Sea O Erin Breeders' Cup Mile H.
(T 8f ,)
El Prado (IRE) Fort Pond , by Fortunate Prospect
BDavid P. Block, IL.; OTeam Block; TChris M. Block
(DK B/ h,
Storm Cat Jewel in the Crown , by Seeking the Gold
BPacelco S.A., KY.; OVoss, Gene, Abbott Properties and Hardeman LLC; TNiall M. O'Callaghan
Deputy Minister Watch the Time , by Timeless Moment
BClaiborne Farm, KY.; OClaiborne Farm; TWilliam I. Mott
The members of Team Block found themselves in familiar territory celebrating their second Sea O Erin Breeders’ Cup Mile Handicap victory in four years at Arlington Park Aug. 6. This time around it was their 4-year-old homebred, Fort Prado, who entered the winner’s circle undefeated after four turf starts this year.
Conditioned by Team member Chris Block, the son of El Prado overcame Old Deuteronomy in mid-stretch and drew off to a 11/4-length score over four rivals. Fort Prado covered the mile over turf in 1:36.18. The Sea O Erin became the colt’s richest career victory, boosting his lifetime earnings to $294,382.
Team Block also won the 2002 Sea O Erin with millionaire Mystery Giver. Mystery Giver, winner of the 2004 Mervin H. Muniz Jr. Memorial (gr. IIT) and the Fair Ground Breeders’ Cup Handicap, is an eight-time stakes winner with earnings of $1,165,900. Chris Block said Mystery Giver, who hasn’t raced since suffering an injury last year in the Arlington Million (gr. IT), is now back in limited training and could return in 2006.
Meanwhile, Fort Prado could be headed toward the Robert F. Carey Memorial (gr. IIIT) Sept. 24 at Hawthorne, Block said.
Team Block is the Philo, Ill.-based family operation made up of David and Patricia Block, their son, Chris, and his wife, Linda; their son, Ryan, and his wife, Jeana; and daughter, Dena. The family also operates a satellite farm near Morriston, Fla., where their yearlings spend the winter before joining Chris Block’s Illinois stable.
David and Patricia Block bought Fort Prado’s stakes-winning dam, Fort Pond, for $200,000 at the 1999 Keeneland November mixed sale from the consignment of Fred Seitz, agent. The Fortunate Prospect mare was in foal to Forest Wildcat, at the time of purchase.
The Blocks still own Fort Pond who produced a Lost Soldier filly Feb. 1. The mare was originally booked to Successful Appeal, in whom the Block’s own a share, but breeding plans were changed when the stallion suffered colic earlier this year. Fort Pond is in foal to Langfuhr on a May 30 cover.
El Prado is the sire of 54 other stakes winners including 2005 added-money winners Artie Schiller (gr. IIT), Kitten’s Joy (gr. IIT), Lusty Latin, Senor Swinger, Lord Admiral (in Ireland), and Asi Siempre (in France). El Prado stands at Frank Stronach’s Adena Springs near Versailles, Ky. His 2005 fee was $100,000.—A.W.