He’s raced at Fonner Park, Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races, Canterbury Park, and Remington Park, to name some of the 11 racetracks he has visited in a 15-race career. He’s been tested at 6 1/2 furlongs, 1 1/8 miles, and 1 1/2 miles on turf. And after a little more than two years of racing, Sleepy Eyes Todd has finally found some stability—at least for the rest of the year.
After winning the Lafayette Stakes at Keeneland in his last start—his first stab at seven furlongs—Thumbs Up Racing’s son of Paddy O’Prado made it two in a row at a seven-furlong distance Dec. 19 by turning aside grade 1 winner Firenze Fire in the stretch to capture the $100,000 Mr. Prospector Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park.
Bred by Two Hearts Farm and Kristen Goncharoff out of the Wild Rush mare Pledge Mom, Sleepy Eyes Todd ($12.20) was victorious for the eighth time in 15 starts and increased his earnings to $744,825—a hefty total for a colt bought for $9,000 by Jonathan Wong from Legacy Bloodstock’s consignment at the 2016 Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale.
“He’s always been a nice horse and we’ve always believed in him,” trainer Miguel Angel Silva said. “I’m thankful to the owner for letting us do the job and take the horse everywhere and just have some fun with him. He’s the best horse we’ve ever had and hopefully we can have some more fun.”
True to his resume, distance stability will not last long for the grade 2 winner. Though he will remain at Gulfstream Park, instead of sticking to sprinting, Silva plans to stretch Sleepy Eyes Todd out around two turns Jan. 23 in the $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational Stakes (G1).
“That’s the plan,” Silva said about the Pegasus. “That’s what we’re here for.”
Sleepy Eyes Todd is already a graded stakes winner at the 1 1/8-mile distance of the Pegasus, but that victory came earlier this year when he triumphed in the Charles Town Classic Stakes (G2).
In the Mr. Prospector, jockey Tyler Gaffalione, who was aboard the colt for the first time, worked his way up from fifth in the field of 12 and moved with favored Firenze Fire past the tiring leader Wind of Change in the final furlong. In a two-horse duel to the wire timed in 1:21.67, Sleepy Eyes Todd prevailed by a half-length.
Firenze Fire, a homebred son of Poseidon’s Warrior trained by Kelly Breen who was coming off a third in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1), was 2 3/4 lengths ahead of multiple grade 1 winner Mind Control, a Stay Thirsty 4-year-old owned by Red Oak Stable and Madaket Stables and trained by Gregg Sacco.
-edited from www.bloodhorse.com