The incentive structure for breeders in Pennsylvania is among the strongest in North America, and few farms have taken advantage of it over the past few years quite like Blackstone Farm.
Through the end of July, the Pine Grove, Pa.-based operation led the state by breeder’s awards compiled by their runners in 2022, with $231,527.
It has been an eventful year for the Blackstone Farm operation, which has not only seen plenty of on-track success by its graduates. In August, a Blackstone-bred colt by Triple Crown winner Justify sold for $1.1 million at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Sale.
Blackstone Farm, along with any breeder in Pennsylvania, is eligible for a 50 percent bonus on purse earnings for a horse bred and sired in the state that runs in a maiden race within the state, and 40 percent for all other races.
For maidens bred in Pennsylvania but sired out-of-state, that bonus is 25 percent of the purse, while all other races are eligible for a 20 percent bonus.
The Blackstone-bred runners were led through the end of July by Divine Miracle, a Distorted Humor gelding who earned $29,824 in breeder’s awards through the first seven months of the year.
Divine Miracle, who is trained by Jamie Ness for the partnership of his Jagger Inc., Morris Kernan Jr., and Yo Berbs Racing, was never worse than third in seven starts at Parx Racing through the end of July.
He started the season on a three-race winning streak, starting with a pair of seven-furlong heats: a Jan. 18 starter optional claimer that he won by 1 1/2 lengths, followed by a Feb. 16 starter allowance where he quickly established the lead and held on to win by a half-length. Divine Miracle then stretched out to 1 1/8 miles for a starter handicap, where he battled gamely for the lead throughout the race and held on by a neck.
The gelding picked up three more wins through the end of July, all at a mile or longer. Though he’s raced primarily on the dirt, he was scheduled to run on the turf on July 9, but the race was put back on the main track. Divine Miracle responded by leading at every point of call in the 1 1/16-mile starter optional claimer and winning by 9 1/4 lengths.
Nice Ace also racked up awards for Blackstone Farm, bringing in $20,756 through the end of July.
The 4-year-old Noble Mission gelding started the year at Gulfstream Park for owner Robert Bone and trainer Tim Girten, then he moved to Presque Isle Downs in May, where he has spent the rest of the season.
His time at Presque Isle during the 2022 meet has been highlighted by victories in a 6 1/2-furlong allowance race, and a dominant 5 1/2-length score in the Hard Spun Stakes on July 26. Later in the year, Nice Ace added a victory in the Dobbins Landing Stakes to his resume, as well.
Leading Earners Of 2022 Pennsylvania Breeder’s Awards, Through July 31
|William J. Solomon||$168,217|
|Steven W. Young Racing/A1A Racing||$88,722|
|Donald Brown Jr.||$82,004|