Clear Creek Stud announced Thursday, October 1st the loss of first year stallion Givemeaminit to EPM (Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis).
“Anyone who has been involved in the thoroughbred breeding business is aware of the heartbreaks that often come with it. That became abundantly clear to us here at Clear Creek Stud this morning when we lost first year stallion Givemeaminit to EPM (Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis).”
The first son of Leading Louisiana Stallion Star Guitar to enter stud, Givemeaminit was second in the Hopeful Stakes (GI) as a Two-Year-Old and fourth in that year’s Breeders Cup Juvenile. As a Three-Year-Old he won the Louisiana Champions Day Sprint, was third in the Pat Day Mile (GIII) and was the Louisiana Bred Champion Colt or Gelding. The Valene Farms LLC runner was trained throughout his career by Dallas Stewart and had career earnings of $428,580.
On Sunday afternoon, Louisiana horsemen and women gathered at the Equine Sales facility in Opelousas to honor the 2018 Accredited Louisiana Bred Champions and their connections at the Annual Meeting and Awards Banquet.
While the majority of the award winners had been announced previously, the overall horse of the year was named at the banquet. Voted on by the LTBA Board of Directors, this year’s Louisiana Bred Horse of the Year is Monte Man.
Monte Man won six of seven starts in 2018, including five stakes wins. He won the Louisiana Premier Night Sprint at Delta Downs in February, the Costa Rising Stakes at Fair Groundsin March, the Louisiana Legends Night Sprint at Evangeline Downs in May, the Louisiana Cup Sprint at Louisiana Downs in August and the Heitai Stakes at Fair Grounds in November. In his final start of the year Monte Man ran third in the Louisiana Champions Day Sprint. Total 2018 earnings for the son of Custom For Carlos out of Sarah’s My Angeladded up to $257,690. Monte Man , who also received the award for Older Louisiana Bred Male was bred by Val C. Murrell, is owned by Ivery Sisters Racing and trained by Ron Faucheux.
Before the presentations, Lori Johnson of The Jockey Club delivered a very informative presentation on the new paperless registration process. There were many questions about the new process, and LTBA members were quite grateful for Lori’s knowledge of the topic at hand.
Following is a complete list of the Award Recipients and their connections:
Louisiana 2018 Horse of the Year Monte Man Sire: Custom For Carlos
Dam: Sarah’s My Angel
Breeder: Val C. Murrell
Owner: Ivery Sisters Racing
Trainer: Ron Faucheux
2018 Accredited Louisiana Bred Two-Year-Old Filly Midnight Fantasy Sire: Midnight Lute
Dam: St. Jean
Breeder: J. Adcock & Hume Wornall
Owner: Carl R. Moore Management LLC
Trainer: Joe Sharp
2018 Accredited Louisiana Bred Two-Year-Old Colt Classy John Sire: Songandaprayer
Dam: Kitty’s Got Class
Breeder: Tom Curtis & Wayne Simpson
Owner: Valene Farms LLC
Trainer: Dallas Stewart
2018 Accredited Louisiana Bred Three-Year-Old Filly Testing One Two Sire: Star Guitar
Dam: Yes Sir
Breeder: Brittlyn, Inc.
Owner: Brittlyn Stable, Inc.
Trainer: Victor Arceneaux
2018 Accredited Louisiana Bred Three-Year-Old Colt or Gelding Givemeaminit Sire: Star Guitar
Dam: Powerful Nation
Breeder: Clear Creek Stud Owner: Valene Farms
Trainer: Dallas Stewart
2018 Accredited Louisiana Bred Four-Year-Old and up Fillies & Mares Ours To Run Sire: Half Ours
Dam: Brown Eyed Baby
Breeder: Clifford Grum
Owner: Colonel Thoroughbred LLC
Trainer: Larry Jones
2018 Accredited Louisiana Bred Four-Year-Old and up Male Monte Man Sire: Custom For Carlos Dam: Sarah’s My Angel
Breeder: Val C. Murrell
Owner: Ivery Sisters Racing
Trainer: Ron Faucheux
2018 Louisiana Broodmare of the Year Street Beat Dixie Brass – Mary Eby
Owner: William D. (Joe) Pickett
2018 Andrew L. “Red” Erwin Stallion of the Year Star Guitar Quiet American – Minit Towinit
Owner: Brittlyn Stable (Evelyn & Maurice Benoit)
2018 Louisiana Leading Breeder by Breeders Awards J. Adcock (Red River Farm LLC)
2018 Louisiana Leading Breeder by Percentage of Stakes Winners James McIngvale
Louisiana Bred Thoroughbreds at the
LTBA Annual Meeting and Awards Banquet
Sunday, March 31st
Dear LTBA Member:
You are cordially invited to attend our 2019 Annual Membership Meeting, at Equine Sales Company of Louisiana, in Opelousas, LA on Sunday March 31, 2019. Doors will open at 2:30 pm.
Awards will be presented to the breeders and owners of the outstanding accredited Louisiana Bred Horses of 2018 as well as the overall Horse of the Year. From 3:00 pm till 7:00pm Equine Sales Company Sale Arena will be the site as awards will be presented to the owner of the leading Stallion, the owner of the Broodmare of the Year, the Leading Breeder of 2018, as well as the High Percentage Breeder of the Year. See the attached sheet of this year’s champions.
As a special treat, this year we will have someone from The Jockey Club on hand to explain and to answer the many questions on micro chipping. This is a big change for everyone, so expect to learn something.
Our program will also include live entertainment. As we combine the 2yo in training sale with our awards banquet we expect a large crowd as well as fun for everyone.
Roger A. Heitzmann III
Secretary / Treasurer
What: LTBA Annual Meeting and Awards Banquet
When: Sunday, March 31st, 3:00 p.m.
Where: Equine Sales Facility,
372 Harry Guilbeau Road Opelousas, Louisiana 70570
The Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association has announced the results of the 2018 Accredited Louisiana Bred Champions, 2018 Stallion of the Year, 2018 Broodmare of the Year and Breeders of the Year.
2yo filly ~ Midnight Fantasy
2yo colt or gelding ~ Classy John
3yo filly ~ Testing One Two
3yo colt or gelding ~ Givemeaminit
4 & up filly or mare ~ Ours To Run
4 & up male ~ Monte Man
Broodmare of the Year ~ Street Beat
Stallion of the Year ~ Star Guitar
Breeder of the Year ~ Red River Farm, LLC
High Percentage of Stakes Winners Breeder ~ James McIngvale
Accredited Louisiana Bred Champions and Broodmare of the Year are selected by a vote of the membership. Leading Stallion and Leading Breeders are based on statistics.
Award presentations will be made at the 2019 Annual Meeting on Sunday, March 31, 2019, at Equine Sales of Louisiana, in Opelousas, when the overall “Horse of the Year” will be revealed. This year’s Annual Meeting and Awards Banquet are being held following the Breeze Show for the Equine Sales 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale.
Classy John & Dallas Stewart. Sarah K Andrew photo
The story of 2-year-old colt Classy John (Songandaprayer) looks like a pretty interesting one on paper, but is even more so than meets the eye. A $12,000 Equine Sales of Louisiana purchase in May off of just a gallop, the Valene Farms-owned Dallas Stewart trainee shipped up to Saratoga last Saturday to romp by six lengths at 12-1 odds in a typically tough GI Travers S. day maiden special weight (video replay).
The Louisiana-bred beat a pricey group in the process, defeating the likes of an $850,000 2-year-old acquisition and a $650,000 yearling as well as several fashionably pedigreed homebreds.
Classy John was an excellent value purchase to be sure, but as it turns out, he wasn’t an intentional one.
“We got a little confused. I was on the phone, and I thought I was bidding on 15, but it was 14,” owner Murray Valene revealed. “But it turned out to be a pretty good buy, huh? We didn’t have any idea what the horse looked like, but that’s the way it goes. You never do know. It turned out to be a really nice little horse, with some decent pedigree.”
Classy John is the third foal and first to race out of Kitty’s Got Class (Old Forester), who handily won her first three races, including two stakes, as a Woodbine-based juvenile.
After looking at the colt’s page, and him as an individual, Valene began to come around to his purchase.
“I took one look at him when he got in and said, ‘Boy, I like the looks of this colt.’ So we sent him up to Dallas because he looked like he was above average. He was just a good-looking horse.”
Hip 15, an Eskendereya filly who went for $9,000, has not yet started or been credited with an official work.
Once in Stewart’s program, Classy John gave some indication that he was a nice horse, but he really caught his trainer’s attention after blazing through five panels in a bullet :58.60 from the gate at the Churchill Downs Training Center Aug. 17.
“Two or three weeks before [the race, on Aug. 9,] he worked in [1:01 4/5], but in the last work, he worked in :58 3/5 from the gate,” Stewart noted. “So I called the clocker to make sure that was legit–I was up here [in Saratoga]. The clocker said he might have even gone a little faster than that–it was unreal. So I talked to Murray and told him there was a race on Travers Day. Murray’s always game for anything, so he said, ‘Let’s go for it.’”
Valene and Stewart already had another runner for the card in last year’s local GI Hopeful S. third Givemeaminit (Star Guitar), who checked in eighth in the GI H. Allen Jerkens.
Stewart admitted to wondering before the race if his decision to ship Classy John up to the Spa was the right one.
“I got to thinking that maybe it wasn’t the right thing to do with the crowd and everything,” he said. “We’d have to fly him up on Wednesday, gallop him Thursday and Friday and then run Saturday. So I was a little concerned about that, but it looked like it would be the first race of the day, so we went with it and he handled it great.”
A fast work doesn’t necessarily mean a fast race, but Stewart was confident in Classy John’s ability.
“He worked so good, and we had the video of the work, so I saw it,” he said. “Plus, I talked to [jockey] Jack Gilligan who worked him and he said, ‘He is really, really nice.’ So we just got him up here and that’s how it went–he just slaughtered ’em.”
Classy John shipped back to Kentucky Sunday morning, but will likely return to New York for the Oct. 6 GI Champagne S. He is not Breeders’ Cup nominated.
What made the performance even more special was that Classy John is named for Valene’s father, John Valene, who passed away last Tuesday at the age of 100.
“My father passed away on Tuesday, and I flew up on Friday to watch the races,” Valene said. “So, just given the name and the circumstances and everything else, it’s extra special and I think he’s going to be a nice little horse. Hopefully, he stays healthy, because in this game you never know, but I think he’s for real.”
John Valene, who had attended the races at Canterbury Park just a couple weeks ago, first got the family involved in racing in the early 1960s when he claimed a horse who Murray Valene says subsequently won his next seven starts.
Murray Valene’s racing interests later grew significantly, and at one point Valene Farms had around 140 horses in training. He now has about a dozen on the track. Valene is also associated with Louisiana’s Clear Creek Stud, of which he jointly owns the property that it stands on. Valene has mostly campaigned Louisiana-bred or sired horses, including champions in Minnesota and Illinois.
But this wasn’t by any means his first win up at Saratoga.
Valene Farms took the 1993 GII Adirondack S. with $7,000 purchase Astas Foxy Lady (Zuppardo’s Prince), and doubled up in the same race (via DQ) exactly 20 years later with the Stewart-trained Designer Legs (Graeme Hall). The latter was a $10,000 yearling acquisition.
“It just goes to show you–you never know based on what you paid for a horse what you’ve got,” Valene said. “It’s all about the heart and what’s on the inside. Nobody knows that until they run.”