Points Offthebench was named California-bred Horse of the Year for 2013 at the California Thoroughbred Breeders Association's annual meeting and awards dinner Feb. 10 at the Claremont Hotel Club & Spa in Berkeley.
Keith Brackpool's Gervinho, winless since the 2013 Del Mar meet, got back in the win column with a strong off-the pace victory in the $201,000 Sir Beaufort Stakes (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita Park Dec. 26.
There are many ways to raise awareness and money for Thoroughbred aftercare, and at the recent Barretts October yearling sale one idea proved very successful.
Having completed its first race meet under the rebranded Barretts Sales & Racing, the company will offer its annual yearling sale Oct. 8 with a catalog of 248 young prospects.
Gervinho grabbed the lead in deep stretch and prevailed gamely over the fast-closing Greeley Awesome to win the opening division of the Oceanside Stakes on opening day at Del Mar July 17.
The winner is a homebred for Don Dizney, who also bred and raced the winner's dam and granddam.
Eclipse winner and California-bred Horse of the Year Acclamation has been retired and will stand the 2013 breeding season at Old English Rancho in Sanger, Calif. for a $20,000 fee.
Trainer Don Warren confirmed speculation that Acclamation, the 2011 Eclipse Award winner as outstanding older male, would not make the Breeders' Cup World Championships at Santa Anita Park Nov. 2 and 3.
Comma to the Top and Mensa Heat, one-two finishers last out in the Pirate's Bounty Stakes, get a Sept. 28 rematch in the Eddie D. Stakes (formerly Morvich, gr. IIIT) on opening day at Santa Anita for the 2012 autumn meet.
Acclamation came out of an Aug. 13 gallop with slight swelling in his left front ankle which owner E.W. "Bud" Johnston said will prevent a title defense in the $1 million TVG Pacific Classic (gr. I) Aug. 26.
Champion Acclamation ran his winning streak to seven en route to his second straight triumph in the $300,000 Eddie Read Stakes (gr. IT), drawing away in the stretch after setting the pace on the Del Mar turf July 21.
Acclamation, last year's champion old horse, made his long-awaited return to action with a front-running victory in the $250,000 Charles Whittingham Memorial Handicap (gr. IT) at Betfair Hollywood Park June 9.
Eclipse champions Acclamation and Amazombie, as well as multiple stakes-winning mare Ultra Blend are the finalists for the 2011 California-bred Horse of the Year.
Sci Fin Kin, dam of grade II winner Pretty Unusual, tops the Jan. 23 Barretts January mixed sale. The auction's average rises 14.2% over last year's figure.
In a split decision worthy of a season in which very little was settled definitively on the racetrack, the California-bred Acclamation notched the Eclipse Award for 2011's top older male.
Recovered from ulcers, Mensa Heat was on top of his game once again as he defeated a solid group of California-bred sprinters in the $84,500 On Trust Handicap, the closing day feature at Hollywood Park Dec. 18.
Unusual Heat, California's leading sire this year and sire of Horse of the Year candidate Acclamation, will stand in 2012 for $20,000 at John C. Harris' Harris Farms near Coalinga, Calif.
Led by two colts who each brought $100,000, the first session of the Barretts October Yearling Sale rose 47.15% in average, to $27,145. The 55 head sold at the Oct. 11 session grossed $1,493,000, up 42% from the 2010 gross.
West Coast star Acclamation, winner of five straight races, including the TVG Pacific Classic (gr. I), won't run again this year because of a foot problem, according to an Oct. 11 Daily Racing Form story.
With California-breds dominating the Barretts October yearling sale catalog, buyers looking to take advantage of the recently announced Cal-bred stakes additions will have plenty of choices.
Odds-on choice Acclamation continued his dominance over the Southern California turf division when he held off a determined Champ Pegasus in the $150,000 Clement L. Hirsch Turf Championship (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita Oct. 2.
Acclamation, with a patented front-running ride from veteran jockey Patrick Valenzuela, held off favored Twirling Candy in the final furlong to win the $1 million TVG Pacific Classic (gr. I) by a head at Del Mar Aug. 28.
Jockey Patrick Valenzuela drove Burns through an opening at the rail past mid-stretch to capture the $150,000 La Jolla Handicap (gr. IIT), giving trainer Barry Abrams a special moment at Del Mar Aug. 13.
Acclamation made it consecutive grade I wins when he milked a soft pace and kicked away on the final turn en route to a 3 1/4-length victory in the $300,000 Eddie Read Stakes (gr. IT) on the turf at Del Mar July 23.
Front-running Acclamation ran away from the field in the Hollywood Park stretch to register a repeat victory as the odds-on favorite in the $250,000 Charles Whittingham Memorial Handicap (gr. IT) June 11.
Returning to his favorite turf course, favored Acclamation earned a repeat victory in the $150,000 Jim Murray Memorial Handicap (gr. IIT) with a seven-length romp at Hollywood Park May 14.
A stallion season telephone auction held Nov. 30 by the California Thoroughbred Breeders' Association raised nearly $50,000, according to the CTBA.
Unusual Heat, whose progeny earnings of more than $4.2 million are tops this year among California stallions, will stand in 2011 for $20,000 at John C. Harris' Harris Farms near Coalinga, Calif.
Barretts' California Cup Yearling Sale showed strength in a two-day format Oct. 12-13. Led by a $105,000 topper at the first session, the auction averaged $14,128, an increase of 13.8% over 2009.
The Usual Q. T., ridden patiently by Victor Espinoza, made easy work of strong field in the $300,000 Eddie Read Stakes (gr. IT) over the Del Mar turf for the second grade I victory of his career July 24.
Unusual Heat, who is well on his way to a third consecutive leading sire title in California, has been relocated to John C. Harris' Harris Farms near Coalinga, Calif.
Acclamation rode a lone front-running trip to his first grade I victory when he captured the $250,000 Charles Whittingham Memorial Handicap (gr. IT) on the Hollywood Park turf June 5.
Acclamation earned his first graded stakes win and snapped an 11-race losing streak when he dominated his rivals in the $150,000 Jim Murray Memorial Handicap (gr. IIT) in a 14-1 upset on the Hollywood Park turf May 15.
- By Dan Liebman
Though he was bred in Kentucky, Papa Clem is a Californian. Read Blog
It's unusual for a runner to cross the finish line before a champion, unusual for any horse to have ancestors from 6 nations in her 3rd generation, and definitely Pretty Unusual to fit both of these descriptions.
Jockey Chantal Sutherland earned her second grade II victory in as many days when she guided 29-1 outsider Pretty Unusual to win the El Encino Stakes at Santa Anita Jan. 17. Favored Stardom Bound was second.
Grade I winner The Usual Q. T. rallied wide on the far turn to take the $100,000 Sir Beaufort Stakes (gr. IIIT) for his sixth consecutive win on opening day Dec. 26 at Santa Anita Park.
Grade I winner The Usual Q.T., on a five-race winning streak, is the clear standout in the $100,000 Sir Beaufort Stakes (gr. IIIT) on opening day at Santa Anita Dec. 26.
MAHUBAH'S CORNER, by Avalyn Hunter
Winner of both the Oak Tree Derby (gr. IIT) and Hollywood Derby (gr. IT) in November, this Unusual Heat gelding typifies the best of California breeding.
Since trainer James Cassidy switched The Usual Q.T. to the turf to break his maiden in August, all the California-bred son of standout sire Unusual Heat has done is win. He ran his streak to five against a powerful field.
Unusual Suspect, the second-longest shot on the board at 24-1, won a head-bobbing decision over Richard's Kid to capture the $150,000 Cougar II Handicap at Del Mar and sew up a starting berth in the Breeders' Cup Marathon.
California owner Madeline Auerbach announced a new racing venture in which she is syndicating offspring by major California stallion Unusual Heat.
Dual graded stakes winner Lethal Heat, who set seven-furlong track records in consecutive races at Del Mar last season, continues what her connections hope will end with an appearance in the $1 million Sentient Jet Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (gr. I) later this year when she returns in an allowance race July 25 on opening weekend of the Del Mar meeting.
Undefeated Beltene won her third straight race in an upset, when she rallied past Hooh Why in deep stretch to win the $250,000 Sunshine Millions Oaks by a head at Santa Anita Jan. 24.
Unusual Suspect, guided by Chantal Sutherland, overtook the leaders in upper stretch en route to a one-length win in the $73,500 Silveyville Stakes on opening day of the 118-day Golden Gate Fields winter/spring meet Dec. 26.
Trainer Doug O'Neill watched his retired star Lava Man lead the post parade for Oak Tree's $250,000 California Cup Classic, then saw his newest stable standout Mr. Chairman dig in to defeat the favored filly Romance Is Diane by a head Oct. 5 at Santa Anita.
Tucked between a weekend of Breeders' Cup prep races and the California Cup showcasing the local product, California's fall select yearling sale offers a slimmer but more select catalog than in years past.
Look in the winner's circle after any offspring of Unusual Heat wins a race and you'll likely see a petite, brown-haired woman hugging the jockey, high-fiving the trainer, or congratulating the owner.
Lethal Heat gained the lead in the final sixteenth of a mile and scored a head victory over Smooth Performer in a three-horse blanket finish to the $157,600 Hollywood Breeders' Cup Oaks (gr. II) on the Hollywood Park Cushion Track June 8.
Undefeated Lethal Heat won her third straight race in the space of a month and became a grade III winner when she burned past the pacesetters mid-stretch en route to a 1 3/4-length victory in the $108,500 Santa Paula Stakes on the Santa Anita synthetic track March 30.
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