Journeyman Stud stallions will be strongly represented when the Sunshine State’s finest vie for $450,000 in purse money during Florida Cup XIII at Tampa Bay Downs April 4.
The six $75,000 stakes races for registered Florida-breds feature leading runners by Journeyman Stud stallions Exclusive Quality, Awesome of Course, Cool Coal Man, Hear No Evil and the late Wildcat Heir.
Exclusive Quality’s Prince Vincenzo, third in the OBS Champions Stakes back in January and most recently a winner at 1 1/16-miles on turf at Tampa Bay Downs, returns to stakes company (over the same trip) in the Sophomore Turf.
A $32,000 OBS April graduate, Prince Vincenzo races in the colors of DiBello Racing and is conditioned by Kathleen O’Connell. Bred by Brent and Crystal Fernung, the 3-year-old colt is produced from the Citidancer mare Christmas Lights.
The Stonehedge Farm South Sophomore Fillies Stakes at seven furlongs on the main track figures to come down to one of three horses in the field sired by a Journeyman stallion. R Sassy Lass, winner of the Sandpiper Stakes over the track last December, returns to the location of her biggest win.
Bred by the Fernungs, R Sassy Lass is owned by Averill Racing and Silver Oak Stable and is trained by Kirk Ziadie. Off the board just once in her career, R Sassy Lass most recently finished a close second to Ekati’s Phaeton in the Old Hat Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park.
R Sassy Lass sold at the 2014 OBS April sale, and the 3-year-old filly is out of the Cherokee Run mare Sassy Bear. A winner in two of five starts, R Sassy Lass has earned $106,055.
Coco’s Wildcat, by Wildcat Heir, finished second to R Sassy Lass in the Sandpiper and returned to finish third in Gulfstream Park’s Any Limit Stakes last time out. The Gilbert Campbell homebred out of the Sword Dance (IRE) mare Coco’s for Real captured last year’s Cassidy Stakes at Gulfstream Park by five lengths and has placed in five stakes events.
Awesome of Course’s Dogwood Trail has done nothing wrong in three lifetime starts. The Jacks or Better Farm homebred broke her maiden on debut last May at Gulfstream Park. She went to the sidelines after that facile win before resurfacing in February of this year. She returned a winner, annexing a $75,000 optional claiming event at Gulfstream, and then finished second in the Any Limit Stakes, where she finished ahead of Coco’s Wildcat.
The Stanley Gold trainee is produced from the Tacticial Advantage mare Ladyinareddress.
Runners by Journeyman stallions also appear to have a big say in the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Sophomore Stakes at seven furlongs.
Twotwentyfive A, by Awesome of Course, looks to regain his winning ways for Jacks or Better Farm. The chestnut colt captured the Affirmed Division of the Florida Sire Stakes last year at two and has kept stakes company since.
Wildcat Heir will be represented by Royal Squeeze and Fancy Man. Chad Brown sends out Royal Squeeze for James Covello, Thomas Coleman and Doheny Racing Stable. A $310,000 OBS March graduate a year ago, Royal Squeeze finished second to Sing Praises in the 2014 Florida Sire Stakes In Reality division as a maiden. The 3-year-old, who was bred by Gary Aiken, broke his maiden last time out at Gulfstream Park.
Fancy Man, a 4 ¼-length winner at Tampa Bay Downs in his first career outing for trainer Dale Bennett in February, is owned by Savoy Stable. Bred by Allen Amato and Mike Galinski, Fancy Man was purchased for Savoy Stable by Journeyman Bloodstock agent for $67,000 at the 2013 OBS August Select Yearling Sale. Fancy Man checked in third last time out in his initial try against winners.
Cool Union Man will carry the hopes of his sire Cool Coal Man. Crown Thoroughbreds bred and races the 3-year-old colt, a two-time winner in his career. Cool Union Man is out of the Dixie Union mare Dixie Time Thief.
Former Journeyman stallion, Mass Media, is represented as well by Savoy Stables’ Media Time. Media Time was purchased by Journeyman Bloodstock agent for $25,000 out of the 2013 OBS August Sale.
Hear No Evil’s Best Plan Yet is entered in the Tampa Turf Classic. The grassy affair at 1 1/8 miles attracted a field of nine veteran campaigners. Best Plan Yet finished third in the Sophomore Turf in last year’s renewal of Florida Cup Day, his lone try over the Oldsmar turf course. The Jacks or Better homebred is a winner in four of 18 lifetime starts and has bankrolled $394,120 in his career.