Another horse from trainer Ingrid Mason's go-to sale is headed for a stakes race at Oaklawn in Hot Springs, Ark., this time in Friday's $150,000 Smarty Jones for 3-year-olds.
Lykan, purchased for $15,000 at the 2019 Ocala Breeders' Sales June 2-Year-Olds and Horses of Racing Age Sale, will be making his stakes and two-turn debut in the 1-mile Smarty Jones, Oaklawn's first of four Kentucky Derby points races.
Mason has already struck gold with two other modest 2-year-old purchases from the same sale in Sarah Sis and Marquee Miss, both campaigned by Oklahoma owner Joe Ragsdale. On the advice of Mason, Ragsdale purchased Sarah Sis for $20,000 in 2014 and Marquee Miss for $20,000 in 2015.
Sarah Sis was a six-time stakes winner, including Oaklawn's $150,000 Honeybee (G3) for 3-year-old fillies in 2015, and earned $912,667 before selling for $750,000 as a broodmare prospect at Fasig-Tipton's Kentucky Mixed Sale in 2016. Marquee Miss was a five-time stakes winner, including the $100,000 Dixie Belle and $100,000 Martha Washington for 3-year-old fillies in 2016 at Oaklawn. The half-sister to Grade 1 winner Promises Fulfilled earned $373,516 before selling for $750,000 at the 2018 Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale.
“It's been good to me, that sale, for whatever reason,” Mason said during training hours Saturday morning. “It's interesting that probably my best horses were bought on the fly. He's a horse I looked at, but really didn't mark him down. But then when I watched him walk over, I just really liked him. There was something about him that just caught my eye and the fact that he had such a good mind. You can learn a lot about them when you watch them walk through the sale – all the noise and stuff and how they react to it. I just like the way he acted. He acted like a good horse.”
Mason co-owns Lykan with significant other Mike Waters, who races under the Muddy Waters Stables LLC banner. Bred in Kentucky by Richard Holder, Lykan, a son of Congrats, has a 1-0-3 record from seven lifetime starts and earnings of $59,175. After beginning his racing career on Arlington Park's synthetic surface, Lykan broke his maiden in his six-furlong dirt debut Oct. 4 at Keeneland.
“He seems to be handling the track really well here, so that's why we decided to give him a shot at it,” Mason said of the Smarty Jones. “I don't know all about the distance with him, but he acts like he can go that far. I know he's got an on and off switch, which is good with a horse like that and nothing seems to bother him.”
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