Thoroughbred racing is a sport where horses can quickly come in and out of fashion. A weekend of racing can make all of the difference in a stallion’s career. Should his progeny (a term used to describe the stallions offspring) perform well on the race tracks, by Monday morning the stallion farm would not be able to answer the phone fast enough. The upcoming weekend marks what could be a turning point for some of our stallions here at Journeyman.
Three Journeyman stallions have horses competing in stakes races from coast to coast: Exclusive Quality, Circular Quay, and Awesome of Course. Exclusive Quality is represented with three stakes competitors. At home in Florida, two of his sons are headlining stakes. Boy of Summer is set to go to post in the aptly named Journeyman Stud Sophomore Turf worth $75,000. While this race is not graded it carries plenty of prestige. The Sophomore Turf is a Florida-bred restricted race. Should Boy of Summer win, it would catapult him to the top of the “who’s who” amongst Florida-bred three-year-old turf horses. Sr. Quisqueyano, another Exclusive Quality son, is attempting to become a household name when he enters the starting gate for the Calder Derby. A Derby is the term used when describing a top level race in which male three-year-old horses compete. Over the winter, Sr. Quisqueyano has been facing horses from all over the country and finished a hard fought second to Kentucky Derby hopeful It’smyluckyday two starts ago in the Gulfstream Park Derby.
Exclusive Quality’s Florida -bred son, Summer Exclusive, is set to make only his second appearance on a race card in Saturday’s $750,000 Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby. On paper, he is a bit of an unknown since it is only his second start; however, with the manner in which the race looks to play out, he could surprise. This is his first chance at getting over a route of ground (a distance more than a mile) and on debut he was a convincing winner from off the pace (when the horse does not go to the lead). Should Summer Exclusive crack it lucky, and finish in the first two he would have a chance to enter the “iron monster” in the Kentucky Derby. Should any of these three horses perform well over the weekend, Exclusive Quality, will finally get the recognition he deserves as a top-quality stallion.
2012’s Leading Freshman Sire, Circular Quay, has his son, Reporting Star, facing off with Sr. Quisqueyano in the Calder Derby. To date, there has been plenty of talk amongst breeder’s surrounding Circular Quay’s fillies but a stallion is truly defined by the performance of his colts in top company with filly’s playing more of a supporting role. The fact that two Journeyman stallions have colts competing in the Calder Derby in South Florida is a tribute to the quality that circumvents this farm annually.
Journeyman stallion, Awesome of Course, is looking to add just a few more stakes winners to his impressive resume over the weekend. From his first-crop, a term describing the first year a stallion has horses of racing age, this young stallion had no less than 5 stake horses from only 45 named foals. This first-crop allowed racing fans to watch a Champion millionaire in Awesome Feather, a daughter of Awesome of Course who in 11 Lifetime Starts was only defeated once by reigning female champion, Royal Delta. At Tampa Bay Downs tomorrow, Awesome of Course has two horses set to attempt to find their way to the winners circle in stake races. Awesome Belle will take on the best grass fillies of her generation in the $75,000 Turf Distaff. Victory in this race would indicate that Awesome of Course is an incredibly versatile sire as he would be producing stake horses on all surfaces. Jackfrost Ofcourse will look for his first stake win when contesting the $75,000 Hilton Garden Inn & Suites Sprint. Last year he finished third in this same race and this year hopes to improve and show that he is one of the top Sprinters in Florida.
Finally, Fort Loudon, will try the Grade 1 Carter Handicap at Aqueduct RaceTrack in New York. The Carter was first contested in 1895 and has etched itself as a “sire-making” race over the past 118 years. A win in this race would make Fort Loudon the second Grade 1 winning millionaire to come from his sire’s first-crop. For Awesome of Course, the win would ensure that one of his son’s would eventually be sold for stallion duty.
In a sport where who’s hot and who’s not can change at the drop of a hat, one weekend’s racing can define the demand for your stallion for the remainder of the breeding season. As stallion owners, we get tremendous joy in watching all of the progeny compete at every level, but when you are so fortunate to watch them compete at the highest level you are filled with enormous pride. Good luck and Godspeed to all connections running this weekend! Watch one race and you will be hooked for life!