ROCK HARD TEN, the second-leading fourth-crop sire by graded winners and the eighth-ranked turf sire in the nation, is having another big year. His six 2012 stakes winners puts him ahead of horses like Street Cry (Ire), Awesome Again, Medaglia d’Oro, Malibu Moon, More Than Ready, etc., and the fact that four of those are graded winners points to the quality of those runners. Notably, of his 13 career stakes winners, nine are graded, giving him a 70% GSWS/SWS ratio!
ROCK HARD TEN’s late at Del Mar, where his 3-year-old daughter Lady Ten got her neck down in the Sandy Blue H. on Friday, Aug. 17. Owned and bred by Mercedes Stables LLC and trained by Bob Baffert, Lady Ten was winning her third race in the past four starts. She broke her maiden at Betfair Hollywood Park in May, added an optional claiming score in June and finished a close-up third in the Le Cle S. in the lead-up to the Sandy Blue.
Earlier in the year, ROCK HARD TEN boasted a one-three finish in the G2 Santa Barbara H. at Santa Anita. It was the great Dahlia’s granddaughter Capital Plan who won the 1 1/4-mile turf event, beating a salty field by 1 1/2 lengths. Fellow 4-year-old Hard Seven completed the trifecta and missed the place spot by a nose over the classy Cambina (Ire). Capital Plan came back to finish third in the G1 Gamley S., then beat Cambina once again in the G3 Beverly Hills H. Capital Plan was bred by Madeleine Pickens and Diamond A Racing Corp. and is owned by trainer Jerry Hollendorfer and Mark DeDomenico.
Another Caliornia standout by ROCK HARD TEN is this year’s G3 Inglewood S. hero Utopian, who also finished third in the G1 Charles Whittingham Memorial H. Utopian, bred by G. Watts and Louise I. Humphrey, sold for $360,000 as a weanling from Lane’s End’s 2007 Keeneland November draft. He is owned by farm client Jerry and Ann Moss and trained by John Shirreffs, the connections who, of course, campaigned Horse of the Year and Lane’s End resident Zenyatta.
ROCK HARD TEN is also the sire of the 3-year-old colt Blandophobic, who recently became a group winner in Turkey after capturing the one-mile G3 Savunna Sanayii .
Other ROCK HARD TEN sophomores include his son Mr. Handsome, who on the Preakness undercard was third by a neck and a nose to a pair of ENGLISH CHANNEL colts in the $100,000 James W. Murphy S. The $110,000 Lane’s End sales grad came flying to just miss winner Skyring and runner-up Easy Crossing. Mr. Handsome also placed second in the $260,500 Robert Hilton Memorial S. and was third in the $400,000 Red Legend S.
In April, Grade 2 winner Doubles Partner nearly overcame a tough trip to finish a close-up third in the G1 Maker’s 46 Mile S. at Keeneland. According to the official chart, the 5-year-old WinStar colorbearer “shifted out to commence his advance on the second turn, was bottled up between horses into the stretch, steadied when Get Stormy drifted out…and finished well but was left with too much to do.” Doubles Partner won the G3 Canadian Turf S. at Gulfstream earlier in the year.
In Europe, the colt Abtaal, a $325,000 FTSAAUG yearling, was beaten just a neck when runner-up in the G3 Prix Djebel S. at Maisons-Laffitte, and also ran third in the G3 Prix Daphnis.
ROCK HARD TEN bred full books bred in 2009, 2010 and 2011, and the best may be yet to come for the horse who has been become the torchbearer for the Roberto line, so keep an eye out for his outstanding yearlings at Keeneland September!