Barn Notes 1/1/24

Compiled by Robert Yates

Mitole rose to a championship as a racehorse in 2019 at Oaklawn. He put an exclamation point on another championship Sunday at Oaklawn, this time as a stallion.

Mitole, who stands at Spendthrift Farm in Kentucky, was represented by two winners on the 10-race New Year’s Eve program – the second in Oaklawn history exclusively for 2-year-olds – to cement leading first-crop honors in North America with $2,614,328 in progeny earnings. Maximus Mischief, another Spendthrift stallion, finished second with $2,266,229. Rankings are compiled by The Jockey Club Information Systems.

Unbeaten Carbone became Mitole’s first Oaklawn-sired winner in the eighth race, a one-mile $140,000 first-level allowance. About a half-hour later, Ice Cold became Mitole’s first Oaklawn stakes winner in the $200,000 Year’s End for fillies, also run at one-mile.

Carbone, a homebred for Texans William and Corinne Heiligbrodt, was among four winners on the card for Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen.

“The last week, we felt like there was no way anybody was going to catch him (Mitole),” Spendthrift stallion sales manager Mark Toothaker said Monday morning. “Steve and Bill both said, ‘We’ve got more stuff to run and we’re going to do our part to get him past the finish line.’ And they certainly did.”

Carbone’s victory carried added significance because the Heiligbrodts and Asmussen campaigned Mitole, who collected an Eclipse Award in 2019 as the country’s champion male sprinter. Mitole, then 4, made his first two starts in 2019 at Oaklawn, winning an allowance race and the $500,000 G3-Count Fleet Sprint Handicap before capping his year, and racing career, with a victory in the $2 million G1-Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Santa Anita.

Carbone (2 for 2) and Indiana-bred standout Ice Cold, a two-time stakes winner, helped Mitole become a champion again – in his second career.

“Unbelievably proud of that,” Asmussen said after winning Sunday’s final race. “I think it pretty much cinches him being the leading first-year sire. Unbelievably proud of Mitole for that, as good as he was to the Heiligbrodts and me.”

Ice Cold, who is trained by Kenny McPeek, is one of two stakes winners for Mitole. McPeek also trains the other, V V’s Dream, who won the one-mile $300,000 G3-Pocahontas for fillies Sept. 16 at Churchill Downs. V V’s Dream ($433,105) is Mitole’s leading earner.

Carbone, after early tutoring at the Asmussen family’s El Primero Training Center in Laredo, Texas, dazzled in his debut, scoring by eight lengths Nov. 19 at Churchill Downs. He covered 6 furlongs in a sharp 1:09.84.

Sunay, in his his two-turn debut, Carbone recorded another front-running victory, drawing off by four lengths under Ricardo Santana Jr. Carbone’s winning time over a fast track was 1:38.63.

“All you can hope for, you know what I mean?” Asmussen said. “Big, beautiful horse. A Mitole homebred for the Heiligbrodts. Started at mom and dad’s in Laredo. Went (1:09 4/5) in his first race at Churchill and then looks like that in a two-turn race. Of course, you think crazy things, but he’s a very good horse.”

Among first-crop sires, Mitole, a 9-year-old son of Eskendereya, also led North America in number of winners (34), had the individual money leader in V V’s Dream and tied for first in graded stakes victories (one).

Purchased for $140,000 at the 2017 OBS Spring Sale of Two-Year-Olds in Training, Mitole won 10 of 14 lifetime starts and earned $3,104,910 in his racing career. Spendthrift now owns Mitole, but the Heiligbrodts kept breeding rights and further supported him at public auction.

“Bill Heiligbrodt’s kind of like Babe Ruth,” Toothaker said. “He called his shot before he ever did the deal. He goes, ‘I’ve had a lot of luck on making these freshman sires and I’ve made them with horses not near as good as Mitole.’ So, he was very much from the beginning believing that this horse could go on and do it.”

Mitole stood for a $15,000 fee in 2023.

Glengarry Eyes Bachelor

Glengarry is targeting the $200,000 Bachelor Stakes for 3-year-old sprinters April 27 at Oaklawn for his comeback race, Doug Anderson, the colt’s co-owner/trainer, said Saturday morning.

Anderson said Glengarry was sent to a farm near Oaklawn for a brief break following his runner-up finish in the $300,000 Springboard Mile Dec. 15 at Remington Park. Anderson said Glengarry should resume training at Oaklawn in about two weeks and point for sprint races in the immediate future.

“Just freshen him up a little bit,” Anderson said. “He had been in training a long time. Just a young horse and thought he might need a break. Hopefully, we have a good summer with him that way.”

Glengarry was beaten three-quarters of a length in the Springboard Mile, his first start around two turns. Glengarry had won his first three career starts, including the six-furlong $200,000 Bowman Mill Stakes at 6 furlongs Oct. 28 at Keeneland. The Bachelor is also 6 furlongs.

“We’re just going to probably back off him and not try the Derby trail,” Anderson said. “He’s an Iowa-bred, so, hopefully, he can make a lot of money up there (Prairie Meadows).”