Crown of Thorns, a multiple graded stakes winner, will enter stud in 2012 at John and Susan Sykes’ Cloverleaf Farms II near Reddick, Fla. The son of Repent was purchased from B. Wayne Hughes’ Spendthrift Farm. His fee will be announced later.
Bred in Florida by Cloverleaf Farms II, Crown of Thorns was purchased by Hughes for $300,000 at the 2007 Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co.’s March select sale of 2-year-olds in training.
Trained by Richard Mandella, Crown of Thorns won the Robert B. Lewis Stakes (gr. II) early in the 3-year-old season in his third start. Later on, he ran second in four consecutive grade I stakes including the 2010 Sentient Jet Breeders Cup Sprint (gr. I) in which he was beaten a nose by Dancing in Silks.
This year at 6, Crown of Thorns defeated grade I winner Sidney's Candy in the Mervyn LeRoy Handicap (gr. II). He concluded his career with a third-place finish in the Pat O’Brien Stakes (gr. I) and a fourth-place effort in the Oak Tree Mile Stakes (gr. IIT), his first try on grass.
“Crown of Thorns was a tremendously talented individual,” said Matt Lyons, general manager of Cloverleaf Farms and the Sykes’ Woodford Thoroughbreds in Kentucky. “He had the speed to almost win a Breeders Cup Sprint going six furlongs and the durability to carry his speed to two graded wins at 1 1/16 miles. We feel that he will be a great fit for the Florida market.”
Crown of Thorns’ dam, Crowning Touch (by Thunder Gulch), is a half sister to champion sprinter Smoke Glacken and grade II winner Smokey Glacken.