Prospective Is Tough on Triple Crown Trail
Photo: Tom Cooley Photography
Prospective after winning the Tampa Bay Derby

Prospective   was a tough as a yearling and that attitude seems to be helping him as a racehorse, according to Mark Toothaker.

The 3-year-old Malibu Moon   colt defeated Golden Ticket by three-quarters of a length in the March 10 Tampa Bay Derby (gr. II) and was a grade III winner in Canada last year.

“He’s a horse that wants to stalk the leaders and then he’s just absolutely like a bulldog that takes a bite of you in the stretch,” Toothaker said. “He’s a horse that’s got tons of courage and the grit and determination that he showed as a yearling and all that has certainly carried over to the track. He is a very, very determined horse.”

Toothaker formerly was Tommy Eastham’s partner in Legacy Bloodstock, which consigned Prospective to the 2010 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga select yearling auction. Toothaker sells horses in his own name now and Eastham is the sales director for Darby Dan Farm.

B. Wayne Hughes’ Spendthrift Farm bred Prospective in Kentucky and in 2010 offered Legacy the opportunity to sell some of its young horses.

“We were fortunate enough that year to get the first pick of any of Mr. Hughes’ yearlings,” Toothaker said. “He basically did kind of a draft with (the yearlings out of) his top producers. We had a chance to go out and go through about 80 of his yearlings. He (Prospective) was absolutely my favorite horse in that group and I was thrilled we got to take him to Saratoga.”

Toothaker remembered Prospective as being “absolutely gorgeous” as a yearling. “He had a beautiful commercial body,” the Kentucky horsemen said, “with a great hip, a big shoulder, and a beautiful head. He was just the whole package that you would expect any horse to go to Saratoga to be.”

But Prospective wasn’t always the easiest horse to be around when he was being offered for sale in New York.

“Mentally he was tough and he wouldn’t put up with much stuff,” Toothaker said. “He kind of wanted to do things his way. He was a horse that as you showed him, you kind of had to watch. One time we were showing him and some people got close. He did kind of cow kick at them.

“But what I loved about him,” Toothaker continued, “was that you couldn’t wear him out showing him. He would show and show and show, and he would never run out of energy.”

Prospective ended up bringing $250,000 from Mark Casse, agent. Casse trains the dark bay or brown colt and he carries the colors of John Oxley.

“In hindsight, I’m happy with the price, but I was so in love with the horse that I actually was hoping he would bring more,” Toothaker said. “I felt like we had the right players on him. But the comments some people gave us was he looked to be more of a speedy type of horse. There was another Malibu Moon colt up there that was a bigger, taller, scopier colt. He looked like more of a two-turn horse and he brought $350,000. He (Prospective) was more of a ‘typier’ colt with a big hip that looked fast and Mr. Oxley certainly got what has turned out to be a bargain.”

Today, Prospective is “basically the same version of what he was as a yearling, but he has grown and filled out,” Toothaker said. “He’s still a speedy-looking horse, but it seems like a mile and a quarter certainly is within his realm because he’s got the running style, grit, and determination.”

A Triple Crown nominee, Prospective is out of the stakes-winning Awesome Again   mare Spirited Away. He has won four of his seven career races and finished second twice while earning $441,317. Prior to the Tampa Bay Derby, he won the Pasco Stakes and was the runner-up in the Sam F. Davis Stakes (gr. I) at Tampa Bay Downs this year.

"What I'm so happy about for Mr. Hughes is that he (Prospective) is his dam's first foal," Toothaker said. "That's just fantastic to start off a mare with a runner like him. There are endless possibilities."

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