The OBS Championship Stakes at 1 1/16 miles for males was one of four stakes Tuesday at Ocala Training Center for 3-year-old Thoroughbreds who went through an Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. sales ring.
Gary Barber's Whatawonderflworld raced exclusively on turf in three starts last year, closing out his juvenile season win with clear victories in a maiden race at Belmont Park and an allowance-optional claimer at Aqueduct Racetrack.
With Jose Lezcano showing the way, the 3-year-old Tiz Wonderful gelding, who is trained by Mark Casse, registered a one-length victory n the field of 12. He completed the 1 1/16 miles in 1:45 on the synthetic surface.
Bred in New York by T/C Stable, T M Ventures landed Whatawonderflworld for $50,000 at the 2015 OBS June sale of 2-year-olds and horses of racing age from the consignment of James Layden, agent.
In the OBS Championship Stakes for fillies going 1 1/16 miles, Vieja Luna scored a front-running victory under jockey Emisael Jaramillo.
Juan Francisco Landaeta's Vieja Luna picked up plenty of experience last year, winning one race in seven starts at four different tracks. The daughter of Street Hero started 2016 with a bang, nailing down the first stakes victory of her career with a 2 1/2-length score in the field of 11.
Trained by Marcos Fernandez, Vieja Luna completed the 1 1/16 miles in 1:45 on the synthetic surface—matching the winning time of Whatawonderflworld. The victory is the first stakes win for Florida-based Fernandez, who has been conditioning horses since 2013.
Landaeta purchased Vieja Luna for $23,000 at last year's OBS spring sale of 2-year-olds from the consignment of Winners Circle Thoroughbreds, agent. Vieja Luna was bred in Kentucky by Fernandez-Robles Family Trust and Flying H Stables.
The day's stakes races began with Michael Bernard's Danbury pressing the pace early before opening a clear advantage late to win the male division of the $50,000 OBS Sprint Stakes by 1 1/2 lengths. Trained by William Kaplan and ridden to victory by Eddie Castro, Danbury, by Kantharos , secured the first stakes win of his career in the six-furlong race for 3-year-old colts and geldings.
In the $50,000 OBS Sprint Stakes for 3-year-old fillies, Social Butterfly rallied from sixth-place early to score a half-length victory under Scott Spieth. WinStar Farm's Social Butterfly, who is trained by Shannon Ritter, earned her second straight win after the daughter of Hold Me Back closed out 2015 with a maiden special score at Delaware Park.