by Jerry Connors
Last year in this space, Steve Jones of Cameo Farms said that he was proud of all of his opening night yearlings. This year he has the same kind of optimism for those going under the hammer on the first night.
“There’s a Greenshoe filly (Hip 24 All Green) who’s out of Check Out Trixie, whose dam is Check Me Out. Check Out Trixie’s first foal is Instagram Model, a Chapter Seven who won the Doherty final this year and who already has over $200,000 on her card. So that’s certainly a flying start for Check Out Trixie, and she’s represented this year by a daughter of Greenshoe,” Jones said.
“We also have an extremely good-looking colt selling right before All Green (Hip 23 Victor Laszlo). He’s a Chapter Seven out of a Donato Hanover mare, and what I really like about him is that he is a very attractive horse, just super looking.”
When asked if that is why the yearling was named after the character played in the classic film Casablanca, the noble husband of Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman), Jones laughed and said, “That’s exactly why. I’m a big fan of that picture.
“We stand Huntsville here at Cameo Farms in New York, and we are excited about his baby (Hip 33 I’m In Heaven) out of Divine Caroline, a Rock And Roll Heaven mare. Divine Caroline won over $880,000 on the track and was champion of her division at age three, and her first foal is Just Divine, who was second in her New York Sire Stakes final last year and then came back to win the NYSS final this season. She’s on the verge of being a $400,000 winner, and she has a mark of 1:49.3.
“We are based in New York, and we certainly support the state’s program and our sire, but we also try to have outstanding prospects in other jurisdictions – we’ve mentioned the Greenshoe filly, and we bred our mare Check Me Out, whose credentials speak for themselves, to Tactical Landing in New Jersey (Hip 110 Punch The Clock). All of these programs go for so much money these days – and now you add in Kentucky, which is an opportunity for everybody to add to the worth of their horses.
“Outside the first night, we have high hopes for the Huntsville colt out of Yellow Diamond (Hip 221 Ready To Shine). Yellow Diamond was champion filly in her division at 3, and won over $1.3 million, and has produced Fine Diamond, a winner of over $775,000. And the yearling looks like a special individual.”
“My value pick will be a Huntsville filly out of Happy Hannah (Hip 306 Pop The Cork), who traces back to the world champion Galleria, who earned $1.8 million and is a proven producer. This is Happy Hannah’s third foal, all by Huntsville: the first two were colts who haven’t really done too much yet, but this family has had a lot of success with its fillies, and we may see something out of the dam’s first filly.”