Hopeful S. (gr. I)
(gr. I , 7f ,)
Pulpit Caress , by Storm Cat
BHarbor View Farm, KY.; OJohn C. Oxley; TJohn T. Ward, Jr.
Wild Again Pretty Discreet , by Private Account
BE. Paul Robsham, KY.; OE. Paul Robsham Stables LLC; TStanley M. Hough
Phone Trick Pert Lady , by Cox's Ridge
BMill Ridge, Jamm Ltd. & Dr. J. Chandler, KY.; OMichael B. Tabor; TPatrick L. Biancone
Sky Mesa may be only a 2-year-old, but he already has plenty of classic connections. Winner of the Hopeful Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga on Aug. 31, Sky Mesa is owned by John C. Oxley, who campaigned 2001 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Monarchos. In addition, Sky Mesa is trained by John T. Ward Jr., who saddled Monarchos for his Derby victory.
Louis and Patrice Wolfson’s Harbor View Farm, which bred Sky Mesa, also bred and raced 1978 Triple Crown winner Affirmed. Edgar Prado, who rode Sky Mesa in the Hopeful, was aboard Sarava for his 2002 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) triumph.
Sky Mesa stalked the Hopeful pace early, then rallied in the turn to score his second consecutive victory in two career races. He defeated Pretty Wild by 13/4 lengths, covering the seven furlongs in 1:23.08. Sky Mesa was the second betting choice in the field of six 2-year-olds after breaking his maiden by 73/4 lengths at Saratoga on Aug. 3. The favorite, Zavata, finished third after encountering traffic problems.
Oxley purchased Sky Mesa for $750,000 from John Williams, agent, at the 2001 Keeneland September yearling sale. A Storm Cat colt out of Sky Mesa’s second dam, La Affirmed (by Affirmed) was the second-highest-priced yearling sold at the auction, bringing $5.5 million. Named Alajwad, the colt had not raced as of Aug. 31. John Ferguson Bloodstock, acting on the behalf of Sheikh Mohammed of Dubai, purchased him from Eaton Sales, agent. Alajwad is a full brother to Sky Mesa’s dam, Caress, who was a multiple graded stakes winner.
Williams, as agent, sold Caress to John Ferguson Bloodstock for $3.1 million at the 2000 Keeneland November breeding stock sale. She was in foal to Coronado’s Quest at the time. During the 1996 Keeneland November auction, Williams, as agent, sold La Affirmed to Elizabeth Moran’s Brushwood Stable for $1.9 million. She was in foal to Storm Cat at the time.
Sky Mesa is the third stakes winner for his sire, Pulpit, who also has been represented by Essence of Dubai and Bema. Essence of Dubai captured the Norfolk Stakes (gr. II) in 2001 and this year’s UAE Derby (UAE-II) and UAE Two Thousand Guineas (UAE-III). Bema scored in the 2002 Busher Stakes at Aqueduct. Pulpit stands at Claiborne Farm (Seth Hancock, president) near Paris, Ky., as the property of Claiborne. His 2002 stud fee was $60,000 live foal. Pulpit finished fourth in the 1997 Kentucky Derby after winning the Toyota Blue Grass (gr. II) and Fountain of Youth (gr. II) Stakes. He also finished second in the Florida Derby (gr. I).—D.B.B.