Ocala Stud may no longer own undefeated Fair Grounds Oaks (gr. II) winner Unlimited Budget, but the farm's association with the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I)-bound filly's family goes back nearly 60 years.
"The family has been mighty good to us and has produced a lot of grade I winners," said Ocala Stud farm manager David O'Farrell. "It's been tremendous and it's great to see."
O'Farrell explained how Ocala Stud's initial involvement with Unlimited Budget's family dates back to when his own family first migrated from Maryland and launched the Florida Thoroughbred operation in 1956.
"Unlimited Budget's fourth dam, Old Bess (by Vincentive), basically came with the farm...so this is the oldest active Florida (Thoroughbred) family that's still going," said O'Farrell.
Unlimited Budget is by Street Sense out of the winning, stakes-placed Valid Appeal mare Unlimited Pleasure, who is a half sister to grade I winner Outofthebox (by Montbrook). Unlimited Pleasure's dam Cricket Box (by Notebook), is a half sister to grade I winner Mighty Appealing (by Valid Appeal).
Ocala Stud bred all the above mentioned horses, as well as the Fair Grounds Oaks winner's third dam Patsy's Lil Girl (by Roi Dagobert). The farm additionally stood Montbrook, Notebook, and Roi Dagobert.
"At first glance you see (Unlimited Budget) is out of a Valid Appeal mare and some people may wonder if she can get the added (Oaks) distance of 1 1/8 miles," said O'Farrell. "But if you go back into the family and look, there's plenty of stamina. Outofthebox is by Montbrook, who is regarded as a sprint sire. But Outofthebox won a grade I going 1 1/4 miles in the Super Derby.
"Tackleberry, who is also by Montbrook, is a very versatile runner," O'Farrell added. "Nobody thought he could carry his speed in a distance of ground, but he won the Sunshine Millions Classic going 1 1/8 miles. Those are two horses by speed favoring sires that have gotten the distance of ground, so there's plenty of stamina in the family. So the added distance shouldn't be the issue (for Unlimited Budget)."
The mating between Unlimited Pleasure and Street Sense that resulted in Unlimited Budget stems from Ocala Stud's early association with the stallion.
"We broke him at Ocala Stud and trained him for his connections," O'Farrell explained. "We were high on him as a stallion prospect early on---being a 2-year-old champion and a Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner. We felt like he had a nice pedigree and the mare had already produced some precocious runners, so it was a nice angle. We thought (the mating) might be a good blend of speed and stamina and it worked."
Unlimited Budget didn't disappoint in her appearance as a foal.
"She was always very straightforward," said O'Farrell. "You never anticipate they're going to turn out the way they do. But she always had good size and was a very classy filly. I was working with the broodmares and foals at the time, so I basically raised her. She was the one that never got sick, never had a snotty nose or a pimple on her. She had a good mind and was very athletic. Obviously we never dreamed she'd be as accomplished as she is now...we hoped for it, but you just never know."
New York-based Entrepreneur Mike Repole, who is best known for campaigning 2010 champion juvenile Uncle Mo and other grade I victor Stay Thirsty , purchased Unlimited Budget for $475,000 through trainer Todd Pletcher, agent, at the 2012 Ocala Breeders' Sale Co.'s select sale of 2-year-olds in training. The bay filly was consigned by Ocala Stud, agent.
Unlimited Budget has now scored four victories in as many starts for Repole Stable, including the 2012 Demoiselle (gr. II) and the Feb. 23 Rachel Alexandra (gr. III). She has earned $610,200.
The filly has two other half siblings that have brought six figures at auction: Beacon Shine, who captured the 2005 Flash Stakes (gr. III); and Jardin, winner of the 2008 Schuylerville (gr. III) and runner up in that year's Spinaway (gr. I).