In the March 7 Louisiana Derby (gr. II) at Fair Grounds, Wimbledon served notice that he was a 3-year-old to be reckoned with by registering an impressive 2 1/4-length win. That win solidified what trainer Bob Baffert had said since the son of Wild Rush joined his stable last year as a juvenile. This colt has the pure talent to outrun his pedigree and tackle the Visa Triple Crown Challenge.
The Louisiana Derby was the first start in stakes company for Wimbledon and only his second career-win, following an impressive eight-length maiden breaking win on Feb. 8. Prior to that, Wimbledon just missed breaking his maiden, finishing second in three consecutive races, dating back to his juvenile season. Baffert conditions Wimbledon for Texas resident James "Mattress Mac" McIngvale, who purchased him for $425,000 at the 2003 Fasig-Tipton Florida February 2-year-old in training sale from the consignment of Eddie Woods, agent.The colt, bred in Kentucky by Joseph Greeley's Sabine Stable, was originally sold as a yearling for $100,000 to McMahon Bloodstock, agent at the August 2002 Fasig-Tipton New York yearling sale form the consignment of Blackburn Farm, agent.
Greeley bred Wimbledon from his homebred Darn That Alarm mare Strawberry Clover. Greeley privately acquired the second dam of Wimbledon, Strawberry Burrah(by Princely Pleasure), before the birth of her first foal, grade III stakes winner Mining Burrah. Extra Alarm, the dam of broodmare sire Darn That Alarm, produced a grade II stakes winning full brother to Darn That Alarm in Strong Performance, winner of the Tropical Park Derby (gr. II) at Calder Race Course. Strong Performance is standing at stud at Hidden Valley Thoroughbreds in Texas. His 2004 fee is $1,000.Darn That Alarm won the 1984 Fountain of Youth (gr. II), going 1 1/16 miles, as a prep for the 1 1/8-mile Florida Derby (gr. I).
Strawberry Burrah is still owned by Greeley and has a 3-year-old Boston Harbor colt, New Reality, and a yearling Golden Missile filly. Strawberry Burrah aborted last year and has been bred to Red Bullet.Strawberry Clover was privately sold to Mike Pegram in November while in foal to Golden Missile. Greeley said he decided to sell the mare because he already had a Golden Missile filly from the family and because Pegram and his advisors, the McKathen brothers, were very interested in her. Strawberry Clover has a 2-year-old Cherokee Run filly, Strawberrydaqiquiri, and a yearling full sister to Wimbledon that Greeley intends to keep to race.The sire of Wimbledon, Wild Rush, was one of the leading sprinter/milers as a 4-year-old in 1998. He captured the seven-furlong Carter Handicap (gr. I) and the mile Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I). He also was a track-record setter in the previous year's Illinois Derby (gr. II) at 1 1/8 miles. He entered stud at Adena Springs in 1999.Wild Rush was sold to a Japanese syndicate to stud duty at Arrow Stud in September 2003. The price was a reported $1.5 million. He has sired two crops of 163 foals, eight of which are stakes winners.Sire: WILD RUSH, b, 1994. Raced 3 yrs, 16 sts, 8 wins, $1,386,302. Won Metropolitan H (gr. I), Carter H (gr. I), Illinois Derby (gr. II), Kentucky Cup Classic H (gr. III), Remington Park Derby, La Puente S (RT); 3rd Swaps S (gr. II), Clark H (gr. II), Lazaro S. Barrera H (gr. III).Lifetime: 2 crops, 163 foals, 99 rnrs (61%), 60 wnrs (37%), 19 2yo wnrs (12%), 8 sw (5%), 1.62 AEI, 1.84 CI, 111 sale yrlgs, avg $46,687, 1.1 TNA.In 2004: 1 sw, 4 sale yrlgs, avg $20,550.1st dam: Strawberry Clover, gr/ro, 1993. Bred by Sabine Stables (Fla.). Raced 3 yrs, 27 sts, 4 wins, $121,643. Dam of 4 named foals, 2 rnrs, 1 wnr, 1 sw.1999: Strawberry Halo, gr/ro f, by Southern Halo. Raced 3 yrs, 5 sts, 0 wins, $870.2000: Talent in Motion, ch f, by Peaks and Valleys. Unraced. ($40,000 ftsaug yrlg).2001: WIMBLEDON, gr/ro c, by Wild Rush. ($100,000 ftsaug yrlg; $425,000 ftffeb 2yo).At 3: Won Louisiana Derby (gr. II).2002: Strawberrydaiquiri, b f, by Cherokee Run.2003: Ch f, by Wild Rush.Broodmare sire: DARN THAT ALARM, gr, 1981-2003. Sire of 74 dams of 176 foals, 108 rnrs (61%), 78 wnrs (44%), 26 2yo wnrs (15%), 1.08 AEI, 1.52 CI; 5 sw.2nd dam: STRAWBERRY BURRAH, ch, 1985. Bred by Irish Luck Farm (N.Y.). Raced 2 yrs, 9 sts, 2 wins, $81,447. Won Mohawk S (R); 3rd Jersey Belle S, Sag Harbor S (R), East View S (R). Dam of MINING BURRAH (c, Mining; $304,524, Won Coaltown Breeders' Cup H, gr. III, Gravesend H, gr. III, Sporting Plate H; 3rd Boojum H, gr. II, A Phenomenon H, gr. II, True North H, gr. II).