Breeders' Cup Classic a Real Rush for James

James and his partner in the horse business, Lammot du Pont of McLean, Va., pinhooked the colt, buying him as a yearling and reselling him as a 2-year-old.

For Everette James of Middleburg, Va., this year's Breeders' Cup Classic – Powered by Dodge (gr. I) will be a real "rush" because of his close connection to Japanese invader Personal Rush. James and his partner in the horse business, Lammot du Pont of McLean, Va., pinhooked the colt, buying him as a yearling and reselling him as a 2-year-old.

"It's going to be very exciting," said James, who is a partner in a Washington, D.C., law firm.

Twelve years ago, James was a commodities trader in Nashville, Tenn. He managed and owned a 50% interest in a racing partnership known as Crosswood Stable. The name was inspired by the ventures of his maternal grandfather, Eugene Cross Jr., a North Carolina resident who founded Cross cotton mills, owned a show horse stable called Crosswood, and had a national champion field trial dog named Crosswood Beth. Crosswood Stable's star was Crosswood, who captured the 1992 Miller High Life Cradle Stakes (gr. III).

Not long after Crosswood's Cradle win, James got married, went to work for the federal government in the Department of Commerce, and left the Thoroughbred game. He got involved again at the urging of du Pont, a friend saw photographs of Crosswood while visiting James. Together, the two men started assembling a breeding operation, Chain Bridge Stable, which is based on a 65-acre farm where James lives. In order to generate cash flow in the short term, James recommended pinhooking. The first horse they bought was Personal Rush, paying $57,000 for the Wild Rush colt at the 2002 Keeneland September yearling sale.

"He was a wonderfully balanced horse and was very athletic looking with a lot of size," James said.

The partners sent Personal Rush to Virginia pinhooker Dale Jenkins, who broke the colt and got him ready for the 2003 Barretts March select sale of 2-year-olds in training.

"He breezed (an eighth of a mile) in :10.2 at Barretts, and he was in hand the whole way; the exercise rider wasn't scrubbing on him at all," James said.

Consigned by Jenkins' H.T. Stables, Personal Rush sold for $240,000 to the JS Company, rewarding James and du Pont, a real estate developer, with an impressive profit.

"It was a fair price at that time," James said.

Sent to Japan, Personal Rush won this year's Derby Grand Prix (Jpn-I) and Elm Stakes (Jpn-III) while running for Tomiro Fukami. The colt also finished third in the Unicorn Stakes (Jpn-III).

One day, Everett and du Pont hope to breed a Breeders' Cup runner of their own. They have 10 mares at Chain Bridge.

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