Jersey Shore Breeders' Cup S. (gr. III)
(gr. III , 6f ,)
Benchmark Perfectly Pretty , by Bertrando
BPam & Martin Wygod, CA.; OWygod, Pam and Martin; TClifford W. Sise, Jr.
Distorted Humor S. S. Miracle , by Seattle Slew
BCobra Farm, KY.; OEldon Farm Equine, LLC and Luke, John K.; TDale L. Romans
(DK B/ h,
Sea of Secrets Beright , by Gray Slewpy
BVictory Racing Llc., KY.; OCharles Cono LLC; TChristopher S. Paasch
When Idiot Proof blew away the field in the stretch in the July 4 Jersey Shore Breeders’ Cup Stakes (gr. III) at Monmouth Park, there probably was more than one bettor who felt like an idiot for not betting him.
Idiot Proof not only won, but won easily, by 71¼4 lengths in track-record time of 1:07.47 for the six furlongs. He paid $10.60. The former track mark, 1:07.84, was set by Gilded Time in the 1992 Sapling Stakes (gr. II) during his championship 2-year-old campaign.
“We blew him out over the track a few days ago, and he was awfully fast,” said trainer Clifford Sise Jr. “After that, we knew he liked the track, and he really showed that today.
“We might have to bring him back for the Breeders’ Cup (at Monmouth Oct. 27). He’s just a really cool horse.”
Ridden by Rajiv Maragh, Idiot Proof pressed the early pace set by Southwestern Heat. “He was going so fast so early and doing it so easily, I knew he’d be real tough,” said Maragh, who rode him for the first time. “Every time I asked him for a little more, he gave me a lot. He started looking around a little in the stretch, so I just kept on him all the way to the wire. I knew he was really moving. When we hit the wire, I thought he had to have broken the track record.”
A homebred for California owners Martin and Pam Wygod, Idiot Proof is the first foal from the couple’s homebred mare Perfectly Pretty, who is kept at the Wygods’ River Edge Farm near Buellton, Calif. Also making their home there is Idiot Proof’s sire and broodmare sire, Benchmark and Bertrando, respectively.
Benchmark was a grade II winner for the Wygods. His best year came as a 6-year-old in 1997 when he captured the Goodwood Breeders’ Cup (gr. II), Del Mar Breeders’ Cup (gr. II), and San Bernardino (gr. II) Handicaps, and placed in the Californian Stakes (gr. II) and San Diego Handicap (gr. III). On this year’s leading California sires list, Benchmark ranks eighth and Bertrando first.
The Wygods have made good use of Benchmark as a sire when it comes to Perfectly Pretty. All four of her offspring are by him. Perfectly Pretty’s second foal, a 2-year-old colt named High Intellect, was sold to David J. Lanzman Racing for $30,000 at the 2006 Barretts October yearling sale. He won June 27 at Hollywood Park for David J. Lanzman Racing Stable and Jason Wood in his first start. Wood is part owner of California sensation Lava Man.
Perfectly Pretty, whose two youngest offspring are fillies, was not bred this year because she foaled late.
The Wygods, who won a 2004 Eclipse Award with homebred Sweet Catomine, are represented this year by homebred grade I winner After Market and as breeder by grade I Octave. The former captured this year’s Charles Whittingham Memorial (gr. IT) and Inglewood (gr. IIIT) Handicaps. Octave won the June 30 Mother Goose Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont Park.
Benchmark has sired 16 stakes winners, including additional 2007 added-money winners Ducky Drake, Mark’s My Name, and Rare Exchange. Benchmark’s fee at River Edge is $10,000. Bertrando, who has sired 40 stakes winners, stands for $12,500.—D.S.