Mike O' Farrell, the president and part-owner of Ocala Stud in Florida, is in Italy on a trade mission. But on Saturday, his thoughts will turn to Maryland, where Street Sense will be trying to capture the Preakness, the second leg of the Triple Crown. The winner of the Kentucky Derby Presented By Yum! Brands (gr. I) was broken and prepared for racing at Ocala Stud.
Street Sense, according to O'Farrell "was kind of late developer. The more training he had, the bigger he got, the stronger he got, and the more attractive he got. By the time he left here (in the spring of his 2-year-old year), he was well on his way to becoming a big, fine-looking animal. And obviously, he's continued to progress. He's one of those horses that improved a little bit every day."
Unbridled, the champion and 1990 Kentucky Derby winner, also got his early training at Ocala Stud. He had the same trainer as Street Sense, Carl Nafzger.
"Unbridled and Street Sense were a lot alike in the way they went through the training process," O'Farrell said. "They both had good minds, and they both had good size, but Unbridled was bigger than Street Sense. Unbridled was another one of those horses that improved with time. In other words, he was a late maturing horse that you knew the training did him good. Obviously he turned out to be a good one, too."
Approximately 160 young horses are broken and trained at Ocala Stud each year. And when one of them goes on to do well at the races, it's a source of pride for O'Farrell and his staff.
"We don’t get any direct monetary gain from Unbridled or Street Sense winning the Kentucky Derby, but we do get a lot of pleasure from it and we do get a lot of gratification from it," O'Farrell said. "The other clients we have know those horses came from here, and it reassures them, obviously, that we must be doing a good job."