Sunday, July 18, 2021

The July 17 "Arlington Million Preview Day" succeeded in many respects—drawing a big crowd to the track amid perfect weather, rewarding one of the track's most successful trainers and another working his way up and identifying a likely candidate for the grade 1 races there Aug. 14.

Naval Laughter scored in the $100,000 Modesty Stakes (G3T), handing trainer Chris Davis his first graded-stakes win and earning a nomination to the Beverly D. Stakes (G1T) on "Million" Day. Sold by Legacy Bloodstock at the 2018 Fasig-Tipton July sale, she's the 100th blacktype winner to graduate from a Legacy consignment.

Jockey Sophie Doyle, a former Arlington regular, kept the 4-year-old Midshipman filly well off the early speed and moved to the lead inside the furlong pole. Despite racing a bit greenly in just her fourth start, she carried on to win by half-length over Joy Epifora.

"She was absolutely fantastic," Doyle said. "She took me right into the race. When I called on her, she showed me more gears than I ever imagined she could have."

Davis said he would celebrate his first graded stakes win by calling the filly's owner, Anthony Braddock of Two Heart Farm.

"The best thing about this," Davis said, "is that she's a homebred. He owns the mare and there's a sibling on the ground."

Naval Laughter is the lone starter of five foals out of the Medaglia d'Oro mare In Stitches. Among her four unraced foals is a yearling colt by Summer Front and foaled a Bernardini colt this year. 

Davis said he will consult with the owner, "but I know we'll be nominating to the Beverly D."

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Sunday, March 14, 2021
Excellent Timing gave part-owner Michael Dubb an early birthday present Sunday while giving him, his fellow owners and trainer Chad Brown a lot to ponder as winter turns into spring.

In his first start for Dubb, Sol Kumin’s Madaket Stables, and Marc and Joe Lore’s Wonder Stable following a private purchase last December, Excellent Timing cruised to a 6 3/4-length victory in Sunday’s $100,000 Damon Runyon Stakes for New York-bred 3-year-olds at Aqueduct.

He is out of the Pioneerof the Nile mare Explicable, who was purchased from Legacy Bloodstock by breeder Sequel Bloodstock at the 2017 Keeneland November auction while carrying the Not This Time colt.

Perfect Munnings, a stakes winner at 2, rallied for second, five lengths ahead of It’s Gravy in third. It’s a Gamble was fourth followed by A Longlongtimeago, Echoes of Destiny, Reggae Music Man, and The King Cheek.

At 2, Excellent Timing finished second in his debut then won a 6 1/2-furlong maiden race by 7 1/4 lengths on Dec. 10. Trained by Charlton Baker and owned by Happy Face Racing then, he was purchased privately by Dubb and partners and turned over to Brown.

While many options were bandied about for Excellent Timing’s 3-year-old debut, it was ultimately decided to point to the Damon Runyon, keeping the son of Not This Time with New York-breds for the time being.

“This time of year, everybody throws 3-year-olds to the wolves,” Dubb, who was in town to celebrate his 65th birthday on Monday, said following the race. “We just decided this is a New York-bred, he could have a nice long career, let’s develop the horse the right way and not get him where maybe he loses a race and loses interest. We want to get him used to winning, once we do that if we want to go to open company we can.”

Excellent Timing, under Manny Franco, was hustled to the front and then, while racing into a sharp wind down the backstretch, had a three-quarter-length advantage over It’s Gravy through a quarter in 24.49 seconds and a half-mile in 49.19.

Leaving the three-eighths pole, Excellent Timing gradually opened up and was roused some by Franco in upper stretch. With the outcome determined inside the eighth pole, Franco wrapped up on the colt, who covered seven furlongs in 1:28.02 and returned $3.30 to win.

“Manny did a great job in allowing him to show his natural cruising speed and really getting him to settle and relax and the horse did the rest from there,” said Dan Stupp, Brown’s New York assistant. “It’s a slower track, I don’t know what to make of the time. To be honest, I’m not too concerned about it; just the way he did it and the way he opened up he was very comfortable.”

Dubb said he would let Brown evaluate the options for Excellent Timing going forward, including possible open company races.
“Nothing’s out of the realm of possibility,” Dubb said.

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Friday, January 1, 2021

New York has its own road to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1), but it seems to be running through Bensalem, Pa.

A second straight Kentucky Derby qualifying points race in New York went to a Parx Racing-based runner Jan. 1 as Bing Cherry Racing and Leonard Liberto's Capo Kane cruised on the front end to a decisive 6 1/4-length victory in the 151st edition of the $145,500 Jerome Stakes for newly turned 3-year-olds over a muddy surface at Aqueduct Racetrack.

Capo Kane was bred by Rising Star Farm LLC and was purchased from Legacy Bloodstock at the Keeneland January sale. He joins another Legacy Bloodstock yearling grad, Prime Factor, on the 2021 Kentucky Derby trail.

Capo Kane, a California-bred son of Street Sense coming off a maiden win at Parx, surely had no trouble handling the Aqueduct surface and the one-turn mile as he revived Triple Crown hopes for Wyner, who missed out on his first Run for the Roses starter last year.

Back in 2019, Wyner advised John Fanelli and Leonard Liberto to purchase the New York-bred Ny Traffic. The son of Cross Traffic logged his first four races with Wyner, winning one of them, before he was sent to Florida and the barn of trainer Saffie Joseph Jr. With Joseph, Ny Traffic was unplaced in the 2020 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes (G1) but was second by a nose to Kentucky Derby winner Authentic  in the Haskell Stakes (G1).

"Thank God we sent Ny Traffic to Florida because right after that COVID hit," Wyner said. "I told Mr. Fanelli he was a Kentucky Derby horse."

After the Jerome, Wyner now has a colt with 10 Kentucky Derby points and a pedigree to thrive around two turns who figures to stay in his barn.

"I'm keeping this one," said Wyner, who has about 24 horses based at Parx. "I want to say thank you to the owners, Mr. Liberto and Mr. Como (Tony Como of Bing Cherry Racing) for giving me the opportunity and buying this horse for me and having faith in me."

Capo Kane led through a half-mile in :47.83 over 7-5 favorite Swill while under a snug hold by jockey Dylan Davis. 

When Swill began to retreat leaving the quarter pole, a pair of New York State-breds, Eagle Orb and Hold the Salsa, took up the chase but they were no match for the Cal-bred in the stretch. Though Capo Kane drifted a bit in the stretch, he widened his 2 1/2-length lead at the eighth pole in a manner that bodes well for his handling two turns in stakes company.

"In the morning, the farther he gallops, the stronger he gets," Wyner said. "He loves to run. He's a racehorse."
Sent off at 6-1 odds ($15.80), Capo Kane was timed in 1:38.02.

"He broke sharp for me, and I was able to take the lead very comfortably. He responded great all the way to the wire, and I was very happy with the way he did it. He galloped out well. It was a very comfortable win, and he handled the track real well," Davis said.

Wyner said he'll decide between the Feb. 6 Withers Stakes (G3) at Aqueduct or the Feb. 13 Risen Star Stakes Presented by Lamarque Ford (G2) at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots for Capo Kane's next start.

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Saturday, December 19, 2020

He's raced at Fonner Park, Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races, Canterbury Park, and Remington Park, to name some of the 11 racetracks he has visited in a 15-race career. He's been tested at 6 1/2 furlongs, 1 1/8 miles, and 1 1/2 miles on turf. And after a little more than two years of racing, Sleepy Eyes Todd has finally found some stability—at least for the rest of the year.

After winning the Lafayette Stakes at Keeneland in his last start—his first stab at seven furlongs—Thumbs Up Racing's son of Paddy O'Prado made it two in a row at a seven-furlong distance Dec. 19 by turning aside grade 1 winner Firenze Fire in the stretch to capture the $100,000 Mr. Prospector Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park.

Bred by Two Hearts Farm and Kristen Goncharoff out of the Wild Rush mare Pledge Mom, Sleepy Eyes Todd ($12.20) was victorious for the eighth time in 15 starts and increased his earnings to $744,825—a hefty total for a colt bought for $9,000 by Jonathan Wong from Legacy Bloodstock's consignment at the 2016 Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale. 

"He's always been a nice horse and we've always believed in him," trainer Miguel Angel Silva said. "I'm thankful to the owner for letting us do the job and take the horse everywhere and just have some fun with him. He's the best horse we've ever had and hopefully we can have some more fun."

True to his resume, distance stability will not last long for the grade 2 winner. Though he will remain at Gulfstream Park, instead of sticking to sprinting, Silva plans to stretch Sleepy Eyes Todd out around two turns Jan. 23 in the $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational Stakes (G1).

"That's the plan," Silva said about the Pegasus. "That's what we're here for."

Sleepy Eyes Todd is already a graded stakes winner at the 1 1/8-mile distance of the Pegasus, but that victory came earlier this year when he triumphed in the Charles Town Classic Stakes (G2). 

In the Mr. Prospector, jockey Tyler Gaffalione, who was aboard the colt for the first time, worked his way up from fifth in the field of 12 and moved with favored Firenze Fire past the tiring leader Wind of Change in the final furlong. In a two-horse duel to the wire timed in 1:21.67, Sleepy Eyes Todd prevailed by a half-length.

Firenze Fire, a homebred son of Poseidon's Warrior trained by Kelly Breen who was coming off a third in the Breeders' Cup Sprint (G1), was 2 3/4 lengths ahead of multiple grade 1 winner Mind Control, a Stay Thirsty  4-year-old owned by Red Oak Stable and Madaket Stables and trained by Gregg Sacco.

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Friday, December 18, 2020

There is no trainer more thankful than Ray Ashford that the turf course was shut down by Remington Park when it was this fall.

After that, he sent Dipping In to the main dirt surface here and she went 2-for-2, including a win in the $70,000 Useeit Stakes on Friday, December 18, her first black-type victory. This stakes triumph came after 12 career starts on turf courses.

Bred by Center Hills Farm, Dipping In was sold by Legacy Bloodstock at the 2017 Keeneland November sale and is one of two stakes-winning Legacy KeeNov grads on the weekend. The following afternoon, 2016 grad Sleepy Eyes Todd ran earned his second graded stakes victory in the Mr. Prospector S. (G3) at Gulfstream Park. 

Dipping In was the best in this one-mile event for Oklahoma-bred 3-year-old fillies, stopping the timer in 1:40.69 over the fast track, taking the stakes by a full length over Polly Tiz. Dipping In gave leading rider David Cabrera the third of his 4 wins on the card as he continues his march to a third straight riding title with four days of racing remaining in the season.

A daughter of Lea, out of the Runaway Groom mare Soloing, was previously trained by Doug O’Neill on the East and West Coasts. Dipping In was given October off and then showed up in Ashford’s barn in Oklahoma City. Dipping In ran fourth on the grass here in her first effort, but only lost by a 1/2-length in a blanket four-horse finish. She then moved to the dirt, sprinting 6 1/2 furlongs, and drew away with Ramon Vazquez in the saddle to win by 4 lengths. Vazquez had no mount in the Useeit.

Dipping In went off at 7/2 odds in the wagering and paid $9.40 to win, $5.40 to place and $2.80 to show. Polly Tiz (25/1) was second, a 1/2-length ahead of the betting favorite She’s All Wolfe (3/5), who had a 3-race win streak broken, settling for third.

Special Treasure set the early pace in the Useeit, handling a 1/4-mile in :24.96 before giving way to Polly Tiz who reached a 1/2-mile in :49.16 and 3/4 of a mile in 1:13.95. Dipping In gained control of the race in the final yards.

Dipping In earned $42,000 and now her running lines are 16 starts, 3 wins, 1 second and 3 thirds for $129,308 earned. She is owned by Ron Stolich of Lodi, California, and was bred in Oklahoma by Center Hills Farm’s division in Pryor, Mighty Acres. It was Cabrera’s second win in the Useeit, also having won aboard Bella Paella in 2015.

The Useeit Stakes is named after the Oklahoma-based broodmare who produced Black Gold, the winner of the 1924 Kentucky Derby.

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Sunday, December 13, 2020
WinStar Farm and China Horse Club Inc.'s debuting Prime Factor, a $900,000 purchase out of the Legacy Bloodstock consignment at the 2019 Keeneland September yearling sale - the joint-second priciest Quality Road yearling to sell that year - was off as the 21-10 second choice and turned his first trip to the post into a one-horse affair en route to 'TDN Rising Star' honors.

"It was a very professional debut. He broke well and put himself in a good spot. It looked like he was taking Irad [Ortiz] wherever he wanted him to go throughout the race," Todd Pletcher said. "He's been training exceptionally well. We were looking forward to a good debut. Honestly, he exceeded expectations."

Smoothly into stride, the bay sidled up alongside pacesetting Dr. Duke as the top two pulled well clear of the peloton rounding the turn. Prime Factor eased to the front while racing well off the inside approaching the quarter pole, put several lengths on his rivals entering the final furlong, was taken well in hand at the sixteenth pole and jogged home to score by 8 3/4 lengths.

Stablemate Bracken, himself a $285,000 Fasig-Tipton July yearling and the most expensive of 71 of his first-crop sire's yearlings to sell last year, closed belatedly to complete the exacta.

As for the future, the conditioner said, "We'll talk to Elliott [Walden] and the guys at WinStar and CHC and come up with a game plan. The good thing about this time of year is there's pretty good options all around. We have high hopes for him."

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Saturday, November 7, 2020
Favored Sleepy Eyes Todd rallied under Joel Rosario and knifed his way through stretch traffic to post a 1 1/2-length victory over True Timber. Edgemont Road was third.

The winner, a 4-year-old son of Paddy O'Prado owned by Thumbs Up Racing and trained by Miguel Angel Silva, raced seven furlongs in 1:21.77. The son o

Bred in Kentucky by Two Hearts Farm and Kristen Goncharoff, Sleepy Eyes Todd was a $9,000 weanling purchase by Jonathan Wong from Legacy Bloodstock's consignment to the 2016 Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale. He is the second stakes winner out of the unraced Wild Rush mare Pledge Mom.
Preview the 2020 Legacy Bloodstock Keeneland November Consignment

Sleepy Eyes Todd won the Charles Town Classic Stakes (G2) in August and now has earnings of $687,165.

The Lafayette brought a change in style from Sleepy Eyes Todd, who came from far behind after winning the Charles Town Classic on the lead when racing 1 1/8 miles. He also sparred early in the Awesome Again Stakes (G1) in his most recent start at Santa Anita before fading to fifth behind Longines Breeders' Cup Classic (G1) contenders Improbable  and Maximum Security.

The win was his third of the year from seven starts. His record now stands at 7-for-14.
Monday, September 21, 2020

Pirate's Punch left no doubt about the outcome this time.

Disqualified from first for interference in the stretch in the Aug. 22 Philip Iselin Stakes (G3), Pirate’s Punch drew away coming out of the final turn to win the $155,000 Salvator Mile Stakes (G3) by two lengths Sept. 20 at Monmouth Park.

Now it’s on to the Big Ass Fans Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) Nov. 7 for the half brother to 2017 Haskell Invitational Stakes (G1) winner Girvin, according to trainer Grant Forster.

Legacy Bloodstock sold Girvin at the 2015 Fasig-Tipton October yearling sale and sold their dam, Catch the Moon, carrying Pirate's Punch at Keeneland November sale a month later.

“The Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile is definitely our plan based on these last two races,” the Kentucky-based Forster said. “For us here in Kentucky, it’s a home game this year. He does have one race at Keeneland when he ran very well as he was just starting to improve last fall. I know the owners and I are on board. We were treating this as our 'win and you’re in.' He won it, so I guess we have to put our money where our mouth is and give a horse the chance to show what he can do on the national stage.”


The speedy 4-year-old son of Shanghai Bobby who generally races on the lead was kept off the early quick pace set by Prendimi and Wind of Change, with the duo taking the eight-horse field through an opening quarter of :22.69 and a half in :45.80.

Entering the final turn, jockey Jorge Vargas Jr. gave Pirate’s Punch his cue, with the gelding sweeping three wide and immediately getting a jump on the field as he made the lead. The final time for the mile was 1:37.19.
Top Line Growth, the Laurel Park record holder for a mile, was able to get second, a head in front of Bal Harbour.

“I’m pleased they gave me another chance to ride this horse after the Iselin,” Vargas said. “I didn’t feel what happened that day was all that bad, but I still felt bad about it and apologized to the owners afterward. They told me I did everything right and rode a good race.

“Obviously, today we wanted to be on the lead because that’s the best way he has run before, but they went quick early on. I didn’t panic. I just tried to keep him clean. I knew I was on the best horse in the race. After the three-eighths, he just took off. I wasn’t going to challenge that fast early speed. I know this is a good horse, and he will get in gear.”

Now with a 5-3-4 line from 17 starts, Pirate’s Punch earned his first graded stakes win. 

“He really validated that last race,” Forster said. “I said before the race I was concerned about bringing him back this quickly with the traveling (from Kentucky), but every day he has been a 10 out there on the track for us, and he gave us every reason to come back.

“The jockeys who have ridden him have always said he will rate. He has run some very good races from just off the pace, but of course this is the first time to get a win doing it that way with such a fast early pace being set. Credit to Jorge Vargas Jr. He rode a brilliant race. He didn’t panic being on the favorite. He knew what he had underneath him. The horse runs the turns very well, and Vargas asked him around the turn and he responded as we know he can.”

Owned by Gulliver Racing, Craig Drager, and Dan Legan, Pirate’s Punch boosted his earnings to $332,751 with the $90,000 winner’s share of the purse.

He also moved Vargas a step closer to what would be a career highlight.

“The Breeders’ Cup is one of my dreams, so I am hoping this horse goes now,” Vargas said. “To be able to ride him in the Breeders’ Cup would be a dream come true.”

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Racehorse owner Joey Platts went to the Keeneland September Yearling Sale with several goals, one of which was to buy a filly by leading sire Into Mischief.

Outbid earlier in the week, Platts, who was accompanied by trainer Phil D'Amato, struck early during the Sept. 18 session to take home a daughter of the Spendthrift Farm sire for $400,000.

Cataloged as Hip 1253 as part of the consignment from Legacy Bloodstock, agent for breeder Spendthrift, the filly is out of the Australian group 3-placed mare Ameristralia. The filly's second dam, multiple grade 3 winner Heart Ashley, is a half sister to grade 1 winner Cupid  and grade 3 winner Ashley's Kitty.

Her price was the highest paid for a filly during the session and third highest overall.

"It seems like every time I watch TVG, there are three or four (Into Mischief foals) that are winning all over the country," he said, noting that he has one Into Mischief horse in training who recently ran second in a race at Laurel Park. "I came here looking for an Into Mischief, and we finally got a decent one, we hope. It looks like she's going to have some decent scope to her, and she looks like she has some athletic ability. I was (bidding) on the ones that went for over $1 million. I'm looking for fillies. If they can't run, I want some resale (value)."

Platts is also a partner in Slam Dunk Racing, which was actively buying at the Keeneland sale and is involved in some yearling pinhooking partnerships with Becky Thomas of Sequel.

"I wish I could take more credit, but it was all her," Legacy's Tommy Eastham said of the filly. "She's a super filly—good-minded, good walk, never cheated me. From 8 in the morning to 5 in the afternoon, she was the same filly. All I did was not get in her way. The pedigree being Australian probably turned off some domestic buyers, but obviously a lot of buyers could see through it."

Platts has purchased two other yearlings in his name during the opening books of the auction. He spent $210,000 for Hip 498, an Empire Maker filly out of Awesome d'Oro (by Medaglia d'Oro ). Named Awspresso, the filly was bred in Kentucky by F. Thomas Conway and is from the extended female family of Urban Sea. 

Later in the day on Friday, Platts purchase Hip 1603 for $230,000. Consigned by Elm Tree Farm, agent, the filly by Claiborne Farm's Flatter  is out of the Giant's Causeway mare Tell Me Everything, who is a daughter of the grade 1-winning Holy Bull mare Confessional. 

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Thursday, September 10, 2020

Sneeky Diversion remained unbeaten in two starts with a wire-to-wire score in the $100,000 Northern Lights Futurity at Canterbury Park.

Bred by Scott Pierce, the 2-year-old gelding by Majesticperfection was sold by Legacy Bloodstock at last year's Keeneland September sale. He races in the colors of Lothenbach Stables.

Sneeky Diversion, who eight days earlier broke his maiden at first asking, battled for the lead with eventual fourth place finisher Well Pro for a half-mile before prevailing by 1 1/2 lengths over closer Fitzpatrick in 1:09.80. 

Two other Legacy Bloodstock sales grads scored on the rich Wednesday card at Canterbury.

Fasig-Tipton October grad Stylin N Profilin, also bred by Scott Pierce, broke his Maiden by 4 3/4 lengths in the opener for owners Barry and Joni Butzow. Pierce-bred swept the early double one race later when Big Falcon Rocket, sold by Legacy at Keeneland November, winning an Allowance by 1 1/2 lengths.


Saturday, August 29, 2020

When the entries were drawn for the $600,000 Charles Town Classic Stakes (G2) at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races, only one horse in the field was without a rider.

Thumbs Up Racing's Sleepy Eyes Todd rewarded the faith of Carlos Delgado, who jumped aboard for the 11th-hour assignment, with a front-running victory Aug. 28 in the 1 1/8-mile test. The 4-year-old Paddy O'Prado colt came ready to rumble, leading nine rivals through fractions of :24.64, :49.14, 1:13.59, and 1:38.13 before galloping clear to a 7 1/2-length score.

Bred in Kentucky by Two Hearts Farm and Kristen Goncharoff, Sleepy Eyes Todd was a $9,000 weanling purchase by Jonathan Wong from Legacy Bloodstock's consignment to the 2016 Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale. He is the ninth foal and first graded winner out of the Wild Rush mare Pledge Mom, a useful producer who is also the dam of black-type winner Wildeydsouthernboy. From her nine starters, eight have been winners. 

 "It's so exciting for me. I'm really so excited, I can't just explain," Delgado said. "I didn't even know how far in front I was at the wire, I was so excited."

The final time was 1:50.82 on a fast track. Sent off as the slight second choice at odds of 5-2, Sleepy Eyes Todd returned $7.60 on a $2 win ticket.

2019 UAE Derby (G2) winner Plus Que Parfait was second at odds of 25-1, and defending Charles Town Classic winner Runnin'toluvya was three lengths back in third. 

Sleepy Eyes Todd came into the Charles Town Classic off a runner-up finish, a head behind the winner, in the June 28 Lone Star Mile Stakes. One start earlier for trainer Miguel Angel Silva, he won the April 29 Bosselman Pump and Pantry/Gus Fonner Stakes at Fonner Park by 6 1/2 lengths. He stepped into grade 2 company for the first time Friday and improved his record to six wins and two seconds from 12 starts, with earnings of $591,165.

"This is the biggest win of my career and hopefully the first of many," Silva said. "This is the nicest horse I've ever had, and there are no words. We always were really high on him, we've run in some big races, and we're so proud of him. He actually threw a front right shoe tonight and won like that."

"What a great racetrack," added David Cobb of Thumbs Up Racing. "Everybody is so nice in West Virginia. We really appreciate it. From the hotel workers to the staff here, they made us feel very comfortable."

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Monday, August 3, 2020

Chicks Dig Scars bounded out of the gate first and proceeded to wire a field of 10 juveniles in the August 1 Iowa Stallion Futurity at Prairie Meadows. 

Click to watch race

Bred by longtime Legacy Bloodstock clients Bob & Alice Austin, Chicks Dig Scars was sold by Legacy at the 2018 Keeneland November auction. 

The son of Darby Dan Farm's Tapiture finished first, but was disqualified and placed second, from his two-furlong debut at Prairie Meadows June 21. He graduated officially going 4 1/2 furlongs on July 11.

In his stakes debut, the bay gelding zipped out to the early lead and was in control through fractions of :22.33 and :46.43, skipping further clear when challenged late to score an easy victory.

Thursday, June 4, 2020

While many questions regarding the Coronavirus pandemic remain unanswered, and with a stock market experiencing extreme volatility, there is continued uncertainty as to what could happen in our industry over the next few years. But many people in the industry have been through such ambiguity before. We sought the advice of industry leaders who successfully made their way through the Great Recession, and we asked what they learned from it and how they will use their experiences to advance through the coming years.

TOMMY EASTHAM, Legacy Bloodstock

The effects of 2008 were of course devastating to the value of our horses. But with tough times, there are lessons to be learned and things you can take away with you.

In 2008 we took a financial setback. As horseman and based on how we chose to operate our business, we went forward with a very conservative business plan. We decided to be very careful with growth, expansion, and managing expenses.

One of the best pieces of advice I ever received came from Dr. Jim Morehead of Equine Medical Associates. Back in 2008, I remember sitting at his truck one day and he saw how our business was starting to gain traction and have success and he said, “Low overhead puts kids through school.” So we took that to heart and try to live by it still today. There has been opportunity for us that would have added growth and risk to our business and we have declined to go through with them because we want to stay with that principal and not overcommit ourselves financially on things that aren’t necessary. As we go through this economic event now, we are very grateful for the position we are in today and not completely worried about every bill that comes in the mailbox.

Looking forward, we’re reminding our clients that there is still a point of quality that you need to have in order to compete in this market, no matter how unprecedented it may be. There is a fine balance when it comes to horse inventory. We have been trying to advise our clients to ride that edge, meaning still breeding to the nicer horses but also being conservative in their investments.

Taking advice from Cot Campbell, if an investment does not go your way and it is a financial fatality for you, don’t do it. Cot had a book called Lightning in a Jar, and at one point he talked about bringing investors and partners into his business. He told them that if it was an investment that they couldn’t afford to do, don’t do it. So that’s what we’re doing right now.

In the last few years, we felt like the market has had a bubble, that maybe things were going a little too well at sales. So we’ve been advising our clients on keeping expenses low and waiting for safe opportunities.

Looking towards this sales season, we are putting an emphasis on female families. During all of the market corrections that I’ve been through, the importance of the stallions and demand for freshman sires is still without a doubt part of the business plan you need to implement. Always give the buyers what they want. But I’ve noticed that during the corrections, there’s an emphasis on female families. The buying population’s risk tolerance drops. So as we look at our client portfolios, we are putting a focus on female family. The old saying was that if a mare produced two foals that were unprofitable, she might not be the best for your program. Now, we all know she could be a stakes winner five years from now. But we advise to be quick to walk away from investments that aren’t working out. Put your money where you have the best chance to be successful.

- Thoroughbred Daily News, June 5, 2020

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Thumbs Up Racing's Sleep Eyes Todd burst from the starting gate in the $54,000 Bosselman/Gus Fonner Stakes April 29 and was never threatened by his eight rivals. He drew off to win by 6 1/2 lengths under jockey Quincy Hamilton.

Off as the 7-5 favorite in the 1 1/16-mile feature for 3-year-olds and up, Sleepy Eyes Todd took command in the three-turn race and set fractions of :23.60, :47, and 1:12.20 through six furlongs. The leading margin continued to grow as the 4-year-old Paddy O'Prado colt rounded the final turn and burst down the home stretch. He hit the wire in 1:44.40 on a fast track.

"I only had one set of instructions, and that was to let the speed go and sit behind it—that's what I was told to do—but the horse was pretty keen early, and I guess maybe I didn't outsmart myself that time," Hamilton said. 

Sleepy Eyes Todd was bred in Kentucky by Two Hearts Farm and Kristen Goncharoff out of the Wild Rush mare Pledge Mom. The gray or roan colt was consigned by Legacy Bloodstock as a weanling at the Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale, where Jonathan Wong purchased him for $9,000. With five wins and a second in 10 starts, he has earned $240,765 for Cobb. Sleepy Eyes Todd also has a runner-up finish to Owendale in last year's Oklahoma Derby (G3) on his resume. 

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Saturday, February 15, 2020

Breaking from post 7 under Samy Camacho as the 2/1 bettors’ choice, Killybegs Captain was intent to fight for the early lead, dueling between Singanothersong to his inside and Mooji Moo Jr. opposite. Together, the trio posted opening 1/4-mile in :22.20, but the favorite’s two foes began dropping off at the top of the far turn.

Holding a growing advantage as he straightened for home, Killybegs Captain ran them off of their feet in the stretch before being geared down to a light jog in the shadow of the wire. Even though He Hate Me rallied strongly to take second, the winner was never in doubt.

The John Terranova II-trained Killybegs Captain crossed 2 3/4 lengths the best in a final time of 1:09.24 for the 6-furlong sprint over the fast main track.

“I had a lot of confidence in my horse and (Terranova),” Camacho said. “He’s a big horse with a big heart. I checked behind me at the 3/8 pole and thought, ‘I’ve got the race,’ because he got the bit very hard and very easy. He’s very easy to ride and a very nice horse.”

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Saturday, September 21, 2019

Jockey Eric Cancel's instructions prior to Saturday's $250,000 Xpressbet Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash (G3) at Laurel Park couldn't have been simpler.

Given the call on Curragh Stables' Killybegs Captain, a horse he rode to a pair of third-place finishes in graded-stakes earlier this summer for trainer John Terranova, Cancel followed his orders perfectly.

Settled in behind runaway pacesetter Old Time Revival for more than a half-mile, Killybegs Captain ($7.80) came with a steady run once straightened for home and fought off multiple stakes winner Altissimo for a three-quarter-length victory in the De Francis.

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Thursday, September 12, 2019

In a quiet show ring outside Keeneland's Barn 8, Tommy Eastham of Legacy Bloodstock has been pleased with the turnout of trainers, buyers, and pinhookers—both domestic and international—who have turned up to see his Quality Road colt

"He's a nice horse," Eastham said of the colt. Consigned as Hip 436 to the Sept. 11 final session of the Keeneland September Yearling Sale's Book 1, the bay has had little time to rest since arriving on the sales grounds over the weekend. 

Thursday, August 15, 2019
4th-Saratoga, $90,000, Msw, 8-15, 2yo, 5 1/2fT, 1:01.06, fm.
MYSTIC LANCELOT (c, 2, Into Mischief–Roadbug, by Quality Road), acquired by these connections for $450,000 after breezing an eighth in :10 1/5 at this spring’s Fasig-Tipton Timonium Sale, became the fourth maiden winner by the red-hot sire Into Mischief at the Spa this summer.
Monday, July 31, 2017

The topsy-turvy sophomore division, thrown into disarray with Good Samaritan (Harlan’s Holiday)’s upset win in Saturday’s

GII Jim Dandy S. at Saratoga, continued its roller-coaster ride at Monmouth Park Sunday as Brad Grady’s 9-1 outsider Girvin (Tale of Ekati) just got a desperate nose in front of 7-1 shot McCraken (Ghostzapper) in a thrilling renewal of the

GI Haskell Invitational.

“This is my favorite track,” Grady said from the winner’s circle after the Haskell. “Monmouth Park always rolls out the red carpet. The family came, it’s a family environment and I just love it.”


Monday, July 31, 2017

The 16-1 longshot in the field of seven, long-distance specialist Hunter O'Rileysurged down the inner turf course stretch at Saratoga Race Course July 29 and managed to snag a win in the final strides of the $250,000 Bowling Green Stakes (G2T)

Under jockey Florent Geroux, the 4-year-old Tiz Wonderful ridgling came flying from last in the 1 3/8-mile event, moving stride for stride alongside grade 1 winner Bigger Picture, and scored by a neck in his first graded victory for owners Sean Shay and Michael J. Ryan.