Friday, April 19, 2024

The Zoom in Gay Smith’s stable


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SHE HAS WON almost every major race in Barbados, the Gold Cup, Derby, Midsummer Classic, Guineas, Fillies Guineas, Tanglewood Stakes and the Sandy Lane Spa Sprint Stakes.

While she has many treasured moments in racing, Zoom’s accomplishment as being this country’s highest money earner, with $537 045 against his name for owner and breeder Gay Smith definitely tops everything.

What makes his achievement even more phenomenal is the fact that he made all of his monies after he had passed four years.

By Super Jeblar out of Flying Dove, Zoom has surpassed the supremely popular Sandford Prince, Bentom, Coo Bird or Apostle.

Such accolades are simply astonishing for Smith. Her success, contribution and the difference she brings to racing particularly as a breeder and more importantly, as an owner is undoubtedly very commendable.

What makes her breeding programme at Springhead different to others? That’s easy, many owners purchase horses to race but Smith breeds to race, which makes her Springhead operation integral to its survival.  As a breeder you want to breed the best to the best and hope for the best.

Against Smith’s resumé one doesn’t find her name down as championship owner, but it is virtually impossible not to notice all the Grade I and Stakes races her name is etched against.

Developing a good race horse, or horses, takes a considerable amount of time and patience. This the staff at Springhead has exemplified under the care of trainer Edward Walcott Jr where all their juveniles are harnessed and taught racing’s dos and don’ts, all on the Springhead farm in St James.

Smith has exposed an exciting brand of horse from her early days with the likes of imported Make’N It Happen, Super Jeblar and Peace Angel, all under the care of icon trainer William C Marshall.

Another horse that graced these shores in the shocking pink body and cap with royal blue stars and shocking pink sleeves was Spectroscope, a Grade I winning hurdler who also hit winner’s enclosure here.

Back to Smith’s resumé, it briefly shows three Gold Cup wins – Thady Quill in 2003, Sharp Impact in 2006 and Zoom in 2011, which is supported with three second places via Make’N It Happen, 1990, Zarad, 2006, and Bribon in 2010 while Super Jeblar came third in the 1997 edition. Let me not forget Peace Angel who won the first edition of the Sandy Lane Spa Sprint back in 2004.

Going back to Smith’s fairy tale accomplishments, to date most of her major wins were achieved by creoles except for the Spa Sprint. Standing at stud on the farm are Super Jeblar, Thady Quill, Storm Arrow and Spicey Tiger and boy how well their progeny has performed. Super Jeblar’s list is headed by Zoom and includes Golden Moon, Heaven Scent and Super Star.

Zoom has won the Gold Cup and two Tanglewood Stakes in 2009 and 2015. He dominated the 2011 BTBA Breeders Classic and events, particularly over 2 000 metres where he holds the record for most wins at that trip winning five of nine attempts.

Golden Moon won the 2008 Midsummer Creole Classic, the second Jewel of the Triple Crown. Thady Quill sired the likes of Halle Rose, Istanbul and Chimichurri, while Storm Arrow burst his way straight to the top of the class as he fathered Knight Rider, winner of the 2013 Barbados Derby.

Completing the Classic wins for Smith were Midnight Thomas back in 2001 and Heaven Sent, who took the Fillies Guineas back in 2009. Springhead Stable has continually shown their affiliation with the Barbados Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association series, especially the Breeders’ Stakes and Trophy over 1 570 metres.

Following in the hoofprints of Midnight Thomas in 2001 were Stargayzer in 2002, Golden Moon in 2008 and Knight Rider in 2013. Super Star, who was lightning quick, collected the 2011 Breeders’ Sprint Stakes.


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