Tuesday, December 19, 2017
Lost in the midst of the excellent racing programs at Gulfstream Park and Tampa Bay Downs over the weekend, perhaps, was the success of current or former stallions from Ocala Stud Farm. And not lost in examining the results is just how big a loss it was when Kantharos followed a decades-long pattern, leaving town and relocating to Hill 'N' Dale Farms in Lexington.
The exodus that began when Mr. Prospector scooted off to Kentucky about 40 years ago continues to this day, and the Blood-Horse's top 150 general sires list contains stallions who made their name in Florida years ago and are still hitting home runs. Congrats, Yes It's True, Successful Appeal, Northern Afleet, Macho Uno and Stormy Atlantic are going strong. But Kantharos may eclipse them all.
The Ocala Stud onslaught began on Friday at Gulfstream with the initial victory of Harry's Gone Gray, by In Summation. At Tampa the same day, Koko Swag, by Awesome of Course, broke his maiden by 11 lengths.
On Saturday, Catharsis, a 2-year-old filly by Kantharos, broke her maiden on the Gulfstream grass, an hour after the Kantharos gelding Go to Win won the first race at Tampa to post his first victory. It became an all-Ocala Stud double when Surprise Wedding, a 3-year-old filly by High Cotton owned and bred by Bill and Lyn Rainbow, captured the $125,000 FTBOA City of Ocala Florida Sire Stakes.
In the third race, the Adios Charlie up-and-coming star, Mo Cash, turned the tables on Carry Back Stakes-winner Three Rules by taking the $125,000 FTBOA Marion County Florida Sire Stakes by three-quarters of a length over his rival. That made three in a row on the card for Ocala Stud. (Three Rules, by Northwest Stud's Gone Astray, picked up $25,000 for second and is less than $36,000 from becoming Florida's next millionaire).
After a one-race break, Tampa's fifth race was won by Kantharos first-time starter Mister Bister, who broke his maiden by nearly five lengths with six furlongs in 1:10.97. The four winners in five races was worth $174,680 in purse money.
On Sunday, Gulfstream's first race was won by Reed Kan, a 2-year-old Kantharos colt who paid $44.20 in winning a $50,000 allowance optional claimer with five furlongs on the grass in :55.48.
One Kantharos who didn't win but was a strong second in the $100,000, Gr. III Harlan's Holiday Stakes at Gulfstream was Mr. Jordan. The big white 5-year-old has been ultra consistent since his first season in 2014 and is a sensational 8-5-6 in 25 starts with earnings of $624,540.
Kantharos is 65th on the money list with 2017 earnings of $3,886,084 and only four crops at the races. He has six stakes-winners this year, and nine stakes victories, one graded.
HE'S BACK - The above list of former Ocala stallions doesn't include Songandaprayer, who left town many moons ago and wound up for the last four seasons in Louisiana. Now, ready to turn 20, he's back at Journeyman Stud, joining Exclusive Quality, Fury Kapcori, Gentlemen's Bet, Khozan and Winslow Homer. The son of Unbridled's Song has $2,174,292 in progeny earnings this year, and is closing in on $50 million lifetime.
ON TOP AGAIN - Treasure Beach, who has been on top of the Florida's freshman sire winners' list all season, or at least tied for the lead, broke his deadlock with Soldat by getting No. 12 at Gulfstream. Beach Waltz, who finished second in her debut in November, captured a $48,000 maiden special at a mile and one-sixteenth on the grass. The Kentucky-bred shot to the lead from the No. 3 post, battled Jasmine's Gem every step of the way, and held her off by a head at the wire. She's earned $30,000 for Ken and Sarah Ramsey, her owners and breeders.
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