- One of the points that Beyer made in his checkbook horsemanship column (which, to the Form's credit, is still posted on their website) was that real sportsman, however wealthy, breed their own or buy young horses at sales, and then seek to affirm their judgment by testing those horses against other people's best. The Maktoums, in addition to their own stock, go out and make hard-to-resist offers for other owners' horses that have made an impression on the track.
Now comes word that the buyer of Zada Belle, a two-year filly who made a dazzling winning debut on October 13 at Santa Anita for trainer Adam Kitchington, earning a Beyer of 98, is none other than Darley. They may think that the man practices trash journalism, but they're happy to use his speed figures.
Kitchington was understandably excited after Zada Belle won by 9 in 1:03.04 for 5 1/2 furlongs. As she came past the eighth pole, Trevor Denman noted that "she has not taken a deep breath yet...Zada Belle looks like she could go around again; she's absolutely cantering!" Kitchington jokingly remarked, “That’s what happens when you run a 3-year-old against 2-year-olds.” [Daily Racing Form] He named the Grade 1 Hollywood Starlet as the filly's goal. You can watch the race at Cal Racing.
But less than a week later, Kitchington was confirming the horse's sale. On Wednesday, the Form confirmed that the buyer was Darley.
William Peeples had purchased the Zada (Zay-da, according to Denman) Belle for $95,000, so you gotta figure he did pretty well on the sale. Kitchington said "we have mixed feelings," so perhaps the owner cut him in for a slice, otherwise I don't really know what the good part would be.
"I've only got 15 in my barn. She could be any kind of filly. Who knows what kind of publicity I could have gotten and how my barn could have grown." [DRF]You gotta feel bad for the guy. It's getting to the point where a trainer like Kitchington won't even want to run a horse he/she thinks is special.
Zada Belle is by Indian Charlie out of a mare by Carson City. Not much to see on the catalog page until you get to her 4th dam, So Proudly. There you see that this is the distaff family of Optimistic Gal, the great Bertram Firestone filly who won 13 of 21 for trainer Leroy Jolley, winning six Grade 1's including the Alabama and the Kentucky Oaks. (That's right; the Alabama goes first!) But all in all, she's pretty modestly bred, and Indian Charlie isn't from the most fashionable sire line. I can't imagine she'll be worth too much as a broodmare unless she's a monster on the track.