Barn Notes 1/6/24

Compiled by Robert Yates

Famed Spendthrift Farm, the Kentucky breeding/racing operation founded by the late B. Wayne Hughes, rang in the New Year with four winners Dec. 31 at Oaklawn, its second card in history exclusively for 2-year-olds.

Three winners were from the first crop of stallions Spendthrift stands. Unbeaten Carbone, an entry-level allowance winner, and Ice Cold, winner of the $200,000 Year’s End Stakes, are by champion Mitole. Time for Truth, by Omaha Beach, won his career debut sprinting for trainer Ron Moquett of Hot Springs and Arkansas owner Harry Rosenblum. Spendthrift also races Pun Intended, another maiden special weight graduate.

Mitole and Omaha Beach, both multiple Oaklawn stakes winners, finished first and fourth, respectively, in progeny earnings among North American first-crop sires. Spendthrift also stands Maximus Mischief and Vino Rosso, second and third, respectively, among North American first-crop sires in 2023.

Omaha Beach was among the country’s leading 3-year-olds in 2019 after winning Oaklawn’s second division of the $750,000 G2-Rebel Stakes (G2) at 1 1and $1 million G1-Arkansas Derby (G1) at 1 1/8 miles for Hall of Fame Trainer Richard Mandella. Omaha Beach’s stud fee is $40,000.

“We haven’t seen as many of them start as we have on the other three, Vino, Max and Mitole,” Spendthrift stallion sales manager Mark Toothaker said. “But we feel like, and I think the whole industry is kind of betting on the fact they’ll be much better 3-year-olds than 2-year-olds. I think we’ve seen them kind of progress as we’ve gone through this last month. He’s had some exciting winners. He’s a gorgeous horse. I came down there for the Rebel and Mandella told me: ‘Look, I think, he’s as good a horse as I’ve ever hung a bridle on.’ When Richard’s telling you that, you’ve got to get back and tell Mr. Hughes that we’ve got to figure out how to buy this one.”

Rosenblum purchased Time for Truth for just $47,000 at the OBS Spring Sale of Two-Year-Olds in Training. Rosenblum said he didn’t attend the sale, but was alerted to the horse by a friend.

Time for Truth worked an eighth of a mile in :9 4/5 in his under-tack preview breeze and had one of the sale’s fastest gallop outs, Rosenblum said. Rosenblum said he purchased the colt privately after he failed to meet his reserve.

“He had an insignificant vet issue and buyers shied away,” Rosenblum said. “If my friend hadn’t called me, I wouldn’t own the horse.”

Rosenblum named Time for Truth after a 1978 book, “A Time for Truth,” written by William E. Simon, the late United States Treasury Secretary. Time for Truth – the horse – received a preliminary Beyer Speed Figure of 89 for his front-running 1 ¾-length victory. The winning time over a fast track was 1:10.52.

“Omaha, man, what an impressive winner he had for Harry and Ron,” Toothaker said. “That was crazy good. That’s exciting.”

Moquett said he admired Omaha Beach during his racing career, adding the trainer’s future champion, Whitmore, was stabled in Mandella’s barn for the 2019 G1-Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Santa Anita. Omaha Beach ran in the 2019 G1-Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile.

“Always thought he was a really beautiful, classy-looking horse,” Moquett said. “They (initial crop of foals) were a little out of our price range, so this was the first one that was affordable.”

Moquett said Time for Truth could make his next start around two turns.

Finish Lines

Two wins Friday propelled reigning Oaklawn riding champion Cristian Torres into a first-place tie in the standings after the first 10 days of the scheduled 66-day meeting. Torres won the first race aboard Sistersouttachrome ($7) for trainer Ronnie E. Cravens III and the fifth race aboard favored Tenacious Lady ($6.80) for 2022-2023 Oaklawn leading trainer Robertino Diodoro … Faithful Ruler was the first career Oaklawn winner for jockey Harry Hernandez, who missed the first six days of the meeting after breaking his collarbone in a late November accident at Remington Park, where he had previously been based. Hernandez, based at Oaklawn for the first time, has won riding titles at Canterbury Park and Turf Paradise.