06/15/2013 10:31PM

DRF Breeding Standout: Fort Larned's half-brother shines on Foster undercard


Lent, a half-brother to Breeders' Cup Classic winner Fort Larned, set the stage for a big night for his connections, defeating a field of well-bred runners in a maiden special weight event Saturday night at Churchill Downs, just hours before his famed older relative romped in the Grade 1 Stephen Foster Handicap.

Both horses are trained by Ian Wilkes for owner-breeder Janis Whitham, and jockey Brian Hernandez, Jr., piloted both to victory.

Saturday night marked the second start for Lent, a 3-year-old son of the late Claiborne Farm sire Pulpit. The colt made a mild rally to finish fifth in his debut going 6 1/2 furlongs May 25 at Churchill Downs. Stretched out to a mile for his second outing, he came wide into the stretch but still unleashed a stout drive, winning by 1 3/4 lengths and stopping the clock in 1:36.61.

"He ran a really good race first time out—he just got a little tired at the end of the race," Wilkes said. "And then he stepped forward, that was the main thing. We put him on Lasix tonight. He trained forward after [the first] race. So I was very confident with the horse going here."

There was additional intrigue surrounding the maiden event due to the presence of Mr. Besilu, a $4.2 million purchase at the 2010 Keeneland September yearling sale making his long-anticipated first start. The A.P. Indy colt, out of millionaire and multiple Grade 1 winner Balance—a half sister to Zenyatta—finished seventh as the favorite.

Lent and Fort Larned are out of the winning Broad Brush mare Arlucea, a homebred for Whitham who has now produced six winners from six starters. Her offspring include Grade 1-placed Izarra and stakes-placed Moonport.

Second dam Bayakoa captured two editions of the Breeders' Cup Distaff and was a champion for Whitham. Another of her daughters, the unraced Strawberry Road mare Trinity Place, produced Grade 1 winner Affluent and stakes winner Magic Hour.