Honey Creek Farms

Solar Horse Farm And Pine Terpene Manufacturer

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Into Mischief Colt Brings $1.2m from Larry Best

Larry Best’s OXO Equine came out on top for a $1.2-million 2-year-old colt by Into Mischief at Fasig-Tipton Gulfstream Wednesday.

He is the second foal out of the winning Lawyer Ron mare Assets of War. His second dam is GSW Added Asset (Lord At War {Arg}). Irish Smoke (Smoke Glacken), winner of the 2007 GI Spinaway S., appears under the third dam.

The :10 flat bullet breezer brought $190,000 as a yearling from Eddie Woods’s Quarter Pole Enterprises at last year’s FTKJUL sale. Hip 77, bred in Kentucky by Stoneway Farm, was consigned by Eddie Woods, Agent XVIII.

No International Campaign For Winx

Australia’s 17-time Group 1 winner and the world’s co-highest rated horse, Winx (Aus) (Street Cry {Ire}), will not embark on an international campaign this year, trainer Chris Waller announced on Wednesday. The mare will race next in the G1 Queen Elizabeth S. at The Championships on Apr. 14.

“Following lengthy discussions between the owners, [jockey] Hugh Bowman and I, it has been decided that Winx will remain in Australia following the Queen Elizabeth S. and not embark on an international campaign,” Waller said. “It is our plan to continue to race her into the spring and hopefully Australia can play host to international visitors during our carnival. We are humbled by the level of support, respect and compassion that has been offered by the international representatives looking to attract Winx and congratulate each of them on the professionalism displayed  towards us during this process.”

“As a group we have all held ambitions to travel horses internationally and it has been our dream to have  a horse race in front of Her Majesty The Queen at Royal Ascot, however this decision is not about us and must be based on the best interests of Winx.”

ERA Horses in Training Sale Held

The Emirates Racing Authority held its single-session Horses-In-Training Sale on Monday, which grossed AED3,041,500 (US$828,182/£585,084/€667,730). Topping proceedings was Galvanize (lot 18a), who sold for AED525,000 (US$142,954/£100,998/€115,260) to Hamid Radan.

By Medaglia d’Oro, the four-time winner is out of MGSW Enthused (Seeking the Gold) and originally brought 48,000gns from Abdul Mohsen Al Abdul Kareem back in the 2016 Tattersalls October Autumn Horses in Training Sale. The Kentucky-bred has recently saluted twice at Meydan, winning a pair of 1600-metre dirt handicaps on Nov. 9 and Dec. 7, respectively for Kareem and trainer Doug Watson. He is a half-brother to GSW Norman Invader (War Chant) and to the dam of G3 Tercentenary S. scorer Energizer (Ger) (Monsun {Ger}). G1 Coronation S. heroine Magic of Life (Seattle Slew) is the 5-year-old entire’s second dam, while triple GI Pattison Canadian International S. hero Joshua Tree (Ire) (Montjeu {Ire}) and South African MG1SW Inara (SAf) (Trippi) also trace to her.

Lot 60, MGSW Le Bernardin (Bernardini) was the second dearest lot on the day and will be joining the Russian stallion ranks. The 9-year-old was purchased by Zalim Kashirgou for AED220,000 (US$59,904/£42,317/€48,296). Successful in Monmouth’s GIII Pegasus S. in 2012, the half-brother to GSW Taittinger Rose (Menifee) captured the 2016 and 2017 runnings of the G2 Al Maktoum Challenge Round 1 in 23 starts, but has not been seen in action this season. The $325,000 2010 FTSAR yearling’s second dam is GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies victress Twilight Ridge (Cox’s Ridge).

The Player Undergoes Surgery, Bradley Hopeful

Carl Hurst and “Buff” Bradley’s The Player (Street Hero) underwent extensive surgery Monday at the Louisiana State University Farm and Large Animal Veterinary Services clinic and emerged from the procedure in fine condition, owner/trainer Bradley reported on Facebook Monday night. The 5-year-old chestnut, who has become a fan-favorite in recent years due to his unique temperament, fractured two sesamoids in his right front during the running of Saturday’s GII New Orleans H. at the Fair Grounds and was quickly pulled up by jockey Calvin Borel.

“Great news so far,” Bradley wrote after a day spent at the Baton Rouge facility. “Surgery went well and they have put a plate and 16 screws in his leg. This took well over seven hours and getting up took another few hours (I did tell the vet he will stay down as long as he could). Dr. McCauley and his staff at LSU have done a wonderful job in a complicated surgery.”

The Player won over fans with his tendency to sit upright in his stall as a 3-year-old in 2016–a year which saw him run second in the GII Indiana Derby in his stakes debut. A strong 2017 campaign saw him breakthrough with a win in the GII Hagyard Fayette S. at Keeneland last autumn, and the homebred added a second graded success to his resume with a score in the GIII Mineshaft H. Feb. 17. The Player led the New Orleans through a half-mile in :48.18 before backing away and sustaining the injury.

“I am a bit emotional after seeing him stand on his own and bearing weight on all four legs and then walking to his stall,” Bradley continued Monday. “Now we have to hope for no infections and that no laminitis sets in. Keep praying (it’s working), as he still has a long way to go.”

Bradley noted that The Player displayed his usual fondness for peppermints and said he will pay his stable star a subsequent visit Tuesday.

Eleven Share Bullet Breeze at F-T Gulfstream Sale

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Fasig-Tipton hosted the under-tack show for its Gulfstream Selected 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale under bright sunny skies and temperatures in the 70s Monday in South Florida. A total of 11 juveniles shared the fastest furlong time of :10 flat, while a filly by Orb was the quickest of seven to drill a quarter-mile when she completed the distance in :21 flat.

“We had a really good day,” said Fasig-Tipton President Boyd Browning, Jr. “Conditions were fair throughout, the track was very consistent from beginning to end and conditions were very similar from beginning to end. The horses seemed to breeze really well consistently across the board.”

Gulfstream’s grandstand was crowded with a wide swathe of potential buyers, from overseas shoppers, to trainers, bloodstock agent and prominent owners. Among conditioners in attendance were Mark Casse, Steve Asmussen, Jonathan Thomas, Wesley Ward, Ken McPeek, Kiaran McLaughlin, Barclay Tagg, Chad Brown and Patrick Biancone. Bloodstock agents in attendance included Alex Solis, Patti Miller, Tom McGreevy, Jamie McCalmont, Marette Farrell, Donato Lanni, Pete Bradley, David Loder, Kerri Radcliffe, Patrick Lawley-Wakelin, Hubert Guy, Kim Valerio, Deuce Greathouse, Ben McElroy, Jacob West and Jane Buchanan.

Larry Best, whose OXO Equine LLC purchased the $1.5-million topper at last year’s Gulfstream sale, watched the breezes Monday, as did Stonestreet owner Barbara Banke and WinStar Farm President Elliott Walden. Bob LaPenta’s racing manager John Panagot was in attendance, as well as Little Red Feather Racing’s Billy Koch and Gainesway’s Brian Graves.

Ciaran Dunne’s Wavertree Stables sent out 17 juveniles to work over the Gulfstream oval Monday and came away with five of the 11 fastest furlong workers on the day.

“For the most part we were happy,” Dunne said of his day. “We had a lot of very solid breezes. There were one or two we thought might have gone a hair better, but when you’ve got that many of them, nothing ever goes totally the way you want. But for the most part, they showed up like we thought they would.”

Steve Venosa’s SGV Thoroughbreds sent out five horses to work Monday and came away with a bullet worker and four horses who went in :10 1/5. Venosa agreed conditions remained consistent throughout the under-tack show.

“We had five horses here, so we had one horse in each set and they each went up there and all worked equally,” Venosa said. “I don’t think there was really any difference from the first set to the last set.”

SGV’s bullet worker was hip 31, a New York-bred colt by Scat Daddy. The juvenile is out of Sanford Bacon’s homebred multiple stakes winner Risky Rachel (Limehouse) and it’s a family Venosa knows well.

“We had that horse’s mother on the farm,” Venosa explained. “We ran her off the farm over at Tampa Bay Downs and she broke the track record over there. With the help of some people, we were able to get her to Scat Daddy. We had the foal up in New York and the colt has been on our farm since he was a weanling. He’s been a pleasure to be around. It’s kind of unique that we were able to train the mother and then to have the son come here and perform the way he did. They both have a lot of stretch, a lot of size, but the best quality is his mind. They both have the same mind and nothing but class.”

Heading into Wednesday’s auction, activity at the barns has already been brisk, according to Dunne.

“The traffic has been really good,” he said. “We’ve been showing throughout the week. It seems like the usual faces are here and a few different ones and a lot of overseas buyers. So I think they’ll have the market. It’s just a question of having what they want. It’s going to be the same thing, between the works and the vets and the gallop-outs and the inspections, there are a lot of bridges to cross. The ones that fall into the patterns they are looking for, will sell really, really well. Hopefully there are enough guys who are willing to think outside the box a little bit and give a horse a chance or measure their buying to their budget. Just from my perspective, having been here throughout the week watching horses train, I think there are a lot of really nice horses here. Hopefully they are received that way.”

The Fasig-Tipton Gulfstream Sale will be held Wednesday in the track’s paddock beginning at 3 p.m.

Royal Ascot On Radar For Shoals

A trip to Royal Ascot for the G1 Diamond Jubilee S. is on the agenda for dual Group 1 winner Shoals (Aus) (Fastnet Rock {Aus}). According to her trainer Anthony Freedman the 3-year-old filly will point towards the G1 Robert Sangster S. at Morphettville in May as a stepping stone towards the Ascot race, last won by an Australian horse when Black Caviar (Aus) (Bel Esprit {Aus}) was successful in 2012. “We are just treading water with her at the moment,” Freedman told Racing.com on Monday. “She’ll probably go to the Sangster so won’t go back to Sydney. We just thought Sangster was the perfect race and if she won there, I think there would be a strong push to do the UK thing. It’s certainly still an option,” he added. Shoals boasts an impressive race record, only once finishing out of the top two in nine starts and having won the G1 Myer Classic at Flemington last November, she atoned for her only below par run when winning the G1 Surround S. at Randwick on her last start earlier this month.

Ghost’ Runs Away From Them in Sunland Derby

Trainer Todd Fincher had sent out 26 winners from 109 starters at the Sunland Park meet when the field went to post for Sunday’s GIII Sunland Derby, but his 27th victory was undoubtedly the sweetest when Runaway Ghost bounded home a decisive winner of the New Mexico track’s signature race. The Joe Peacock homebred made a swift move to bust the race open coming off the far turn and held resolutely to give both owner and trainer their respective first graded stakes tallies ever.

Taking solid play as the 7-2 second choice as the lone local-based horse in a field of 12, Runaway Ghost went around the first turn in the five path and made steady progress on the outside in midpack behind a half-mile carved out by All Out Blitz (Concord Point) in :45.80. Wide again into the second turn, he swept past the leaders in the four path and opened up a sizable advantage turning for home. With no real threats in midstretch, he coasted across the wire safely clear of Dream Baby Dream.

“We know he’s legit,” Fincher said. “The problem with him is he’s a little headstrong early in the race. We tried to work to get him to relax better. We had a long run to the first turn and I figured we’d be a bit wide, but that’s better than having a horse laying on us…Credit to the jockey [Tracy Hebert], he did a great job.”

Joe Peacock Sr., a Texan who initially became involved in racing through Quarter Horses in the ’60s and ’70s, eventually moved on to breeding and racing Thoroughbreds [click here for a December 2017 story by TDN‘s Jessica Martini] with his son Joe Peacock, Jr. After Runaway Ghost began his career with two wins from four starts in California with trainer Mike Machowsky, Peacock elected to transfer Runaway Ghost to Fincher, who also campaigned the colt’s dam, 10-time winner and $626,035 earner Rose’s Desert, from 2010-2013. The colt immediately responded with a score in the Jan. 28 Riley Allison S. and a runner-up finish in the Feb. 25 Mine That Bird Derby.

“He’s number one in the Thoroughbreds I’ve ever had,” said Peacock in the winner’s circle after the Sunland Derby. “When I sent him over to Todd, Todd thought he might be a nice horse. If he thought so, I know I thought so.”

For his win, Runaway Ghost earned 50 qualifying points toward the GI Kentucky Derby, effectively guaranteeing the colt a spot in the starting gate on the first Saturday in May. When asked about future plans, Fincher said he would wait to see how Runaway Ghost emerged from Sunday’s effort before making any commitments.

“We all want to go to the Kentucky Derby,” Fincher said. “We’ll put the horse first and let him tell us where we should go.”

Pedigree Notes:

Rose’s Desert–the only broodmare owned by the Peacocks–produced a colt by Curlin in 2016 and a filly by Ghostzapper in 2017. She was bred back to Mineshaft.


Sunday, Sunland Park

SUNLAND DERBY-GIII, $800,000, SUN, 3-25, 3yo, 1 1/8m, 1:49.20, ft.
1–RUNAWAY GHOST, 122, c, 3, by Ghostzapper
1st Dam: Rose’s Desert (MSW, $626,035), by Desert God
2nd Dam: Miss Glen Rose, by Peaks and Valleys
3rd Dam: Snippet, by Alysheba
O/B-Joe R Peacock (KY); T-Todd W. Fincher; J-Tracy J. Hebert.
$400,000. Lifetime Record: 7-4-2-0, $563,510. Werk Nick
Rating: A. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Dream Baby Dream, 122, c, 3, Into Mischief–Galetoire, by
Songandaprayer. ($20,000 Wlg ’15 KEENOV; $210,000 Ylg ’16
KEESEP; $210,000 2yo ’17 OBSMAR). O-Dream Baby Dream
Racing Stable; B-Pegasus Stud LLC (KY); T-Steven M. Asmussen.
3–Peace, 122, c, 3, Violence–Queen’s Triomphe, by Cure the
Blues. ($37,000 RNA Wlg ’15 KEENOV; $50,000 Ylg ’16 FTKJUL;
$75,000 Ylg ’16 FTKOCT; $280,000 2yo ’17 OBSAPR).
O-Spendthrift Farm LLC & Town and Country Racing, LLC;
B-Grade I Bloodstock & Tony Holmes (KY); T-Richard E.
Mandella. $96,000.
Margins: 2 3/4, 6, NK. Odds: 3.90, 16.30, 4.20.
Also Ran: Seven Trumpets, Dark Vader, Choo Choo, Shane Zain, All Out Blitz, Prince Lucky, New York Central, Hollywood Star, Fortified Effort. Click for the Equibase.com chart, the TJCIS.com PPs or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree.



TwinSpires.com Triple Crown Throwdown: Sunland Derby

Ed DeRosa of TwinSpires.com takes on TDN’s Steve Sherack and Brian DiDonato as they handicap each prep race leading up to the GI Kentucky Derby. The three will make $100 Win/Place bets –highest bankroll after the Lexington S. wins.

DeROSA: GII Louisiana Derby Result – Noble Indy refused to lose at 5-2.

GIII Sunland Derby – We’ll stick with picking an also ran from the local prep in the big race in the Sunland Derby and favor Mine That Derby runner-up Runaway Ghost. The Ghostzapper colt should like the added distance, and local connections won’t attract the money the national outfits do when shipping in to New Mexico. Runaway Ghost on top! Selection: #11 Runaway Ghost (8-1).

SHERACK: GII Louisiana Derby Result And I thought that was a rough beat last weekend with Pony Up. I guess I’ll take more place money (Lone Sailor was second at 9-1) for now, though.

GIII Sunland DerbyPeace, always held in high regard by Hall of Famer Richard Mandella, may be primed for a breakthrough effort returning on surprisingly short notice here. While all eyes were on McKinzie and Bolt d’Oro, and rightfully so, Peace made a flashy move from far back on the far turn and came home in a very good :31.29 (only Bolt d’Oro was finishing faster in :31.20) while a well-beaten fourth in a GII San Felipe S. for the ages Mar. 10. I’m willing to give him a pass for his disappointing fifth with first-time blinkers in the GIII Robert B. Lewis, but it’s time for him step up now. Selection: #5 Peace (12-1).

DiDONATO: GII Louisiana Derby Result Retirement Fund never threatened.

GIII Sunland Derby – With all the out of town shippers, it seems like Runaway Ghost might not get quite as much respect as he deserves. But he’s pretty much just as fast as anyone in here, and boasts an experience edge over a track that can be a bit quirky. I loved the way he sat patiently turning for home two back when a pair of rivals swarmed him before opening back up and cruising to victory. He took a lot of heat early last time, but ran on admirably to settle for second to underrated ‘TDN Rising Star’ Reride, who’s apparently running in the UAE Derby. Nine panels shouldn’t be an issue for this son of Ghostzapper, so if Runaway Ghost is able to sit a trip, he’s got just as good a shot as anyone. Selection: #11 Runaway Ghost (8-1).

Snitzel’s Estijaab Takes the Golden Slipper

‘TDN Rising Star’ Estijaab (Aus) (Snitzel {Aus}) led home a trifecta of fillies in the G1 Golden Slipper when going gate to wire to best Tony McEvoy stablemates Oohood (Aus) (I Am Invincible {Aus} and Sunlight (Aus) (Zoustar {Aus}) by a half-length in the world’s richest juvenile race. Estijaab was a $1.7-million Inglis Easter buy for Emirates Park, and with Hawkes Racing it is the same Slipper-winning combination as Mossfun (Aus) (Mossman {Aus}) in 2014.

$8.84 Million Worth of Stakes Scheduled for Churchill Spring Meet

A total of 32 stakes worth $8.84 million, headlined of course by the $2-million GI Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve Saturday, May 5, make up the Churchill Downs spring meet stakes schedule. The Louisville oval opens on Apr. 28 and closes June 30. Kentucky Derby day will feature seven graded races totaling $4.2 million. The $1-million GI Longines Kentucky Oaks takes place Friday, May 4 as part of a card that includes six graded events worth a combined $2.35 million. Four races on Oaks/Derby weekend have received $50,000 purse increases: the $300,000 GIII Pat Day Mile Presented by LG&E and KU; $350,000 GI La Troienne S; $200,000 GIII Edgewood S. Presented by Forcht Bank and the $200,000 GII Twin Spires Turf Sprint. Another major highlight of the Churchill spring meet is the $500,000 GI Stephen Foster H. set for a “Downs After Dark” program June 16. Click here for the complete stakes schedule.