Cymric was foaled and raised at Mill Ridge Farm.

Cymric was foaled and raised at Mill Ridge Farm.

Keeneland Photo

BC Euro Cymric Has Local Ties

French group I-placed Breeders' Cup runner was foaled, raised near Keeneland.

Godolphin Racing's Cymric has made all five of his starts in England and France, but the morning line favorite for the Oct. 30 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (gr. IT) is a local Central Kentucky product. So local, he was foaled and raised at Mill Ridge Farm, about two miles from Keeneland, the host site of the World Championships.

Cymric was bred in Kentucky by Audrey Otto's Jamm Ltd. Otto, of Lexington, is a longtime client of the Mill Ridge Farm and has bred (or co-bred with Mill Ridge) several top runners such as grade I winners Power Broker  and Monba and other top runners such as Strut the Stage and Zavata.

A stakes winner in England and most recently second in France's top juvenile race, the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere Grand Criterium (Fr-I), Cymric was a $300,000 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga yearling purchase by Sheikh Mohammed's bloodstock agent John Ferguson and essentially has an "All-American" pedigree.

"He was good-sized; had quality," said Headley Bell, head of Mill Ridge. "He wasn't a big horse, just kind of typey."

That good-sized colt is by Ken and Sarah Ramsey's Kitten's Joy , North America's leading sire of 2013, out of Fastbridled, by Unbridled's Song. Bell's Nicoma Bloodstock, agent, assisted Otto with the purchase of Fastbridled at the 2010 Keeneland November sale. In foal to Distorted Humor , her price tag was $450,000—but worth it. Fastbridled's third dam is Hall of Famer, Kentucky Broodmare of the Year, and Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) winner  Personal Ensign.

"Mrs. Otto's daugher, Audie (Audrey), was instrumental in the purchase," Bell said. "I was just a little suspicious of her (Fastbridled) because she'd a few foals that had just sold OK. We took a shot with her. The underlying factor was that she was an Unbridled's Song mare out of Personal Ensign's family. When you look and you try, it's hard to get into these families."

The mating with Kitten's Joy came on Bell's recommendation.

"Kitten's Joy is a horse we've used since the beginning," he said. We just really liked what he had to offer. Now, we haven't been as successful as Mr. Ramsey..."

Cymric might change that. He's trained by John Gosden, who has won the Juvenile Turf twice with Donativum (2008) and Pounced (2009).

A Breeders' Cup score at Bell's hometrack at Keeneland would add a special touch. His grandfather, Hal Price Headley, was instrumental in founding the track.

"John (Ferguson) has been my friend for 20 years," Bell said. "The Ottos are lifelong friends of ours and partners... it's very meaningful. It's very gratifying. This is what we all try to do: show up on championship day.

"It doesn't get any better than Keeneland hosting the Breeders' Cup. Everybody in the community feels the energy."