Robert B. Lewis S. (gr. II)

(gr. II , 8.5f ,)

CROWN OF THORNS (B h, 115 lb) $120,000
Repent —Crowning Touch , by Thunder Gulch
B—Cloverleaf Farms II, Inc., FL.; O—B. Wayne Hughes; T—Richard E. Mandella

Coast Guard (DK B/ h, 115 lb) $40,000
Stormy Atlantic —Vassar , by Royal Academy
B—Gryphon Investments, LLC, KY.; O—Amerman Racing LLC; T—David E. Hofmans

Reflect Times (JPN) (CH h, 117 lb) $24,000
French Deputy —Franca , by Seeking the Gold
B—North Hills Management, JPN.; O—Koji Maeda; T—John A. Shirreffs

Margins: 2½, 3¾, head. Others: Indian Sun 116($12,000) , Meal Penalty 117($4,000) . Winning Jockey, Victor Espinoza.

Crown of Thorns made an easy transition from maiden winner to graded winner in his very next start. Tackling two turns for the first time, the 3-year-old son of Repent won the Feb. 2 Robert B. Lewis Stakes (gr. II) at 11¼16 miles at Santa Anita by 21¼2 lengths. His time, 1:40.76, after a mile in 1:34.41, resulted in a promising 93 Beyer speed figure.

Crown of Thorns, who has been nominated to the Triple Crown, started the year with a seven-length score at seven furlongs in 1:20.65 Jan. 1 at Santa Anita. In his only other race, he ran unplaced at Hollywood Park in December.

Campaigned by B. Wayne Hughes, Crown of Thorns is the first graded stakes winner by Repent. As a first-crop sire in 2007, Repent ranked 13th in progeny earnings. He also ranked among the leaders with 18 winners.

Crown of Thorns is the second stakes winner this year for Hughes, who owns Spendthrift Farm near Lexington. Hughes’ 4-year-old filly Spirited Away won the Jan. 19 Truly Bound Handicap at Fair Grounds. His earlier stakes winners including champion Action This Day, who stands at Spendthrift.

Hughes, who founded Public Storage, bought Crown of Thorns for $300,000 at the 2007 Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co.’s March sale of 2-year-olds in training. The price was about three times the sale average of $104,905. Crown of Thorns, who was bred in Florida by John Sykes’ Cloverleaf Farms II, was consigned by Cloverleaf and Brent Fernung, agents.

Sykes has transferred the Cloverleaf operation from Reddick, Fla., to Central Kentucky. The new operation is named Woodford Thoroughbreds and is located near Versailles. Sykes owns the farm with Tony Ferguson.

Fernung, the former manager of Cloverleaf when it was located near Reddick, opened his own farm, Journeyman Stud, near Ocala, Fla.

Sykes, in the Cloverleaf name, is experiencing a good year as breeder. Bsharpsonata and Prince Cortez are both 2008 stakes winners.

Crown of Thorns’ dam, the unraced Thunder Gulch mare Crowning Touch, resides at Woodford Thoroughbreds. She is in foal to Offlee Wild and is booked to Forestry. Ten-year-old Crowning Touch has three stakes-winning half-siblings, including champion Smoke Glacken and graded stakes winner Smokey Glacken, a daughter of Forestry.

Repent has sired four stakes winners, including additional 2008 added-money winner Prince Cortez. Repent stood at Cloverleaf from 2004-07 for a fee of $5,000. He now stands at Dr. Tom Simon’s Vinery near Summerfield, Fla. His 2008 fee is $5,000.—D.S.