One Month Down, Seven to Go for Khozan
Wednesday, June 12, 2019

    A couple of months ago, Journeyman Stud owners Brent and Crystal Fernung predicted - in print -  that Khozan would wind up being Florida's leading freshman sire at the end of this year. If not, the first 25 breeders who sent mares to him during the current breeding season would not have to pay the $4,000 stud fee. At this early juncture of the juvenile season, they Fernungs look pretty safe.

    Not only has Khozan opened up a substantial lead in the limited Florida race, he's also well on top against every frosh sire in the country. A couple of winners over the weekend at Gulfstream have given the son of Distorted Humor five already and nobody else on the list has more than three. As far as the money list is concerned, his $250,460 in progeny earnings dwarfs that of early runner-up Frac Daddy's $106,305, and the $94,879 of third-place American Pharoah, the pre-season favorite based on the outrageous number of registered mares (162) listed next to his name.  

    Khozan, with 73 registered mares, took over the national money lead on May 11, so it's been just over one month. It will be interesting to see how long he can keep it. The Florida title appears to be a slam dunk, unless another sire goes bananas somewhere along the way, like Ocala Stud's The Big Beast (63).  

    NOT SO OBJECTIVE - TVG is supposed to be an objective group, although its coverage of the California tracks is overwhelming most of the time. But there are other areas where there is no excuse for leaning one way or another - everybody should get an equal shot. On Saturday, prior to the Ogden Phipps Stakes at Belmont, every analyst on the broadcast picked against Midnight Bisou, which is fine. 

    However, after Midnight Bisou won the race, my friend Todd Schrupp threw in that she was a Keeneland Sales graduate. Keeneland, of course, is a major sponsor on TVG, and the analysts have an obligation to mention their sales horses. That's also fine. But that doesn't mean that they should be ignoring the other companies, and in this case, it was a serious blunder. 

    Midnight Bisou was entered by Woodford Thoroughbreds in the Keeneland September yearling sale in 2016 and did not get sold. She was a $19,000 RNA. Woodford sent her back in the 2017 OBS April sale and she was purchased for $80,000 by Jeffrey Bloom, now listed as a co-owner. So to call her a "Keeneland Sales graduate" doesn't do the story justice and gives viewers a distorted picture of her sales background. TVG's obligation should be impartial in that regard. 

    If TVG wants to pump up Keeneland whenever it can in response to advertising dollars, good. But to ignore the other companies in relevant situations such as the one above is wrong. 

    GETTING WORSE - The dire situation of short fields - everywhere - is clearly evident today when checking over the program at Belmont Park. There are five entered in races 1 and 3, race 2 has six, and races 5 and 7 have seven. That's 30 horses for five races. And it doesn't appear to be getting any better - anywhere. 

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