Majestic Heat Relishes Dirt Surface in Betty Grable Win

By Jay Privman
DEL MAR, Calif. – From the time Richard Mandella took over as the trainer of Majestic Heat, he had given thought to running her on dirt, based on the way she trained on the surface, but because she was doing so well on turf, he left well enough alone.

But after Majestic Heat failed to fire in the Grade 2 Goldikova on the turf here at Del Mar on Nov. 4, Mandella thought the Betty Grable eight days hence provided the ideal time to experiment.

“The day after the race, she didn’t look like a horse that had run,” Mandella said. “She just mailed it in. She works like she can sprint on the dirt. I always was interested in running her on the dirt. She works on it like a star.”

The experiment worked. Majestic Heat, looking as though she’s wanted to sprint on dirt all her life, powered clear of seven rivals with a dominating victory Sunday in the $100,690 Betty Grable, for older California-bred females going seven furlongs.

Majestic Heat ($9.20) beat Barbara Beatrice by 3 1/4 lengths, with Late ’n Left another 2 1/2 lengths back in third. How About Zero, the 3-1 favorite, was fourth and was followed by Run for Retts, Bad Ju Ju, Cuddle Alert, and Time for Ebby.

Flavien Prat rode Majestic Heat, who covered seven furlongs on the fast main track in 1:22.56.

“If it didn’t work, so what? It wouldn’t be my first mistake,” Mandella said.

Mandella had Majestic Heat transferred to him a little more than two years ago, when her original trainer, Barry Abrams – who also is the co-breeder and is a co-owner of Majestic Heat – had to retire owing to health problems. Abrams was known for often wheeling his runners back on short rest.

“I’m sure everybody’s thinking Barry told me to do this,” Mandella said.

Majestic Heat, a 5-year-old mare by Unusual Heat, had raced 14 times previously, all on turf, winning five. She’s been not quite good enough against graded company but is a terror against California-breds. She won the Solana Beach on this course at the summer meets in both 2016 and 2017.

She has now earned $410,329 for a partnership that includes Abrams, Madeline Auerbach, and Ron McCauley.

Mandella said he’s not sure if Majestic Heat will race at age 6, and he’s not about to ask.

“I’m going to keep going until they pull me up,” he said.

Bookies Luck Holds on in GS Juvenile

From DMTC Publicity
DEL MAR, Calif. (Nov. 4, 2017) — Under a typically vigorous ride by Hall of Famer Kent Desormeaux, Bookies Luck held on tenaciously in the final strides to nose out the hard-charging Smokem in the $200,000 Golden State Juvenile Stakes Saturday, the second of 12 races on the second day of the Breeders’ Cup Championships at Del Mar.

Bookies Luck, the narrow 8-5 favorite over Smokem, who also went to the post at 8-5, scored his third win in six starts in a game performance for breeders and owners Mr. and Mrs. Larry D. Williams and trainer Jeff Bonde.

“The outside post helped us a lot,” said Bonde. “This is a really deep track and you’ve got to have something left at the end. I think Kent (Desormeaux) did a really good job of rationing his speed and it was really close at the end.”

Smokem, who was piloted by Evin Roman, finished four and one-half lengths in front of third-place Lucky Romano, with Campaigner fourth in the field of seven California-bred two-year-olds. Schulace was withdrawn from the original line-up.

Bookies Luck, a son of Lucky Pulpit, ran the seven furlongs in 1:24 flat and rewarded his backers with an across-the-board payoff of $5.20, $3 and $2.40. Smokem paid $2.60 and $2.20, while Lucky Romano returned $3.80 to show.

“Compliment to the trainer he was a different horse today than last time,” said Desormeaux. “He really settled very nicely. The extra furlong might be a lot for him, but Mr. Bonde had him nice and calm for five-eighths. He had plenty to finish the last eighth of a mile. He was running through the lane.”

First money of $120,000 increased the colt’s career earnings to $224,649.

Mr. Big To Stand at Harris Farms

Coalinga,CA (October 18, 2017)-Mr. Big, sire of Grade 3 Transylvania Stakes winner Big Score, will move to John Harris’ Farm near Coalinga, CA for the 2018 breeding season. Owned and campaigned by George Krikorian, the son of Dynaformer is out of the stakes winning G2 placed Fappiano mare, Fashion Delight. Mr. Big’s first two dams are both stakes winners and stakes producers.

From only 16 foals of racing age, Mr. Big has sired eight winners with combined earnings of $1,228,097 for average earnings per starter of $122,810. Five of his runners are six digit earners. He is represented by G3 Transylvania Stakes and Zuma Beach S. winner Big Score ($436,300) and Torrey Pines S. G3 runner-up, Big Book.

John Harris said “I am delighted to stand this very nice stallion at Harris Farms. He has sired several top horses already, and his best crops will run in the next few years. I have always liked to see Turn To on a stallion page, as well as Roberto and like stallions from those lines. He is a nice outcross for many California mares. He is a nicely conformed horse and he can get a “big” horse. Another son of Dynaformer, Temple City, is doing fantastically with just a few crops racing.”

Mr. Big will stand in 2018 for the fee of $6,500.

Inquiries to Dave McGlothlin at Harris Farms 800-311-6211 or

Smiling Tiger Filly Tops Barretts

Barretts Sales/Cecilia Gustavsson

By Tracy Gantz
Stormy Hull once hoped he would one day sell a horse for $50,000. At the Oct. 17 Barretts October fall mixed sale in Pomona, Calif., Hull topped the sale with a $220,000 yearling filly he hauled to Southern California from Washington state himself.

“It’s beyond my dreams—it’s surreal,” Hull said.

The filly, named Smiling Diamonds, has plenty of pedigree. Consigned as Hip 94 from Hull and Ginger Samples’ Critter Creek Farm, she is out of Hull’s stakes-placed Slewdledo mare Carrie’s a Jewel, who is already the dam of California Diamond, champion California-bred 2-year-old male of 2016. The sale topper is by Smiling Tiger, California’s leading first-crop sire.

Steve Gasparrelli, who already has promising Smiling Tiger runners in his arsenal, bought the sale topper. Advised by his trainer, Mike Puype, Gasparrelli bought the filly in the name of his Slugo Racing. Gasparrelli bought last year’s sale topper, a $190,000 son of Smiling Tiger-Erica’s Smile, by Williamstown.

“I like Smiling Tiger a lot, and the dam is also very attractive,” said Gasparrelli. “California Diamond is a very good horse.”

A total of 128 yearlings grossed $2,155,000 and averaged $16,836, with a median of $5,500, compared to 2016, when 136 yearlings grossed $2,132,500 and averaged $15,680, with a median of $8,750. The yearling buy-back rate was 35%, with 68 of the 196 through the ring not sold. Overall, 155 grossed $2,301,000 and averaged $14,845, compared to last year’s figures of 175 grossing $2,496,500 and averaging $14,266.

“The top end of the market is getting stronger and more competitive,” said Kim Lloyd, general manager of Barretts. “Any time an above-average horse came in the ring, there was a lot of competition.”

Gasparrelli, who said he has about 20 horses in training, all with Puype, led all buyers at the sale. He purchased two for a total of $305,000. In addition to the sale topper, he went to $85,000 for Hip 147, a California-bred daughter of Slew’s Tiznow-Grand Advice, by Mr. Greeley, a full sister to 2017 El Camino Real Derby (G3) winner Zakaroff. Adrian Gonzalez’s Checkmate Thoroughbreds  consigned the filly.

Hull was ecstatic after selling the Smiling Tiger sale topper. He bought Carrie’s a Jewel for $5,000 and raises all of her foals himself in Sequim, Wash., after they foal in California. He said he ponied the Smiling Tiger filly himself to get her fit for the sale.

“These horses are my family,” Hull said. “I do everything—feed them, clean their stalls, pony them. This filly was spectacular from the time she was foaled. I have a weanling full brother to her as well, and Carrie’s a Jewel is in foal to Bluegrass Cat.”

Two other horses brought six figures at the sale, including a California-bred daughter of Acclamation-Ismene, by Tribal Rule. Consigned by John Harris’ Harris Farms as agent for Stephen Ferraro, the filly sold for $160,000. Trainer Terry Knight signed the ticket for Pete and Evelyn Parrella’s Legacy Ranch.

“She was a very good individual, backed up by a good pedigree,” said Knight, who recently became the general manager of Legacy Ranch near Clements, Calif. “And we also liked the fact that she is a Cal-bred.”

Daylight Win for Smiling Tigress

Arcadia, CA (October 5, 2017)-Smiling Tigress became winner number seven this year for her first year sire Smiling Tiger with a daylight win by six at Santa Anita.

Out of the Hard Spun broodmare Spun Clear this two-year-old filly has made four starts and has earned $45,585 with the win and one second on her record.

Smiling Tiger is the leading freshman sire in California and is in the top thirteen nationally.

Don’t pass up checking out our Barretts Consignment featuring two yearlings by Smiling Tiger: hip 188 filly Smiling Tiger – Miss Rhythmic and hip 174 colt Smiling Tiger – Lit de Bet.

Ismelucky Wins Barretts Debutante

Benoit Photo

From Los Alamitos Publicity
CYPRESS, Calif. (Sept. 16, 2017) — Favored California-bred Ismelucky won Saturday’s $100,000 Barretts Debutante at Los Alamitos.

Overcoming trouble at the start and traffic trouble along the way, Ismelucky, a 2-year-old Lucky Pulpit filly out of the Tribal Rule mare Ismene, rallied along the rail to overtake 14-1 shot Shaken Memories near the wire.

Bred by Stephen Ferraro and owned by trainer Jeff Bonde and Jerome Russell, Ismelucky completed the 6 ½ furlongs in 1:17.84. The win was her second in three starts and increased her earnings to $108,420.

The Debutante was the first race for Ismelucky since she defeated maidens by 2 ½ lengths May 18 at Santa Anita.

“We backed off on her after she won because I thought she was a nice filly and she had some tightness in her hind end,’’ said Bonde. “We cranked her up again to get her ready for this race.”

Bonde was pleased with how Ismelucky had trained leading into Saturday, but was apprehensive when she drew the rail in the field of nine. His fears were founded given what happened at the start and along the way.

“It was an eventful trip to say the least,’’ said jockey Kent Desormeaux, whose other stakes win at the LACF meet came with Soi Phet in the E.B. Johnston Stakes hours before he won the Beverly Lewis with Princess Karen.

“We got slammed at the start by (eventual eighth-place finisher Funny Bean, who broke directly outside Ismelucky), then we had to wait for room, and then in the stretch, (Shaken Memories) was using her tail like a fan in front of us. This filly really showed me something today.’’

Soi Phet Makes E.B. Johnston First Stakes Win of Year

Benoit Photo

By Steve Andersen
Cypress, CA (September 9, 2017)-Soi Phet beat a field of runners who were mostly half his age in Saturday’s $75,000 E.B. Johnston Stakes for California-bred milers at Los Alamitos.

Winning a stakes at the Orange County track has become an annual occurrence in recent years for the 9-year-old Soi Phet. The Johnston was the fourth career stakes win for Soi Phet and third at Los Alamitos. He won the $200,000 Los Alamitos Mile in 2014 and the Johnston Stakes last year.

Soi Phet was always near the front Saturday and won his first stakes of the year by a half-length over 3-1 He Will. Soi Phet ($9) ran a mile in 1:35.71.

The disappointment in the field was Gold Rush Dancer, the even-money favorite who finished last of six after racing as close as fourth on the turn.

Soi Phet was ridden by Kent Desormeaux and was always in the first three. Soi Phet led briefly on the backstretch, and was third by a half-length to Start a Runnin with a quarter-mile remaining in the long stretch. Soi Phet led by a head over He Will with a furlong to go.

“He loves this long stretch,” winning trainer Leonard Powell said.

The 5-year-old He Will finished 1 1/2 lengths in front of 6-year-old El Huerfano. Start a Runnin, a 4-year-old, was fourth, followed by the 6-year-old Lucky J Lane and 4-year-old Gold Rush Dancer.

Trainer Vann Belvoir was left puzzled by Gold Rush Dancer’s loss after talking with jockey Evin Roman. Gold Rush Dancer was fourth on the backstretch but was never a factor in the stretch.

“He ran flat,” Belvoir said. “He had him in a good position. You could see he wasn’t comfortable.”

Soi Phet, who is by Tizbud, earned $42,000. In his career, Soi Phet has won 13 of 55 starts and earned $876,170. He was claimed for $16,000 at Hollywood Park in May 2013 by Powell on behalf of Gerald Benewitz, Mathilde Powell, and Paul Viskovich.

Since being claimed, Soi Phet has earned $839,090.

Soi Phet has won 2 of 5 starts this year. He won an optional claimer in which he was eligible to be claimed for $62,500 at Santa Anita in May in his first start of the year.

“To have him win two races this year and a stakes is a big relief,” Powell said.

Powell said in the winner’s circle that Soi Phet could have one more start at the Santa Anita autumn meeting that begins on Sept. 29 before being given a rest. There are plans for a 10-year-old season in 2018.

Bookies Luck Surprises in I’m Smokin Stakes

Del Mar, CA (September 1, 2017)-Bookies Luck, overlooked in the betting at 14-1 after finishing eighth in the Graduation Stakes, took command turning for home and cruised to a handy triumph Friday in the featured $100,000 I’m Smokin Stakes for California-bred two-year-olds.

With Hall of Fame jockey Kent Desormeaux in the saddle, Bookies Luck powered past pace-setting Sir Valentine nearing the stretch and was an easy three and one-quarter length winner in 1:10.62 for the six furlongs.

Smokem, 5-2 second choice under apprentice Evin Roman, closed gamely to be second, three and one-quarter lengths ahead of Drizzy. Continental Divide, the 2-1 favorite after his triumph in the Graduation Stakes, was another length back in fourth in the field of seven juveniles. Cono and Get Em Up Scout were withdrawn.

Bookies Luck, a son of Lucky Pulpit owned and bred by Mr. and Mrs. Larry D. Williams and trained by Jeff Bonde, returned $30.20, $13 and $5.60 after his notching his second win in five efforts. First money of $57,000 increased his earnings to $104,640. Runner-up Smokem paid $4 and $3, while Drizzy returned $3.80 to show.


Harris Farms Adoption Program Graduates

Desperate Times and Freedom Quest enjoying success as jumpers in the show world

Desperate Times (a.k.a “Hashtag”) an 8yr. old gelding By Redatorre out of the High Brite mare Don’t Despair is showing great potential under the care of new owner Courtney Gharibeh, earning several ribbons at the local shows, the partnership jumped clean rounds and placed 3rd in the Columbus Day Classic Mini Prix at W&KRP Open Show in Sanger, Ca. this past November. They also did well at the Almaden Farms Horse Show held in Watsonville, Ca. placing 3rd in the C &N Tractor Class, 1st in the 2’7 jumper class, and also participated in the lead line class with her 3yr old daughter Addyson in the saddle. They are looking forward to a promising 2015 show season.(below)




Freedom Quest affectionately known as Quest is an 8yr. old gelding by Soft Gold out of the mare Northern Freedom. A winner at three in 5 starts had limited success at the race track, but has found his calling as a great companion and show horse. The promising partnership between Emily Colvard and Quest has shown potential competing in the 2’6 jumper classes and hopes to have a great 2015 show season. below




Both are working with trainer Rene Beggs from River View Farms located in Sanger, Ca.
Lisa Torres Antonsen

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