Archive Page 2

Half sibling to Hoppertunity, Executiveprivilege leads the way at Fasig July

The demand for top-end horses continued to force buyers to stretch to the upper end of their limits during Monday’s Fasig-Tipton July selected yearling sale with a half sibling to graded stakes winners Executiveprivilege and Hoppertunity bringing the highest bid midway through the auction when he sold for $550,000 to representatives of Northwest Stud.

Consigned by Hidden Brook, agent, the bay son of Cowboy Cal is already a veteran at performing inside the sales ring. His dam Refugee sold for $480,000 with the colt in utero during the 2012 Fasig-Tipton November mixed sale and the colt himself was purchased by McMahon & Hill Bloodstock as a weanling for $145,000 at the 2013 Keeneland November Breeding Stock auction.

After signing the ticket for the strong-bodied colt, Northwest Stud’s stallion director Alfredo Lichoa said they too would likely run the son of Cowboy Cal back through the ring at the 2-year-olds sales next March.

“He comes from a very nice family and we thought he was one of the best looking horses in the sale,” Lichoa said. “He went for a little bit more than we thought but he’s one of the best horses in the sale. Hopefully we’ll see him at the select sales in March. We know the mare is a very good mare and she has a very good pedigree.”

Northwest has already had success with high-dollar pinhooks, having sold a Giant’s Causeway colt for $1.6 million at the OBS March selected 2-year-olds in training sale after buying that one for $550,000 at the 2013 Keeneland September yearling sale.

“We came here and of all the horses at the sale and this was the only one that met all the criteria that we need,” Lichoa said.

Refugee has indeed been a standout producer with Executiveprivilege becoming a multiple Grade I winner and Hoppertunity capturing the Grade II Rebel Stakes this March before an injury knocked him out of the Kentucky Derby.

Mike McMahon of McMahon & Hill said the Cowboy Cal colt “has never had a bad day” and that they anticipated him being the standout in the first major yearling auction of the season.

“We thought he would be the best horse here,” McMahon said. “He’s been a very good horse so…we were excited that he could bring a lot of money but you never know what they’re going to bring. We actually really liked Hoppertunity, that was the first attraction, but (this colt’s) physical was extraordinary. He’s a tank, there is nothing to dislike about him physically.”

 

Prized, winner of 1989 Breeders’ Cup Turf, euthanized at age 28

Edited release:

Prized, winner of the 1989 Breeders’ Cup Turf, was euthanized on Sunday due to infirmities of old age at Old Friends’ Georgetown-based facility, the equine retirement farm announced.

The 28-year-old stallion had been receiving care from Dr. Bryan Waldridge because of deteriorating mobility. 

Bred by Meadowbrook Farm in Ocala, Prized was raced by Meadowbrook and Clover Racing Stable and trained by Neil Drysdale and ridden by Eddie Delahoussaye. During his 3-year-old season, the son of Kris S. won the Bradbury Stakes at Santa Anita, then prevailed over dual classic winner and eventual 1989 Horse of the Year  Sunday Silence in the Grade II Swaps Stakes.

That September the dark bay colt captured the Molson Export Million before capping of his year with a victory in the 1989 Breeders’ Cup Turf, making him the first horse to win that race in the his first start on the grass.

Prized went on to win the Grade I San Luis Rey in 1990 and retired in 1991 with nine wins from 17 career starts and $2,262,555 in earnings.

From 1992 through 2010, Prized stood at Cardiff Stud in California, Dixiana Farm and Spendthrift Farm in Kentucky, and O’Sullivan Farms in West Virginia, From 811 foals he sired 617 starters, 443 winners and 36 black type winners, including Grade I winner Brass Hat, and had progeny earnings of $31,351,805.

“We brought Prized up every afternoon from his paddock for a cool shower, extra carrots and the adulation of his fans,” said Michael Blowen of Old Friends. “He loved it. It’s always very, very sad when we lose a retiree, especially one as accomplished and adored as Prized. I know his owners felt privileged accepting his Breeders Cup trophy but we felt the same way being honored as his caretakers these past few years. It’s something that can never be measured by statistics or money.”

Candy Ride ridgling paces early action at Fasig-Tipton July

A chestnut ridgling by Lane’s End stallion Candy Ride set the early standard at the Fasig-Tipton July select yearling sale, selling to Samantha Siegel of Jay Emm Ess Stable for $250,000 Monday afternoon.

Consigned by Warrendale Sales, the Candy Ride youngster is out of the A. P. Indy mare True Legacy and is a half brother to Grade III winner Verdana Bold.

“Candy Ride is doing well and this is a nicely made horse,” said Siegel. “He is well balanced, handled himself well. Good horses are hard to find and the same people kind of land on the same horses. It’s just a matter of who wants which one more. Luckily we got one and he’s a nice colt. We’ll see what happens.”

The Candy Ride ridgling became the second yearling to crack the $200,000 barrier early in the sale as a bay colt by the late Harlan’s Holiday sold to Ernie Semersky and Dory Newell’s Conquest Stables for $235,000 shortly before hand.

Consigned by Baccari Bloodstock, the colt is out of the Time for a Change mare Time For a Crown is a half brother to stakes winners Sayaad and Banga Ridge, that latter of whom is the dam of Unspurned, winner of the Bison City Stakes at Woodbine this past weekend.

“I just thought he was a real pretty horse,” said trainer Mark Casse, who signed the ticket on behalf of Conquest Stables. “He’s got a live pedigree and so far Ernie and Dory, we have a couple nice Harlan’s Holidays and I thought it made sense. The mare is a solid producer and I thought he was a beautiful horse.”

Casse, who saddled his first Queen’s Plate winner in the filly Lexie Lou on July 6, conditions several runners for Conquest Stables including Grade I winner My Conquestadory.

“Ernie doesn’t do things slow,” Casse said. “He’s a player and he loves the game. It’s funny because he and Dory have been in it for a couple of years and it’s amazing to me how much horse racing has become such a big part of his life. He’s got a very busy schedule but they just love this game. They’re great people.”

The Fasig-Tipton July yearling sale will be immediately followed by the dispersal of 13 broodmares and weanlings from the stock of owner Eugene Melnyk as well as a Horses of Racing Age sale later in the evening.

Fasig-Tipton July sale looks to capitalize on one-stop shopping appeal

Holding down the space as the first major yearling sale of the Thoroughbred auction season often brings a unique set of challenges to the Fasig-Tipton July auction, particularly due the timing of the exercise.

 
With the single-session sale set to take place at its Newtown Pike paddocks beginning at 10 a.m. this Monday, participants in the jump off event of the yearling marketplace expect the increasingly unique total look of the auction to provide the boost needed for momentum to remain on the positive end of the spectrum.

 
For the second straight season, the Fasig-Tipton July select yearling sale will be immediately followed by a Horses of Racing Age sale, which was added as a companion auction for the first time in 2013.

 
Part of Fasig’s impetus for adding the Horses of Racing Age exercise was to try and lure trainers and end-users who might not otherwise be willing to peel away at time when the boutique meets at Del Mar and Saratoga are poised to get underway.

 
The crossover appeal of giving potential buyers more options for their buck brought positive returns a year ago as the yearling sale posted double-digit gains in average and median while Grade I winner Starship Truffles brought the fireworks among the horses of racing age when she went to Castleton Lyons for $1 million.

 
Adding to the one-stop shopping identity of the July auction is the fact this year’s sale will also feature a 13-horse dispersal of broodmares and weanlings from the elite program of owner Eugene Melnyk.

 
“I think it’s a major advantage because what you find is you draw in trainers and end-users that maybe typically wouldn’t come to this sale,” said consignor Stuart Morris. “That’s the one thing Fasig fights here is the timing of the sale, two weeks before Saratoga and Del Mar, a lot of the big guys are focused on getting those stables dialed in.

 
“You have to find the capacity where it is worth it for a trainer to come in from out of state and it has to be a big enough number in the catalog to justify being gone. I think it will be a good year for everybody and positive for the industry going forward.”

 
There is still a healthy dose of good feelings in the market coming off a juvenile sales season that was generally positive despite spotty returns and high buy-back rates at its boutique auctions.

 
While yearling-to-juvenile resellers should be active again as they restock their inventory, the on-going reduction in the foal crop numbers is something some believe will contribute to end-users spending money at levels they didn’t previously dip in to.

 
Where larger foal crops naturally allowed for buyers to be more picky in when and what type of horses they purchased, having a smaller pool overall to chose from has upped the urgency to stock up for the future.

 
“Before we had a glut and we had more supply and demand and now….I see more of these end-users trying to get product earlier in the pipeline,” said Mark Taylor of leading consignor Taylor Made Sales. “They used to wait and now they say, hey even if I’m looking for horses that can run for a tag they might come in here and buy inexpensive yearlings. So I think that’s what is really what is driving it.

 
“When there are tons of foals out there, you create different types of pinhooking. And it’s not bad, but if everyone is always trying to resell it to somebody else, the market is not 100 percent true.”

 
Supply and demand should be in harmony again as 265 yearlings have been cataloged for that sale while the Horses of Racing Age sale had over 130 entries with more still being taken over the weekend.

 

 
“It is interesting because with the way the foal crop has shrunk, it’s gotten a little competitive as the market has picked back up,” said Spendthrift Farm general manager Ned Toffey. “There are a lot of savvy people out there that are looking for a good buy any place they can get it. I don’t think there are too many soft spots out there anymore.”

 

 

Champion Wise Dan ‘perfect’ in first breeze since colic surgery

Exhales of relief followed by surges of joy reverberated through trainer Charlie LoPresti’s Keeneland barn Friday morning as two-time defending Horse of the Year Wise Dan made his return to the worktab for the first time since undergoing colic surgery in May, breezing an easy four furlongs in 50 2/5 over the Keeneland turf.

Wise Dan’s recovery from his emergency surgery at Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital on May 16 has been ahead of schedule since he got out of the clinic, and Friday’s move was another step forward. After warming up with a jog over the training track under regular exercise rider Damien Rock, Wise Dan headed through the tunnel over to the Keeneland turf course and immediately began to lengthen his stride.

Rock had the 7-year-old chestnut gelding under a solid hold as they broke off, finishing up the last quarter in :24 according to LoPresti and galloping out five furlongs in 1:02 2/5.

“I could tell as soon as we got on the turf he was back to his old self,” Rock said. “He was real happy and drug me the whole way. I was really happy he galloped out that good and wanted to keep going.”

Added LoPresti “You know what, it was perfect. That’s what I was hoping for really. I didn’t want him to go out in :47 and change and be dog tired. But that couldn’t have worked out any better. What I was interested in was how he came home and his gallop out and those were…perfect for his first work. Damien said he didn’t want to pull up and that’s a very good sign. And he’s not blowing. That is going to put me so far ahead going into Saratoga.”

With his comeback work now under his belt, Wise Dan and the rest of the New York-bound LoPresti contingent is slated to ship to Saratoga late Sunday afternoon with the Grade II Fourstardave Handicap on August 9 still the main target for Morton Fink’s homebred to make his return to the races.

“If he doesn’t back up from here, the Fourstardave is definitely still in the cards,” LoPresti said. “We’re looking at that, we’re looking at the Bernard Baruch (on August 30), and we’re looking at Woodbine (Woodbine Mile). And I wouldn’t rule out the Woodward either (at Saratoga on August 30). I’m going to train him up there and I’m going to let Wise Dan tell me what Wise Dan wants to do.”

Before being felled by colic, Wise Dan opened his 2014 campaign with victories in the Grade I Maker’s 46 Mile at Keeneland and Grade I Woodford Reserve Turf Classic at Churchill Downs to bring his career mark to 21 wins from 29 starts and $6,802,920 in earnings. LoPresti said the two-time Breeders’ Cup Mile winner would likely work again at Saratoga next Saturday.

It is hard to fathom the six-time Eclipse Award winner and victor of 10 Grade I races being much better than he has been in the past. As awe inspiring as the chestnut son of Wiseman’s Ferry has been in his career, LoPresti has been even more slack-jawed at the way the cool-headed gelding has handled his physical setback with the same freakish ease that he goes about his on-track exploits.

Wise Dan recuperated on LoPresti’s Lexington-based farm for a handful of weeks before returning to his Keeneland shedrow June 23, never once so much as spiking a fever during his recovery.

“I tell you, I’m just relieved that he is the same horse,” LoPresti said. “I knew he was the same horse when we took him off the van (from Rood & Riddle). If he would have spiked a temp or his coat would have been dull or had he been depressed…I’ve seen some horses go through that and it takes them a long time to bounce back. But it’s almost like it’s made him better, it’s made him tougher. I don’t know how much better he can be than he is but….he’s just freaky that horse. There is something freaky about him.”

 

 

 

 

 

Ramsey aiming for big weekend of 3-year-old success

Even before the calendar flipped to 2014, We Miss Artie and Bobby’s Kitten were tabbed as ones who would carry the lion’s share of the load if top-level success was to be achieved this season by sophomore runners carrying the colors of owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey.

While the American classics didn’t pan out as the Ramsey clan hoped for two of their better 3-year-olds, both colts have since rebounded and now enter this weekend still in position to make good on the core faith behind their connections’ initial aspirations.

On Saturday, graded stakes winner Bobby’s Kitten will try and harness his speed into the form of a Grade I performance when he faces a loaded bunch of 10 challengers in the $1.25 million Belmont Derby Invitational – part of a salty slate of graded stakes that make up Belmont Park’s first ever ” Stars and Stripes Day” card.

Twenty four hours later, Grade I winner We Miss Artie will go to post with the largest target on his back having been deemed the 8-to-5  morning-line favorite in a field of 15 for Woodbine’s $1 million Queen’s Plate, the first leg of the Canadian Triple Crown.

Winner of the Grade III Pilgrim Stakes on the Belmont turf as a juvenile, Bobby’s Kitten has been called Ramsey Farm’s most talented runner by the family patriarch, but saw his Kentucky Derby hopes crash and burn when he finished 12th as the favorite in the Grade I Toyota Blue Grass Stakes over the Polytrack at Keeneland in April.

We Miss Artie, hero of the Grade I Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland last November and winner of the Grade III Spiral Stakes at Turfway Park in March, did make it into the Kentucky Derby field along with fellow Ramsey runner Vicar’s in Trouble, but never threatened as he finished tenth in the 10-furlong classic.

Since those respective disappointing outings, both colts have returned to their preferred surfaces and proceeded to notch preferred results. Bobby’s Kitten ran off to a 2 3/4-length victory in the $500,000 Penn Mile Stakes on the turf at Penn National on May 31 while We Miss Artie captured the Plate Trial over Woodbine’s Polytrack  on June 15, winning well in hand by three-quarters of a length with jockey Javier Castellano easing up toward the wire.

“I tell you what, that is the premier race in Canada,” said Ken Ramsey after We Miss Artie drew post No. 6 for the Queen’s Plate Thursday morning. “I’ve got my top hat and morning coat from Royal Ascot so if I get to lead him in, I’m going to look very formal. Javier cut it a little close in the prep, he eased up in the last 50 yards but said he won with gas in the tank. I think things are looking good, he hasn’t missed a beat. He beat roughly half the field in the Kentucky Derby so I think we’re going to show up big here.”

While Ramsey said he won’t be in attendance for Bobby’s Kitten run at Belmont, he has a good idea what he is going to witness from afar this Saturday. The homebred son of Kitten’s Joy is best when allowed to roll on the front end but trainer Chad Brown has been working to get the bay colt to relax  in the early going instead of cooking himself as he did when he finished third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf last November.

Rather than trying to strangle the colt back and take him out of his game, Ramsey expects Castellano to try and get as kind of fractions as possible up front with Bobby’s Kitten trying the 1 1/4-miles distance for the first time in the Belmont Derby.

“I always thought this horse would be a great horse if we could get him to settle,” said Ramsey, who also has 4-year-old Charming Kitten running in the Grade I United Nations Stakes at Monmouth Park Sunday. “But he’s going 1 1/4-miles for the first time up there coming out of the No. 3 hole, I think he’s probably going to be on the lead, I do. We tried to choke him down in the Blue Grass Stakes and it did not work at all. I don’t think we’ll be able to rate him, I just hope no one puts a rabbit in there to soften him up.

“This horse has a lot of energy and he likes to use it early. But I think he is probably the best Kitten’s Joy that is out of there right now.”

How We Miss Artie and Bobby’s Kitten perform this weekend will dictate how stiff their paths continue to be this summer. If Bobby’s Kitten can successfully handle the 10-furlong distance, a start in the Grade I Secretariat Stakes at Arlington Park on August 16 – a race Ramsey won last year with Admiral Kitten – would likely be on tap.

With Keeneland switching back to a dirt main track in time for its Fall meeting, the options on synthetic surfaces for We Miss Artie are limited. One spot already being discussed in the Ramsey camp is the idea of sending the dark bay son of Artie Schiller West to try older horses in the Grade I Pacific Classic at Del Mar on August 24.

“Oh yes, we have definitely talked about it,” Ramsey said of a potential Pacific Classic start. “This horse is unbeaten on synthetic surfaces so that would definitely be on the agenda if he stays in form and performs well.”

After winning the Eclipse Awards for Outstanding Owner and Outstanding Breeder for 2013, the Ramseys are again currently leading the nation in earnings even if they haven’t racked up meet titles with the vigor they did a year ago.

With defending Arlington Million winner Real Solution training up for a title defense in that race and fellow Grade I winner Big Blue Kitten looking to make his long-awaited seasonal bow during the Saratoga meet, the second half of 2014 could be a big one for the Ramseys – a surge the Nicholasville-based family hopes gets sparked this weekend.

 

 

 

LoPresti ‘just happy to have’ Wise Dan back, healthy

To look at his chestnut frame now – well muscled and bright -  one would have no idea the angst that was cultivating inside Wise Dan in mid-May and the fear that sat in his connections’ throats.

There are no outward reminders that the two-time defending Horse of the Year lay on an operating table at Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital on May 16 undergoing emergency colic surgery. And watching the 7-year-old champion gelding gallop on the Keeneland training track Tuesday morning, trainer Charlie LoPresti sees no reason why his charge won’t soon resume his superior on-track exploits.

Given what transpired weeks earlier, LoPresti is quick to point out such triumphs aren’t even his main hope for his stable star anymore.

“I’m fine with whatever happens as long as he doesn’t colic again,” LoPresti said from his Keeneland barn. “When I led him in that surgery and they laid him down on that table I thought maybe we’ll never see him again, who knew. So just to have him here is a plus.”

Remarkable as the six-time Eclipse Award winner has been on the track, Wise Dan has continued to dazzle in his recovery from colic surgery as he remains on pace to make a likely return to the races in the Grade II Fourstardave Handicap at Saratoga Race Course on August 9.

Morton Fink’s homebred gelding has been ahead of schedule in his recovery and has been back at Keeneland since June 23 after initially recuperating on LoPresti’s Lexington-based farm. Should his progression continue as it has, LoPresti said Wise Dan would likely breeze over Keeneland’s training track before he gets set to ship out to Saratoga sometime around July 12.

“It’s not going to be too much longer before he’s going to have a little breeze,” LoPresti said. “Every day, we’re just picking it up a little more. I’m trying to get him as fit as I can without really pressing on him too much.”

Wise Dan has captured the last two editions of the Fourstardave and began his 2014 campaign with victories in the Grade I Maker’s 46 Mile and Grade I Woodford Reserve Turf Classic before undergoing colic surgery.

No portion of Wise Dan’s bowel had to be resected during the surgery, however, and he has been free from spiking a temperature or being felled by any other infection.

“There is a very good chance (of running in the Fourstardave) from what I see,” LoPresti said. “I don’t see why he wouldn’t make Saratoga. I wouldn’t have to be pushing him, If you look at his win in the Firecracker last year, I don’t think I breezed him but one time from the Firecracker to the Fourstardave.  With that being said if I breezed him here before I left and had a chance to get three breezes in at Saratoga, it’s not until August.

“And it depends on the weight,” LoPresti continued. “I already talked to the racing secretary and said I’m not lobbying not to put weight on him but he did go through colic surgery will you take that into consideration. But if ever they were going to take a crack at him now’s the time after colic surgery.”

With Wise Dan’s older half brother Successful Dan, himself a multiple graded stakes winner, recently retired due to lingering ligament issues, LoPresti is hoping some others in his barn step up to help carry the load. Villandry, a well-closing fourth in the Grade II Firecracker at Churchill Downs this past Saturday, could also be possible for the Grade II Bernard Baruch Handicap at Aug. 30 at Saratoga – a spot LoPresti is also looking at as a back up plan for Wise Dan’s return.

“I  kind of hope Villandry will carry the torch. But I’ve got some other nice horses too,” LoPresti said. “I have to concentrate on some of my younger horses. You can’t depend on Wise Dan all the time, someone else has to step up at some point.”

 

Silver Max prevails off layoff to win Grade II Firecracker

The last couple days have seen trainer Dale Romans dominate the news coming out of Churchill Downs for reasons he would just as soon put behind him.

In Saturday’s Grade II, $224,800 Firecracker Stakes, Romans was able to celebrate the kind of victory he wants to keep making headlines for as he saddled Grade I winner Silver Max to a front-running triumph in what was the colt’s first start since last November.

The 5-year-old son of Badge of Silver provided trainer Romans with a fourth victory in the Firecracker as he held off late runs by Nikki’s Sandcastle and stablemate Guys Reward, who finished a nose apart in second and third, respectively. In heading every point of call in the Firecracker, Silver Max – who defeated eventual two-time Horse of the Year Wise Dan in an off-the-turf edition of the Grade I Shadwell Turf Mile at Keeneland last October – looked to be in top form in his first start since running fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Mile last November 2.

“I was more nervous before this race than before any other just to see how he came back and, boy, he delivered,” said Mark Bacon, who co-owns Silver Max along with Dana Wells. “Dale and his team did absolute right thing with him. It was great to give him some time off.  (Jockey) Robby (Albarado) said he was really impressed with the way he did it and the way he galloped out so we’re looking forward to the future. It was good to get the first one under the belt.”

The win was especially satisfying for Romans, who was involved in a well publicized fist fight with Eddie Musselman, publisher of the satirical backside newsletter known as “Indian Charlie” on the Churchill backside days ago.

 

 
Silver Max put the focus on Romans for the right reasons Saturday as he opened a clear lead breaking from post five and took the field of eight older horses through fractions of :23.65, :46.83, 1:09.98 and 1:21.74 without much pressure. The bay horse drifted out a bit entering the stretch when fellow Grade I winner Regally Ready ranged up to challenge around the final turn but he turned that one back and continued on doggedly to hold off his rivals and clock the mile on firm turf in 1:34.21.

“It was unbelievable. It was his first race back and when that horse (Regally Ready) ran up to him on turn I was thinking that maybe if I didn’t have him tight enough that the horse might get by him,” Romans said. “But he’s just class and with these class athletes you can’t mess ‘em up; I just need to stay out of his way and he’ll get the job done for me.”

The Firecracker win lifted Silver Max’s career record to 12-5-1 in 24 races and the $135,195 winner’s share of the Firecracker purse boosted his career earnings to $1,913,598.

“This win means a lot because these are good people,” Romans said. “Mark (Bacon) and I have been good friends since high school and it’s a lot of fun to win for them. I told Mark that we were friends before we bought the horse for $20,000 and now we’re really good friends. This is special and he’s a special horse.”

Multiple graded stakes winner Successful Dan retired

Multiple graded stakes winner Successful Dan, the older half brother to two-time defending Horse of the Year Wise Dan, has been retired due to lingering ligament issues in his left front, trainer Charlie LoPresti said on Friday.

Owned and bred by Morton Fink and out of 2012 Broodmare of the Year Lisa Danielle, Successful Dan flashed brilliance throughout the years but constantly had his career interrupted by his ailments. The 8-year-old Successful Appeal gelding won eight of 15 starts and became the first graded stakes winner trained by LoPresti when he captured the 2009 Grade III Northern Dancer Stakes at Churchill Downs.

The bay gelding would go on to win four graded stakes but had not raced since running third in the Grade I Woodward Stakes at Saratoga last August.

“We retired him, he’s turned out on our farm,” LoPresti said. “He’s sound, he was galloping every day but was scanned that XYZ ligament again and he had some more inflammation and we were going to have to back up on him again. We talked about it and he is 8 and with his injury,  you can’t play around with something like that.  But we want to find him another life for him, maybe a  hunter/jumper, something like that.

“We did not want to destroy that ligament, so  I know we did the right thing by him.”

Successful Dan’s sesamoidal ligament strain first surfaced  after his victory in the Northern Dancer Stakes, initially sidelining him until August 2010. He appeared to have a top-level victory in his grasp when he crossed the wire in front in the 2010 Grade I Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs only to be disqualified to third for interference in the stretch.

Though Wise Dan emerged to become the six-time Eclipse Award winner he is, Successful Dan returned to set a track record for 1 1/16-miles at Churchill Downs in winning the Grade II Alysheba Stakes in 2012, defeating that year’s eventual Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Fort Larned.

After running fourth in the Grade I Stephen Foster in 2013, Successful Dan went on to run second beaten just three-quarters of a length by Cross Traffic in last year’s Grade I Whitney Stakes despite falling coming onto the track.

“He doesn’t owe us anything. And I tell you I’ll breathe a sign of relief now because every time we ran him and every time we breezed him I always worried about him and his issues,” LoPresti said. “Gosh darn, it’s just a shame we didn’t win that Whitney. He would be have been a Breeders’ Cup Classic winner had these things not plagued him.”

Successful Dan retires with $998,154 in earnings.

 

Owner, breeder James Tafel dies at age 90

Owner and breeder James Tafel, who campaigned such standouts as champions Banshee Breeze and 2007 Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense, died Wednesday in his home at the Village of Golf, Florida. Tafel was 90.

Born in Pittsburgh on  January 20, 1924, Tafel  spent 30 years with Technical Publishing Company starting in Sales in 1953, and retiring as President and CEO in 1983. Shortly after retiring, Tafel joined some ownership partnerships, including a Dogwood Stable venture that owned Nassipour, winner of the 1985 Rothmans International. Tafel’s first champion runner came when he co-owned 1998 champion 3-year-old filly Banshee Breeze with Jayeff B Stables.

One of the more emotional moments for Tafel came when his colt Street Sense captured the 2007 Kentucky Derby under Calvin Borel, becoming the first and only horse to date to win the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and the first leg of the Triple Crown. Street Sense was conditioned by Carl Nafzger, whom Tafel counted as his primary trainer for nearly 30 years.

“A good man, great for racing and very loyal,” trainer Ian Wilkes, a former assistant under Nafzger, said of Tafel. “How often do you seen an owner stay with a trainer that long. I think he had been with Carl for close to 30 years. (The Derby win) meant a lot. To do that meant a lot to Carl as well. To win it for Mr. Tafel, that was just a defining moment for both of them.”

Other top horses campaigned by Tafel included stakes winners Coolawin, Vicar, Til Forbid, Metfield and Binalong.

Tafel graduated fom the University of Pittsburgh in 1950 following World War II, he actively supported the Pitt Business School and served on its Board of Visitors for many years. During World War II he was a decorated flyer with the Eighth Air Force, flying out of England.

He is survived by his wife and partner, Ida May;  a daughter, Julie Tafel Klaus, of Rancho Santa Fe, California, and a son, James B. Tafel, Jr., of Alpharetta, Georgia, and three granddaughters, Victoria Anne Tafel of Atlanta, Georgia, and Haley Klaus and Cameron Klaus of Rancho Santa Fe, California.

Contributions may be made to your favorite charity in lieu of flowers.

« Previous PageNext Page »