Native Diver H. (gr. III)
(gr. III , 9f ,)
Giant's Causeway Rusty Back , by Defensive Play
BRichard F Barnes, IRE.; OWilliam Deburgh; TJerry Hollendorfer
Awesome Again Noble Robyn , by Skip Trial
BAdena Springs, KY.; OStronach Stables; TRobert J. Frankel
Horse Chestnut (SAF) Lover's Lover , by Woodman
BBridget D. Oppenheimer, KY.; OColeman, Dasaro and Thomson; TCraig Dollase
Margins: 1¼, 3, ½. Others: Ravel 116($6,000) , Arson Squad 120($2,000) , Bold Chieftain 118 , Hello Sunday (FR) 116 , Wanna Runner 116 , Buzzards Bay 120 , Masterpiece (ARG) 115 . Winning Jockey, Michael C. Baze.
Heatseeker not only burned his competition Dec. 8 in the Native Diver Handicap (gr. III) at Hollywood Park, but he also set a new Cushion track record in the 11¼8-mile race, crossing the wire in 1:47.23.
Heatseeker is trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, who is now just six wins shy of becoming the fourth trainer to reach the 5,000-mark.
“(Heatseeker) is royally bred, and he’s a very good physical specimen, and it looks like he’s starting to learn how to run,” said Hollendorfer of the colt, who won for the fifth time in 12 starts. The 4-year-old Irish-bred banked $71,800 to raise his earnings to $259,776.
Bred by Richard Barnes, Heatseeker was bought for $110,871 by Vendor at the 2004 Goffs September yearling sale from Abbeville and Meadow Court Studs, agents. Breaking his maiden as a juvenile on his first try in his native Ireland, Heatseeker was sent to North America at the end of that season and raced by Hubert Guy, and then Nelson Radwan, while trained by Bobby Frankel. He was purchased privately this summer at Del Mar by veteran horseman William de Burgh.
Heatseeker’s Native Diver score marked his third North American win from nine tries and his first black-type victory.
De Burgh has been involved in the Thoroughbred industry for more than 30 years and owns B.S.I. Management, a California-based bloodstock agency and management company with interests in more than 60 horses. In partnership, de Burgh also raced grade I winner Kostroma.
Placing in the Laing O’Rourke National Stakes (Ire-I) at 2, Heatseeker found his best North American effort prior to the Native Diver Sept. 3 in the Windy Sands Handicap at Del Mar, where he finished second.
Heatseeker is out of the unraced Defensive Play mare Rusty Back. A half-sister to grade I winner Spanish Fern (by El Gran Senor), Rusty Back’s female pedigree also includes such standouts as English champion Haafhd, Irish classic winner Al Bahathri, and Irish champions Hasbah, Mutakarrim, and Almaty.
Rusty Back was purchased for $350,000 by De Burgh Equine at the 2002 Keeneland November mixed sale. Carrying the Native Diver winner, she was consigned by Eaton Sales, agent.
Heatseeker is the only living foal produced by Rusty Back, who died this year. The mare was barren twice, and two of her offspring died, including a 2007 foal by Shamardal.
Giant’s Causeway is the sire of 39 stakes winners. Among his 19 2007 added-money winners, including 11 grade/group winners, is grade I victor My Typhoon. Giant’s Causeway will stand the 2008 season for a $125,000 fee at Ashford Stud near Versailles, Ky.—E.M.