Alfred G. Vanderbilt H. (gr. II)

(gr. II , 6f ,)

DIABOLICAL (CH h, 120 lb) $150,000
Artax —Bonnie Byerly , by Dayjur
B—Longleaf Pine Farm, KY.; O—Puglisi Racing, LLC and Klesaris, Steve; T—Steve Klesaris

Attila's Storm (B h, 117 lb) $50,000
Forest Wildcat —Sweet Symmetry , by Magesterial
B—Lajos Kengye, KY.; O—Schwartz, Barry K., Wachtel Stable, Double S Stable and Brouse Stable; T—Richard E. Schosberg

Simon Pure (DK B/ r, 114 lb) $25,000
Silver Deputy —Life's Magic , by Cox's Ridge
B—CHO, LLC, KY.; O—Robert B. and Beverly J. Lewis Trust; T—Steven M. Asmussen

Margins: ½, 1¾, nose. Others: Benny the Bull 115($12,500) , Cougar Cat 116($7,500) , Commentator 119($5,000) , Saint Anddan 120($5,000) , Abraaj 114($5,000) . Winning Jockey, Mario G. Pino.

A determined Diabolical prevailed by a half-length over Attila’s Storm to win the Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap (gr. II) at Saratoga July 28.

Racing well in graded stakes company is nothing new for the 4-year-old Artax colt, who has finished worse than third only three times in his 19-start career. Diabolical came into the Vanderbilt off a victory in the May 19 Emirates Airline Maryland Sprint Handicap (gr. IIII).

Steve Klesaris trains the chestnut colt and owns him in partnership with Jeff Puglisi’s Puglisi Stables. Klesaris, acting as agent for Puglisi, bought Diabolical for $300,000 from W.D. North, agent, at the 2005 Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co.’s February 2-year-olds in training sale. The colt originally was purchased by W.D. North, agent, for $62,000 at the 2004 Keeneland September yearling sale from Longleaf Pine Farm.

Shirley “Cosy” Lathrop’s Longleaf Pine Farm bred Diabolical in Kentucky out of the Dayjur mare Bonnie Byerly. Lathrop acquired the mare for $330,000 at the 2001 Keeneland January mixed sale. Offered in foal to Pulpit, Bonnie Byerly was consigned by Fred Seitz, agent for Oldenburg Farm, and purchased by Michael Barnett’s Blackburn Farm, agent. Barnett assists Lathrop in bloodstock matters, and Bonnier Byerly is boarded at his farm near Midway, Ky.

“Cosy came down to Kentucky in the fall to look at stallions, and we went out to Taylor Made Farm and looked at Artax,” Barnett said of the decision to send Bonnie Byerly to Artax. “She just loved him, and it was her decision to go to him. One of the reasons was because it was a nice outcross. (Diabolical) was always a nice colt, and we never had any problems with him as a foal or a yearling.”

Bonnie Byerly is out of the grade I winner Plenty of Grace (by Roberto). Out of the grade III-winning Key to the Mint mare Wings of Grace, Plenty of Grace is a half-sister to the 1999 champion grass mare Soaring Softly (by Kris S.).

Diabolical is Bonnie Byerly’s first foal to race and first stakes winner. Bonnie Byerly also has a juvenile Deputy Commander colt and a yearling Maria’s Mon filly. The filly is scheduled to be sold at the Keeneland September sale. The 12-year-old mare was barren to Speightstown for 2007 and is in foal to that stallion.

Artax is the sire of six stakes winners including additional 2007 added-money winners Magnetic Miss and Gimme Credit. The 12-year-old son of Marquetry stood the 2007 season at Keane Stud near Amenia, N.Y., for a fee of $6,500.—A.H.D.