Sentient Flight Group Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I)
(gr. I , 6f ,)
(DK B/ h,
Real Quiet Candytuft , by Dehere
BMarjac Farms, KY.; OWatson and Weitman Performances, LLC and Pegram, Michael E.; TBob Baffert
Red Bullet Sararegal , by Regal Classic
BAdena Springs, FL.; OBear Stables, Ltd.; TReade Baker
Street Cry (IRE) Blushing Ogygian , by Ogygian
BBrilliant Stable, Inc., KY.; OHeadley, Bruce, Naify, Marsha and Yu, Simon; TBruce Headley
Dual-classic winner Real Quiet was affectionately known as ÒThe FishÓ during his running days. Now his son, Midnight Lute, is the biggest fish in the sprinting pond, having won the Oct. 25 Sentient Flight Group BreedersÕ Cup Sprint (gr. I), good for the second consecutive victory in the Sprint.
The massive dark bay or brown horse is only the eighth runner in BreedersÕ Cup history to win two World Thoroughbred Championships events. And he did it in Da Hoss-like fashion, making just one other start this year before the BreedersÕ Cup victory.
ÒHe was always a nice horse,Ó remembered co-breeder Tom Evans, who sold Midnight Lute as a yearling. ÒIt was kind of always a smooth journey with him. He was a pro about everything, but he didnÕt have a real commercial catalog page at the time.Ó
Evans, who owns Trackside Farm near Versailles, Ky., with Pam Clark, bred Midnight Lute in a three-man partnership. One partner is EvansÕ old college buddy, Dr. Ted Forrest, who breeds in the name of Macon Wilmil Equines. Evans and Forrest, who lives in Louisville with his wife, Dora, attended Vanderbilt University together. Forrest is an emergency room physician.
The third member of the team is Rich Burke, who uses the nom de course of Marjac Farms along with his wife, Patti. Marjac honors the names of Rich BrukeÕs late parents, Marie and Jack. Burke currently lives in Virginia and has a private investment company, but used to be a neighbor of ForrestÕs in Louisville.
ÒOf course, living in Louisville, horses are around you,Ó explained Evans when talking about how his co-breeders got into the horse business. Ò(Forrest and I) have been friends for a long time, and with me being in the business, weÕd talked horses. (Forrest and Burke) were neighbors and good friends. They came to me and said they were interested in buying a broodmare.Ó
Evans searched for a mare for the triumvirate to buy and settled on Candytuft, who is actually one of two mares for the partnership. The Dehere filly had been unraced. They bought her carrying her first foal at the 1999 Keeneland November sale for $55,000.
ÒA mare has to appeal to my eye physically,Ó said Evans. ÒThis mare was attractive, balanced, solid, correct, and she made it in our budget.Ó
Midnight Lute was CandytuftÕs fourth foal. Evans explained the mating with Real Quiet.
ÒI always liked him. To me, Real Quiet has one of the most attractive profiles youÕll see, just very athletic. I thought he fit the mare. SheÕs a sturdy, very correct mare, and I thought she could take care of the faults he had. He could add the balance and athleticism.Ó
Always a tough competitor and a grade I winner at 2, 3, and 4, Real Quiet has had a number of top runners from six crops to race. In addition to Midnight Lute, the Quiet American stallionÕs grade I winners include Pussycat Doll and Wonder Lady Anne L.
Real Quiet has made the rounds, standing at five different farms in nine years. He retired to Vinery near Lexington for the 2000 breeding season and spent three years there before ownership changes sent him to Taylor Made Farm near Nicholasville, Ky. In 2006 he went to PennsylvaniaÕs Regal Heir Farm (formerly known as Reigle Heir) but only spent a season after the farmÕs new owners were killed in a plane crash. He remained in Pennsylvania, but moved again. He held court at Pin Oak Lane Farm in 2007 and finally at Penn Ridge Farm this year. His fee has gone up and down but was most recently set at $10,000 for 2008.
Candytuft is kept at Trackside. The 320 acres that make up Trackside, which Evans and Clark have owned for better than 20 years, are doubled by another 320 acres that encompass the contiguous property known as Tenlane Farm. Tenlane is owned by EvansÕ brother, Robert, who serves as president and CEO of Churchill Downs. The two farms work together in what Evans calls a blended operation.
The partnership of Evans, Forrest, and Burke has a commercial focus and generally sells all resulting foals. They let go of Midnight Lute for $70,000 to Caldera Racing at the 2004 Keeneland September sale, a far cry from what the 2008 yearling out of Candytuft brought at this yearÕs sale. With Midnight LuteÕs 2007 Eclipse Award for champion sprinter now on the catalog page, the MariaÕs Mon colt went for $900,000 to Gulf Coast Farm.
Candytuft has an Empire Maker weanling colt who will likely be pointed to next yearÕs September sale. She is in foal to UnbridledÕs Song.
What does a second BreedersÕ Cup win mean to Evans?
ÒOf course, itÕs a huge thrill, not only for me and the co-breeders but also for the entire staff of the farm. Not only is it great fun to raise a good horse, but it validates your organization, your facility, your program, and the staff that provided the horsemanship and the management skills that make it all happen. The primary focus is people.Ó By Jill Williams