Sunday, May 16, 2010
The reward for hard work on the farm is success at the racetrack, and May 15 - Preakness Day - turned out to be a day full of rewards for Darby Dan Farm. Two horses, Funny Moon and Taqarub, won graded stakes at Pimlico and Belmont Park, respectively, and Lord Shanakill was third in a Group 1 in England. All three were born, raised and sold by Darby Dan Farm.
Taqarub was all class as he tallied his first graded stakes win in the $100,000 Maryland Sprint H. (G3). The six-furlong race featured a very competitive field of 10 older sprinters. Taqarub was the fastest of the fast out of the gate, with a half-length lead after two furlongs. Despite constant pressure, he managed to widen a bit in the stretch, ultimately winning by a length in 1:10, just a second off the track record.
The 4-year-old colt is by Aldebaran out of Honor Bestowed. The mare is a half-sister to champion grass mare Soaring Softly. Taqarub sold at the 2007 Saratoga Select Yearling Sale for $300,000 to Shadwell Stable, his current owner. He is now 5-1-0 in nine starts, with earnings of $232,437.
Funny Moon added the $150,000 Shuvee H. (G2) to her resume with a 2 3/4-length victory over heavily favored Seattle Smooth. Last year at Belmont, Funny Moon scored in the Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks. The 4-year-old daughter of Malibu Moon stopped the clock 1:36.70 over the fast track, earning a Beyer Speed Figure of 90.
Funny Moon is now four for five at Belmont. She garnered $90,000 for the Shuvee win, and now has a lifetime total of $379,900, with a record of 5-2-0 in nine starts, for owner Mrs. C. Wilson McNeely III. Darby Dan consigned Funny Moon to the 2007 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Select Yearling Sale, where she sold for $175,000.
At Newbury Racecourse in England, Lord Shanakill made his 2010 debut in the Group 1 Lockinge S. The one-mile turf race was the first start for the 4-year-old since an off-the-board showing in the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint last November. At Newbury, he was a game third in the Lockinge, won by the highly regarded Paco Boy. Lord Shanakill is trained by Henry Cecil and owned by Mark Gittins, who indicated afterwards that the long-term goal for his colt is the Group 1 Prix de la Foret at Longchamp, France.
Lord Shanakill was the first winner for his sire Speightstown. The dark bay or brown colt won the Group 1 Prix Jean Prat last year and the Mill Reef S. (Eng-2) in 2008. He is 3-2-5 in 14 lifetime starts, earning $735, 512. He also was sold by Darby Dan as a yearling in 2007, at the Keeneland September sale, where he brought $110,000.
Darby Dan has already sold four Graded stakes winners of 2010, and ranks among the top five consignors in this prestigious category.