Lane's End Breeders' Futurity (gr. I)

(gr. I , 8.5f ,)

GREAT HUNTER (DK B/ h, 121 lb) $310,000
Aptitude —Zenith , by Roy
B—Ivy Dell Stud, PA.; O—J. Paul Reddam; T—Doug F. O'Neill

Circular Quay (CH h, 121 lb) $100,000
Thunder Gulch —Circle of Life , by Belong to Me
B—Doreen Tabor, KY.; O—Tabor, Michael B. and Doreen; T—Todd A. Pletcher

Street Sense (DK B/ h, 121 lb) $50,000
Street Cry (IRE) —Bedazzle , by Dixieland Band
B—James Tafel, KY.; O—Jim Tafel LLC; T—Carl A. Nafzger

Margins: 1¾, nose, 3. Others: Birdbirdistheword 121($25,000) , Passport 121($15,000) , Bold Start 121 , Teuflesberg 121 , French Transition 121 . Winning Jockey, Victor Espinoza.

Southern California’s Great Hunter didn’t waste any time feasting on Keeneland’s biggest race for 2-year-olds. In his first start east of the Mississippi, Great Hunter got up to win the Lane’s End Breeders’ Futurity (gr. I) Oct. 7 by 13/4 lengths as the 5-1 second choice over 2-5 favorite Circular Quay. In the process, he became the first grade I winner for his sire, second-crop stallion Aptitude.

Owner John Paul Reddam privately bought Great Hunter after the colt won a maiden race for Ilona Whetstone at Lone Star Park in June in his second start. Transferred to Southern California trainer Doug O’Neill, Great Hunter then ran second in three consecutive graded stakes in the Golden State before his trek to Keeneland.

Great Hunter was bred in Pennsylvania by Phil Fanning’s Ivy Dell Stud, and bought by Whetstone in partnership from Ivy Dell for $30,000 at the 2005 Keeneland September yearling sale. Great Hunter was consigned as agent by Walnut Green, owned at that time by brothers Russell and Richard Jones.

The Joneses sold Walnut Green in September 2005 to Mark Reid. Ironically, Reid had tried to buy Great Hunter for a client during the same time Reddam tried to purchase him, but he came out on the short end.

Fanning no longer owns Great Hunter’s dam, Zenith. Consigned by Walnut Green, agent for Ivy Dell Stud Breeding Stock Dispersal, Zenith was bought for $30,000 by Walnut Green, agent for Daniel M. Ryan, at this year’s Keeneland January horses of all ages sale. In foal to Golden Missile, Zenith produced a colt for Ryan. Both the mare and colt are boarded at Walnut Green farm near West Grove, Pa.

Zenith is not in foal. According to Reid, Aptitude is one of the stallions being considered for 2007.

Reddam, who founded the mortgage loan firm, races additional 2006 grade I winners Cash Included and Dancing Edie (in partnership).

Aptitude is the sire of additional 2006 stakes winners Outperformance (gr. IIIT) and Amandatude. Aptitude stands at Khalid Abdullah’s Juddmonte Farms near Lexington. His 2006 fee was $20,000.—D.S.