Tuesday, November 15, 2016
The 4-year-old gelding breaks track record . . .
More than two months has gone by (Sept. 8) since Barbara Banke announced she was moving Kantharos from Ocala Stud Farm to Hill 'n' Dale in Lexington. A great loss for Florida, because the son of Lion Heart was far and away the best freshman of his crop, the best second-crop sire, and this year, not only the best third-crop sire but second on the general sire list behind the late Wildcat Heir. Based on Florida-Kentucky history, Kantharos appears to be another in a long line of superior stallions to practice in Ocala - it began in a serious manner with Mr. Prospector - before moving into the big leagues of the bluegrass and making it big-time.
The Blood-Horse has changed the farm name on Kantharos' stallion page, but has yet to remove him from all of Florida's sire lists. I guess it gets a little hectic there in the cold, cold north and they can't pay attention to all the details too soon.
A while back, I wrote that the 'Upcoming Entries' sections on the Blood-Horse stallion pages weren't giving us all the horses coming up for the particular sires in the next few days. I pay close attention to certain stallions for business purposes and I noticed, while watching TVG, that many of the runners for those stallions weren't being listed, yet were showing up in races and I was missing them.
The Blood-Horse's Eric Mitchell answered that column with the explanation that stallion owners don't want to list entries when their stallion's runners were entered cheaply. How come, I wondered then and now, when one of those cheapies wins, it IS listed in the 'Recent Results' column, right next to upcoming entries? That includes winners in Puerto Rico, Mexico and Venezuela with their purses of $5,000, and Finger Lakes and other U. S. tracks, with their purses of $9,000.
Back to business. Saturday's $100,000 Sunshine Millions Preview at Gulfstream West turned into a cakewalk for Mr. Jordan, a 4-year-old gelding by Kantharos who has compiled a record that can only be described as enviable. At odds of 1/2, Mr. Jordan got out cleanly in the race at 1 1/16 miles, sat a comfortable third along the rail, moved three wide on the turn, and cantered to the wire nearly four lengths in front. His clocking of 1:42.52 set a track record. (Notice I didn't use the redundant term "new" track record, as so many of the uninformed do. I also call a first-year college student a freshman, not a "true freshman," as all of the uninformed college football announcers do, so as to distinguish him from a "redshirt freshman." The way you separate those two is quite simple - you call the second guy a redshirt freshman). It ain't rocket science.
Mr. Jordan has put together an 'enviable' portfolio - 17 starts, six victories, four seconds and five thirds, with earnings of $513,735. The only two times he was off the board were in the Gr. I Haskell, when he finished seventh behind American Pharoah and Keen Ice, and the Gr. III Hal's Hope, behind Mshawish. If trainer Eddie Plesa Jr. keeps him away from the big guns, Kantharos will have a millionaire on his page in the near future. Plesa bought Mr. Jordan for his three owners for $155,000 at the 2014 OBS April sale, and it's turned out to be a wise move.
By the way, Kantharos will stand for $15,000 in his first season at Hill 'n' Dale, and at that price should get one of those monstrous books like they do so often in Kentucky.
And finally, the competitive Gulfstream West program Saturday produced a handle of just under $6 million, despite the fact that the races began at noon, long before many bettors are plugged in, and the first few races suffered from it.