Ocala Stud's freshman sire High Cotton got his first impressive winner on Thursday, when his 2-year-old son Tarpy's Goal made an eye-catching winning debut in a $49,000 maiden special weight at Churchill Downs.
The victory propelled High Cotton into first-place among Florida's freshman sires of 2011, and into the top five in North America.
Tarpy's Goal showed professionalism in his first start, breaking well and rating off the pace through the opening quarter of the five-furlong dash. As the field of juveniles hit the far turn, Tarpy's Goal ranged up under jockey Kent Desormeaux and took command turning into the stretch. The bay colt straightened away nicely and spurted well clear of his rivals, scoring a decisive 2 3/4-length victory at the wire over the 3-5 favorite. The final time was :58.88 seconds.
A $70,000 purchase earlier this year at the Fasig-Tipton February Select 2-Year-Old Sale at Palm Meadows, Tarpy's Goal earned $24,240 for owner Mike Tarp and trainer Dale Romans. The colt hails from the Exbourne mare Terre des Hommes (Ire), a half-sister to millionaire Running Stag, and was bred in Florida by Chad Schumer and Nancy Sexton.
High Cotton, who was campaigned on the track by owner Peachtree Stable and trainer Todd Pletcher, was a graded stakes winner and top performer at both two and three. By Dixie Union out of the A.P. Indy mare Happy Tune, High Cotton won three stakes races as a 3-year-old and earned $462,574 lifetime, with his biggest victory coming at Churchill Downs in the Northern Dancer Breeders' Cup S. (G3). He was also a close runner-up in the Iroquois S. (G3) and Kentucky Jockey Club S. (G2) at Churchill as a 2-year-old and was weighted on the Experimental as a juvenile.
Standing in Florida at J. Michael O'Farrell's Ocala Stud, High Cotton carries a 2011 stud fee of $2,500 LFSN.