Head Heart Hoof proved that perseverance pays off when the 7-year-old gelding scored his first graded stakes triumph by winning the 120th renewal of the Toboggan Stakes (gr. III) in his 50th career start.
Ridden patiently by Cornelio Velasquez, Head Heart Hoof rated off the pace set by P J’s Magical Wink and took control leaving the turn in the six-furlong sprint. After opening up by two lengths in the stretch, Head Heart Hoof dug in gamely to hold off the fast-charging favorite Johannesburg Smile.
Racing primarily in claiming and optional claiming/allowance races, Head Heart Hoof has 18 wins and 10 placings to his credit while earning $470,176. Head Heart Hoof presently races for Michael Dubb, Stuart Grant, Gary Asquith, and Scott Akman after being claimed for $35,000 while finishing second in an allowance/optional claiming race at Aqueduct. In his first start for his new connections, Head Heart Hoof finished second in the Hollie Hughes Stakes for New York-breds and later in 2012 finished third in the Valley Forge Stakes at Parx Racing. In his first start in 2013, he won the True and Blue Stakes at Aqueduct on Jan. 9.
Head Heart Hoof was bred by Rhapsody Farm, Alan Alcon, and Dora Alcon. Owned by Elaine Peck and Richard Quinn, Rhapsody is a full-service breeding, boarding, and sales consignment operation located near Plymouth, N.Y. Peck said 70 of the farm’s 326 acres are used for the horse population that includes six mares owned by Rhapsody and 15-20 horses for clients.
Head Heart Hoof is one of seven stakes winners sired by Intidab, a son of Phone Trick who stood at Gallagher’s Farm in New York before being relocated in 2006 to Sheikh Hamdan’s Shadwell Farm in Lexington, where his 2013 fee is $2,000.—R.W.M.