Black Fighter became the first Azerbaijani-bred to win in the United States when the 3-year-old colt captured a maiden claiming test as the favorite Jan. 19 at Turfway Park.
Black Fighter, bred by Royal Pegasus Azerbaijan out of the Dixieland Band mare Smart Dixie, won the six-furlong Polytrack race by half a length with Victor Lebron aboard as the 2-1 favorite in the field of 10. The colt is also the first winner for sire Big Surf .
Kellyn Gorder trains the colt for owner Royal Pegasus in Lexington, where Big Surf stands for a private fee.
Big Surf is by Storm Cat out of the 2000 Eclipse Award champion 3-year-old filly Surfside, by Seattle Slew. The chestnut had just three starts in his career, all as a 2-year-old in 2008, winning once.
"This is incredible event for the Royal Pegasus breeding program," said the farm's office coordinator, Crystal Conway, in an e-mail message. "We are very lucky to be able to support our own stallions with quality breeding stock in both Azerbaijan as well as the U.S. Black Fighter is the first Azerbaijani-bred to win in the United States as well as the first winner for Big Surf. Hopefully this is just the first of many winners for Royal Pegasus."