Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash S. (gr. I)
(gr. I , 6f ,)
BENNY THE BULL
(DK B/ h,
Lucky Lionel Comet Cat , by Birdonthewire
BTomoka Hills Farms, FL.; OIEAH Stables, James, Greg, Cohen, A. I. and Pegasus Holding Group Stables LLC; TRichard E. Dutrow, Jr.
Catienus Mrs. K. , by Dixieland Band
BSarah K. Ramsey, KY.; ORamsey, Kenneth L. and Sarah K.; TMark Shuman
Mr. Greeley No Small Miracle , by Silver Deputy
BDr. Akijiro Ohara, KY.; OPuglisi Racing, LLC and Klesaris, Steve; TSteve Klesaris
Race favorite Benny the Bull won the biggest race of his career when he defeated Talent Search by 11/4 lengths in the Nov. 24 Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash Stakes (gr. I) at Laurel Park. Both colts had previously run Oct. 27 in the TVG Breeders’ Cup Sprint (gr. I), where Benny the Bull finished fourth and Talent Search finished third.
Rick Dutrow trains Benny the Bull for Michael Iavarone and Richard J. Schiavo’s IEAH Stables, Greg James, Pegasus Holding Group Stables, and Andrew Cohen. In a different partnership, IEAH and Cohen won the Oct. 27 NetJets Breeders’ Cup Mile (gr. IT) with Kip Deville.
“I was the original owner prior to syndicating him,” said James of Benny the Bull. “My daughter Erika named him after a cartoon character on ‘Dora the Explorer.’ “
James bought the 4-year-old Lucky Lionel colt as a yearling for $38,000 at the 2004 Keeneland September sale from Bluewater Sales, agent. Prior to being syndicated, Benny the Bull was trained by Jeff Talley and won the June 30 Iowa Sprint Handicap. Since transferring barns, the colt also finished second in the Sept. 1 Forego Stakes (gr. I).
Bill Shively’s Tomoka Hills Farms bred Benny the Bull in Florida out of the stakes-winning Birdonthewire mare Comet Cat. He purchased the mare for $19,000 at the 2002 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky November mixed sale where she was offered by Adena Springs while carrying Benny the Bull.
Other stakes winners bred in the Tomoka Hills Farms name include Barber, who won the Aug. 15 Green Flash Handicap at Del Mar, and 2006 added-money winners Courting Seattle and Chandelle No. Five. Shively also operates a racing outfit under the name Dixiana Stables.
Louisiana-bred Comet Cat is out of the stakes-winning Comet Kat mare Granny’s Kitty, who in turn is out of the winning J. O. Tobin mare Sequel. Granny’s Kitty is a half-sister to stakes winner Raging Sequel (by Yankee Fan).
Benny the Bull is the first foal out of Comet Cat. The mare did not produce a foal for two years after producing the grade I winner, and has a yearling colt by Broken Vow. H. Allen Poindexter purchased the colt for $22,000 at the recent Fasig-Tipton Kentucky October yearling sale from Legacy Bloodstock, agent.
Comet Cat died last year due to complications from colic. She was 8.
Lucky Lionel is the sire of 10 stakes winners including additional 2007 added-money winners Hello Lucky (gr. III) and Hello Out There. The 14-year-old son of Mt. Livermore stood the 2007 season at R.G. Gammill’s Diamond G Ranch near Edmond, Okla., for a fee of $2,500, and will stand for the same fee in 2008.—A.H.D.