By Jennifer Poorman
A multiple graded stakes winner and Breeders’ Cup placed at 2, Airoforce joins the roster at Cabin Creek Farm in Bernville for his second season. His 2019 fee is $2,000 live foal. A son of Travers Stakes-Gr1 winner Colonel John, the gray/roan five-year-old is the first foal for the multiple stakes-placed Cuvee mare Chocolate Pop. He sold for $350,000 as a two-year-old at the Ocala April sale, and won three of his four starts that fall. After breaking his maiden by daylight first time out, Airoforce won the Gr3 Dixiana Bourbon Stakes at a mile and a sixteenth on the turf and headed to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf-Gr1 as the favorite. He missed by a neck to Hit It a Bomb.
The final race of his juvenile season was against a high-powered field that included Gun Runner, Mor Spirit, Mo Tom and Tom’s Ready sent out for the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes-Gr2 at Churchill Downs. He scored by nearly two lengths over Mor Spirit, with Gun Runner fourth. Airoforce added two seconds in graded turf stakes to his record at 3—finishing a nose back of Camelot Kitten in the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame-Gr2 and missing to Catch a Glimpse, while finishing ahead of Oscar Nominated, in the Penn Mile-Gr3. He retired with earnings of $679,130 while first or second in six of his 12 starts. Airoforce is from the family of champions West Coast and Caressing, millionaire and three-time Gr1 winner Sea Cadet. He stood his first season in 2018 in Indiana.
Dolphus, a half-brother to Hall of Famer Rachel Alexandra, will stand his first season in 2019 at the newly established Cabin Creek Farm in Bernville. The five-year-old son of champion and leading sire Lookin At Lucky out of stakes winner Lotta Kim (by Roar) retires a graded stakes-placed winner of $211,060. In a 12-start career, Dolphus recorded four wins while racing at Aqueduct, Gulfstream Park and Fair Grounds. He added blacktype to the family when finishing second, missing by a neck, to Shaman Ghost in the mile and three-sixteenths Gr3 Pimlico Special. He was a winner first-time out at two at Fair Grounds going six furlongs, and took a seven-furlong Gulfstream Park allowance in 1:22.88 by nine and a quarter lengths.
Dolphus is one of five winners from as many starters for his dam, led by one of racing’s all-time greats, Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra. An earner of $3,506,730, Rachel Alexandra was a champion 3-year-old filly during a year in which she defeated males in the Preakness Stakes-Gr1, Haskell Invitational-Gr1 and Woodward Stakes-Gr1, the latter against older males, and dominated fillies in the Kentucky Oaks-Gr1 and Mother Goose Stakes-Gr1. She is the dam of Gr1-winning juvenile filly Rachel’s Valentina. Second dam Kim’s Blues (by Cure the Blues) produced additional stakes winners High Blues and Lotta Rhythm. Owned by Dr. Dede McGehee, Dolphus will stand for a special introductory fee of $2,500 live foal, with special consideration to approved mares. Maria Vorhauer, former manager of Dana Point Farm, has taken the past year to get the Cabin Creek operation up and running. “I’m looking forward to the breeding season,” she said.
Eastwood was an $800,000 sales purchase at the 2013 Fasig-Tipton summer horses of racing age sale, the second highest-price of the sale, after posting eye-catching victories in his first two starts as a three-year-old. The strapping chestnut’s career debut was a six-furlong contest at Belmont Park, which he won by more than two lengths, followed by a gutsy allowance score at the same distance. Later in his career, Eastwood scored impressive victories in a pair of allowance contests at Saratoga and Keeneland.
Still running sound as a seven-year-old, he was runner up in the 2017 Gr3 Los Angeles Stakes at Santa Anita Park, defeating Kentuckian and Grazen Sky. Eastwood retired from racing with earnings of $265,545 in a dozen starts. The first foal out of the Deputy Minister mare Fifth Avenue Ball, Eastwood was originally a $240,000 purchase at the Keeneland November breeding stock sale. Five of the first six foals out of the mare have sold at auction for six figures. “Speightstown is revealing himself as a sire of sires,” said Glenn Brok. “We’re excited about bringing this son of Speightstown to Pennsylvania.” Eastwood will stand for $2,500 live foal.
Flashback, a graded stakes-winning son of Tapit who previously stood at stud at Hill ‘N’ Dale Farm in Kentucky, has moved to Diamond B Farm in Mohrsville for the upcoming breeding season. His fee is $3,500 live foal, with special consideration to mares foaling in the state. Campaigned by Gary and Mary West, the gray won the Gr2 Robert B. Lewis Stakes and was second in the Gr1 Santa Anita Derby (to Goldencents) and Gr2 San Felipe in his first three stakes appearances, all at a mile or more over a three-month span in early 2013. In seven starts, he ran six times in stakes, also finishing second in the seven-furlong Damascus Stakes at Santa Anita and third in Churchill Downs’ Ack Ack Handicap-Gr3 at one mile, and finished fourth in the Gr1 Malibu Stakes to retire with earnings of $405,730.
Flashback, now eight, has first-crop runners at the races this year and ranks in the top 15 among the nation’s freshman sires. His runners include Gr1 performer Boujie Girl, third in the Del Mar Debutante Stakes-Gr1 and Gr2 Sorrento Stakes, as well as Tripwire, second by only a half-length in the Gr3 Grey Stakes in his second start, and seven other winners. Flashback is a full brother to multiple Gr1 winner Zazu ($691,985, Las Virgenes S-Gr1, Lady’s Secret S-Gr1, etc.), who is the dam of group placed Arusha. Their dam, the winning Mr. Greeley mare Rhumb Line, also produced stakes winners Corinthian’s Jewel and group-placed Art Princess. Both Zazu and Rhumb Line were million-dollar broodmares, selling for $2.1 million and $2 million respectively.
Multiple Gr1 winner and multimillionaire Hoppertunity will enter stud in 2019 at Northview PA in Peach Bottom. With career earnings of $4,712,625, the seven-year-old becomes the richest horse ever to stand his first season in the Mid-Atlantic region. His stud fee is $5,000 live foal, with shares and lifetime breeding rights being offered. In a career that spanned five seasons and 34 starts, Hoppertunity had 22 top-three finishes while consistently racing at the highest level from coast to coast. His nine stakes wins were all graded, with Gr1 scores in the historic Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park and Churchill Downs’ Clark Handicap.
He made two trips to Dubai and hit the board in the 2016 Dubai World Cup-Gr1 when third behind California Chrome. He won the San Antonio Stakes-Gr2 twice at Santa Anita and the Brooklyn Invitational Stakes-Gr2 at Belmont. Hoppertunity recorded his first stakes win in the Gr2 Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park before finishing second to California Chrome in the Santa Anita Derby-Gr1 next out. He went into Derby Week at Churchill Downs as the second choice for the Kentucky Derby-Gr1 until a foot issue forced his defection two days before the race. He returned at the end of the year to nail down the Clark Handicap over older horses. “I could go on and on about his racing statistics, but everyone can look them up,” said Northview’s general manager David Wade. “What most haven’t seen yet is this horse. I went to Santa Anita to inspect him for purchase, and I thought they had brought me the wrong one. How could a horse that’s run 34 times—31 of them stakes races—have legs this clean and joints this tight?”
Hoppertunity was trained throughout his career by Bob Baffert for Karl Watson, Mike Pegram and Paul Weitman. The bay recorded 15 triple-digit Beyer Speed Figures, and only twice in his career was he worse than fourth. He won at distances up to a mile and a half, broke his maiden at one mile at Santa Anita, and faced the best runners in training year after year. “Speed, class, stamina, and soundness will make you a multimillionaire in this business. Hoppertunity has them all,” said Baffert.
A son of Gr1-winning Any Given Saturday from the male line of Forty Niner, Hoppertunity is out of the graded stakes-placed Unaccounted For mare Refugee. He is a half-brother to Gr1 Del Mar Debutante and Gr1 Chandelier winner Executiveprivilege, an earner of $999,000 from 10 starts. Refugee’s weanling filly by Tapit sold for $1.3 million at the 2015 Keeneland November Breeding Stock sale. The mare has since had foals by War Front and American Pharoah. Hoppertunity’s third dam is champion and Hall of Famer Davona Dale, winner of the Filly Triple Crown of the Coaching Club American Oaks-Gr1, Mother Goose-Gr1 and Acorn-Gr1 as well as the Gr1 Kentucky Oaks, Fantasy and five other stakes. Her foals include Belmont Stakes-Gr1 placed Le Voyageur.
One of Pennsylvania’s all-time greats, Smarty Jones, returns to the state of his birth for a second time to stand at stud, taking up residence at Rodney Eckenrode’s Equistar Farm in Annville for the 2019 season. His stud fee has been set at $3,500 live foal. The 2004 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner stood in his home state from 2011-2015, first at Ghost Ridge Farms and then Northview Pa., before being relocated to Calumet Farm in Lexington, Ky. He has regularly shuttled to Uruguay since 2011, and was that country’s leading sire in 2017 when represented by champion two-year-old filly Bamba y Bamba. With 11 North American crops of racing age, Smarty Jones has sired earners of more than $38 million.
His 33 stakes winners include a dozen graded/group winners, including millionaire and four-time Singapore champion Better Life, Japanese millionaires Keiai Gerbera and Noble Jewelry, and Gr1-winning sprinter Centralinteligence. Smarty Jones has 2018 progeny earnings of more than $1.3 million (through late October). His current stakes winners are Pennsylvania-breds Midnight Poker and Someday Jones. Bred by Roy and Pat Chapman and campaigned in the name of their Someday Farm, Smarty Jones was undefeated in his first eight starts, earned a $5 million bonus from Oaklawn Park for winning the track’s traditional Kentucky Derby preps, the Rebel Stakes and Arkansas Derby-Gr2, plus the Kentucky Derby-Gr1, and finished second in his only loss, the Belmont Stakes-Gr1, his final start. The son of Elusive Quality and Smile’s stakes-winning daughter I’ll Get Along retired with earnings of $7,613,155 and remains the richest Pennsylvania-bred of all time.
Social Inclusion, an impressive track record-breaker and classic performer, will stand at Glenn and Becky Brok’s Diamond B Farm near Mohrsville, Pa., for the 2019 breeding season. Social Inclusion, who will stand for $5,000 live foal, is one of the fastest sons of the exceptional stallion Pioneerof the Nile, who also sired Triple Crown winner American Pharoah. Social Inclusion and American Pharoah are his track record-setting sons. Demonstrating pure, raw talent in his first two starts, he broke his maiden first time out by 7½ lengths, going six furlongs in 1:09.35 at Gulfstream Park. Next out in open allowance company, he won in wire-to-wire fashion, defeating future champion older horse Honor Code by 10 lengths and covering 1 1 ⁄16 miles in a track record 1:40.97. Social Inclusion followed with third-place finishes in the Gr1 Wood Memorial (won by Wicked Strong), Gr1 Preakness Stakes (won by California Chrome), and Gr2 Woody Stephens (won by Bayern). He completed his racing career with earnings of $450,800.
Social Inclusion relocates from John and Susan Sykes’ Woodford Thoroughbreds near Ocala, Fla. He is out of the Gr2 stakes-placed Saint Ballado mare Saint Bernadette, and a full brother to 2018 stakes-placed Road to Damascus. His first foals arrived this year. “He was a super impressive racehorse. . . we are always trying to get good sire power in Pennsylvania, and I think we’ve succeeded in identifying a horse like him,” Brok said. “He’s got a great disposition. He’s a big horse, standing 16.3 hands; he’s got a lot of bone, with a big hip and shoulder. He’s built like a horse that can get you both speed and distance.”
Young graded stakes sire Warrior’s Reward will be standing the 2019 season at Barbara and Chip Wheeler’s WynOaks Farm in Delta. The Gr1-winning sprinter by Medaglia d’Oro is currently ranked 38th in the nation on the leading general sires list, above any other Mid-Atlantic stallion. The 12-year-old dark bay will stand for $4,500 live foal in 2019, with special discounts for mares foaling in Pennsylvania. With five crops of racing age, Warrior’s Reward has sired 21 stakes winners, eight in 2018, led by graded winners Axelrod and Warrior’s Club, both entered in this year’s Breeders’ Cup. The three-year-old Axelrod takes aim at the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic-Gr1, drawing post 12 for the main event on the Saturday, Nov. 3 card at Churchill Downs. An earner of $732,925 from 10 starts, he goes into the Breeders’ Cup having won the Smarty Jones Stakes-Gr3 at Parx and the Indiana Derby-Gr3.
The swift Warrior’s Club, a career earner of $704,104 who captured this year’s Commonwealth Stakes-Gr3 at Keeneland and was second in Saratoga’s Gr1 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap and the Gr2 Churchill Downs Stakes on Derby Day, will break from the four-post in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Sprint-Gr1. Warrior’s Reward ranked in the top 10 in the nation as a first-crop sire, as well as on the second-crop and third-crop sire lists. He has total progeny earnings in excess of $16.8 million, with nearly $5 million in 2018. He is also the sire of 2018 stakes winners T Rex Express, who captured the West Virginia Breeders Classic Distaff in October; three-year olds Georgia’s Reward, winner of Oaklawn’s Rainbow Miss Stakes in five starts, and New York stakes winner Battle Station; Yockey’s Warrior, back-to-back winner of Fair Grounds’ Thanksgiving Handicap who captured the Duncan F. Kenner Stakes in his only start of 2018; Puerto Rican Gr2 winner Exclusivo and 15-time winner Medal of Courage.
Warrior’s Reward was the fastest three-year-old colt in his year, recording a 113 Beyer and winning at 7 furlongs at Churchill Downs in 1:21.60 over Munnings, Reynaldothewizard and Custom for Carlos, and finishing second or third in the Gr2 Jim Dandy, Gr2 Dwyer and Gr3 Northern Dancer Stakes that year. He returned at 4 to capture the Gr1 Carter in 1:21.62 for 7 furlongs and added graded placings in the Churchill Downs Stakes-Gr2 and Phoenix Stakes-Gr3 before retiring to stud with a record of four wins from 17 starts and earnings of $565,716. A son of champion sire Medaglia d’Oro out of a Seeking the Gold mare, Warrior’s Reward is from the family of Canadian Horse of the Year Catch a Glimpse, English champion Forest Flower, English classic-winning millionaire Night of Thunder, and Gr1 winner High Yield.
Photo credits: Kim Pratt, Jennifer Poorman, Eclipse Sportswire
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Spring 2019, issue 51 (PRINT)
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