2nd at 3AFFIRMED H.
(gr. III , 8.5f , to Desert Code, defeating Cobalt Blue, Time to Get Even, Awesome Gambler ).
After losing two close ones, Desert Code returned to the winner’s circle with a front-running score in the June 17 Affirmed Handicap (gr. III) at Hollywood Park.
The Affirmed was Desert Code’s first start at a distance as far as 11¼16 miles and came after he was beaten a nose in the mile La Puente Stakes on grass at Santa Anita in April and by a neck while third in the seven-furlong Lazaro Barrera Memorial Stakes (gr. III) at Hollywood Park in May.
“He’s a 3-year-old who’s coming into his own,” said trainer Dave Hofmans, who trains the colt for Susan Osborne’s Tarabilla Farms. “We figured we would give him a try here and if they gave him a soft pace (:24.69 and :48.79), he would have a great chance to win. Maybe this guy has a different dimension to him, which would be really nice.”
“Dave and I had spoken about the race, and we knew our horse was the main speed, and we might be able to get away with some soft fractions,” said jockey Richard Migliore. “He’s such a smart horse that he would let me know where everybody was by how tensed he got and how relaxed he got. I didn’t even have to look around much. He basically was my rearview mirror.”
ClassicStar, the breeder of Desert Code, is enjoying its best year yet in the role of breeder, with four other stakes winners. Astronomer Royal won the Poule d’Essai des Poulains (Fr-I, the French Two Thousand Guineas) and Bear Now took the Hill ‘n’ Dale Stakes at Woodbine the day before Desert Code’s Affirmed triumph. In May, Bear Now won the Selene Stakes (Can-III).
ClassicStar’s other stakes winners as breeder this year are Desert Code’s half-sister, Forest Code, who won the Giant’s Causeway Stakes at Keeneland, and Grat, a stakes winner at Turf Paradise.
Located near Versailles, Ky., ClassicStar also is the breeder of earlier graded stakes winners Magnificent Song and Evil Minister. Magnificent Song, a three-time stakes winner last year, scored her big win in the Garden City Breeders’ Cup Stakes (gr. IT) at Belmont Park.
Desert Code was consigned by Taylor Made Sales Agency, agent, to the 2005 Keeneland September yearling sale. Mike Ryan, agent, bought him for $150,000.
Hofmans privately purchased Desert Code for Osborne of Glendale, Calif., after the son of E Dubai had made his first two starts for TYB Stable at Belmont Park. Osborne campaigned earlier stakes winners Belle of Paducah and Cris the Swimmer in the Tarabilla name.
Second-crop sire E Dubai has sired four stakes winners, including additional 2007 added-money winner High Heels (gr. II). E Dubai stands for $15,000 at Sheikh Mohammed’s Darley near Lexington.—D.S.
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