Champion Benny the Bull will stand at Vinery Florida
Champion sprinter BENNY THE BULL (Lucky Lionel) will stand his first season at stud in 2010 at Vinery near Summerfield, Florida, according to an announcement by Vinery president Tom Ludt. The six-year-old Grade 1 winner will command a $4,000 fee.
Bred in Florida by Tomoka Hills Farms, Benny the Bull was purchased at the 2004 Keeneland September yearling sale for $38,000 by Greg James. James campaigned Benny the Bull through the early part of his racing career, including a win in the 2007 Iowa Sprint H. in his stakes debut, and then sold a major interest in the colt to a group that included IEAH Stables. In the IEAH colors, the dark bay went on to win that year's Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash S. (G1), and also recorded a second in the Forego S. (G1) and a fourth in the Breeders' Cup Sprint (G1).
In 2008, Benny the Bull went undefeated in four starts. He opened his five-year-old campaign with a convincing 4 1/2-length score in the Sunshine Millions Sprint S. at Gulfstream, then shipped to Dubai to take the prestigious Golden Shaheen (UAE-G1) by 1 3/4 lengths. Next came the True North H. (G2) on the Belmont Stakes Day undercard, and Benny the Bull capped off his perfect season with an authoritative two-length decision in the Smile Sprint H. (G2) at Calder. His four consecutive wins at four different tracks earned him the Eclipse Award.
Retired temporarily after that season, Benny the Bull returned to competition in 2009, making three starts, including seconds in the True North H and Smile Sprint. Overall, he won or placed in 14 of 20 starts and earned $2,353,430.
"Benny the Bull has been a dream horse -- talented, totally sound and brilliantly fast," said James, who reacquired the entire horse for stud duty. "I'm very excited about his future at Vinery, and with the stud fee we have decided on, I think he will offer breeders a wonderful opportunity to breed to a champion at a very fair and reasonable price."
Benny the Bull hails from a pedigree abundant with speed. His dam, Comet Cat, was a stakes winner at two and is by the extremely fast Birdonthewire, winner of the Vosburgh S. (G1), Forego H. (G2), and Tom Fool S. (G2). His third and fourth dams are by champion sprinters J. O. Tobin and Dr. Fager, respectively. His sire, Lucky Lionel, a Santa Anita track record-setter and multiple group stakes winner at two in France and England, is by solid sire and top sprinter Mt. Livermore (Blushing Groom).
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