Richter Scale Sprint Championship H. (gr. II)
(gr. II , 7f ,)
Unbridled's Song Zing , by Storm Cat
BBrilliant Stables, KY.; OJones, Aaron U. and Marie D.; TTodd A. Pletcher
Park Avenue Ball
Citidancer Road to the Ball , by Cahill Road
BC. J. Hesse, Inc., NJ.; OChar-Mari Stable; TJames T. Ryerson
Artax Bonnie Byerly , by Dayjur
BLongleaf Pine Farm, KY.; OPuglisi Racing, LLC and Klesaris, Steve; TSteve Klesaris
Marie and Aaron Jones’ 4-year-old colt Half Ours kept his unbeaten record intact as he held off the fast-closing Park Avenue Ball for a half-length victory in the March 3 Richter Scale Breeders’ Cup Sprint Championship Handicap (gr. II) at Gulfstream Park.
A roan/gray colt by Unbridled’s Song, Half Ours was the 9-5 favorite, making his fifth career start under regular jockey John Velazquez and running the seven furlongs on a fast track in 1:22.21.
“He’s a really special horse, very talented,” said trainer Todd Pletcher. “I think he’ll stretch out, but he’s in such good form right now, we ran him in here. All the credit goes to the Joneses for their patience—they love this horse. We’ll probably look at the Carter (gr. I) as our next start (Aqueduct, April 7).”
Half Ours, who broke his maiden by an impressive 103¼4 lengths in his first start as a juvenile at Keeneland, won the Three Chimneys Juvenile Stakes at Churchill Downs in his next start, which marked his black-type debut.
Consigned by Taylor Made Sales Agency as agent, Half Ours was in last year’s Keeneland November mixed sale to dissolve a partnership between the Joneses and former New York Racing Association chairman Barry Schwartz. The colt’s price climbed to $6.1 million before Schwartz backed down, giving the couple the sole control they sought.
Half Ours was bred in Kentucky by Dr. Philip McCarthy and Fred Hertrich’s Brilliant Stables. The partners, who keep around 40 mares at Hertrich’s 400-acre Watercress Farm near Paris, Ky., made a handsome profit when Half Ours was first purchased as a yearling for $625,000 by Buzz Chace, agent at the 2004 Keeneland September sale. He was consigned by Taylor Made Sales Agency, agent.
The Joneses decided they liked the family of Half Ours so much that they also bought his dam, Zing, and his full brother, Zong, at the 2005 Keeneland November mixed sale with Chace as agent.
The couple went to $3.6 million for Zing, a winning Storm Cat mare, who was in foal to Unbridled’s Song at the time of the sale. They purchased Zong as a weanling for $1.7 million. Both horses were consigned by Taylor Made Sales Agency, agent.
Half Ours is the second stakes victor of 2007 for the Joneses, who also own Master Command, winner of the Feb. 10 Mineshaft Handicap (gr. III) at Fair Grounds.
A full sister to prominent sire Yankee Gentleman, Zing produced a full brother to Half Ours last year. Kept at the Taylor family’s Taylor Made Farm near Nicholasville, Ky., the mare is in foal again to Unbridled’s Song and is booked to A.P. Indy.
Unbridled’s Song is the sire of 51 stakes winners. The son of Unbridled stands for $200,000 at Taylor Made.—E.M.