OBS Day of Champions Has New Look

The five-race card offers new incentives and and a new racing surface.

Six 3-year-olds that were nominated for the 2008 Triple Crown will compete in the $150,000 Darley Ocala Breeders’ Sale Championship, the feature of a five-race stakes card Feb. 11 at Ocala Training Center.

The OBS Day of Champions presented by Darley takes place one day before the OBS Selected 2-Year-Olds in Training sale. All but one of the five races are restricted to horses that were previously bought at OBS events. There is no wagering on any of the races.

This is the first year that the program has been sponsored by Darley. In addition to increased purses in two of the races, Darley is offering the winner of three of the events a free season with one of their stallions. The winner of the Fillies Championship will receive a season with Henny Hughes, the Fillies Sprint winner will get a season with Rockport Harbor, and the Florida Thoroughbred Charities victor will have a season with Kafwain.

All of the races will be held on OBS’ Safetrack, a new all-weather surface installed last year.

The 1 1/16-mile OBS Championship features Zayat Stables’ Halo Najib, who enters off a third-place finish in the Jan. 5 Hutcheson (gr. II) at Gulfstream Park. A son on Halo's Image--Najibe’s Wish, by Sword Dance, the chestnut colt was on an early list of Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) contenders after winning his maiden debut and then being defeated only a half-length by Court Vision in the Oct. 28 Iroquois Stakes (gr. III) at Churchill Downs.

That effort was followed by a tiring fifth-place finish in the Nov. 24 Kentucky Jockey Club (gr. II), where Halo’s Najib led into the stretch before weakening in the 1 1/16-mile test. In the Hutcheson, the Dale Romans trainee came from off the pace, but could not sustain a mild closing bid.

Purchased for $235,000 at the OBS 2-Year-Olds in Training sale, Halo’s Najib, bred in Florida by John Scott, will retain regular rider Kent Desormeaux in his quest to stay on the Derby trail.

Also in contention is Klaravich Stables and William Lawrence’s Globalization, a Touch Goldcolt who finished last in the Oct. 27 Bessemer Trust Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I). That effort was less than a month after breaking his maiden by 7 ½ lengths at Belmont.

Globalization, out of the Polish Navy mare In the Limelight, is trained by Richard Violette, Jr. He was a $250,000 OBS purchase.

Cajun Corredor, Dynhocracy, Hello From Heaven, and Pursue a Dream are also OBS Championship starters that have been nominated for the Triple Crown.