San Diego H. (gr. II)

(gr. II , 8.5f ,)

CHOCTAW NATION (B g, 114 lb) $150,000
Louis Quatorze —Melisma , by Well Decorated
B—Loch Lea Farm, Inc., KY.; O—Robert D. Bone; T—Jeff Mullins

Pleasantly Perfect (B h, 124 lb) $50,000
Pleasant Colony —Regal State , by Affirmed
B—Clovelly Farms, KY.; O—Diamond A Racing Corporation; T—Richard E. Mandella

During (DK B/ h, 118 lb) $30,000
Cherokee Run —Blading Saddle , by Blade
B—Gulf States Racing Stables II, KY.; O—James McIngvale; T—Bob Baffert

Margins: ¾, 5, 1½. Others: Reba's Gold 116($15,000) , Night Patrol 112($5,000) , Taste of Paradise 115 , Decorador (ARG) 113 . Winning Jockey, Victor Espinoza.

Choctaw Nation didn’t get around to racing until he was age four. Judging from his perfect five for five record, his late start might have given him an edge.

Choctaw Nation not only won the Aug. 1 San Diego Handicap (gr. II) at Del Mar in his first added-money start, but beat the reigning National Thoroughbred Racing Association leader Pleasantly Perfect in the process.

Trainer Jeff Mullins claimed Choctaw Nation for current owner Robert D. Bone for $40,000 at Santa Anita in February (in the gelding’s first start) from the partnership of trainer Bruce Headley, Joella Griffith, and Norman Sobel. Headley bought Choctaw Nation for $35,000 from Dr. and Mrs. Gordon Layton’s Loch Lea Farm, agent, at the 2001 Keeneland September yearling sale. Located near Paris, Ky., Loch Lea bred Choctaw Nation.

“He was a beautiful colt,” Dr. Layton said. “Of course, Bruce doesn’t buy horses if they’re not good looking.”

Loch Lea has bred and raised a number of stakes winners over the years, including Hall of Fame member Bold ‘n Determined. The daughter of Bold and Brave won a remarkable six grade I stakes as a 3-year-old in 1980, but perhaps is best remembered for defeating Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Genuine Risk in the Maskette Stakes (gr. II) that September. Unfortunately for Bold ‘n Determined’s connections, Genuine Risk was voted that year’s champion 3-year-old filly.

In addition to breeding Bold ‘n Determined, Loch Lea also bred such graded stakes winners as A. V. Eight and Lakota Brave. Bred in partnership, Lakota Brave raced for Headley in partnership.

Loch Lea also raised 1983 Epsom Derby (Eng-I) winner Teenoso as well as 2004 stakes winners Dubleo and T E Lawrence.

Layton selected Louis Quatorze as a mate for the Well Decorated mare Melisma because he was impressed with the results of earlier breedings of Louis Quatorze’s sire, Sovereign Dancer, to Well Decorated mares. Choctaw Nation has earnings of $241,800. Melisma produced a Pure Prize colt this year and is in foal to Five Star Day.

Louis Quatorze, winner of the 1996 Preakness Stakes (gr. I), has sired a dozen stakes winners, including additional 2004 added-money winners Second of June (gr. III), Mi Rey (Arg-II), Joie de Vivre (SAf-III), and Papua. Louis Quatorze stands at Murmur Farm near Darlington, Md. The farm is owned by E. Allen Murray Jr. and his wife, Audrey. Louis Quatorze’s 2004 fee was $6,000.—D.S.