With only 16 starts under his belt as a 6-year-old, Surf Cat is far from the most durable runner in North America. But when he is right, there are few with more sheer talent. Having run down grade I winner Greg's Gold in the San Carlos Handicap (gr. II) Feb. 16, Surf Cat has now recorded his fifth win in a grade II race.
While the financial fireworks might not be as spectacular as they were a year ago at the Keeneland November breeding stock sale, consignors and sale company officials still are expecting prices to be solid.
A Dynaformer colt whose second dam is Broodmare of the Year Glowing Tribute was sold for $190,000 to top the Oct. 23 session of the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky October yearling sale that concluded with double-digit increases in gross, average, and median prices.
Brian Graves, director of public sales for Gainesway, said the market was good through the Keeneland September yearling sale's first four days, and he looks for it to be strong and more consistent over the weekend and early next week.
Watching the Aug. 18 Alabama (gr. I) on the jumbo monitor on the first floor of the clubhouse at Saratoga, Michael Hernon pumped his fist in the air as Bentley L. Smith's homebred Lady Joanne crossed the wire first in the 1 1/4-mile race for 3-year-old fillies.
Led by the efforts of Eldon Farm Equine, the majority of horses previously sold at auction that passed through the sales ring during the Aug. 7 session of the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga yearling sale realized significant gains.
Dream Team, a grade I winner and dam of champion sprinter Orientate, died June 7 from complications from foaling a Gone West colt two days earlier at Gainesway Farm (Antony Beck, president) near Lexington.
Winning Colors, the 1988 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) heroine and the third and last filly to win the race, delivered a filly by Orientate Feb. 10 at the Beck family's Gainesway Farm. The filly is the first reported foal out of Winning Colors since 1999, when she foaled a Broad Brush colt named Dr. Litin.
Pancho Villa, a speedy son of Secretariat, suffered a heart attack and died right before he was getting ready to cover his first mare this breeding season at Dr. Steve Hicks' Cedarcrest Farm near Palestine, Texas.
Breeders' Cup founder John R. Gaines was posthumously honored as this year's Equine Industry Vision Award recipient by Pfizer Animal Health and American Horse Publications at a June 10 ceremonial breakfast held during the AHP Horse By Northwest Seminar in Seattle.