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Track Magazine, July 1987
 
  

  

By Ben Hudson

 

Florentine by Dash For Cash out of Trippy Dip TB.

Owner White Oaks Ranch, trainer Russell Harris, jockey Kenneth Hart.

 


Florentine zipped through 440 yards of Ruidoso Downs mud in 21.43 seconds on June 28 [1987] to win the $506,172 Rainbow Derby, moving her earnings for the year to $533,386 and for her career to $794,262.

The victory, which was the third Grade 1 stakes win of 1987 for Florentine, paid White Oaks Ranch $207,448 and made the Dash For Cash filly the breed's leading money earner for 1987.

Larry Stephenson's Freedom Flyer (by Easy Jet) was second, nearly a full two lengths behind, to earn $94,833. Will Be Easy was third, earning $48,602.

Ginger Hyland and her parents, Mr. and Mrs. L.A, Hyland of Lake Hughes, California, were on hand to see their homebred filly take the relatively easy victory.

"We're elated with the win. We were more than a little disappointed that Ronas Ryon and Lil Bit Shiney did not get in the finals. But still, we cannot take anything away from Florentine. She did what we asked her in the trials and then she did it again today," Ginger Hyland told TRACK immediately after the race.

Indeed, a lot of people were disappointed that Ronas Ryon and Lil Bit Shiney did not make the finals of the Rainbow Derby. Ronas Ryon won the Kansas Futurity and the All American Futurity as a two-year-old and ran second to Lilt Bit Shiney in the May 24 Kansas Derby. Lil Bit Shiney won the Rainbow Futurity and the Kansas Derby, running second in the All American Futurity.

But both Ronas Ryon and Lil Bit Shiney, in addition to several other good runners, fell victim to the fickle mountain winds at Ruidoso on June 11. The first three of 12 Rainbow Derby Trials saw 9 horses go into the finals, another 5 go into the consolation. Ronas Ryon and Lil Bit Shiney both won their trials convincingly, but both failed to make the finals because of the wind difference, most people agreed. The only horse to make the finals in any race other than the first three was Hiclass Girl, a $314,000 winner who won the 12th race which was run with a crosswind.

Russell Harris, who trains Florentine, said he, too, would like to have seen Lil Bit Shiney and Ronas Ryon in the Rainbow field.

"You always want to see the best horses run against the best horses. It's kinda disappointing to everyone when a couple of nice horses...don't make the finals and it's not their fault. But just look who finished 1-2-3-4 here today. They really weren't that bad. You'd be proud to own any of them," Harris told TRACK.


 

Florentine sloshes to a two-length win in the Rainbow Derby.


The Rainbow Field certainly was decent. Freedom Flyer, an Easy Jet colt out of a full sister to World Champion Truckle Feature, had earned $169,553 by winning the Juvenile Handicap and placing in the Kindergarten and Dash For Cash Futurities. Owned by Larry Stephenson of Wichita, Kansas, trained by Larry Dunbar and ridden by Roy Brooks, Freedom Flyer earned $94,833 to push his earnings to $264,386.

The $48,602 earned by Will Be Easy for third pushed the filly's earnings to $204,618. Owned by the Keeling Family Partnership of Huntsville, Texas and trained by Bubba Cascio, Will Be Easy was ridden by Bruce Pilkenton. The Comin Easy - Will Be Fine filly ran sixth in last year's All American futurity and won the Town Policy Handicap at Los Alamitos in April.

Hiclass Girl, a Zevi filly out of the Mighty Deck mare Desirae, had won six of her eight career outs including the Blue Ribbon Futurity and Heritage Place Sale Futurity. Her fourth place money of $25,486 brought her career earnings to $339,396.

Following Hiclass Girl to the wire were: 5th - Doctor Bright ($23,116); 6th - Make An Effort ($22,523); 7th - Unies Rocket ($21,930; 8th - Blulady Chick ($21,337); 9th - Jet Go Chick ($20,745); 10th Titanium Lad ($20,152).

Harris, who bases his training operation in California, told TRACK that he felt the conditioning program that Florentine was on proved to be one of the key factors in her impressive showing at Ruidoso.

"You must realize exactly what the altitude here does to a horse. We used the same program that we used on Prissy Fein ('85 Rainbow Derby winner). We worked her at Loa Alamitos, then shipped her here eight days before the June 11 trials. We breezed her a couple of times before the trials, then mainly walked her the rest of the time. We only went to the track twice between the trials and the finals. You just don't have time to do the conditioning here if you haul in like we did. The timing is very crucial. That's why we did it just like we had done it with Prissy," Harris said.

Harris indicated that Florentine, who is out of the multiple stakes producing Scout Leader mare Trippy Dip, would be rested for about 60 days in California and then run in the Breeders Trust races in November and the Champion of Champions in December.

"She's basically been in constant training for a year. And she certainly deserves a break," Harris said.

Indeed, Florentine deserves a break. the filly had her first out in July of last summer and has run 18 times since then. In 11 outs from July through December, she had three wins and four seconds. She won the Ed Burke Memorial Futurity at Los Alamitos in November then placed second behind champion filly Cash Perks in the Golden State Futurity at Los Alamitos on December 13. She was then off until February 14 when she came back to win her La Primera Del Ano Derby trial and then defeat Cash Perks in the February 28 finals of that race. She ran second in the Golden State Derby trial in March, then came back to win the finals of her second Grade 1 stakes on April 5 at Bay Meadows. Before coming to Ruidoso to set the fastest qualifying time for the Rainbow Derby she shouldered high weight of 124 pounds and ran third in the Lassie Handicap at Los Alamitos on May 29.

For Hyland, who repurchased Florentine as a yearling in the Ruidoso Super Select Sale, the victory was especially sweet. "We came to run in the race partially because we're selling Florentine's yearling sister in the All American this year. She should get a little attention now."

Ronas Ryon ran an impressive 21.71 to earn $17,781 for winning the Rainbow Derby Consolation.


 
Post Script—Florentine went on to finish an incredible career with 10 stakes wins, 2 stakes seconds, 2 stakes thirds and earn $1,123,102. She was named Champion Three-Year-Old Filly, Champion Aged Horse and Champion Aged Mare. 

Her career as a broodmare has been equally stellar. As of the end of 2005, Florentine has 14 foals, 13 of race age, 12 starters, 7 winners, 11 ROM, including:

  •    This Snow Is Royal, si 101 (by Chicks Beduino), Champion 2-Year-Old Colt, 7 wins to 3, $554,748
  •    Evening Snow, si 128 (by Chicks Beduino), 9 wins to 3, $567,116, stakes winner, new world record & new track record setter
  •    AVISON, si 104 (by Ronas Ryon), 11 wins to 5, stakes winner, $293,667.
  •    ACHIEVEMENT, si 99 (by Chicks Beduino), 4 wins to 3, stakes winner, $40,139.
  •    This Snow Is Mine, si 92 (by Chicks Beduino), 3 wins to 5, stakes placed , $32,930.
  •    Deign, si 96 (by Streakin Six), 8 wins to 6, stakes placed, $20,088.
  •    Delphia, si 96 (by Special Effort), placed to 4, $30,258
  •    Royal Evening Snow, si 89 (by Chicks Beduino), 2 wins to 3, $1,021
  •    Florentinesroyaldash, si 92 (by Sixarun), placed, $5,643
  •    Royal Florentine, si 80 (by Special Effort), placed at 2
 

 

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