The 7-year-old mare You Bought Her will have a chance to join exclusive company when she vies for her third consecutive victory in the $50,000 Minaret Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs.
But she may have a more important date with destiny within the next couple of months.
Trainer David Hinsley, who co-owns You Bought Her under his Hinsley Racing Stable banner with Richard Perkins, said plans call for her to be bred to two-time Horse of the Year California Chrome upon the conclusion of her racing career, which could come as early as Saturday.
The 2014 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands winner is standing his first season at stud at Taylor Made Stallions in Nicholasville, Ky., for a fee of $40,000.
“She’s been with us a long time, but she’s happy and healthy and she’s done very well for us,” said Hinsley, who purchased the Florida-bred daughter of Graeme Hall-Striking T, by Smart Strike, with his wife Sharon and Perkins for $18,000 as a 2-year-old in Ocala. “(Perkins) boards broodmares at a farm in Lexington, and we’ll probably ship her out in the next week or so and they can get her ready.
“We’re going to miss her, but she’s at the age where it’s just time. I trained her mother and had other offspring from her; most of them had longevity and some talent, but she was the best to come out of that mare. If she gets in foal, we’ll probably sell her at the Keeneland (November Breeding Stock) Sale, and she should do well there,” Hinsley said.
The six-furlong Minaret Stakes, which has drawn a field of nine older fillies and mares, is one of two stakes on Saturday’s card. The other is the $100,000 Pelican Stakes, also at six furlongs, for horses 4-years-old-and-upward.
The Minaret is the eighth race on an 11-race card, with the Pelican slated as the 10th. Post time for the first of Saturday’s 11 races is 12:25 p.m.
Just south of the racetrack, The Downs Golf Practice Facility will play host to the seventh annual Golfest demo days and golf expo event, which begins Saturday and Sunday at 9 a.m. (click on http://www.tampabaydowns.com/news/2017/02/03/seventh-annual-golfest-feb.-18-19-to-get-players-in-the-swing for additional details).
You Bought Her, who will break from the No. 2 post under leading Tampa Bay Downs jockey Daniel Centeno, has compiled a 9-for-49 career record while bankrolling earnings of $528,685. She finished second in the Grade II Inside Information Stakes at Gulfstream as a 5-year-old and twice placed in the Grade III Sugar Swirl Stakes at Gulfstream.
Regardless of how much she would bring carrying a California Chrome foal, Hinsley is quick to acknowledge any profits achieved from her next career are a bonus. She was off more than eight months after a fall in the Grade III Arlington-Washington Lassie Stakes in 2012 that resulted in an injury that necessitated a chip being removed from an ankle.
After returning to competition, it took her 10 starts before she won again, in a seven-furlong allowance/optional claiming race at Tampa Bay Downs in March of 2014.
“It took her a while to come around, but she did,” Hinsley said.
By winning the Minaret again, You Bought Her would join two other horses to win a Tampa Bay Stakes in three successive years. One did it twice: Trainer Ronnie Allen, Sr.’s Above the Wind won the Pelican three seasons in a row (his first victory came in December of the 2003-2004 meeting, followed by victories in 2005 and 2006). Above the Wind also won the since-discontinued Super Stakes each year from 2003-2005.
The other horse to win the same Oldsmar stakes three years in a row was Guardianofthegate, who won the Columbia Stakes (formerly the Chris Thomas Turf Classic) each year from 2001-2003.
Centeno is also named to ride one of the favorites for the Pelican Stakes, the 4-year-old gelding Futile. Owned by the Lael Stables of his breeders, Roy and Gretchen Jackson, and trained by Arnaud Delacour, Futile improved to 4-for-5 with a solid six-furlong score on Jan. 15. He will break from the No. 8 post.
“He had to overcome a bit of a bad break in that race when the horse inside him broke out and Danny had to use him early to clear that horse, and that may have taken a little something out of his finish,” Delacour said.
“It is always a huge step up when you go from an allowance to a stakes, and he has less experience than the other horses, which is always a disadvantage. But he has run through his conditions and done nothing wrong, so this is the right spot for him.”
Around the oval. Saturday’s fun begins with track announcer Richard Grunder’s “Morning Glory Club” show at 10 a.m. on the first floor of the Grandstand. His guest will be jockey Wilmer Garcia. Attendees are also treated to free coffee and donuts and receive Grandstand passes.
Tampa Bay Downs conducts racing Wednesday through Sunday throughout February, returning to a Wednesday-Friday-Saturday-Sunday schedule in March and April.
The track is open every day for simulcast wagering, no-limits poker action and tournament play in The Silks Poker Room and golf fun and instruction at The Downs Golf Practice Facility.