12/28/2007 12:00AM

Bob Black Jack's win boosts demand in sire

EmailARCADIA, Calif. - Not long after Bob Black Jack walked off the Santa Anita racetrack after winning Wednesday's $138,375 California Breeders' Champion Stakes, the phone began ringing at Harris Farms in Coalinga, Calif.

Callers were inquiring about breeding to Stormy Jack, the sire of Bob Black Jack, who had just zipped seven furlongs in 1:20.37, winning the race for statebreds by 6 1/4 lengths.

"I think we got four or five calls in the hour after the race," farm owner John Harris said.

"He won the stakes about as impressive as any California-bred winner in some time."

Bob Black Jack's win came at an ideal time for Stormy Jack, one of the top freshman stallions in California this year. Bob Black Jack was Stormy Jack's first stakes winner, and pushed his progeny earnings to $190,870. He is second on the state's freshman stallion list to Decarchy, who has progeny earnings of $278,483.

Stormy Jack, 10, stands for $2,500. By Bertrando, Stormy Jack won 8 of 21 starts and $5967,673 in a four-year career from 1999 to 2003.

Campaigned by Jack and Florence Arnold and trained by Bob Baffert, Stormy Jack won four stakes - the 1999 I'm Smokin Stakes, 2000 Real Good Deal and Oceanside Stakes, and 2001 On Trust Handicap. He was second in the Grade 3 Los Angeles Handicap at Hollywood Park in 2001, his best result in a graded stakes.

In his first crop, Stormy Jack has had 34 2-year-olds, with 8 starters and 5 winners. The stallion is owned by Gary and Marlene Howard and Bruce Dunmore, who bred Bob Black Jack. Harris said the Howards and Dunmore approached him about standing Stormy Jack at Harris Farms in 2008.

Stormy Jack had stood at the Howards' Hideaway Farms near San Jacinto, Calif., which was sold to owner-breeder Ben Warren earlier this year. The Howards now operate a training center on that property on behalf of Warren.

Gary Howard is hopeful that the stallion can attract 40 to 60 mares in 2008.

"They've shown a lot of speed and they like synthetics," he said of Stormy Jack's offspring.

Dunmore is fighting bone cancer, which is in remission, Howard said.

"Of all the gratifying things about this, that probably means the most," Howard said.

Bob Black Jack has won 2 of 4 starts and $131,625 for owners Tim Kasparoff and Jeff Harmon. He is the first stakes winner for trainer James Kasparoff, Tim's brother.

The colt made his first start at Del Mar on July 29, finishing second in a six-furlong race for statebred maidens. He returned to win a similar race by 2 3/4 lengths on Aug. 26.

Bob Black Jack made his stakes debut in the Grade 3 Hollywood Prevue Stakes over seven furlongs on Nov. 22, finishing fourth, five lengths behind the winner, Massive Drama.

He was the 2-1 second choice in the California Breeders' Champion Stakes and led throughout, pulling clear in the final furlong.

"It was pretty exciting for me," James Kasparoff said. "He's a very talented colt. He likes to train. I really thought that if he ran his race, he'd do pretty well against those horses."

Kasparoff said that Bob Black Jack will be pointed for the $250,000 Sunshine Millions Dash over six furlongs for California-breds and Florida-breds at Santa Anita on Jan. 26. To the trainer, the race is an ideal fit for a colt that sometimes can be tough to handle.

"It's here and it's pretty realistic for the horse," Kasparoff said. "We don't have any grandiose ideas of putting him on the Derby trail. He might be better around one turn.

"He's a pleasure to be around when he's not trying to bite you."