Wednesday, January 27, 2021
(1) Thanks to Wire-to-Wire magazine, we have the final statistical updates for 2020 as pertains to Florida-breds and Florida breeders.
Live Oak Stud was No. 1 on the breeders' list with earnings of $2,497,134. Charlotte Weber's perennial leaders made 301 starts, with 57 victories, mainly via stallions based in Kentucky. The Cohens' Arindel Farm was second with earnings of $2,183,500, mostly due to the great success of their own stallion Brethren, who came back to the farm a few years ago after a highly successful start at Pleasant Acres. Arindel had the most winners by far - 98.
Ocala Stud products made 290 starts, had 60 winners' circle visits, and compiled $1,749,463 in earnings. Farm III Enterprises was fourth with 363 starts, 60 winners and $1,504,051 in earnings.
Brent and Crystal Fernung, at Journeyman Stud, were fifth with earnings of $1,327,462, much of that due to their sensational sire, Khozan, who has walked away with two titles in two years, leading freshman sire in 2019 and overall leading sire in 2020. He is already way in front after just four weeks of this year.
In sixth place were Joe and Helen Barbazon, owners of Pleasant Acres, with $1,219,882 in earnings and a second-best 67 victories.
Although there was no chart relating to breeders' awards, Arindel, Ocala Stud, the Fernungs and the Barbazons all fared well in that department.
(2) Speaking of Khozan, the son of Distorted Humor has just two crops racing, but he could very well be on his way to setting Florida records - assuming he remains at Journeyman Stud. So many stallions who began their careers with great success in Florida have been sent to Kentucky, the most recent pair being Kantharos and Congrats - although it all started with Mr. Prospector.
Just four weeks into 2021, Khozan has reached $5.1 million in progeny earnings.
(3) The parade of runners who have continued to anger serious handicappers by having a major odds drop soon after the gates open, has not abated. One of the latest is Elliereeseaston, an oddly-named 3-year-old filly by Bahamian Squall who made her debut for owner/breeder Troy Lange at Gulfstream Park in December and finished fourth, beaten 13 1/2 lengths.
On Jan. 14, making her second start, she walked up to the gate with rider Tyler Gaffalione at 7/2 on the tote board, and not long after the race began, her odds dropped to 6/5. Elliereeseaston was an easy winner, scoring by three lengths in 1:12.75 for six furlongs - and she was claimed for $16,000. Did somebody know something?????
(4) While previewing the entrants for the Pegasus World Cup and discussing Gaffalione's background, NBC posted a picture of Tyler's father, Steve, and his late grandfather, Robert, both successful riders. The caption below the picture from many years ago read "Steve and Bobby Gaffalione."
Just one problem. Tyler's grandpa was rarely called Bobby, he was Robert or Bob. Second, his name was Gaffglione, not Gaffalione. Grandpa explained to me back in the 70's that when Steve was born, a nurse in the hospital mistook the "g" for an "a" and it ended up Gaffalione on the birth certificate, never to be changed. (Chalk that one up to old-timers who don't have to rely on today's media for news about the events of yesteryear).
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