Philip H. Iselin Breeders' Cup H. (gr. III)
(gr. III , 9f ,)
Coronado's Quest Gottcha Last , by Pleasant Tap
BCentaur Farms, Inc., FL.; OCentaur Farms, Inc. (Heath); TEdward Plesa, Jr.
Out of Place Doc's Destiny , by Doc's Leader
BJames H. Greene, Jr., KY.; OBarnes, James A. and Batcheller, Jim; TGrant T. Forster
A.P. Indy Zagora , by Kingmambo
BGaillardia LLC, KY.; OHardacre Farm LLC; TAmy Tarrant
Gottcha Gold continued his mastery at Monmouth Park, which should come in handy if the colt runs in the Oct. 26 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile at the seaside track.
“We’ll definitely look at the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile, no doubt about that,” said trainer Edward Plesa Jr. after Gottcha Gold’s win in the Aug. 18 Philip H. Iselin Breeders’ Cup Stakes (gr. III). “I might sit still on him until then. He likes the surface, and I’m not sure he’ll need a race between now and then.”
Gottcha Gold carried top weight of 121 pounds in the Iselin and won by 41¼2 lengths over Brother Bobby.
The victory was the fourth stakes win at Monmouth for Gottcha Gold, who also has placed in two stakes at the track. In his last start, Gottcha Gold beat heavy favorite Lawyer Ron in the June 23 Salvator Mile Handicap (gr. III) in stakes-record time of 1:34.25, which was about two-fifths of a second slower than the track record.
Gottcha Gold races as a homebred for Vern Heath’s Centaur Farms. The Minnesota native and resident named his operation after a figure from Greek mythology. A centaur is a half-man, half-horse. Heath thought the name appropriate because the horse industry is “half man and half horse.”
Gottcha Gold was foaled at Diane Dudley’s Dudley Farm near Ocala, Fla., and received his early training at Michael O’Farrell’s Ocala Stud Farms. Dudley’s late husband, Scott, bought Heath his first horse, in 1986, and two years later, Heath won his first stakes. Prospector’s Halo, a Mr. Prospector grandson, won the 1988 Key West Stakes at Hialeah.
Since then Heath has campaigned homebred graded stakes winners Adhocracy, Atticus Kristy, Classic Par, Exogenous, and Tahkodha Hills. Exogenous was a grade I winner.
Atticus Kristy is one of three homebred stakes winners produced from the Unbridled mare Christy Love. The mare’s other added-money winners are Fiery Dancer and Distorted Reality, who won the July 8 Lexington Stakes on turf at Belmont Park.
Gottcha Gold is the first foal from the stakes-winning Pleasant Tap mare Gottcha Last. Boarded at Dudley Farms, Gottcha Last produced a 2007 filly by Trippi. She did not conceive for 2008.
Deceased Coronado’s Quest, sire of Gottcha Gold, is represented by a dozen stakes winners, including additional 2007 added-money winners Awesome Gambler and Crucifijo (Mex-I). Coronado’s Quest stood in Japan at the JBBA Shizunai Stallion Station prior to his death in March 2006.—D.S.