bill baker dvm, blind luck, fairlawn farm, fasig-tipton kentucky july sale, five star day, jerry hollendorfer, john carver, juvenal diaz, lucky one, mark dedomenico, mi sueno, oak leaf stakes, ocala breeders sales company, pollard's vision, Santa Anita, wintergreen farm
Blind Luck, winner of the G1 Oak Leaf Stakes at the Oak Tree meeting at Santa Anita, was bred in Kentucky by the Fairlawn Farm of Bill Baker, DVM, and his wife.
Coming into the Oak Leaf, Blind Luck had been beaten only once in three starts, when a good second to Mi Sueno in the Del Mar Debutante. So the good-looking daughter of freshman sire Pollard’s Vision didn’t need blind luck to succeed in her elevation to G1 winner, but there has been more than a bit of involved in every stage of her evolution into a challenger for the Eclipse Award for champion 2-year-old filly, which would surely be hers if the filly takes the next step into the winner’s circle for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies next month.
To begin with, the Bakers acquired the dam of Blind Luck, the Best of Luck mare Lucky One, out of a $15,000 claiming race and had to shake for her.
Dr. Baker said, “We were lucky to get her. In this filly’s previous start, I was running a filly in the same race, and we saw this filly [Lucky One] in the paddock, tried to buy her privately from Mr. Klein, and then put in a claim for her the next time she ran.
“I knew her half-brother Ethan Man because I treated him on the racetrack, and he had ability, despite some problems. So that made me like her more, and she was a big, good-looking filly of the sort that we like to breed from.”
The Bakers weren’t the only ones who liked Lucky One. When she went in for $15,000 claiming that day, he recalled, “We got her on a shake because there were several claims for her. Then we tried to run her, she didn’t perform well, and we bred her to the Wintergreen Farm stallion Five Star Day three times, which was my limit, then changed over to Pollard’s Vision, and on the first cover she got in foal to him.
“So, it’s been blind luck the whole time,” he concluded, “but I’ll take it however I get it in this business.”
The breeders’ luck turned on them, however, when they presented the chestnut yearling filly later named Blind Luck at the 2008 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July sale of selected yearlings. The filly had to be a good prospect to make the cut into the sale, and Baker said “she had a good stride, deep heart girth, was big enough, with no veterinary issues, but we couldn’t get her sold” for the cost of production.
With a $7,500 stud fee and an estimated cost of at least $15,000 to maintain the mare and then raise the foal, a breeder would need to net something like $22,500 to break even. At the yearling sale, Fairlawn sold their yearling by Pollard’s Vision for $11,000.
Baker said that he and his wife maintain a half-dozen mares, as well as a couple in training. So they went ahead and sold the yearling to Juvenal Diaz, who then tried to pinhook the filly at the Ocala Breeders Sales Company’s April auction of 2-year-olds in training.
“I looked at her at the April sale,” Baker said, “and Juvenal said she would be OK and had a good stride. He didn’t get her sold there [RNA for $10,000 less than five months ago], then she blew them away in the 40 claiming race” by 13 1/4 lengths at Calder on June 21, and trainer Jerry Hollendorfer bought her for a partnership.
Racing for Mark DeDomenico LLC, John Carver, and Hollendorfer, Blind Luck made her second start on the all-weather surface at Del Mar on July 29 and then tackled the best West Coast fillies in the Del Mar Debutante, finishing second by a length to Mi Sueno (by Pulpit) on Sept. 5. In the Oak Leaf, Blind Luck tracked the pace, then rolled to the front coming into the stretch, showing great appreciation for the added distance.
Blind Luck’s next start will be in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies on Nov. 6 at Santa Anita. Baker said that although the breeders didn’t cover costs for the filly at the sales, “We hope to get the money at the Breeders’ Cup.”