Neal and Pam Christopherson of Oregon-based Bar C Racing Stables are being presented with the 2019 California Diamond Award in recognition for breeding the leading California-bred 2-year-old earner of 2018 sold at public auction: the multiple stakes-winning Kentucky Derby hopeful Galilean.
Produced by the El Prado (Ire) mare Fresia and foaled at Harris Farms in California, the Uncle Mo colt led all California-bred 2-year-old auction graduates last year with earnings of $151,000.
A $60,000 purchase by Quarter Pole Enterprises from the Bar C Racing Stables consignment at the 2017 Barretts August Select Yearling Sale at Del Mar, Galilean was sent from California to Eddie Woods Training Center in Florida for early conditioning and subsequently re-sold by Woods to West Point Thoroughbreds back in his home state for a sale-topping $600,000 at the 2018 Barretts Spring 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale.
Campaigned by West Point in partnership with Denise Barker and William Sandbrook, Galilean made his winning debut for Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer in the $100,000 Barretts Juvenile Stakes at Los Alamitos Race Course last September, becoming the only first-time starter in the race's 29-year history to accomplish the feat. Following a narrow second-place finish to California champion 2-Year-Old male Cruel Intention in his next start, Santa Anita Park's $196,000 Golden State Juvenile Stakes, he closed out his 2018 season on Dec. 16 with a nine-length romp in the $100,000 King Glorious Stakes at Los Alamitos.
Galilean kicked off his 2019 campaign on Feb. 18 with a 4 1/2-length victory in Santa Anita's $188,000 California Cup Derby, and has been installed as the 3-1 morning-line second wagering choice in one of two divisions of the $750,000 Grade 2 Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park on March 16.
Established by Barretts Equine Limited in 2016 as the McMahon Award, and originally named after Barretts co-founder and former president Jerry McMahon, the trophy was renamed in 2018 at McMahon's suggestion to honor the inaugural award winner: California Diamond, the multiple stakes-winning California champion bred by Stormy Hull and tragically lost in the San Luis Rey Downs fire in December 2017. Coincidentally, California Diamond was sired by perennial leading Oregon stallion Harbor the Gold, who has stood his entire breeding career at Bar C Racing Stables.
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