Charles Town Oaks Grand Prix (PA) Breeders Cup

Racing Biz article by Frank Vespe regarding HnR’s Grand Prix plans for Charles Town Oaks.  Frank does an excellent and accurate job of describing Grand Prix’s current status and plans.  

Racing Biz Charles Town Oaks Grand Prix’s Breeders Cup

by Frank Vespe

“Sometimes it’s the breaks you don’t get that turn out to matter most.

Take the case of Grand Prix. Her breeder, Hank Nothhaft, took her to the Keeneland September Yearling Sale in 2015, expecting to leave with more money but one less horse than he brought.

He set her reserve at $150,000. Bidding topped out at $145,000. No sale.

The sophomore is slated to make her next start in the Grade 3, $300,000 Charles Town Oaks September 23. The seven-furlong fixture tops the track’s “Race for the Ribbon” card.

“If you get into racing and you have a little moxie and a little luck, these horses can take you anywhere,” Nothhaft said. “It’s amazing.”

Grand Prix Inside Rail Photo Equi Photo @PARX

Grand Prix began her career in the California-based barn of Gary Mandella. It took her four tries to break her maiden, finally scoring on the synthetic at Golden Gate. She followed that up with a game second – beaten just a nose – in the $50,000 Golden Gate Debutante Stakes.

But for the most part, her West Coast exertions didn’t yield much benefit – just the single win in her first nine starts.

Though Nothhaft, a retired tech entrepreneur, lives in Northern California, he’s a Pennsylvania-bred, as is Grand Prix. So he decided to send the filly back East; though Mandella remains the trainer of record, Grand Prix now operates out of Keith Nations’ Parx Racing barn.

“To be a breeder and an owner to run in Pennsylvania, it’s so much better than the negligible program we have in California,” Nothhaft said.

Grand Prix &Jose Ferrer head to the Winners Circle post Garofalo Stakes

And Grand Prix has taken advantage of that rich program. She won the state-restricted New Start Stakes at Penn National on the Penn Mile undercard, followed up with a win and a second in allowance company, and last out scored by a length-and-a-half in the $100,000 Dr. Teresa Garofalo Memorial Stakes at Parx Racing, also a state-restricted event.

She has three wins and a second from four starts since coming east.

“All in all, she’s very consistent, fires each time, and seems to be improving,” her owner and breeder said.

In the Garofalo, Grand Prix took on older rivals, besting a field that included salty runners like the multiple stakes winners Power of Snunner and Discreet Senorita.

Still, Nothhaft acknowledges that the water figures to be deeper in the Oaks. The race has drawn 52 nominations. Among the expected runners is Shimmering Aspen, the Rodney Jenkins-trained filly who has dominated at sprint distances at Laurel Park this season.

“I think there’ll be some really nice fillies there,” Nothhaft admitted. “I think it’ll end up being a very interesting race. We would be very happy if she finished in the top three.”

To that end, Nothhaft and his trainers have developed what he called “a detailed plan” to help her acclimate to the surroundings at Charles Town, a place neither she nor Nothhaft has ever raced. She’ll ship in a few days ahead of the race and get a chance to gallop over the track a time or two prior to race day.

“If you’re going to go through all of the trouble of going, you want to make sure you do everything you can to give her a chance,” Nothhaft explained.

Nothhaft also intends to stick with jockey Jose Ferrer, who rode Grand Prix to victory in the Garofalo Memorial.

“First, he gave her a great ride that day,” Nothhaft said by way of explanation. “Second, he’s won (almost 4,200) races.”

For the longer term, Nothhaft hopes to race her through her five-year-old season. After that he intends to breed her. He has, he said, “no intention” of selling her despite her rising value.

Nothhaft has been involved in racing since 2008. He’s bred some good horses. He’s owned some good horses. He’s also slogged through all the ways that the sport can fool or foil you. He knows what sort of opportunity is there for Grand Prix.

“You really need these successes to get you over those valleys of despair,” he said. “For Grand Prix, this is our Breeders’ Cup.” “

 

HnR’s Mister Nofty (PA) Runs to Front for 5th Career Win

In his fourth start of 2017, Mister Nofty, a PA_BRED,  returned to his 2016 form, winning an open 1 mile 70 yard Allowance Race at Penn National going wire to wire unchallenged.   Given a field of seven that included no other early speed, Mister Nofty ran free to the lead under the guidance of his regular rider Brian Pedroza and maintained it during the duration of the race.

Trainer Keith Nation, looking for a turf race for Mister Nofty, entered this race with not turf options in sight.  Mister Nofty continued his front running style and was able to overcome a reasonably talented field in this open allowance non winners other than 2.  This is Mister Nofty’s first strong outing since sustaining minor leg and hoof injuries during the Presque Isle Mile last September.

Mister Nofty worked bullet at Delaware Park Sept 5 for this race. Photo Hank Nothhaft

Mister Nofty came out of this race 100% and will be looking to build on this race.  HnR is looking at all options, dirt or turf.

Mister Nofty is an HnR homebred colt, foaled at Northview Stallions, by Scat Daddy out of Walking Path by Bernardini.  Hank Nothhaft worked with bloodstock agent Carl McEntee of Darby Dan Farm,  to develop the breeding plan that produced Mister Nofty.  He trained at Webb Carroll before starting his racing career. 

Race Statistics

Penn National, Race 7, AOC 9/9, $30,400, 3yo/up, 8.32f (dirt), 1:41.73, track fast. 1–Mister Nofty, 119, dk b/br c, 4, Scat Daddy–Walking Path, by Bernardini, $21,888, O–HnR Nothhaft Horse Racing, LLC, B–HnR Nothhaft Horseracing LLC (PA), T–Keith Nations, J–Brian Pedroza Margin: ¾, 7 starters

HnR’s Grand Prix (PA) wins Garofalo Memorial Stakes Wire to Wire

Grand Prix becomes Multiple Stakes Winner against older rivals at PA Day at the Races Stakes Card at PARX in Bensalem PA

Grand Prix found the fast track at Parx to her liking and won the Garofalo Memorial Stakes wire to wire unchallenged by her older rivals.  This was her 3rd win in 4 starts since moving from CA to PA to take advantage of the PA_BRED incentive program.  Grand Prix is now in the top 50  of approximately 6500 three year old fillies to race based on 2017 earnings.   HnR Grand Prix connections are planning a start in a graded stakes next time out.

Race Video  Video Link via Bloodhorse Magazine
Grand Prix Inside Rail Photo Equi Photo @PARX

Below is an excellent summary of the race that appeared in the Thoroughbred Daily News on Sept 2nd.

Thoroughbred Daily News Sept 2, 2017

  1. TERESA GAROFALO MEMORIAL S., $107,750, PRX, 9-2, (S),

3yo/up, f/m, 6f, 1:10.06, ft.

Grand Prix (PA) finish line photo lost her right front shoe sometime during the race.  Crosses the finish line with no shoe on.  Equi Photo @PARX Garofalo Memorial Stakes
1–GRAND PRIX, 122, f, 3, Tale of the Cat–Be Envied (MSP,

$200,697), by Lemon Drop Kid. ($62,000 RNA Wlg ’14 KEENOV; $145,000 RNA Ylg ’15 KEESEP). O/B-HnR Nothhaft

Horse Racing, LLC (PA); T-Gary Mandella; J-Jose C. Ferrer.

$60,000. Lifetime Record: 13-4-4-2, $207,750. *1/2 to Finest City (City Zip), Ch. Female Sprinter, GISW, $1,256,394.

2–Mama Jones, 119, f, 4, Smarty Jones–Mohonour, by Honour and Glory. O-Someday Farm; B-Patricia L. Chapman (PA);

T-John C. Servis. $25,000.

3–Power of Snunner, 126, m, 7, Power by Far–Snunner, by Yarrow Brae. O/B-James M. Courtney (PA); T-Timothy C. Kreiser. $13,750.

Margins: 1HF, HD, HD. Odds: 2.90, 16.30, 2.40.

Also Ran: Discreet Senorita, Hey Braciole, Campeona, Anais.

Members of the Garofalo Family joined HnR Grand Prix Connections in Winners Circle 

Grand Prix | Equi-Photo

Grand Prix recorded her first career black-type win on the dirt in the New Start S. against state-bred foes at Penn National June 3 before finishing runner-up amongst allowance company going five panels on the grass here June 26. Victorious in the Penn slop July 22, she was given ample support to make it two straight while returning to stakes company.

Grand Prix chilling before race Photo Hank Nothhaft

On the engine from the start, the bay steadily increased her advantage through crisp fractions of :21.90 and :44.51, was clear while drifting out in the stretch and kept it going all the way home to best Mama Jones. Favored Discreet Senorita was fourth.

Be Envied, a half sister to GI Futurity S. winner Burning Roma (Rubiano), is also responsible for champion female sprinter and millionairess Finest City (City Zip), who earned her biggest career victory in the GI Breeders= Cup Filly and Mare Sprint. The

15-year-old mare produced a full-brother to Grand Prix in 2015, prior to aborting the following season.

The Daily Racing Form also published a race summary authored by Jim Dunleavy presented below:

Daily Racing Form Garofalo Stakes by Jim Dunleavy

“Garofalo Memorial: Grand Prix wire to wire

Grand Prix, a 3-year-old daughter of Tale of the Cat, went wire to wire to defeat older Pennsylvania-bred fillies and mares in the $107,750 Teresa Garofalo Memorial Stakes.

Grand Prix, the 5-2 third choice in the betting, sprinted clear early in the six-furlong race, then was never seriously challenged while winning by 1 1/2 lengths. She paid $7.80 and was timed in 1:10.06. The race was run in the rain over a fast track.

Grand Prix is trained by Gary Mandella, was ridden by Jose Ferrer, and is owned by Hank Nothhaft. She has been based at Delaware Park and Parx since May.

She won the $101,000 New Start Stakes over statebred 3-year-old fillies at Penn National on the Penn Mile card June 3.

Mama Jones, a 16-1 shot, raced forwardly throughout and held second by a head over the late-running Power of Snunner. Discreet Senorita, the slight 2-1 favorite over Power of Snunner, was bumped and squeezed back at the start. She rallied along the inside into the stretch but was caught late for third by Power of Snunner, who finished a head in front of her.

Grand Prix (PA) Proud Owner and Breeder wearing Coolmore Jacket in support GP Sire Tale of the Cat and Finest City Hat 1/2 Sister of Grand Prix

Grand Prix, who was bred by her owner, is now 4 for 13 with earnings of $207,750.”

 

Coolmore Coverage
MORE STAKES SUCCESS FOR GRAND PRIX

Evergreen Coolmore stalwart Tale of the Cat is the sire of progressive filly Grand Prix (3f Tale of the Cat x Be Envied, by Lemon Drop Kid), who landed another Black type victory when taking out the $107,750 Dr Teresa Garafalo Memorial Stakes at Parx Racing on Saturday .

A homebred for HnR Nothhaft Horseracing trained by Gary Mandella, Grand Prix raced clear to win the six furlong sprint by a length and a half.

Ultra-consistent, Grand Prix has the overall record of four wins and six placings from 13 starts with prizemoney topping $200,000.

Grand Prix is bred to be good as a half-sister to 2016 Champion US Female Sprinter and winner of the 2016 Grade I Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint Finest City.

Grand Prix is the third winner from stakes-placed Be Envied, a half-sister to Grade I winner Burning Roma.

The Paulick Report Coverage

Paulick Report Garofalo Stakes

“HnR Nothhaft Horse Racing’s Grand Prix was a sharp, front running winner of the $100,000 Dr. Teresa Garofalo Memorial Stakes for fillies and mares three and up. The 3 year-old daughter of Tale of the Cat broke sharply and was in front after the first sixteenth of a mile. She’d opened a clear lead after hitting the quarter in a quick 21.90 and from there, was never really threatened. She led by two entering the far turn, three approaching the top of the stretch and then was geared down late by winning jockey Jose Ferrer to win by an official margin of a length and a half. Trained by Gary Mandella, Grand Prix went off as third choice in the wagering at 5-2 and paid $7.80 to win. She covered the six furlongs in 1:10.06”

Grand Prix (PA) Wins New Start Stakes-Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbreds Aug 2017

Around the Ovals Penn National-New Start Stakes

By Linda Dougherty

Around the Ovals Penn National Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred

Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred Magazine August, 2017

After beginning her career in California, HnR Nothhaft Horse Racing’s homebred Grand Prix made the first foray in the state of her birth a successful one as she tri­umphed in the $100,000 New Start Stakes, the first stakes on the Penn Mile undercard.

A half-sister to champion Finest City, also bred by Hank Nothhaft, Grand Prix was sent off as the second choice behind 2016 Pennsylvania-bred champion 2-year­ old filly Rose Tree. With Javier Castellano aboard for trainer Gary Mandella, Grand Prix stalked the early pace set by long-shot Risque’s Diamond through the opening quarter of the 6-furlong test.

While racing outside horses, the winner then took the lead on the turn and increased that lead to 2 lengths in mid-stretch. Castellano kept her mind on business to the wire and she won by a length over the rallying Rose Tree. The final time was 1:09.61.

“As I watched the race and the splits unfold 21.90, 44.61, 56.77 and saw her hold off a really nice filly like Rose Tree, she actually exceeded my already­ high expectations,” said Nothhaft, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur who races in California and in Pennsylvania, and is a strong supporter of the Pennsylvania breeding program. “My thoughts as she came across the finish line were one of pride and thinking how cool that she’s living up to her name- Grand Prix – as well as her big sister Finest City.”

Nothhaft, who stood the late stallion Silver Train at Northview PA, where Grand Prix was foaled, shipped the daughter of Tale of the Cat to Pennsylvania from California several weeks before the New Start Stakes to take advantage of the state’s incentive program . ” Grand Prix is a late foal [April 28) and is still maturing,” said Nothhaft.

“Also , she runs well on turf, dirt and Tapeta. Depending on her performance going forward I can shoot for the Presque Isle Downs Masters Stakes-G2 in September or fall back on the original plan to pursue the Pennsylvania-bred circuit.

Being from Sharon, Pa., the Masters is a special race for me, and maybe Grand Prix will get me back there for the fourth year in a row.” Living The Life (IRE), a multiple graded stakes winner and millionaire campaigned by Nothhaft, won the Masters in 2014 and ’15 and finished second in 2016. Grand Prix, out of the Lemon Drop Kid mare Be Envied, earned S60,000 for the New Start and sub subsequently finished second in a June 26 allowance at Penn National against older mares to boost her career bankroll to $126,510.    

Finest City is Newest PA-Bred Breeders’ Cup Winner

City Envy (AKA Finest City) and Hank Nothhaft Keeneland November 2012

By Nikki Sherman

Originally published in PHBA February, 2017 Newsletter published in Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred Magazine

Photos HnR Nothhaft Media Library

 

Other than the Kentucky Derby, winning a Breeders’ Cup World Thoroughbred Championship race is the dream of every breeder in the United States. It often takes decades-if it happens at all-to reach that pinnacle, but for Henry “Hank” Nothhaft, it took just a few years.

“I have not been involved in horse racing very long, “ Nothhaft admits. “I became directly involved in a very limited way around 2008, with the idea to create a business I could run and enjoy while I was moving into retirement from my business career in the technology world.”

Nothhaft, who breeds and races under the name HnR Nothhaft Horseracing LLC, wanted to go through a hands-on learning experience in the Thoroughbred industry and was able to purchase the promising young stallion, Silver Train, in 2011. That November, he and agent Carl McEntee attended the Keeneland November mixed sale to look for mares that would cross well with the son of Old Trieste. There, they found a Lemon Drop Kid mare named Be Envied, who was in foal to the popular sprint stallion City Zip. Nothhaft purchased Be Envied for $37,000 and shipped her to Northview PA in Peach Bottom to foal. That foal was a lovely chestnut filly he decided to name City Envy.

The filly was entered in the 2012 Keeneland November sale as a weanling after colleagues convinced him that she should easily bring $150,000. However, early interest in City Envy, who Nothhaft had named before his decision to sell came about, fizzled out when on-site veterinary inspections discovered an existing OCD on X-rays. She just barely met her reserve of $50,000, selling for that price to Cobra Farm, who in turn pinhooked her at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale in 2013. Seltzer Thoroughbreds purchased the filly for $85,000 and the father-son team of Wayne and Tyler Seltzer decided to rename her Finest City after their hometown of San Diego.

“She was a knockout from day one” remembers Nothhaft. “Unfortunately, that’s one of the reasons I decided to sell her, as I thought we were going to be able get six figures for her and I was focused on building a broodmare band for Silver Train to race in Pennsylvania. She was one of the first two or three PA-BRED horses I bred and was the first horse I bred who sold commercially at auction.”

The Seltzers’ trainer Ian Kruljac clearly had great hopes for their new filly from the beginning, as Finest City made her career debut at the prestigious Del Mar summer meet in July of 2015. The filly finished a solid second behind eventual graded stakes winner Gloryzapper. Her next start would be a different story-Finest City ran off to an impressive 8 ½ length score in a $70,000 maiden special weight at Del Mar. After an unsuccessful stakes debut over Santa Anita’s downhill turf course in her next start, Finest City returned to the winner’s circle with an easy 3 ¼ length score in a $53,000 allowance at Del Mar.

Finest City competed against some of the top female sprinters on the West Coast throughout the winter of 2015-16, and by April she finally broke through becoming a stakes winner when she captured the $200,000 Great Lady M Stakes-G2 at Los Alamitos. That race earned Finest City a chance to compete in the Breeders’ Cup, where she nearly faced off against Nothhaft’s own multiple graded stakes winner, millionaire Living the Life (IRE).

Living the Life with Flavien Prat up

Living the Life (IRE) Flavian Prat up

“We originally had fairly elaborate plans to attend the Breeders’ Cup, but when Living the Life came up lame before the race, I canceled our reservations. I came to regret this decision,” Nothhaft admits. “So, my wife and I were glued to our TV watching the race. I must be honest, I thought Finest City could win, but was really more confident in a top-three finish. When she did win, we were cheering and literally jumping for joy. Within seconds, my cell phone exploded with texts and calls beyond anything we had ever experienced.”

On the first Saturday of November 2016, Finest City joined an elite group of just three other PA-Breds who have captured a Breeders’ Cup Race when she crossed the wire first in the $1,000,000 Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint G1, holding off defending champion Wavell Avenue by three-quarters of a length under heavy urging from Hall of Fame Jockey Mike Smith.

Those other Breeders’ Cup-winning PA-Breds are some of the most talented athletes to grace the Breeders’ Cup. Alphabet Soup won the 1996 Classic in a thrilling stretch battle with Louis Quatorze and Cigar. Go For Wand captured the 1989 Juvenile Fillies as part of a campaign that culminated in her being crowned that year’s Eclipse Award champion 2 year-old filly, and Tikkanen, wh set a couse record at Churchill Downs in the 1994 Breeders’ Cup turf.

Finest City enjoyed a short break following the biggest race of her life, but has since returned to Kruljac’s Santa Anita Barn. She is steadily working towards a 2017 campaign that would ideally give her the opportunity to defend her Breeders’ Cup title, this time in her owners’ hometown of San Diego at her favorite track, Del Mar.

Finest City 6

Finest City making her winning Breeders’ Cup move with Mike Smith up

She was also named a finalist for the 2016 Champion Female Sprinter, along with Haveyougoneaway and Paulasilverlining-both whom finished behind Finest City in the Breeders’ Cup.

Win or lose, nothing will compare to the thrill of winning a Breeders’ Cup race. Tyler Seltzer said it best when the NBC Sports camera crew caught up with him immediately following the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint. The excitement was overwhelming, and all he could think to say was an emphatic, “She’s pretty great.”