April 6th marked an important day for Florida racing when Tampa Bay Downs hosted its 11th annual Florida Cup Day, a showcase day for Florida breds. The connections of Tampa Bay Downs created six stake races to be contested the first Saturday of April. Three races would be contested on the dirt and three on the turf and were restricted to Florida breds. The track connections looked for support from Florida business’ and farms as sponsors. Journeyman quickly signed on to become the sponsor for the Journeyman Stud Sophomore Turf. The term sophomore indicates that only three-year-olds can be nominated for the race. This race was especially exciting because BOY OF SUMMER, a son of Journeyman stallion EXCLUSIVE QUALITY was set to go to post.
Carded as the 5th race on the day, our team members were anxiously awaiting the start. Our good friend and turf writer, Bernie Dickman, tipped Boy of Summer, for the win; however, other handicappers questioned him and allowed the betting to drift out to 4/1. As Boy of Summer broke from the gate, he stalked the front runners under fast fractions biding his time. As they hit the top of the stretch he made a middle move splitting horses and forcing himself into contention. With a massive closing drive and extending himself all out he was able to finish a head in front of favored, China Doll.
The Fernungs are dedicated to bringing quality stallions to Florida. Journeyman Stallion EXCLUSIVE QUALITY has done just that, as he quickly rises in sire rankings, thanks in great part to BOY OF SUMMER’S victory in the Journeyman Stud Sophomore Turf on Florida Cup Day at Tampa Bay Downs.