For the second straight year, the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association named Edward P. (Ned) Evans its National Breeder of the Year. Evans, who owned and operated Spring Hill Farm in Casanova, Va., died Dec. 31, 2010, at age 68. Also voted 2010 Virginia Breeder of the Year, Evans bred nine stakes winners in 2010. Eight carried his yellow and black silks, including four to graded success: Quality Road, winner of the Donn Handicap, Metropolitan Handicap and Woodward Stakes, all Grade 1s; Grade 1 winner Malibu Prayer; and A Little Warm and Dixie City, each a Grade 2 winner.
The first phase of his dispersal was conducted at the Keeneland September yearling sale in Lexington, Ky., grossing $6,527,000 for 50 yearlings sold. The Spring Hill Farm Virginia-breds averaged $130,540, nearly double the average of the overall sale, with the top price a $650,000 full brother (Elusive Quality—Kobla, by Strawberry Road-Aus) to multimillionaire Quality Road.
- Rapid Redux recorded his 17th straight victory in a starter allowance at Charles Town Sept. 16, needing two more to tie the sport’s longest modern winning streak of 19 held by Zenyatta and Peppers Pride. The magazine profiled racing’s newest sensation and his connections – trainer David Wells and owner Robert Cole Jr. “I thought around eight or nine wins, we have something really special here,” Wells said. “At 12, it really started to hit us. The phone has really started ringing – HRTV, TVG, The Washington Post, The New York Times. I’ve never really been in this position before.” An editor’s note was added to the story, explaining that the article presented a milepost in an extraordinary journey and, by the time the magazine came out, the streak likely will have changed as Rapid Redux ran every two weeks or so.
Rapid Redux equaled the record at Laurel Oct. 27, and broke it at Mountaineer Nov. 21. He added two more wins at Laurel Park, the last Jan. 4, 2012, and was retired to Old Friends. All but two of his 19 wins in 2011 were starter allowances. n Sahpresa achieved an unprecedented third straight victory in the Group 1 Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket in England. Born at Pennsylvania’s Derry Meeting Farm, bred by international “gentleman” Douglas McIntyre, trained in France by Rod Collet and owned by mighty Japanese breeder Teruya Yoshida, Sahpresa won for the eighth time in her career. McIntyre campaigned Sahpresa through her first two wins in the 1-mile Sun Chariot before selling her to Yoshida. The breeder died at age 92 just days before her third win.
The earner of over $2 million while racing in England, France, Hong Kong and Japan, Sahpresa was retired at the end of the year and delivered five foals through 2019. Her son Satono Impresa (by Deep Impact) was a Group 3 winner in Japan last year at age 3.
- Ben’s Cat notched his first graded win in dramatic fashion, launching a last-to-first move with jockey Jeremy Rose in Parx Racing’s Turf Monster Handicap-G3, a Win and You’re In Breeders’ Cup Challenge race. Chamberlain Bridge, winner of the 2010 Turf Monster and Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint-G2, finished third. Owner/trainer/breeder King Leatherbury stated afterwards that he did not have the money to supplement Ben’s Cat to the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint and would work a deal with anyone willing to pay the fee.
- Ask the Moon won her second Grade 1 of the Saratoga meet by taking the Personal Ensign Invitational Stakes a little over a month after running away in the Ruffian Invitational Handicap-G1. The latter was a Breeders’ Cup Ladies Classic-G1 a Win and You’re In race. Owner Farnsworth Stables and trainer Marty Wolfson claimed the 6-year-old Maryland-bred daughter of Malibu Moon for $75,000 at Belmont Park that June. She became the first Grade 1 winner for Charles and Cynthia McGinnes, who co-bred her with Country Life Farm.
Ask the Moon started in the Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic-G1 and finished sixth, 6 1/2 lengths behind winner Royal Delta. Shortly after she was sold at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky November sale as a broodmare prospect for $800,000. She sold a second time, in foal to War Front, at the 2013 Keeneland November sale for $1.8 million. The foal she was carrying was stakes winner Belgrano.
- Racing for the first time outside Florida in her 31st start, Musical Romance held on to win the Grade 2 Presque Isle Downs Masters Stakes for trainer Bill Kaplan, who co-owned the 4-year-old filly with Pinnacle Racing Stable. The night before, Morton Fink’s homebred Wise Dan, making his 11th start and first outside of Kentucky, rallied to take the Presque Isle Mile.
The only Presque Isle starts for either in their careers, the two went on to become Breeders’ Cup stars. Two starts after winning the Masters, Musical Romance paid $42.40 for the win in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint-G1 at Churchill Downs. Wise Dan became a legend – he earned back-to-back Eclipse Awards as Horse of the Year, champion grass horse and champion older horse in 2012 and 2013, the years he won the Breeders’ Cup Mile-G1, and was inducted into the Racing Hall of Fame in 2020.