Harris Farms Foaled and Raised The Chosen Vron Earns 10th Stakes Victory

Courtesy of Santa Anita Park ARCADIA, CA (March 19, 2023)—First by a millimeter, heavily favored The Chosen Vron found a way to get it done in Sunday’s $100,000 Sensational Star Stakes at Santa Anita as he had show punters looking for a bridge to jump from before the photo finish came down. Owned in-part and trained by Eric Kruljac, The Chosen Vron nosed out a game Kings River Knight (Acclamation) while getting about 6 ½ furlongs down the hillside turf course in 1:12.97 under Hector Berrios as the pair posed for their sixth consecutive win in what was The Chosen Vron’s 10th career stakes victory.

The Sensational Star is part of the lucrative CTBA-sponsored Golden State Series for eligible California-bred or sired horses.

Ridden by Flavien Prat, Kings River Knight took the lead from Fast Buck at the half mile pole and these two went head and head for the front approaching the dirt crossing at the top of the lane as The Chosen Vron, who was bothered by an erratic Jack Sixpack, was caught four-deep and about two lengths off the lead.

With Fast Buck falling out of it approaching the furlong pole, Kings River Knight opened up two lengths on Jack Sixpack as both the Chosen Vron and Indian Peak got rolling late. In a thriller, it was The Chosen Vron and Kings River Knight by a head over Indian Peak.

Fresh off a romping 6 ½ length win going a mile on dirt in the statebred Tiznow Stakes Feb. 20, The Chosen Vron was off at 1-5 in a field of five older horses and paid $2.60, $2.10 and $2.10. (There was $128,123 bet to show on the winner, creating a minus show pool of $27,590).

“I had to wait a bit to assure my position and I went a little wide on the turn, but I knew what I had under me and we got it done,” said Berrios. “There was a little doubt that we won, but I’m glad we did.”

A 5-year-old gelding by Vronsky out of the Tiz Wonderful mare Tiz Molly, The Chosen Vron was bred in California by Tiz Molly partners and is owned by Eric Kruljac, Sondereker Racing, LLC, Robert Fetkin and Richard Thornburgh.

With today’s win, The Chosen Vron picked up $60,000, increasing his earnings to $732,678.

“I thought we got it by a nostril, a very thin one,” said Kruljac. “Maybe a nasal hair. He came (on) when he needed to. He had a little trouble early and it cost him some momentum (but) he kicked back in. Maybe he likes to scare you, you know?”

Kings River Knight, in his first start for John Sadler, ran a tremendous race at 7-1 and paid $3.40 and $2.20.

Ridden by Juan Hernandez for Peter Miller, Indian Peak made a solid run from off the pace but came a head short at 8-1 and returned $3.20 to show.

Fractions on the race were 22.22, 44.60 and 1:06.96.

Harris Farms Foaled and Raised Fun to Dream California-bred Horse of the Year

Fun to Dream as a foal at Harris Farms.                                                                                                                                           Lisa Torres Antonsen photo

Harris Farms foaled and raised Grade I winner Fun to Dream was named 2022 California-bred Horse of the Year at the CTBA Awards Dinner on Monday night. She added to her previous California-bred accolades of champion 3-year-old Filly and Sprinter.

During her championship season at three, Fun to Dream won five of her six starts including the Grade 1 La Brea Stakes at Santa Anita and the Betty Grable Stakes and the Fleet Treat Stakes at Del Mar. She kicked off her 4-year-old season with a victory in the Santa Monica Stakes (G2), her fourth consecutive win.

Fun to Dream was bred by the partnership of Connie Pageler and her trainer, Bob Baffert. She races for Pageler and Jill Baffert. By the late champion Arrogate, she was produced by the winning Maria’s Mon mare Lutesshttps://ctba.com/breeding/broodmare-of-the-year/, who was claimed by Baffert for Live Your Dream Racing in her final career start. Lutess, who was named the CTBA Broodmare of the Year. She is also the dam of Cal-bred stakes winner Heck Yeah (Acclamation).

“I did this, it was a crazy thing,” said Baffert. “I called Garrett O’Rourke at Juddmonte and I told him I’m going to do something really crazy, I’m sending you a mare that I claimed for $8,000. I saw those guys with California Chrome and an $8,000 mare and thought, why can’t we do that? I told Connie, we’re going to breed her to Arrogate, one of the greatest horses I ever trained. And we got lucky. We talked about what to name her and it’s fun to dream, that’s why we’re all in this business. And that’s how she got her name.”

Fun to Dream has a career record of six wins in seven starts and earnings of $546,590.

The other finalist for Horse of the Year with Harris Farms connections was The Chosen Vron, by our dearly missed stallion, Vronsky. He was named California-bred Champion Older Horse and Turf Horse.

Champion California-bred 2-year-old Filly Sell the Dream was also foaled at Harris Farms.

Smiling Tiger Filly Tenaciously Wins Golden Gate Feature

Albany, CA (March 5, 2023) – Smiling Tiger filly Smiling Molly took her career bankroll over $100,000 with her victory in the feature race at Golden Gate Fields, a five and one-half furlong allowance over the all weather.

The chestnut 4-year-old was off well and the chase was on with some very honest speed to her inside. She narrowed the gap from a length and one-half early to even term inside the final furlong. The leader was not giving up, but Smiling Molly had that little bit extra on this day to earn a hard fought neck victory.

Smiling Molly has earned $110,240 for Hoof Pick Racing Partners LLC. She is trained by D. Wayne Baker. Produced by the Exchange Rate mare, Jilted Lady, she was bred by W. Morgan Fussell & Joseph Wisner.

Five Consecutive Wins For Harris-bred Unwritten Code

Arcadia, CA (March 4, 2023) – Rail speed is speed indeed. Unwritten Code, the daughter of Desert Code bred by Harris Farms, kept her 2023 record unblemished, and made her fifth consecutive visit to the winner’s circle with a frontrunning exercise in the second half of the opening daily double at Santa Anita.

Unwritten Code had seven others to her outside of the six and one-half furlong allowance, but she let them know right away they had better have on their running shoes. She was first out of the gate and jockey Tiago Pereira asked her to go. She responded with a strong burst of speed to gain the lead and clear the field. Under a measured ride the rest of the way, the two never looked back. Urged on at the top of the stretch, she maintained her advantage under a hands and heels ride to the finish to win by a length and one-half.

Unwritten Code his now four-for-four this season. Overall, she has six wins and two seconds in thirteen starts and she has earned $184,189 for owner Javier C. Perez. Trained by Jorge Periban, she is a half-sister to the February 2023 California Thoroughbred cover boy, Coalinga Road. Both are out of the stakes-placed Johannesburg mare, Coco Ecolo.

Harris Farms-bred Desert Code Filly Romps in Santa Anita Allowance

Arcadia, CA (February 11, 2023) – Unwritten Code, the 4-year-old daughter of Desert Code, remained undefeated in 2023 and scored her fourth straight victory in the 8th race at Santa Anita, a $73,500 allowance race going six and one-half furlongs over the fast main track.

Flying out of the outside post in the field of eight, she quickly gained the lead. She never gave her competitors a chance as she turned on the afterburners in the stretch and galloped home the easiest of winner by five lengths.

Bred and raised by Harris Farms, she is out of the stakes-placed Johannesburg mare, Coco Ecolo. She is a half-sister to the February 2023 California Thoroughbred cover boy, our homebred stakes winner, Coalinga Road. She races for Javier C. Perez and is trained by Jorge Periban. She has earned $153,940.


Harris Farms Welcomes Cistron’s First Foal

                                                                    Cistron – Patriot Missile Filly

Coalinga, CA (February 1, 2023) – Grade 1 winner Cistron sired his first reported foal, a filly out of the Acclamation mare Patriot Missile, born Jan. 30 at Harris Farms. A fourth generation Harris Farms homebred, she is the first foal from her dam, a half-sister to the G3-placed stakes winner Super Patriot ($371,554).

The second dam Patriot C H is a half-sister to the Harris homebred G3 stakes winner Lucky J. H. ($632,065). This is the family of numerous G1 stars including City of Light, Cacoethes and Fabulous Notion.

A stakes-placed winner at 2, Cistron won Oaklawn ‘s Northern Spur Stakes at 3 and graded stakes victories on both dirt and turf at 5 and 6 in the Bing Crosby Stakes (G1), Kona Gold Stakes (G2) and San Simeon Stakes (G3T) while earning $768,719 for owner Hronis Racing.

Cistron is one of four graded winners from the first crop of the multiple War Front G1 winner The Factor. He stands his second season at Harris Farms for $3,500 Live Foal.

For further information, contact:

Jonny Hilvers, General Manager
Tel: 559.884.2859  Fax: 559.884.2855

John Harris, President

Mare In-foal to Halladay Tops CTBA Winter Mixed Sale

POMONA, Calif. (Jan. 31 2023) – Poster Girl, carrying a foal from the first crop of Grade 1 winner Halladay, sold for $70,000 to top Tuesday’s California Thoroughbred Breeders Association Winter Mixed Sale at Fairplex.

Consigned by Checkmate Thoroughbreds, Poster Girl broke her maiden first out at Newbruy at 2 and was graded-stakes place in the USA at 3. By the St. Jame’s Palace Stakes winner Excellent Art, she was purchased by Cedros Bloodstock.

The first foals for Halladay, the son of Perennial Leading Sire War Front had his first foal arrive on January 17. He was ranked in the Top-5 Freshman Stallions in America by the CPI Quality of Mares-bred.

First Foal for Grade 1 Winner Halladay

 Halladay – Katie’s Heat, by Unusual Heat

Parkfield, CA (January 19, 2023) – Grade 1 winner Halladay sired his first reported foal when a colt out of the Unusual Heat mare Katie’s Heat was born on Jan. 17 at Checkmate Thoroughbreds in Parkfield, Calif.

Owned by Checkmate Thoroughbreds LLC, Hector and Denise Cuevas, Raul Montenegro, and Javier Montenegro, Katie’s Heat is a daughter of California Broodmare of the Year Miss Soft Sell, who produced multiple G1 winner Brother Derek, winner of the Hollywood Derby (G1), Santa Anita Derby (G1), and fourth in the Kentucky Derby (G1) en route to earnings of more than $1.6 million. Katie’s Heat is a half-sister to Dontsellmeshort, a multiple stakes winner of $402,365, Sister Kate, multiple stakes winner of $282,186, and Swizzle Stick, a stakes-placed earner of $129,964.

Halladay is ranked #1 in California and amongst the Top-5 of Freshman Stallions in America by Class Performance Index for mares bred in 2022, asserting him in the class of Charlatan, Essential Quality, Maxfield, and Yaupon.

Halladay- a G1 winning son of perennial leading sire War Front was campaigned by Harrell Ventures and trained by Todd Pletcher. An Impressive front-running winner of the $400,000 Fourstardave H. (G1) at Saratoga, Halladay defeated six G1 winners, including Got Stormy, Raging Bull (FR), Uni (GB), etc.

“Halladay is an incredible physical specimen by a sire of international leading sires. He’s bred the best mares in California and his book is looking even stronger for 2023. It’s exciting to see such a quality first foal and we’re grinning ear-to-ear like it’s Christmas morning with the promise of more gifts to come” – Adrian Gonzalez, owner of Checkmate Thoroughbreds and manager of Halladay Syndicate.

Halladay stands at Harris Farms for a $7,500 fee LFSN. Shares available

Harris Farms Homebred Coalinga Road Wins $200,000 Unusual Heat Turf Classic

Coalinga Road Winning the $200,000 Unusual Heat Turf Classic                                                                                                      Benoit Photo

Courtesy of Santa Anita Park ARCADIA, CA. (Jan. 7, 2023) – In the final race of the day on California Cup Day Saturday at Santa Anita, one of the state’s longest and most successful Thoroughbred owner/breeders, John Harris, witnessed his homebred Coalinga Road rally to take the $200,000 Unusual Heat Turf Classic presented by City National Bank by neck under Hall of Famer John Velazquez. Trained by Carla Gaines, Coalinga Road got a mile and one eighth on turf in 1:49.79.

The Unusual Heat Turf Classic is part of the lucrative CTBA-sponsored Golden State Series for eligible California-bred or sired horses.

Content to stalk the early leaders into the first turn, Coalinga Road was fourth, about two off Kings River Knight with three-quarters of a mile to run. Leaving the three furlong pole, Velazquez was on the move three-deep, gradually overtook Kings River Knight inside the sixteenth pole while prevailing over the onrushing Aligato and Luvluv on the money.

Bred and owned by Harris Farms, Inc., Coalinga Road, who had raced on dirt in his last two starts, most recently on Nov. 19 at Del Mar when third to the multiple stakes winning The Chosen Vron in the statebred Cary Grant Stakes at seven furlongs, was off at 3-1 in a field of eight older horses and paid $8.60, $4.20 and $3.20.

By Quality Road, out of the Johannesburg mare Coco Ecolo, Coalinga Road, in notching his first stakes win, improved his overall race record to 18-4-6-3. With the winner’s share of $110,000, he increased his earnings to $260,600.