Sahara Sky, Metropolitan Handicap, Belmont Park, 27th May 2013
Trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, Sire: Pleasant Tap. Dam: Seeking the Sky
So Kim Lloyd, a former trainer who is now general manager of Barretts Equine Sales and Fairplex Park, was down in Louisiana, scouting yearlings for the next sale. “Jeff Hebert was showing me eight or nine yearlings, and he said he had this horse who had just won a maiden $20,000 at Delta Downs,” Lloyd said. “He said he was as green as can be. So they walk this horse out. I’ve never seen a horse look as well, a picture of health. I said, `This horse is awesome.’”
So Lloyd makes a phone call to a proposed partner and makes a deal to buy that horse, Sahara Sky. “This guy was supposed to send Jeff the money, and Jeff called me and said he never sent the money,” Lloyd said. “I went to the track and ran into Dan Ward, Jerry Hollendorfer’s assistant. I said, `This is a damn shame. We’re going to lose this horse.’ He went back and he told Jerry how much I loved this horse. And he bought him.”
Hollendorfer said, “I value Kim’s opinion. Kim looks at a lot of horses.”
Kim had hit a home run. “The first time he ran, he won big in the slop,” Lloyd said. “He’s really good looking. He just carries himself. He walks like a panther.”
While Lloyd trained and continues to work and live in Southern California, the one stakes race he coveted was the Met Mile, because many years earlier he had seen Forego make one of his legendary late-runs to win one of his two consecutive Met Miles. Now Sahara Sky can be added to the list of Met Mile winners.
Standing in the winner’s circle, Lloyd’s cell phone lights up. “I had never heard from the guy that was supposed to send the money and never did,” Lloyd said. “It was him. He said, `I really screwed up, didn’t I?’ I said, `You sure did.’”