Ger Lyons has Big Bad Bob’s Berg Bahn in the UAE Oaks

If you’re reading this from anywhere in the world but Ireland and Dubai, you’re probably wondering who the hell are Ger Lyons, Big Bad Bob and Berg Bahn?

Berg Bahn shown winning her debut at Fairyhouse in 2009.

Ger Lyons is an Irish trainer who’s married to Lynne Lyons — who I had the pleasure of meeting on Twitter, along with Ger — and he trains the 3-year-old filly Berg Bahn, a daughter of Big Bad Bob — who stands privately in Ireland. Big Bad Bob’s first crop is 3, and Berg Bahn is one of his leading runners. A few weeks ago, she ran a terrific third in the UAE Guineas at Meydan, and she returns in the UAE Oaks over 1900 meters on the all weather Thursday.

“She’s a lean, slight filly,” Ger said the other day by phone, “But she absolutely thrives. She won a good maiden last year, and I thought she’d be a genuine stakes filly, an Irish Listed or Group 3 winner. She proved it in good company in the Guineas.”

Via Twitter, Ger also described her: “@sidfernando about 16 hands, tall angular filly, 450 kgs, bay, real feminine great temperment,June /July before she should be running!!”

He clarified: “@sidfernando I am, just saying how honest she is that she ran so well in Gns.Will be much better in summer!”

Big Bad Bob: Has a contender in the UAE Oaks on Thursday.

Ger said Berg Bahn was 459 kilos leading up to the UAE Guineas, was 444 kilos before the race, and 436 kilos after the running. “After she ran, I didn’t think she’d be back in the Oaks, but you know some get knocked out and others thrive and she has. It’s asking a lot, but she came out of the Guineas great but there’s not a pick on her.”

Ger said that Berg Bahn races for her breeder, “a Mrs. Patino, a lovely woman based in London.” Ger said that Patrick Cooper of BBA is her racing manager, and that Mrs. Patino also raced Big Bad Bob and “likes to breed to her own stallions and race the offspring.”

Mrs. Patina races as Annamoine Ltd. and/or Windflower Overseas Holdings Inc., and her current stable star is J. Dunlop’s Elusive Pimpernel, a US-bred Elusive Quality 3-year-old who won 2 of 3 last season and was second to St. Nicholas Abbey in the Group 1 Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster.

Big Bad Bob won 8 of 22 starts, including three stakes: the Group 3 Furstenberg-Rennen in Germany over 2000 meters, the Listed Prix Ridgway in France at 2000 meters, and the Listed Tom McGee Autumn Stakes in England at 2 over a mile. He stood at Islanmore Stud in Ireland until this year, when the stud was sold. The former secretary of the stud, Sasha Smith, emailed me the photos of the stallion and said, “He is not open to the public at present but the best person to talk to about mares, covers, etc., is the Anamoine racing manager – Patrick Cooper.”

Dunlop trained Big Bad Bob, but Ger has had several in the barn and said they could all run. “Everything I’ve raced by him has been in the money! Could be a good sire.” If you’d read one of Bill Oppenheim’s stallion previews in TDN this year, you’d remember that he actually touted the sire as one to watch as a dark horse.

Big Bad Bob at Islanmore Stud in Ireland.

Ger and Lynne Lyons are young and tuned into the new technologies of communication, which means that aside from Twitter they have a website and a blog like this one! Click here to read it. They also like to race in Dubai during the winter months and speak highly of its horse culture. “Horses come first here,” Ger said, “and it’s not about the names — the owners or trainers — but the horse. It’s a great place for the horse, too, with the weather. It’s a vacation for them, even if they end up not running. A lot of the lads go there for the beer, you know, but I’m there to promote the horse.”

Lynne likes the beaches in Dubai, too, as she told me on Twitter: “@sidfernando should have come to Dubai for the racing carnival, free wifi on beach here!!”

Free wifi on the beach? Now you’re talkin’!

Ger Lyons has Big Bad Bob’s Berg Bahn in the UAE Oaks

Our Emblem colt Sal Grosso wins first leg of Rio triple today

(The following notes are from Diego Mitagstein of Turf Diario, on the first leg of Rio’s triple crown for colts. The photo of Sal Grosso by Davi Oliveira.)

Sal Grosso, a son of Our Emblem, won the first leg of the triple crown for colts in Rio de Janeiro today.

Sal Grosso, bred and owned by Goncalo Torrealba’s Stud TNT, conquered the Group 1 Grande Premio Estado do Río de Janeiro – Haras das Estrelas (G1) Sunday, the first leg of Gavea’s triple crown for 3-year-old colts over 1600 meters.

By Our Emblem, sire of Kentucky Derby winner War Emblem, out of the Kenmare mare Ken de Saron, a Grade 3 winner in the US, Sal Grosso used the same come-from-behind tactics that 24 hours before Dolly Max had perfected to win the Gran Premio Henrique Possolo – Haras das Estrelas (see post below). The Our Emblem colt won by a half-length  from Too Friendly in the time of 1:33.65 over a fast track.

Trained by Venancio Nahid, Sal Grosso won for the second time in seven starts today, flying the devil’s red and blue silks made famous in the US by Calumet Farm and later purchased by TNT.

Our Emblem colt Sal Grosso wins first leg of Rio triple today

Dolly Max strikes for Sadler’s Wells sire Crimson Tide in Rio

(The following notes are from Diego Mitagstein of Turf Diario, on the first leg of Rio’s triple crown for fillies. The photo of Dolly Max courtesy of Gersons Martin.)

Dolly Max: By the Sadler's Wells sire Crimson Tide, she won the first leg of Rio's triple crown for fillies Saturday.

Dolly Max was invincible in the Gran Premio Henrique Possolo – Haras das Estrelas (G1) over the metric  mile on turf at Hipódromo da Gavea, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Saturday. The first leg of Jockey Club Brasileiro’s triple crown for fillies, Dolly Max was confidently ridden by Dalto Duarte, who brought Dolly Max from behind in the straight to beat Dear Nati by 2 1/2 lenghts. The Sadler’s Wells stallion Crimson Tide is the sire of both the winner and the runner-up. Bred by Haras Di Cellius and owned by Coudelaria Alvarenga Desejada, Dolly Max won for the sixth time from 11 starts in the Henrique Possolo. It was the second graded stakes win of her career; last january she won the Group 3 Grande Premio Roger Guedon. Dolly Max covered the 1600 meters on turf in 1:33.97.

Dolly Max strikes for Sadler’s Wells sire Crimson Tide in Rio

Tom Thornbury candidly about South America, Jack Werk

Before I left for California on Sunday, I’d been thinking of Tom Thornbury, the respected and well-liked associate director of sales at Keeneland because Tom had been asked to select the yearlings for the Copa aBullrich sale in Argentina in May — somewhat of a minefield to navigate because in Argentina the select sale concept is in its infancy and as a result there’s always a chance to insult a proud farm. Bullrich, however, picked the right guy for the job, because not only is Tom a world-class horseman, he’s also genuine. “I looked at the yearlings on physique,” Tom said, “and the 80 catalogued for the first day would make any trainer in the world want one. My scale is on 4,5,6, and there’s an awful lot of 5s plus in there. Of the 80 on the first day, 25 are really high on my scale.”

I actually ended up speaking to Tom this week by chance, after the death of our mutual friend, Jack Werk. Tom sent in an email to Jack’s kids and friends about Jack, and with his permission I’m including  it here:

“I wish that I had the chance to tell Jack how much he impacted my life. I hope that I somehow conveyed that over the years that we have known each other. I first met Jack at a yearling sale in Kentucky. I can’t put an exact date on it, but it was likely to have been the late 1980s. It was Jack’s first venture to the sales in Kentucky, and he was just testing the water. To tell you the truth, what drew me to introduce myself was that he looked like he could be the twin brother of a revered college room-mate of mine, and also that he looked as though he knew no one at the sale. He was a total new-comer to Kentucky. We immediately became friends.

“Jack told me of what he did with his computerized nicking service. I was not exactly computer savvy, so it was way over my head, but he had a long list of clients that depended on his selections for matings before they made a move. Jack’s method was also helpful in selecting for his clients those sale horses with proven nicks that would likely become good racing prospects. Through Jack, I met a lot of those clients. Some of them became clients of my small farm, where they boarded mares, raised foals, and often kept them to break and prepare for racing. Most of these folks liked breeding to race. Being part of their plans was extremely satisfying. These people became more than clients. They became family. I cannot begin to tell you how Jack impacted my farm, my family, and my future.

“Jack was a quiet, dependable, enthusiastic supporter, and I will treasure the involvement he had in the development of my business and my professional life. He never asked for a thing in return. As long as I was fair and honest with his clients, Jack was happy to send them my way. He was as kind and good a man as I have ever known. What I wouldn’t do to have had one more opportunity to talk with him – just to thank him for all that he meant to me.”

One of the people Tom met through Jack was me, and I actually once sent a mare to a sale through Tom (that made $60,000, a nice profit!). MRLS killed Tom’s farm business, and he later joined Keeneland, where he’s a major conveyor of good will. Now he’s helping the sales companies in South America, too. Before the Bullrich gig, he’d done similar work in Brazil, too.

Click below to read articles about Tom in Argentina and Brazil. Use a translator if you don’t read Spanish or Portugese.



Tom Thornbury candidly about South America, Jack Werk

Undefeated Caracortado’s Storm Cat sire now in Indiana

Cat Dreams: Indiana sire has early Triple Crown contender.

Caracortado, the undefeated winner of the Grade 2 Robert B. Lewis Stakes at Santa Anita today, is by the Storm Cat sire Cat Dreams, now listed as standing at stud at Still Creek Farms in Brookville, Indiana, for $1,500 live foal for owner Triple ‘R’ Thoroughbred Syndicate. The horse began his career in California at Pepper Oaks Farm for $4,000 and stood his last year there in 2009 at Tommy Town Thoroughbreds in  Santa Ynez for an advertised fee of $2,000, as the property of Bongo Racing Stables and B. Wayne Hughes — owner of Spendthrift Farm in Lexington, Ky. Mr. Hughes had purchased the horse at the Keeneland September yearling sale in 2002 for $475,000, and he won his lone and only start at 2 by 8 lengths at Churchill Downs for the Spendthrift owner.

Cat Dreams is out of the top-class speed mare J J’sDream, who won 13 races and earned more than a million between ages 2 and 5. Cat Dreams wasn’t as sound as his illustrious dam, a multiple graded stakes winner who made 40 starts, but he was fast, winning a 6-furlong maiden special in 1:10.61. With his pedigree and promise, he was supported by Mr. Hughes at stud, just as he had sent and supported Malibu Moon to Country Life in Maryland his first years at stud. Malibu Moon won one of 2 starts total and like Cat Dreams did all his racing at 2. He has since become one of A.P. Indy’s best sons at stud and now stands at Spendthrift as the rare non-stakes winner who made it as a sire.

Cat Dream’s oldest foals are 4-year-olds this year. They’ve shown speed, too. His first starter, Cat Dreamer, set a track record of :50.84 for 4 1/2 furlongs at Hollywood Park in 2008, and Caracortado was a stakes winner at 2 — and so far is his sire’s only stakes winner. Judging by the change in ownership, it appears that Spendthrift gave up on Cat Dreams after his first crop didn’t set any rivers on fire, but Caracortado, a gelding who sported a body clip in the Lewis, is 5 for 5 and on the early Triple Crown trail. He’s out of a daughter of Maria’s Mon, sire of Kentucky Derby winner Monarchos, but the family is mostly known for 2-year-old stakes winners. Time will tell if Caracortado can stretch out more, though the way he won today was promising.

Undefeated Caracortado’s Storm Cat sire now in Indiana

Turkish Group 2 form held well at Meydan Thursday night

Halicarnassus (right), Alan Munro aboard, was too good for Turkish hope Pan River in the Group 2 Bosphorus Cup at Veliefendi in Istanbul Sept. 3. On Thursday at Meydan, each won a race on the turf.

The top two finishers in the Group 2 Bosphorus Cup at Veliefendi in Istanbul last Sept. 3 were in action at Meydan in Dubai Thursday night in consecutive races, and each won. Click here to access the charts for Race #7 (Halicarnassus) and Race #8 (Pan River). The chart of the Bosphorus Cup is below:

Click here to view the race.

7.Race  Time:22:00 INTERNATIONAL BOSPHORUS CUP G 2 /ENT 3 Years Old And Up Thoroughbreds   55,5-60-60 Kg 2400 Turf Video Photo Trakus Race Racap Information ( Every 100 m.) <!––>Trakus Sectional Timing
Prize 1.)400.000 $ 2.)160.000 $ 3.)80.000 $ 4.)40.000 $ Breeder Premium 1.)100.000 $ 2.)40.000 $ 3.)20.000 $ 4.)10.000 $
Result Horse Name Old Origin Weight Jockey Owner Trainer Time Win St Margin Late Start H
5yo b h CAPE CROSS(IRE)LAUNCH TIME(USA) 60 A.MUNRO DORIC RACING M.CHANNON 2.31.59 3,00 2 1/2 Length    
PAN RIVER(8)    
4yo b h RED BISHOP(USA)WANGANUI RIVER(GB) 60 N.ŞEN NEVZAT SEYOK R.TETİK 2.31.71 2,50 9 2 Length   135
ANNOSH(12)TT  StableMate  
6yo b m NASHWAN(USA)ANAM(GB) 58.5 S.KAYA ÖZEN ADALI Y.ŞİMŞEK 2.32.11 5,25 13     120
6yo b h DANSILI(GB)GIPSY MOTH (GB) 60 J.CROWLEY MR & MRS I. H. BENDELOW W.KNIGHT 2.32.53 3,25 3      
3yo b c NATIVE PROCIDARAVİVE(GB) 55.5 T.ALICI MEHMET ARSLAN G.GÜNGÖR 2.33.00 10,30 11     119
GENGHIS KHAN(2)B TT  StableMate  
CARDIO DANCER(1)TT  StableMate  
4yo b h LEAR WHITE(USA)ROSE GEM(IRE) 60 E.YAVUZ AYHAN GİRAY Ş.AYDEMİR 2.34.28 15,20 1     115
OUT OF CONTROL(7)TT  StableMate  
Quinella(3/8) : 8,80 TL , Exacta(3/8) : 11,35 TL , 5th double(9/3) : 21,20 TL , Place Quinella(3/8) : 6,10 TL , Place Quinella(3/9) : 7,90 TL , Place Quinella(8/9) : 19,10 TL , Trifecta(3/8/9) : 18,96 TL Withdrawn Horse:0,88 TL , Superfecta(3/8/9/12) : 72,77 TL Withdrawn Horse:1,63 TL , Place(3) : 1,50 TL , Place(8) : 2,20 TL , Quartet(3/8/9/12) : 3,27 TL, EFG:5
Turkish Group 2 form held well at Meydan Thursday night

Wind Flow wins Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Cup

The 6-year-old Dr. Fong horse Wind Flow won the 2400-meter Custodian of the  Two Holy Mosques Cup (King’s Cup) at Janadriyah today from Muller, last year’s winner. The chart of the KSA Group 1 race is below, from the Equestrian Club of Riyadh. The winner raced the distance in 2:29.05 and won by 4-plus lengths.  Click here to access the program, which lists the Arabic names of horses next to their official names.

Race No. 7 Result
Meeting No. : 52
Date : 12/02/2010
Venue : AL – Janadriah
The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Cup (G 1)


404 The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Cup (Group 1) Track Type: Dirt
Open 2400 Mtrs. Value 200000
Prize P. Run
Place Horse Name Saddle Cloth Age Col./Sex Sire Dam Weight Win/Dist. Jockey Gate
70000 379 1 Wind Flow  13  B m.  DR FONG  SPRING  56  2:29.05  E. Yanguez 
44000 326 2 Alsaqr  B m.  EL COMPINCHE  MARTINA GIRL  56  4 1/4 L S.Madrid 
40000 326 3 Shibl Noofa  B m.  STUKA  ANGEL DE FURIA  56  3 3/4 L O.Peslier 
26000 326 4 Rafeeq Alnashama  11  B m.  Halling  MINGORA  56  1/4 L R.Perez  13 
20000 326 5 Kheraimes  B m.  LODE  JOLIE CARESSE  56   Neck J.Barria  10 
  293 6 Shahaan  12  B m.  DANSILI  PROPHECY  56  1 1/4 L M.Saeid 
  326 7 Himah  15  B f.  (الحراق)BLUE BURNER  AL SHOSHALEA (SDA  54  1/2 L C. Ospina   
  352 8 Al Oq Howaan  B m.  GERMANY  OST TYCOON  56  12 3/4 L S.Alshayaey  11 
  325 9 Yastaa Hel  CH m.  VOLERIS  MISS LAMBADA  56  1 1/4 L A. Jaen 
  289 10 Medici(CHI)  B m.  SIR CAT  DHION  56  3 1/4 L W. Ramos 
  372 11 Ghalawain  CH m.  RAINBOW QUEST  BOMBAZINE  56  20 1/4 L A.S. Al Audeeb 
  352 12 Sunny Jim  CH m.  SILVANO  SUMMER LINE  56  15 1/4 L R.Mullen  12 
  293 13 Field Event  10  CH m.  WESTERN WINTER  FIELD PRINCESS  56  36 3/4 L C. Soumillom 
Owner of the Winning Horse Breeder Trainer
Al-Ghuraban Stable F. Alghareeban
Wind Flow wins Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Cup