Friday, February 04, 2011
Ocala Stud had a great 2010 on many levels, and maybe none was more special than being America's leading breeder of graded stakes winners with five, according to the standings published on The Paulick Report website on Feb. 3.
“2010 was an unbelievable year on so many levels,” said David O'Farrell, assistant farm manager, in a recent story on Ocala.com. “We bred more stakes winners in 2010 than we have in any calender year in the history of the farm.”
Horses bred by Ocala Stud earned more than $2.5 million in 2010, an increase of nearly $1.4 million from 2009. That attributed the historic farm's jump from 88th place in 2009 to 19th place in 2010 in the North American breeders standings.
The quintet of 2010 graded horses are: Gourmet Dinner, Rigoletta, Shadowbdancing, Tackleberry, and Turbulent Descent.
Gourmet Dinner won the $1 million Delta Jackpot (G3) at Delta Downs in December. The big payday assured the 3-year-old a spot in the gate for the 2011 Kentucky Derby (G1). Bred in partnership with William Ferrill, Gourmet Dinner won four of six starts last year, earning $869,660. In his first start of 2011, Gourmet Dinner was third in the Grade 3 Holy Bull S. at Gulfstream Park.
Rigoletta showed the way when she beat a very good field of 2-year-old fillies in the $250,000 Oak Leaf S. (G1) at Hollywood Oak Tree. She was also third in last year's Grade 1 Darley Debutante at Del Mar. Owned by Thor-bred Stable LLC, Rigoletta had two wins and a third in four starts on the year, earning $180,820.
Shadowbdancing's big score came on June 26 when the 5-year-old won the $300,000 Cornhusker H. (G2) at Prairie Meadows. He was second in the same race in 2009. He won half of his eight starts, with two seconds, during the 2010 campaign, earning $385,750. He is owned by RNB Racing LLC.
Tackleberry won his graded stakes debut on Dec. 10 when he took the $100,000 Fred Hooper H. (G3) at Calder Race Course. He had an excellent 3-year-old campaign last season, going 5-2-0 in eight starts, earning $207,225. He's also started off 2011 with a bang, winning the $500,000 Sunshine Millions Classic on Jan. 29 at Gulfstream Park.
Turbulent Descent came on the scene in the last few months of the year with brilliant performances. The 2-year-old filly didn't make her first start until Oct. 3, when she broke her maiden at Hollywood Oak Tree. Next out in the $100,000 Moccasin S. at Hollywood, she won in hand by 1 1/2-lengths. Her 2010 finale came in the Grade 1, $300,000 Hollywood Starlet, her first try around two turns. Once again, she handled her foes with ease, winning by 1 1/4-lengths.
O'Farrell summed up the year and the farm's philosophy nicely in the Ocala.com article. “We don't breed the numbers to compete with the Adena Springs out there. We're a relatively small breeding operation. We have approximately 40 to 50 farm mares,” O'Farrell said. “It's really satisfying to accomplish some of what we did last year and we hope it can keep on rolling this year.”