Hit It a Bomb Retired

War Front sire Hit It a Bomb has retired and will spend his 2017 season standing at B. Wayne Hughes’ Spendthrift Farm as part of their “Share the Upside” program. His “Share the Upside” fee will be $8,500. hit-it-a-bomb

Hit It a Bomb won his second career race last year in dominating fashion by finishing 4 1/2 lengths ahead of the field. In his third start he won the Breeders’ Cup $1 million Juvenile Turf (gr. I) and did so from post position 14. He was undefeated in his two-year-old campaign and earned almost $600,000.

Year three was not as successful for Hit It a Bomb, placing in the Invesco Pension Consultants Desmond Stakes and the Clipper Logisitics Boomerang Solonway Stakes. A rough start led to a mid-pack finish in this year’s Breeders’ Cup Mile (gr. IT). In six career starts he was 2-0-2 and earned just over $626,000.

“It has been a priority of ours to be able to offer breeders a top son of War Front through our ‘Share the Upside’ program,” said Spendthrift Farm General Manager Ned Toffey. “In Hit It a Bomb we believe we’ve found that horse. He was an undefeated grade I winner at 2, with an electrifying turn of foot that he showed when winning the Breeders’ Cup.

“Hit It a Bomb’s full sister, also a group I winner, is arguably the best 2-year-old filly in Europe this year, so the family is loaded with talent. This is a great opportunity for breeders to earn a lifetime breeding right in one of the most promising sons of War Front you will find at stud.”

California Chrome's Stud Fee $40K

California Chrome’s Stud Fee Set For $40K

Art Sherman and Taylor Made Farms are making preparations for one of the greatest champions in the recent history of thoroughbred racing. California Chrome’s stud fee has been set for $40,000 following his expected retirement after the 2017 Pegasus World Cup. It is a seemingly low starting point that is sure to generate plenty of interest from breeders.

“Our ultimate goal is, we’re buying mares at this sale, we’re studying what we’re buying and we’re going to do everything to make this horse the kind of stallion that he deserves to be,” said Duncan Taylor of Taylor Made Farms. “We’ve had pedigree people look at it. You never know what goes, but it looks to me that (he has) Seattle Slew in the right place in the pedigree and Buckpasser…we think Empire Maker is a really good (cross), Scat Daddy, Arch, we’ve got a bunch of them picked out.”

Taylor admitted that California Chrome’s stud fee is,”fair, maybe even a little lower than fair.” He continued by adding that, “There is a lot you can do with the pedigree so, we’re fired up. We’re letting the breeders make money and we’re wanting to make the stallion.”

During his racing career, California Chrome has gone 15-4-1 in 25 starts with his most recent defeat coming at the hands of  Arrogate in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. It wasn’t the storybook ending that he was hoping for, but it hasn’t derailed intentions to run him in the newly conceived Pegasus World Cup, which will emanate from Gulfstream Park on January 28th, 2017.

Taylor stated that, “our plan right now, barring something unforeseen happening, is to breed him next year,” but also said that there is a small chance of California Chrome continuing his racing career if everything goes right and the proper opportunity presents itself.

All this being said, it is surely time for Art Sherman and his team to begin preparations for his post-racing racing career. California Chrome’s stud fee will be very attractive given that the top sires in the country – Uncle Mo, Tapit and American Pharoah – command prices of over $200,000. Before he begins to challenge those legends in retirement, he’ll have one last shot at Arrogate when the two meet again at the Pegasus World Cup.

Beholder Retired

Beholder’s rumored retirement has finally been made official by Spendthrift Farm following her win in the Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff (gr. I) over previously undefeated champion Songbird. She will be bred to Uncle Mo next year. beholder

“We are excited to help usher in the next chapter of Beholder’s unprecedented career, and I can’t think of a better way to get it started than to breed her to Uncle Mo,” said Spendthrift General Manager Ned Toffey. “His record-breaking production in his first two years at stud made this an easy decision. We went by the old adage of ‘breed the best to the best and hope for the best.’”

Beholder was trained by Richard Mandella and will retire as the first horse to have won a grade I race at the age of two, three, four, five, and six. She also the only horse to win the Breeders’ Cup Distaff and the Juvenile Fillies.

During her career, Beholder won a total of 18 races, 11 of which were grade I win races, from 26 starts. She earned $6,156,600 during her career.

“Beholder and Uncle Mo looks like a match made in heaven,” said M.V. Magnier of Coolmore Stud. “She must be one of the greatest race mares we’ve ever seen, and what Uncle Mo has achieved so far is almost beyond belief. I hope Mr. Hughes will breed another champion. We bought Beholder’s half brother (by Scat Daddy) at Keeneland in September, and we can only hope that he’ll be half as good as her.”

Arrogate Surges Late to Capture Breeders’ Cup Classic

Arrogate Tops 2014 Preakness Winner California Chrome in BC Classic Stretch Duel

A record crowd of 72,811 turned out Saturday at Santa Anita for the biggest day of racing. The 2016 Breeders’ Cup had many exciting racing results, and the Breeders’ Cup Classic turned into a fantastic finish for racing fans. In what turned into a two-horse stretch duel, Arrogate challenged 2014 Preakness winner California Chrome and then surged late in the final strides to win the Breeders’ Cup Classic and the $3.3 million first place prize in the richest race.

Mike Smith aboard Arrogate in Winners Circle of Breeders' Cup Classic
Mike Smith aboard Arrogate in Winners Circle of Breeders’ Cup Classic

Arrogate, the brilliant 3-year-old star by Unbridle’s Song, chased California Chrome in the stretch, leaving the rest of the field in the dust. With a few whips in the late stages by jockey Mike Smith, Arrogate pulled past California Chrome in the final 100 yards to win the 1 1 ¼ mile race in a final time of 2:00.11.   

“When I did that, he gave me another jump,” Smith said. “That is what got us on by.”

10 ARROGATE $5.40 $2.80 $2.60
3 KEEN ICE $5.80

California Chrome had won six-straight races this year and is the all-time money winner in North America. He went off as the 4-5 favorite in the 10-horse field, while Arrogate was the 8/5 second choice in the BC Classic.

Arrogate trainer Bob Baffert, who won his third consecutive Breeders’ Cup Classic, was still surprised his star colt was able to overtake California Chrome.

“I was surprised I beat him,” Baffert said. “I didn’t think I could beat him going in.”

But Arrogate’s Breeders’ Cup Classic win sets him up as racing’s future star. His fifth-straight win was against horse racing’s best, and California Chrome may have just one race left in his illustrious 5-year-old career.

“You saw two champions run,” said Art Sherman, California Chrome’s 79-year-old trainer. “What can I say? We got outrun on the fair. No excuses. He ran his eyeballs out.”

Baffert chimed in with a final comment on Arrogate and the excitement that is the Breeders’ Cup.

“This horse is just learning how to run. California Chrome is a champion,” Baffert said. “To run down California Chrome, that’s what the Breeders’ Cup is all about, watching races like that.”

Fans enjoyed blue skies, sunshine and the beautiful backdrop of the San Gabriel Mountains at Santa Anita. They wagered their money on their favorite horses too. The total on-track wagering Saturday at Santa Anita was $13,515,269, an increase of 3.5 percent from last year’s same day wagering total at Keeneland in Kentucky. The two-day on-track wagering total was $20,694,235.

Victory to Victory Scratched From Breeders’ Cup

Victory to Victory, who won the Natalma Stakes (Can- IT) has been pulled out of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (gr. IT), according to trainer Mark Casse. The Live Oak Plantation-homebred Exchange Rate filly has been ruled out after opting splint. It is a setback that will keep her sidelined for a weeks. victory_to_victory

“She popped a splint a couple days ago, it’s nothing serious but it was just irritating her some,” said Casse. “After a conversation with (Live Oak owner) Mrs. (Charlotte) Weber, we decided she’s just too good a horse. The good news is, you’re talking a couple weeks (off). It’s just bad timing is all.”

Luckily it’s nothing more than just a popped splint and it doesn’t sound like the injury is too serious and her future in the industry are more important than competing in one prestigious race. As Casse mentioned, the timing of it all is just really bad luck.

The legendary trainer does have other Breeders’ Cup hopefuls competing this weekend though. The more renown of the bunch is defending Breeders’ Cup Mile (gr. IT) winner Tepin. One other Breeders’ Cup contender Casse has high hopes for is La Coronel. The JPMorgan Chase Jessamine (gr. IIIT) victor will compete in the Juvenile Fillies Turf.

In other scratched news, Con Te Partiro will no longer compete in the Juvenile Fillies Turf. Taking Con Te Partiro’s place will be Sweeping Paddy, who finished in fourth place in the Jessamine Stakes.

Runhappy to Face Stiff Competition at Breeders’ Cup

The $1 million Las Vegas Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (gr. I) is shaping up to be a Runhappy type of race with no real speedsters or a full field lined up. Last year’s champion hasn’t had the best racing season this year. He’s started just one race this year since winning the Malibu Stakes (gr. I) last December. That start came in the Ack Ack Handicap (gr. III), where he finished in fourth place. runhappy

The four-year-old son of Super Saver was shipped to California a week ago from his Kentucky training base and trainer Laura Wohlers said he has “settled in great” to his new digs. He’s also looked strong in training runs.

Gary Stevens will be on top of Runhappy in his second race of 2016, replacing Edgar Prado. He will need to show a great detail of improvement over his previous start, as he has had to deal with top contenders such as Dortmund and Tom’s Ready.

Tom’s Ready is coming off a disappointing finish in the Ketel One King’s Bishop Stakes (gr. I), but did win the Woody Stephens Stakes (gr. II) earlier in the year.

“He has to step it up. We know that,” said Tom’s Ready trainer Dallas Stewart speaking to BloodHorse following a five-furlong workout at Churchill Downs last week timed at 1:01 4/5. “He’s a 3-year-old running against older horses. But he’s a very good racehorse, he’s a fighter, and he looked great today. He’s healthy and we’re just hoping the race turns out good.”