You may be surprised how many great ones there have been
by Bob Heyden
Once you take a look at some of the stars of the sport on this list you’ll likely forget any pre-conceived notion about not buying a June foal — or at the least thinking it might not be a great idea.
Die Laughing (foaled June 11, 1985). He won a million dollars at 2 and 3, won the Woodrow Wilson in August 1990 at just 26 months of age. He took the Messenger at 3 and his seven-figure sophomore season came against the likes of Precious Bunny and Artsplace.
McArdle (foaled June 5, 1999). He not only had a $2 million plus career, he won the Haughton final for $700,000 from post 10 and did so holding off Art Major (his stablemate at 2). He also sired the 2010 Meadowlands Pace-winning One More Laugh.
She’s A Great Lady (foaled June 4, 1992). Early one, she was a stablemate of Jennas Beach Boy, making them the best male and female pacers in the business. They even won Breeders Crowns on the same night! Joe Holloway trained both.
Barberry Spur (foaled June 5, 1983). Just two years after being foaled, he won the inaugural Governors Cup at Garden State Park for $1 million+. He captured the Jug at 3, was the Meadowlands Pace favorite, and gave his sire Niatross Jug victories with his first two crops —Nihilator having taken the 1985 edition.
Mannart Tornado (foaled June 12, 1979). Was one of the all-time winningest horses with 110 victories.
Noble Ability (foaled June 5, 1994). He was the last of the great sons of Albatross.
Davids Pass (foaled June 5, 1992). He won two million-dollar events in 1995 — the North America Cup and the Meadowlands Pace. Brett Pelling trained the son of Jate Lobell.
Pacific Fella (foaled June 4, 1993). He went on to post one of the fastest miles of the 20th century — a 1:48.2 score at Hoosier Park. Cat Manzi drove the son of Cam Fella, who in turn did his sire proud by also siring a Horse of the Year — 2003 Triple Crown winner No Pan Intended, as well as 2006 Meadowlands Pace winner and $2.7 million career earner Artistic Fella.
Magical Mike (foaled June 3, 1991). He is best remembered for two things — his 1994 Jug win and being the sire of Gallo Blue Chip, who reigned from 2001-2012 as the richest pacer of all time.
Sharky Spur (foaled June 7, 1996) earned his million dollars the hard way, racing week in and week out.
Art Major (foaled June 11, 1999). It is interesting to note that both he and McArdle were June foals and both emerged in the Chris Ryder barn at 2. Art Major went on to a near $3 million career — with consecutive Breeders Crowns — and is also a HOY stallion thanks to his daughter J K Shesalady, the 2014 winner.
He’s Watching (foaled June 13, 2011). He is the fastest Meadowlands Pace winner (1:46.4) and not only was his the fastest Meadowlands Pace win, the runnerup that night was a horse you might have heard of: Always B Miki.
Bays Fella (foaled June 7, 1985). He paid $140 to win in the Breeders Crown in the series’ first decade. He was driven by Paul MacDonell, who later had a Breeders Crown favorite pay a lot less than that — Somebeachsomewhere in 2008.
Other notables who were born in June were Breeders Crown winners Musical Victory (foaled June 5, 1996) and Headline Hanover (foaled June 3, 1992) — as well as standouts Life Source, Card Trick Hanover and Meadowlands Pace runnerup At Point Blank.
Diamond Exchange, the first 1:55 trotter in both the Meadowlands history as well as in Chuck Sylvester’s career (1:55 flat July 4, 1983 with Robert Williams Sr. driving), was also a June foal. So was the unstaked Nuclear Siren in 1991, who was born the same year as Miss Easy, Artsplace and Die Laughing. Nobleland Sam and Whosurboy were June foals. Whosurboy was best known as Gallo Blue Chip’s longtime stablemate, but he took his lifetime mark of 1:49 in his 200th career start.