05/12/2005 11:00PM

Derby winner had first lessons in Ocala


The Ocala sales sent five Florida-bred representatives to the 131st Kentucky Derby and three of them - Closing Argument (second), Afleet Alex (third), and Buzzards Bay (fifth) - earned pieces of the purse. The Ocala connection, however, was not limited to Florida-breds.

The first three finishers in the Run for the Roses were given their basic training in the Ocala area. In fact four of the past five Kentucky Derby winners were broken and schooled in the Ocala area.

Derby winner Giacomo was broken and prepared for racing at Harris Training Center, a 170-acre facility owned by Robert and Mary Harris. In addition to breaking and training, Team Harris does its share of pin-hooking and has had considerable success in this line of endeavor. For the past couple of years, the youngsters owned by Jerry and Ann Moss, owners of Giacomo, have been sento to the Team Harris training center. Jeanne Mayberry also preps Moss-owned yearlings and 2-year-olds at her training complex.

A 2-year-old half-brother to Giacomo by Swain, Falcon Scott is just about ready to graduate from the Harris Training Center to be shipped to California and trainer John Shirreffs.

Closing Argument and Buzzards Bay both share an oddity. Each went through the ring three times at Ocala Breeders' Sales Company auctions, although Buzzards Bay failed to reach his reserve all three times.

Bred by France and Irv Weiner, Closing Argument was initially sold as a yearling in the 2003 OBS January mixed sale for $10,000. Eight months later, the colt was again sold, this time at the OBS August yearling sale, and the price was $25,000. Another eight months later and the colt was consigned by Hartley-DeRenzo to the OBS April sale of 2-year-olds in training, and fetched $100,000 for the account of Brian Morgan, agent.

Not much in common

Aside from Closing Argument, Afleet Alex, and Buzzards Bay, the other Florida-breds who competed in the 131st Kentucky Derby were Bellamy Road and Spanish Chestnut. The five have little pedigree commonalities through three generations (14 genetic contributors). Bellamy Road and Closing Argument have In Reality three generations back, and Bellamy Road and Spanish Chestnut are from the Northern Dancer line. That, however, is it.

Bellamy Road, Closing Argument, Afleet Alex, and Spanish Chestnut do share an additional commonality but not one of pedigree. Each of the four Florida-breds made the lead at some part of the 1 1/4-mile journey.

Two have first winner

The 2-year-old season is beginning to get busy, and two more resident Florida stallions have their initial winners. Hartley-DeRenzo Walmac South's Songandaprayer was first off the mark when his debut runner Stolen Prayer won by daylight in a maiden special race at Calder Race Course last month.

The two newest stallions to have a winner are Trippi, the Ocala Stud syndicated stallion, and B L's Appeal, who stands at L.W. Randolph Thoroughbreds Inc.

Trippi's initial winner, Triplethepleasure, was bred and is raced by Jamie S. Carrion. Carrion, a former Ocala farm owner - he founded The Oaks - bred Triplethepleasure from Shivering Fax, by Islefaxyou. Triplethepleasure's victory came at Calder Race Course in maiden special company at two furlongs.

B L's Appeal has 2-year-olds racing on both coasts, and while a couple of have finished close in California, his first winner,

B L's Danzig, came at Calder Race Course in a five-furlong maiden special race. B L's Danzig was bred by John S. Scott and is out of a mare by Sejm.

Concerto ranks No. 1

Bellamy Road's victory in the Wood Memorial in April elevated his sire, Concerto, to first place among Florida's stallions in progeny earnings this year. Concerto, who stands at Ocala Stud for $5,000 live foal, has had 40 runners this year and 19 have won. The get of Concerto have earned $816,302.

Double Honor, who stands at Farnsworth Farms for a fee $3,500 live foal, is second on the list with earnings of $792,673. He has had 32 winners from 80 runners. Double Honor, as befits his pedigree (Gone West out of a Storm Bird mare), is proving to be an effective turf sire.

Montbrook, who stands at Ocala Stud and commands a $20,000 live foal fee, is third with earnings of $732,128. Montbrook has had 31 winners from 78 to race.

Farnsworth Farms' Line in the Sand is fourth with earnings of $728,862. He has had 36 winners from 104 runners this year.