Coolmore Lexington S. (gr. II)
(gr. II , 8.5f ,)
Forest Wildcat Rhiana , by Runaway Groom
BMeadow Oaks Farm LLC, KY.; OPadua Stable, Shustek, Michael and Stanley, W. Don; TTodd A. Pletcher
(DK B/ h,
Songandaprayer Illumination , by Devil's Bag
BVolan Corp, FL.; OLanni Family Trust, Mercedes Stable, LLC and Schiappa, Bernard C.; TBob Baffert
(DK B/ h,
Harlan's Holiday My Sweet Country , by Bold Ruckus
BFormal Gold LLC, KY.; OZayat Stables, LLC; TWilliam I. Mott
Margins: 1, ½, ½. Others: Racecar Rhapsody 117($16,250) , Big Glen 119($9,750) , Tomcito 123 , Salute the Sarge 117 , Atoned 117 , St. Joe 117 , Red Sandy 117 , Felon 117 . Winning Jockey, David Romero Flores.
Behindatthebar made enough coin in the Coolmore Lexington Stakes (gr. II) April 19 at Keeneland to pay off his tab and gain entry into the May 3 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) should his connections choose to send him. The 3-year-old Forest Wildcat colt wore down pace setter Samba Rooster to win by one length.
In his only other attempt at stakes company, Behindatthebar finished fifth in the March 8 El Camino Real Derby (gr. III), but he bounced back to take an April 3 allowance race at Santa Anita by four lengths.
With his victory, Behindatthebar gave trainer Todd Pletcher his third Derby candidate in two weeks. The trainer also conditions Monba and Cowboy Cal, who ran one-two in the April 12 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I).
Pletcher trains Behindatthebar for Satish SananÕs Padua Stables, Michael Shustek, and W. Don Stanley. Shustek bought the bay colt for $140,000 at the 2007 Ocala BreedersÕ Sales Co.Õs June 2-year-olds in training sale from Cloverleaf Farms II and Brent Fernung, agents. Fernung had purchased Behindatthebar in the name of his Journeyman Bloodstock for $130,000 at the 2006 Keeneland September yearling sale from Hill ÔnÕ Dale Sales Agency, agent.
Behindatthebar was bred in Kentucky by Dr. Frank Justice and Meadow Oaks Farm. In the name of his Dell Ridge Farm, Justice bought BehindatthebarÕs dam, the grade I-placed Runaway Groom mare Rhiana, for $270,000 at the 2003 Keeneland November mixed sale from Denali Stud, agent.
Rhiana raced as a homebred for Jerry and Ann Moss before being claimed for $40,000 by John and Allegra Ernst in November 2002. The next year, she finished second or third in four stakes, including the Santa Maria Handicap (gr. I). The bay mare also made two starts for Justice before becoming a broodmare.
Behindatthebar is the first foal out of Rhiana, who also has a juvenile Speightstown filly and a yearling Smarty Jones filly. Her daughter by Speightstown sold to Leprechaun Racing, agent, for $75,000 at the 2007 Keeneland September yearling sale, and was then sold to Tom Gentry, agent, for $310,000 at the recent Keeneland April 2-year-olds in training sale.
Rhiana, who is kept at Dell Ridge Farm near Lexington, was bred to Bluegrass Cat for this year and is due to foal soon. Originally booked to Songster, breeding plans for the 11-year-old mare remain undecided.
Forest Wildcat is the sire of 52 stakes winners including additional 2008 added-money winners Chatain (gr. III), Euphony, La Wildcat, Salute the Sarge, Mystic Wood, and Forest Blue. The 17-year-old son of Storm Cat stands at Fred SeitzÕ Brookdale Farm near Versailles, Ky., for a fee of $35,000.ÑA.H.D