Hill Prince S. (gr. III)
(gr. III , 8f ,)
DESPITE THE ODDS
Speightstown Lady Aloma , by Cozzene
BWalton Breeders, KY.; OJohnson, R., Larry, TYB Stable and Dilger, Gerry; TMichael J. Trombetta
Unbridled's Song Wichitoz , by Affirmed
BWertheimer Et Frere, KY.; OWertheimer and Frere; TTodd A. Pletcher
Toccet Breath of Life , by Tactical Advantage
BCloyce C. Clark Jr., KY.; OPompa, Jr., Paul P. and Clover Four Stable; TRichard E. Dutrow, Jr.
Despite the Odds broke slowly and was sluggish in the Hirsch Jacobs (gr. III) on Preakness day, but the day prior to the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) he showed his earlier style and won the Hill Prince Stakes at Belmont Park June 5 while drawing off down the lane.
The Hill Prince, carded as a grade III event at a mile on the turf, was moved to the main track after persistent rains over several days in the Elmont, N.Y., area. The race was contested as a one-turn mile on the sloppy track, and the grade was dropped pending a review by the American Graded Stakes Committee.
Under Jeremy Rose, Despite the Odds sat on the rail just off John Velazquez and Affirmatif down the backside before the two engaged each other approaching the turn for home. They ran as a pair through the turn and at the head of the stretch, but Rose shook up the 3-year-old Speightstown colt and he responded by easily splashing away to win by 71Ú2 lengths.
Affirmatif finished second, while no one else in the six-horse field was ever a factor, with Dubinsky third and favored Conservative fourth. Despite the Odds paid a generous $17.20.
Owned by Larry Johnson, TYB Stable, and Jerry Dilger, Despite the Odds has now won three of four lifetime starts, and increased his earnings to $98,460.
Despite the Odds is out of the Cozzene mare Lady Aloma, who was bred in Canada by Knob Hill Stable. Racing in Canada, Lady Aloma was a stakes winner who won three races and earned $110,359. Lady Aloma is also the dam of Canadian champion grass mare Chopinina (by Lear Fan) and stakes winner Karra Kul (by Strawberry Road).
The 19-year-old mare has an unraced juvenile full sister to Despite the Odds named Ennis Lady, was barren to More Than Ready for 2008, and this year foaled a colt by Any Given Saturday.
The second dam of Despite the Odds, the Canadian-bred Vice Regent mare Rosedon, has also been a good producer. She is the dam of Canadian Horse of the Year Benburb (by Dr. Carter).
Despite the Odds was bred in Kentucky by Walton Breeders and consigned to the 2007 Keeneland September yearling sale by DilgerÕs Dromoland Farm, agent, but was a scratch. He was sold at the 2008 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic sale of juveniles in training by Scanlon Training Center, agent, to Larry Johnson for $300,000.
Lady Aloma was last sold in 2004 at the Keeneland November sale by Forging Oaks. In foal to Elusive Quality, she was purchased by Clearwater Stable for $310,000.
Despite the Odds is one of seven stakes winners sired by champion Speightstown, who was also represented on the weekend by Woody Stephens Stakes (gr. II) winner Munnings. Speightstown stands at Bill Casner and Kenny TrouttÕs WinStar Farm near Versailles, Ky. His fee is $35,000.ÑD.M.L.