dixie Union

Ocala Stud

$537,264

30

12

1

1

1

$563,291

Currency Swap

FRESHMAN

High Cotton

Leading Earner

Leading Yrlg Earnings Sold

Yrlg 2yo Avg Sold

2yo Avg

1

$10,000"

$26,200

39

$25,612"

17

$14,629

11

$19,836"

$180,000

9

$26,222

23

$31,518"

Put It Back

Honour and Glory Bridlewood Farm

$507,919

37

11

3

3

0

$507,919

Yara

$103,920

32

$17,556

24

$27,000"

Wildcat Heir

Forest Wildcat

Journeyman Stud

$399,836

25

12

1

1

1

$487,754

Vexor

$133,000

24

$26,458

16

$39,531"

A.P. Indy

Journeyman Stud

$449,868

32

14

1

1

0

$449,868

Saint D'aroak

$78,388

3

$12,667

24

$18,396"

Rubiano

Stonewall Farm Ocala $377,714

15

8

2

2

0

$377,714

Queen Drama

$126,705

6

$6,833"

Storm Cat

Bridlewood Farm

$376,367

10

2

1

2

0

$376,367

Rose and Shine

$326,573

3

$3,400

8

$21,563"

Forest Wildcat

Vinery

$364,112

35

9

0

0

0

$364,112

Blue Forty

$55,042

19

$18,142

25

$30,079"

Journeyman Stud

$359,197

29

12

1

1

0

$359,197

Exclusively Maria

$98,258

14

$8,307

30

$21,550"

Boundary

Vinery

$277,185

20

6

1

1

0

$277,185

Mel Beach

$92,554

13

$28,423

17

$78,235"

Silver Deputy

Hartley/De Renzo

$271,180

19

10

1

1

0

$271,180

Aracelis Baby M.

$56,820

7

$6,757

22

$13,732"

Storm Cat

Hartley/De Renzo

$266,004

18

8

0

0

0

$266,004

Bob's Place

$55,574

6

$9,583

16

$32,469"

Johannesburg

Journeyman Stud

$212,710

17

5

0

0

0

$219,751

Trinniberg

$101,300

5

$22,000

7

$44,000"

Black Mambo

Kingmambo

deceased

$211,757

10

5

0

0

0

$211,757

Argentine Tango

$109,250

3

$5,000

3

$10,903"

West Acre

Forty Niner

Stonehdge South

$200,010

10

7

0

0

0

$200,010

Melpomene

$49,940

1

$2,500

5

$9,900"

A. P. Warrior

A.P. Indy

Stonewall Farm Ocala $183,955

25

10

0

0

0

$189,990

Race to the Top

$37,160

6

$13,083

4

$42,500"

Montbrook

Buckaroo

Ocala Stud

$189,727

12

3

0

0

0

$189,727

Montessa G

$69,735

4

$16,500

12

$35,142"

Bring the Heat

In Excess (IRE)

Ward Ranch

$184,832

11

9

0

0

0

$184,832

Firefall

$37,843

FRESHMAN

Saint Anddan

Burning Roma FRESHMAN

Mr. Sekiguchi

D'wildcat

FRESHMAN

Exclusive Quality Elusive Quality

Pomeroy FRESHMAN

Simon Pure

City Place FRESHMAN

Teuflesberg

60 THE FLORIDA HORSE • DECEMBERER 2011


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PLAYER’S PAGE

StardomWithin Reach or more than three decades every new year has begun in the racing world where the last ended – the endless Triple Crown vigil renewed and though we have been occasionally teased each spring since 1979 has ended in disappointment that has come to seem almost inevitable. A person born in the spring that saw Affirmed turn back Alydar in all three Triple Crown races is now of age sufficient to have acquired an education, family and underwater mortgage. Meanwhile, girls rule. Rachel Alexandra’s epic 3-year-old Horse of the by Paul Moran Year campaign of 2009 is etched in history as is every stride of Zenyatta’s storied 19-for-20 career. And the era of the female was not interrupted during the season just completed. Havre de Grace is favored to be the third consecutive female Horse of the Year and will remain in training for the 2012 season. The most exciting 2-year-old of 2011 is arguably My Miss Aurelia, undefeated winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies and the certain divisional champion.

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Genuine stardom, barring the unforeseen, appears to be within Awesome Feather’s reach and she could well be the next big thing in the current era of female dominance. And just as the curtain was drawn on 2011, Awesome Feather reappeared in the Gazelle Stakes two days after Thanksgiving at Aqueduct, the final Grade 1 race of the year in New York, with a show-stopping performance that proclaimed loudly: “I’m back!” The Florida-bred 3-year-old had raced only once since she won the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Churchill Downs, a convincing victory that secured a divisional championship, that in an overnight stakes at Belmont Park a month before Breeders’ Cup Day and stepped directly into Grade 1 company in the 9-furlong, $250,000 Gazelle, an unmistakable statement of confidence by trainer Chad Brown, whose faith was abundantly rewarded. The elegant Awesome Feather is a study in both perfection and patience. Her Breeders’ Cup victory followed domination of the 2010 Florida Stallion Stakes and the daughter of Awesome of Course and the Gone

62 THE FLORIDA HORSE • DECEMBER 2011

West mare Precious Feather was subsequently sold at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky November sale, the gavel falling on a final bid of $2.3 million made by Frank Stronach, who stands the filly’s grandsire, Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Awesome Again, at Adena Springs in Kentucky. Stronach would wait almost a year to see the filly go to the post beneath his colors, however, after Awesome Feather was diagnosed with a tendon injury in a foreleg. The Le Slew Stakes at Belmont, the race chosen for her return, was little more than a $60,000 workout but the Gazelle, while not exactly a Breeders’ Cup- quality contest, was no soft spot. Yet, Awesome Feather won with unmitigated authority, effortlessly drawing away with a late flourish to a 5 ¼-length advantage in the final furlong and is now undefeated in eight career starts. She left the impression that had she not missed most of her 3-year-old season, Awesome Feather’s profile would be much higher than it is at the moment. She has never been worse than second at the eighth pole and only once finished with another filly within two lengths at the wire. She has won races at Calder, Churchill Downs, Belmont Park and Aqueduct and has clearly demonstrated that she is the kind who dominates a field and at the same time leaves the impression that there is much she has yet to reveal. Had fortune smiled upon this filly she may by now have been a superstar. Under the circumstances, she is worth the wait. Genuine stardom, barring the unforeseen, appears to be within Awesome Feather’s reach and she could well be the next big thing in the current era of female dominance. There is a mystique that accompanies perfection and Awesome Feather has yet to encounter a close call. She may, given the opportunity, prove herself to be as good as the older filly who is the anticipated Horse of the Year. The prospect of a Havre de Grace versus Awesome Feather at some point of 2012 is indeed exciting even if the anticipation is at this point premature. “You just never know, with everything she has been through, what’s going to happen,” said Brown after the Gazelle. “She’s a super talented horse.” The trainer leans toward understatement. The filly, when turned loose and in full stride, does not.


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December 2011 Florida Horse  

December Issue of the Florida Horse magazine

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