Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I)

(gr. I , 8.5f ,)

WAR PASS (DK B/ h, 122 lb) $1,080,000
Cherokee Run —Vue , by Mr. Prospector
B—Cherry Valley Farm, LLC, KY.; O—Robert V. LaPenta; T—Nicholas P. Zito

Pyro (DK B/ h, 122 lb) $400,000
Pulpit —Wild Vision , by Wild Again
B—Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC, KY.; O—Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC; T—Steven M. Asmussen

Kodiak Kowboy (B h, 122 lb) $200,000
Posse —Kokadrie , by Coronado's Quest
B—Hartwell Farm, KY.; O—Vinery Stables and Fox Hill Farm; T—Steven M. Asmussen

Margins: 4¾, 12, ¾. Others: Tale of Ekati 122($102,000) , Z Humor 122($50,000) , Old Man Buck 122 , Overextended 122 , Shore Do 122 , Salute the Sarge 122 , Wicked Style 122 , Globalization 122 . Winning Jockey, Cornelio H. Velasquez.

Although Cherokee Run has been well represented in Breeders’ Cup World Championships juvenile races, War Pass became his first winner in one of the 2-year-old races with his wire-to-wire victory in the Oct. 27 Bessemer Trust Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I) at Monmouth Park.

Three previous starters in the Juvenile and one in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) have been sired by Cherokee Run, but prior to War Pass, his best finishers were Chilukki and Kafwain, who ran second in the 1999 Juvenile Fillies and 2002 Juvenile, respectively. Although Chilukki did not win her Breeders’ Cup race, her victories throughout that season were enough for her to be voted an Eclipse Award as champion 2-year-old filly.

Given that Cherokee Run won the 1994 Breeders’ Cup Sprint (gr. I) and was named champion sprinter, it comes as little surprise that his offspring tend to be precocious. A son of Runaway Groom, Cherokee Run, who has sired 32 staeks winners, stands at Darley near Lexington and his 2007 fee was $40,000. Other graded stakes winners by Cherokee Run this year include grade II winners Zanjero and Indian Flare, as well as grade III winner Chelokee.

Runaway Groom, who won the 1982 Travers Stakes (gr. I), was euthanized June 8 at Dr. Tom Simon’s Vinery near Lexington because of complications from the infirmities of old age. The 28-year-old son of Blushing Groom, who is represented by 73 stakes winners, had been pensioned earlier in the breeding season.

War Pass was the third winner during this year’s Breeders’ Cup to be sired by a Darley stallion. Maryfield, who is by Elusive Quality, won the inaugural Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint, and Lahudood, who is by European Darley stallion Singspiel, won the Emirates Airline Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT).

War Pass was bred in Kentucky by Cherry Valley Farm, which is the breeding operation of Seth Hancock, who is also the president of his family’s Claiborne Farm near Paris, Ky. Cherry Valley comprises about 250 acres that are now part of Claiborne.

“He was a very nice, powerful foal,” Claiborne farm assistant manager Charles Koch said. “He went through some hard knocks as a baby though. We had to send him to Rood & Riddle (Equine Hospital) for a bad cut, he had pneumonia as a baby, and he had to have a hernia repaired. If anything, it made him more resilient.”

Hancock bred War Pass out of the stakes-placed Mr. Prospector mare Vue, who Cherry Valley bred in partnership with The Gamely Corp of the late William Haggin Perry. Perry was a long-time Claiborne client. Out of the winning Hoist the Flag mare Harbor Flag, Vue is a half-sister to grade III winner Country Light (by Majestic Light) and stakes winner Packet (by Polish Navy). Country Light took the Louisiana Derby (gr. III), while Packet, who won the La Troienne, Regret, and Edgewood Stakes, went on to produce multiple grade II winner Great Intentions. A daughter of Cat Thief, Great Intentions won the First Flight and Gallant Bloom Handicaps (both gr. II). Another of Harbor Flag’s daughters, Berth (by Believe It), is the dam of stakes winner Rail (by Majestic Light).

War Pass is the second grade I juvenile produced by Vue. Her first foal, Oath (by Known Fact), won the 1996 Spinaway Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga. Claiborne Farm, as agent, sold Oath in foal to Storm Cat for $2.7 million at the 1998 Keeneland November mixed sale to Sparkle Thoroughbreds. Vue is also the dam of Vision of Beauty, a grade II-placed daughter of Danzig. Another one of Vue’s daughters, Venus de Milo, sold to Demi O’Byrne for $1.5 million at the 2000 Keeneland July yearling sale. By A.P. Indy, Venus de Milo raced for one year in Europe. The mare died in 2005.

Robert LaPenta, who bought War Pass as a yearling for $180,000 at the 2006 Keeneland September sale from Claiborne Farm, agent, was involved with other successful Cherry Valley bred. In the name of his Whitehorse Stable, LaPenta bought Pomeroy from Cherry Valley through Claiborne Farm, agent, for $45,000 as a yearling and sold him as a 2-year-old for $300,000. Pomeroy, who is by Claiborne stallion Boundary, went onto be a grade I winner.

Unfortunately, Vue died last July as the result of colic. Her last foal is a yearling colt by Monarchos, who was purchased by War Pass’s trainer, Nick Zito, agent, at the 2007 Keeneland September yearling sale for $200,000. Vue’s dam, Harbor Flag, also died last year at age 28.

Cherry Valley still owns two of Vue’s daughters. Duescals, a 7-year-old mare by Danzig, is in foal to Strong Hope, while Gerent, a 3-year-old Monarchos filly, just returned to the farm and will be bred next year.

Duescals has a juvenile Monarchos colt named Dunk Shot who was sent to the Slovak Republic in 2006, a yearling filly by Flatter, and a weanling Strong Hope colt.

“She had a big, strong colt this year,” Koch said. “She is a big, stout mare, and her foals are the same way.” By Amanda Duckworth