Lucky Pulpit Sires Another Juvenile Winner

Benoit Photo

Arcadia, CA (May 18, 2017)-Ismelucky was second in her debut in a maiden race for California-bred 2-year-old fillies on May 4. On Thursday, she won a Santa Anita maiden race against open company under jockey Martin Garcia.

After disputing the early pace, Ismelucky won by 2 1/2 lengths over Empress of Lov, who closed well from the back of the field. Ismelucky was timed in 52.67 seconds. The filly, bred by Stephen Ferraro is by Lucky Pulpit, is trained and co-owned by Jeff Bonde, she was purchased for $90,000 at the 2016 Barretts October Yearling Sale.

Ismelucky is out of Ismene, who won two stakes for 2-year-old fillies at Santa Anita in 2011 – the Anoakia Stakes and California Breeders’ Champion Stakes. Ismelucky earned $42,120 for her daylight score increasing her earnings to $52,920.

Unusual Heat Filly Fetches $195,000

Del Mar, CA (May 18, 2017)-Hip #26 a daughter of Unusual Heat brought $195,000 as the most expensive filly and was the second-highest price. She previewed in 10 and one and was consigned by McCarthy Bloodstock, Agent

Harris Farms bred the Unusual Heat filly, named Super Patriot. She is out of the Reddatore mare Patriot C H, a half sister to graded winner Lucky J. H.

Unusual Heat has done so much for the industry,” said McCarthy. “As a consignor, I always love when I have an Unusual Heat because they can run—on anything.”

Added Lloyd, “Great horses keep coming. On his last day, Unusual Heat had two horses sell here for good money. He had a great day at the sale.” In addition to the $195,000 filly, Unusual Heat is the sire of a $70,000 purchase also from the McCarthy consignment, a colt named Hot Decision, out of the Huddle Up mare Team Decision, sold to Halo Farms.

Lucky Pulpit had a pair of juveniles knocked down for $70,000 and $42,000. Tizbud‘s only sale horse brought $50,000.

Unusual Heat Dies at 27

May 18, 2017 – Coalinga, CA – Unusual Heat, the All Time Leading Sire in California Progeny Earnings has passed away at 27 due to complications from arthritis induced laminitis.

“It is with a very heavy heart that I have to report the passing of Unusual Heat today”, said Harris Auerbach, managing partner of the Unusual Heat Syndicate. “He gave so much to racing, breeding and Thoroughbred Retirement here in California. He provided the impetus for Cal-breds to be at the forefront of California Racing with runners that filled fields and raised the quality standard of the state breds during his era. He was also the driving force behind the creation of CARMA which has led to millions of dollars of funding for our retirees here in California. He will be sorely missed, especially to those of us who loved and admired him.”

Co-owner and former trainer Barry Abrams remarked about Unusual Heat, “He’s done more for California racing than anybody. His legacy will continue forever.”

And finally, co-owner Madeline Auerbach on Unusual Heat- “I will miss him sorely. He has been part of my family and life for the last 20 years. Being a part of him is a gift and a blessing that cannot be replicated. What his stature and presence has allowed me to do for retired thoroughbreds is incalculable.”

Bred in Kentucky by John T.L. Jones, Jr., Unusual Heat was the son of Nureyev and Danish Champion mare Rossard. In 1991, he became one of the highest priced horses ever sold at a Barrett’s yearling auction fetching a price of $250,000. He went on to race both in Europe and The United States under the tack of trainers Dermot Weld, Richard Mandella and Barry Abrams. He was a multiple listed stakes winner who finished with a career record of 16-6-2-2 and career earnings of $142,605.

Where Unusual Heat made his indelible impact was in the breeding shed. Under the ownership and management of Auerbach and Abrams, Unusual Heat stood his first season at Walter Greenman’s Farm in Hemet, CA before moving to Old English Rancho in Sanger, CA where he spent the bulk of his early stallion career. In 2010, he moved to John C. Harris’ Harris Farms in Coalinga, CA where spent the last 6 seasons of his career at stud finished his career covering 30 mares in his 19th and final season in 2016.

The impact of Unusual Heat on California Breeding and Racing was far reaching during his career. From a humble first crop of 15, Unusual Heat had 11 runners and 10 of them won in their first start starting a ride like has never been seen in the Golden State. To date, his runners have amassed $54.3 Million in worldwide progeny earnings. He has produced 12 graded stakes winners (5 G1 winners), 54 overall stakes winners, 18 additional graded stakes horses and an astounding 157 earners of over $100,000 and 81 earners of over $200,000 out of just 572 starters. He has won 6 California Leading Sire Championships and is still the reigning California Conceived Leading Turf Sire with 13 straight championships (2004-2016).

Unusual Heat has also produced 15 California Champions, including 2 time California Horse of the Year and 2011 Eclipse Award Winner Acclamation. Other notable runners include stakes winners The Usual Q.T., Lethal Heat, Unusual Suspect, Golden Doc A, Gervinho, Burns, Pretty Unusual, Lennyfromalibu, Spenditallbaby, Mensa Heat, Tucked Away, Betty’s Bambino, Unusual Way, Lakerville, He Be Fire N Ice and Lightmyfirebaby. Currently, he represented by stakes runners Cheekaboo, Pacific Heat, Boozer, Central Heat, Real Heat, Grecian Fire, Lily Kai, How Unusual and Majestic Heat.

An important part of Unusual Heat’s story is his impact away from the races and the breeding shed in California. His rise to stardom as stallion and the success of his runners gave Madeline Auerbach the impetus and the stature to start raising awareness about thoroughbred retirement and taking care of the sports equine athletes after their careers were over. Through her election to the Thoroughbred Owners of California Board of Directors, Auerbach was able to work with the California Horse Racing Board on the formation, certification and funding of CARMA- California Retirement Management Account funding thoroughbred retirement in California. Using Unusual Heat and his progeny as inspiration, under Auerbach’s leadership CARMA has granted over $5 Million to racehorse retirement, placement and retraining since 2008.

A final chapter to the story of Unusual Heat is his impact on California Racing and Breeding. Doug Burge, longtime President of the California Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association remarked “He’s been the perennial leading sire in California for over a decade and his influence on CA breeding and racing through his sons and daughters will be prevalent for years to come. I take pride in the fact that I was able to play a small role in the early decisions that led to his dominance as the best sire to ever stand in the state.”

Unusual Heat holds the All-time record for progeny wins in a single Santa Anita Meet, a single Del Mar Meet and turf wins at both major Southern California race tracks. He is the only known sire to have a “Superfecta” of runners in a Santa Anita Allowance race when four of his daughters ran 1-2-3-4 in a Maiden Special Weight on January 6, 2011. Along those lines his progeny have filled California fields and been instrumental in the success of California Racing Programs such as the Golden State Series and Cal-bred Maiden bonus programs.

Unusual Heat is currently represented by 6 sons at stud, 5 of whom stand in California along with Unusual Suspect in Australia. He is also making an impact as a broodmare sire with 7 graded stakes winners since 2015 including 2 grade 1 winners and 2017 Grade 3 Transylvania Stakes Winner Big Score. His impact will be felt for years to come.

For more information about Unusual Heat contact Harris Auerbach at or go to .

For more information about Harris Farms contact Dave McGlothlin at or go to .

Grecian Fire Responds to Addition of Blinkers in Alcatraz

Shane Miceli/Vassar Photography

By Chuck Dybdal
Grecian Fire  responded gamely in the lane to pull off an impressive victory in the $75,675 Alcatraz Stakes at Golden Gate Fields on Sunday.

A gelded son of Unusual Heat, a top California turf sire, out of Maggie’s Odyssey, a turf stakes-placed daughter of Kitten’s Joy, one of the nation’s top turf sires, Grecian Fire ($11) wore blinkers for the first time and sat closer than he had in his first two turf starts. He sat just outside Harvest a Storm down the backstretch and moved up to stick his head in front at the quarter pole.

But he was immediately challenged by favored Anyportinastorm, who was stretching out for the first time, and had his head in front at the eighth pole.

While those two were dueling, More Power to Him, who had run second in both the California Derby and Grade 3 El Camino Real Derby (on a disqualification), was unleashing his closing kick.

But Grecian Fire dug in as jockey William Antongeorgi III went to the left-handed whip.

“He responded for me and kicked back on,” said Antongeorgi as Grecian Fire began to edge away from his rivals in the one-mile turf stakes for 3-year-olds.

At the wire, Grecian Fire was 1 1/4  lengths in front of More Power to Him, who edged Anyportinastorm by a nose for second.

Antongeorgi said that trainer Jerry Hollendorfer “wanted [Grecian Fire] to get out on his way” and added blinkers.

“Harvest a Storm went so we sat off him,” said Antongeorgi. “After the quarter pole, the horse on the outside Anyportinastorm headed us, and I got into him left-handed.

“He was on his toes in the paddock and in the post parade. I knew he would be alive out there, and he dug in for me.”

A KMN Racing homebred, Grecian Fire earned $45,000 for his first stakes victory, nearly doubling his bankroll or $90,625. It was the second win in six starts for the California-bred.

Lucky Pulpit Sires a 1-2 Finish in Golden Gate Juvenile Race

Albany, CA (April 30,2017)-Lucky Pulpit sired the first two finishers in a maiden special weights four and a half furlong juvenile race at Golden Gate Fields.

Defeating males and winning by a length was the filly Song From Above. She was bred in California by her owners Mr. and Mrs. Larry D. Williams and is out of Ermine’s Song.

The second place horse Generally Lucky was also a homebred of Mr. and Mrs. Larry D. Williams.

The winner clocked a 52.09 time and was a few ticks off the nine-year-old track record of 51.31.

Lucky Pulpit is represented by over 100 juveniles this year and has another pair of babies running at Santa Anita this upcoming weekend.

Harris Farms’ Record Highs All Heart in Feature

Benoit Photo
ARCADIA, Calif. (April 20, 2017)–Harris Farms’ homebred Record Highs broke sharply, pressed the pace throughout and gamely held sway late in winning Thursday’s $56,000 Santa Anita allowance feature by a half length while covering 6 ½ furlongs down the track’s hillside turf course in 1:14.53.  Ridden by Tyler Baze and trained by Carla Gaines, Record Highs, a 4-year-old California-bred gelding by Heatseeker out of the multiple stakes winning High Brite mare Super High, notched his second win from 11 career starts.

“He dug in and ran like his momma today,” said Baze, who guided Record Highs to a fourth place finish down the hill on March 24.  “He showed a lot of heart when that other horse (7-5 favorite, Heat) came to him.  He ran great.”

Off at 7-1 in a field of nine California-bred or sired older horses, Record Highs paid $16.00, $5.20 and $4.00.

With the winner’s share of $33,600, Record Highs, whose dam banked $669,668, increased his earnings to $114,840.

Ridden by Corey Nakatani, favored Heat was unhurried early, found a seam while three deep at the dirt crossing turning for home but proved second best on the day, finishing one length in front of Los Gatos.  Off at 7-5, Heat paid $3.20 and $2.60.

Los Gatos (also bred by Harris Farms), who was ridden by Rafael Bejarano, was off at 9-2 and paid $4.00 to show.

Fractions on the race were 22.43, 45.29 and 1:08.47.

Grade I Winner Tamarando to stand at Harris Farms

Del Mar Futurity
Benoit Photo

Del Mar Futurity Grade One winner and California-bred Champion Tamarando retires from racing with earnings of $722,652 and will enter stud this year at Harris Farms for $2,500 live foal.

Bred and raced by Mr. and Mrs. Larry D. Williams, Tamarando won at distances from 5 1/2 furlongs to 1 1/8 miles in his first 10 starts at 2 and 3, winning the Del Mar Futurity-G1 on Polytrack in his stakes debut, the El Camino Real Derby-G3 on Tapeta, the Real Quiet Stakes on Cushion Track, and placing in the FrontRunner Stakes-G1 on dirt and CashCall Futurity-G1. He received 118 pounds on the 2013 Experimental Free Handicap, the highest weight assigned to a California-bred juvenile.

The youngest of 15 graded stakes winners sired by leading California sire Bertando, Tamarando is out of the Dehere G2-placed winner Tamarack Bay and is a half-brother stakes winners Luckarack ($612,607) and U’narack ($194,080), in addition to stakes-placed winners Tamarack Smarty ($284,296), Pulmarack Smarty ($235,574) and Ward ‘n Jerry ($199,805).

Tamarando will stand for an introductory fee of $2,500 live foal, payable at foaling. Inquiries should be directed to Dave McGlothlin or Debbie Winick at Harris Farms at 1-800-311-6211 or

Harris Farms Staff Watches California Chrome Win KY Derby

By Jennie Rees, The Courier-Journal

It was mid-afternoon in Coalinga, Calif., as 30 people jammed into a conference room best suited for eight.

The horse handlers and maintenance and office staff at Harris Farms huddled around a television, anxiously waiting to see the chestnut colt they had raised since birth take America’s grandest racing stage for the Kentucky Derby.

Dan Kiser, racing and bloodstock manager for the owners of California Chrome’s sire, was at Churchill Downs to root on the son of their stallion, Lucky Pulpit. He saw California Chrome capture the 140th Kentucky Derby by 13/4 lengths. He heard the near-record crowd’s roar. He felt the rush of victory. He burst with pride.

But it was later, watching a YouTube video of those Harris employees, that a different kind of emotion hit, as he realized that, while the program lists Steve Coburn and Perry Martin as owners, those working in anonymity on Harris Farms and at the track feel a propriety kinship with California Chrome that’s every bit as valid.

“To watch their reaction after that horse won,” Kiser said, “that showed me how many fingerprints are on this horse to get him to where he is today.”

California Chrome, the first California-born horse to wear the roses in 52 years, flew to Baltimore on Monday to prepare for Saturday’s 139th Preakness Stakes, where he’ll attempt to take the second step toward becoming the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978.

A slew of role players will be watching, and there’s more than pride and bragging rights at stake.

For Harris Farms, there’s immeasurable free publicity and a boost for being the home of the sire of the Derby winner, who is sure to be more in demand.

The farm has raised world-class horses before, highlighted by 2000-2001 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Tiznow, who like California Chrome was conceived, born and raised on the property. But California Chrome is the Harris’ first winner of America’s most famous race.

The racetrack crew — the groom and exercise rider — are typically given part of a percentage of the purse earnings or a cash bonus by the trainer and/or the owner. They are with the horse daily when he is racing.

“We’ve always worked as a family, a team,” said William Delgado, a former jockey and trainer who has been California Chrome’s morning rider since November and whose brother, Alberto, rode the Derby winner in his early races. “The horse belongs to Perry and Steve, but being we are the ones doing the work, it’s like he becomes part of ours. …

“Like when they ask me how he’s doing, I’m like, ‘My horse is doing good.”

Out of the mare Love the Chase, whose only victory in six starts came in an $8,000 maiden-claiming race, California Chrome is the first horse the owners bred.

Boarded at Harris Farms, Love the Chase was bred to their stallion Redattore in 2009 but did not get pregnant. Coburn and Martin wanted to breed her back to Redattore the next year, but the stallion did not return from his off-season stint breeding mares in Brazil.

Instead Love the Chase was mated with Lucky Pulpit, who was bred, raced and continues to be owned by Larry and Marianne Williams of Parma, Idaho. The Williamses and Kiser, who runs their Tree Top Ranches in the Boise Valley where their racehorses are raised and get their early training, were among those who came to Louisville to root for California Chrome.

“Everything in this story, there are so many little twists of fate,” Kiser said. “People making the right decisions, but also there’s a tremendous amount of luck that guided those decisions.”

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Horses Available for Adoption

Name YOB-sex Sire-Dam Forms More Info
Bay Street 2009 gelding Lucky Pulpit-Spanish Bay Photo-pedigree  

Harris Farms Thoroughbred Rewards Program

Harris Farms Adoption Program Graduates
Desperate Times and Freedom Quest enjoying success as jumpers in the show world