Claiborne’s Late Sire Pulpit Well Represented at Eclipse Awards
Posted on: January 20, 2017
Claiborne Farm’s remarkable sire Pulpit passed away at the age of 18 in 2012, but his legacy as a sire continues to endure. The most recent evidence of Pulpit’s greatness can be seen in the older dirt male category for this year’s Eclipse Awards. Interestingly, the trio of finalists—California Chrome, Frosted and Lord Nelson—are all either sons or grandsons of this influential stallion.
With 25 sons at stud internationally, Pulpit is carrying on the tradition of his sire line as a sire of sires. In 2016, his son Tapit was the leading North American sire by earnings for the third consecutive year, while Lucky Pulpit was ranked sixth. For three of the last five years, Pulpit’s sons Parading, Sightseeing and Corinthian have also ranked in the top 20 on their respective first-crop sire lists.
A son of A.P. Indy, Pulpit won four of six starts during his career while racing as a homebred for Claiborne, including the G2 Fountain of Youth Stakes and Blue Grass Stakes. He retired with earnings of $728,200.
Pulpit returned to his birthplace to begin his stallion career. He is the sire of 15 crops of racing age, 948 foals, 796 starters, 72 black-type winners, 1 champion, 584 winners of 1816 races and earnings of $76,700,042. Pulpit is the broodmare sire of 42 black-type winners, including champions Aces Star, The Mindfulangel, and of Due Diligence, Departing, Real Solution, Madefromlucky, Land Over Sea, Newsdad, Karlovy Vary, Storming Inti, Cage Fighter, Mi Suerte, The Great War, Rocket Time, Irish You Well.
California Chrome, by Pulpit’s son Lucky Pulpit, made headlines in 2014 when he captured both the G1 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes. His status as a finalist in the dirt male and Horse of the Year categories was earned by virtue of victories in his first six races this year, including the G1 Dubai World Cup. In the G1 Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita Nov. 5, California Chrome lost by a half-length to Arrogate, who he will face in an highly anticipated rematch in the Pegasus World Cup Invitational Jan. 28. Furthermore, California Chrome retires as the richest racehorse in history, with career earnings over $14.5 million.
Multiple graded stakes winner Frosted, another one of Pulpit’s grandsons, is by three-time North American leading sire Tapit. Frosted’s 2016 season was highlighted by a dominating 14 ¼-length score in the G1 Metropolitan Handicap, the largest margin of victory in the history of the race. Frosted also broke the Met Mile stakes record and was just two-fifths of a second off the track record with a final time of 1:32.73. The strapping gray retired in 2016 as Tapit’s richest son, with career earnings of nearly $4 million. He won six of 19 races, including this year’s G1 Whitney and Round 2 of the Maktoum Challenge at Meydan (G2); plus the G1 Wood Memorial and G2 Pennsylvania Derby in 2015.
Pulpit’s son Lord Nelson has carried on his sire’s legacy well with a perfect four-for-four record during his 4-year-old season, including three consecutive grade I victories: the Triple Bend, Bing Crosby and the Santa Anita Sprint Championship. The Bing Crosby was a record-setting performance, in which he won by four lengths and ran six furlongs in 1:07.65. The final time bettered a stakes record that had stood at Del Mar since 1962.
A stakes winner at 2, 3, and 4, Lord Nelson has finished first or second in seven of eight sprint starts, six of them in graded events, for career earnings of $958,271. For his 2016 efforts, he is an Eclipse Award finalist in both the male sprinter and older dirt male categories.
With so many accolades to Pulpit’s credit, including this year’s Eclipse Award dirt male finalists, this remarkable sire has cemented his place among Claiborne Farm’s long list of breed-shaping stallions.
Cosequin Presents Aftercare Spotlight: Claiborne, Milestone Enjoy Taste Of Olympic Dream
Posted on: August 4, 2016
Original post published on The Paulick Report
by Jen Roytz | 08.03.2016 | 4:23pm
We all tend to have our favorite competitions to watch during the Olympics. From Swimming and gymnastics to basketball, track and field, and a little beach volleyball thrown in for good measure, it seems like there’s something for everyone.
This year, a growing number of people in Lexington’s Thoroughbred community will be keeping their eyes on the equestrian competition, as one of their own is set to compete on the world’s biggest stage.
Blackfoot Mystery, who along with rider Boyd Martin, will be competing for the U. S. Eventing Team in Rio beginning this weekend, has captured the interest and hearts of equestrians around the country. It’s those that knew him in his formative years, however, who are as excited about his pending performances as they would be about a Grade 1 stakes race.
“It’s very cool,” said Bernie Sams, general manager of Claiborne Farm. “I started hearing people talk about this Thoroughbred heading to the Olympics, and I thought that was great, but then when I saw he was by Out of Place, I was tickled.”
Out of Place, sire of Blackfoot Mystery, stood at Claiborne Farm after a racing career that saw him win the Whitney, Woodward, Phillip Iselin and Donn Handicaps (all Grade 1 races). Originally retired to Florida to begin his stud career, he was later moved to Claiborne, where he was born and raised, and remained there until his passing in 2010. He is buried in Claiborne’s historic Marchmont cemetery.
While Blackfoot Mystery may not have reached the same heights as his father on the racetrack, over jumps he has soared.
Piloted by Martin, Blackfoot Mystery won the $75,000 Wellington Eventing Showcase in February, then took the Advanced A Division at The Fork. That prepared the 12-year-old chestnut gelding for his first CCI4* event (likened to Grade 1 competition) at this year’s Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, where he finished an impressive 8th against some of the best eventing horses and riders in the world.
Bred by John O’Meara and raised at his Milestone Farm in Lexington, Ky., Blackfoot Mystery is out of True Mystery, a daughter of Proud Truth, a speedy stakes winner who set a new stakes record at Colonial Downs going a mile on the dirt.
O’Meara purchased True Mystery for $72,000 at the Keeneland November Sale, and after she foaled out the Not For Love foal she was carrying, bred her to Out of Place.
“I chose that mating to add more stamina into the mare,” said O’Meara. “He was a big, strong foal that grew into a bigger yearling.”
The goal was to sell the yearling that would become Blackfoot Mystery at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale in 2005, but bidding stopped at $24,000, failing to meet his reserve price.
“As a yearling he was big and strong, but he was a backwards kind of horse…not unattractive at all – just big and still growing,” said James Keogh, who consigned the horse for O’Meara at Keeneland September. “You knew he was going to need some time to mature, and that’s probably why he didn’t find success as a racehorse.”
O’Meara ended up selling Blackfoot Mystery privately as part of a three-horse deal to one of his clients, Chris Brakos.
“Chris lives in Blackfoot, Idaho and owns a potato farm. That’s why he named him Blackfoot Mystery – a combination of the city and the horse’s dam,” said John. “He eventually sent the horses to California to race.”
Blackfoot Mystery made just three starts as a 3-year-old and failed to hit the board, earning just $1,200.
It was after that third start at Hollywood Park that trainer Jesus Mendoza contacted Leigh Gray of Thoroughbred Rehab Center, a non-profit TAA-accredited aftercare facility that rehabilitates, retrains and rehomes ex-racehorses. Mendoza explained that while the horse wasn’t ideal for racing, he would make a great sport horse for someone.
Blackfoot Mystery got his formative eventing training from Gray’s friend, Shirley Aronson, before being competed by eventer Lisa Peecock and getting his first taste of eventing competition in California. Gray eventually sold him to upper-level eventing rider Kelly Prather, who brought him to the East Coast to train with her coach, Boyd Martin.
Martin, who competed at the 2012 Olympics for the U. S. aboard Otis Barbotiere after being long-listed by the Australian team in 2000, 2004 and 2008, was on the hunt for a horse with Olympic potential after retiring his top competition mounts, Trading Aces and Otis Barbotiere. Once he saw Blackfoot Mystery, his search was over. He soon put a syndicate together and purchased the horse from Prather and set out on a path to (hopefully) Olympic glory.
“Maybe I should just breed eventers,” joked John O’Meara. “I got to spend a bit of time with Boyd when he was here for the Rolex. Holy smoke, I’m happy for the connections and for the horse. I will definitely be tuning in to watch him.”
O’Meara, who also bred Going Wild, a multiple stakes winner and Kentucky Derby competitor, ranks breeding an Olympic horse as one of his biggest accomplishments as a breeder.
Keogh, an equestrian himself who often repurposes retired racehorses for fox hunting, jumping, eventing and other disciplines, feels a similar sense of pride for the affiliation he and his family have with the horse, who begins his Olympic career this weekend.
“I enjoy good horses, period. Dressage, eventing, racing – I just love horses and enjoy it all. I guess in that sense I’m just a big kid who never grew up,” said Keogh. “[My daughter] Georgia has been following him for a while and Boyd has told me how highly he thinks of the horse. My family and I will definitely be watching the equestrian competition and rooting the horse on.”
Sams says the same of Claiborne, noting that the farm is proud of their inaugural representation at the Olympic level.
“There are people from the farm who went out to watch him at the Rolex in April, like Dell [Hancock] and I know they’ll be paying close attention to the coverage,” said Sams. “Whereas I might have watched [the equestrian competition] in the past if it was on tv when I had time to watch, I will definitely be tuning in in for this year. Having a horse conceived at our farm in the Olympics…it’s just so cool.”
Olympic Equestrian Coverage:
Date Time Discipline Network
Saturday, Aug. 6 3:00-4:00pm Eventing (Dressage) USA
Sunday, Aug. 7 4:15-4:45pm Eventing (Dressage) MSNBC
Monday, Aug. 8 9:00am-2:00pm Eventing (Cross Country) USA
Tuesday, Aug 9 9:00-11:00am; Eventing (Stadium Jumping) USA
Thursday, Aug. 11 3:45-4:30pm Team Dressage MSNBC
Sunday, Aug. 14 1:00-1:45pm Individual Show Jumping NBC
Monday, Aug. 15 10:30am-12:30pm Individual Dressage USA
Tuesday, Aug. 16 12:30-1:00pm Team Show Jumping NBC
Wednesday, Aug. 17 11:00-11:30am Team Show Jumping Final NBC
Friday, Aug. 19 10:00-10:40am Individual Show Jumping NBC
*Blackfoot Mystery and Boyd Martin will compete in Eventing (Dressage, Cross-Country and Stadium Jumping)
Jen Roytz is a marketing, publicity and comprehensive communications specialist based in Lexington, Kentucky. A native of Cleveland, Ohio, her professional focus lies in the fields of equine, health care, corporate and non-profit marketing. She holds board affiliations with the Make a Wish Foundation, Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance and the Retired Racehorse Project, among others. While she currently has no plans to build an arc, she is the go-to food source for two dogs, two cats and two off-track Thoroughbreds.
Email Jen your story ideas at Jenlroytz@gmail.com or connect with her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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Arthur B. “Bull” Hancock, Jr. Elected to the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame as a Pillar of the Turf
Posted on: June 23, 2016
Edited Press Release from National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame
Arthur “Bull” Hancock, Jr. has been elected to the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame as a 2016 Pillar of the Turf inductee along with William Woodward, Sr. They will be inducted in Saratoga on Friday, August 12, 2016
The Pillars of the Turf category was introduced in 2013 to “honor individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to Thoroughbred racing in a leadership or pioneering capacity at the highest national level.” Candidates are considered for their integrity and commitment through ownership, breeding, innovation, philanthropy, promotion of the sport, and education.
Hancock (1910-1972), who grew up on Claiborne Farm near Paris, Ky., graduated from Princeton University in 1933. He served in the Army Air Corps from 1941 through 1945 before taking over Claiborne when his father became ill in the late 1940s. Hancock then built upon an already grand foundation, expanding the farm from 2,100 acres to roughly 6,000, to make Claiborne arguably the most important thoroughbred farm in the world.
For 15 consecutive years, from 1955 through 1969, Hancock stood America’s leading sire at Claiborne. Then in 1972, the year of Hancock’s death at the age of 62, Round Table reinstated the farm as home of the leading sire. The top stallions at Claiborne during Hancock’s era included Nasrullah, Princequillo and Bold Ruler. Hancock also acquired for stud other internationally influential horses such as Nijinsky II, Ambiorix, Damascus, Sir Ivor, Tom Rolfe and Forli. In an example of the farm’s consistent excellence under Hancock’s leadership, Claiborne raised at least one champion each year from 1952 through 1972, including five years when the farm raised as many as four divisional champions. Six of the divisional champions of 1957 were earlier foaled at Claiborne: Nadir, Bold Ruler, Bayou, Dedicate, Round Table and Neji. Hancock bred and raced the champions Moccasin, Nadir, Doubledogdare and Bayou.
Thirty-two champions that raced for outside clients were foaled at Claiborne during Hancock’s era, including Hall of Fame members Kelso, Buckpasser, Nashua, Forego, Bold Ruler, Round Table, Riva Ridge and Cicada, as well as standouts Dedicate, Numbered Account, Bald Eagle, Ridan, Hoist the Flag and First Landing, among others. Hancock had a long-standing partnership arrangement with William Haggin Perry, whereby half of each Claiborne foal crop raced in Perry’s silks and half in Claiborne’s. Hancock also bred four European champions while at Claiborne, including Nureyev and l’Arc de Triomphe winner Ivanjica. Claiborne was America’s top breeder in earnings in 1958, 1959, 1968 and 1969 under Hancock’s direction.
Overall, Hancock bred 112 stakes winners in the Claiborne name, while also serving as an adviser to several prominent outside clients, including the Phipps family and William Woodward, Sr. Hancock had the distinction of being the first working horseman to be elected to The Jockey Club. He was also president of the American Thoroughbred Breeders Association and vice president of the American Thoroughbred Owners Association. Hancock was a key figure in the merger of those two organizations in 1961 into the present-day Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association (TOBA).
In addition, Hancock was a director and trustee at Keeneland and a director of Churchill Downs, where he was one of the dozen who purchased controlling interest in the track to avoid a conglomerate takeover. He also was a member of the Kentucky Racing Commission, a director of the Grayson Foundation and a founding member and director of the Thoroughbred Breeders of Kentucky, in which role he played a part in establishing the American Horse Council.