The Chosen Vron

Breeding Digest: Putting the 'Run' Into 'Vron'

Last weekend represented a staging post on the Derby trail, a chance not only to reflect on some rather puzzling sophomore skirmishes, to this point, but also to celebrate fulfilments that remain far more pertinent to the vast majority of Thoroughbreds. After all, very few get anywhere near testing their eligibility for the Classics and few others, certainly among the male of the species, will contrive a second career from such opportunities as remain once they have missed that one. That's why purses are so important. Otherwise racehorse ownership would...

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The Week in Review: From $1,000 Yearling to Stakes Winner, It's Sizzling Time Not Done Writing his Story

It's Sizzling Time (Not This Time) finished second in Saturday's $100,000 Harrison E. Johnson Memorial S. at Laurel, but trainer Valrie Smith wasn't about to complain. The gelding banked another $20,000, upping his career earnings to $327,766. Not bad for a horse who cost $1,000 as a yearling, which is what It's Sizzling Time sold for at the 2019 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Fall Yearling sale "If you had told me back then that he'd win all these races, win a stakes and make all that money, I would have told you...

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Popular Cal-Bred Brickyard Ride Retired

Popular California-bred Brickyard Ride (h, 7, Clubhouse Ride--Brickyard Helen, by Southern Image) has been retired at age seven after suffering a minor injury in a workout at Santa Anita late last month, trainer Craig Lewis said. "It was nothing serious," Lewis said. "But Father Time is catching up with him." Brickyard Ride won 13-of-31 starts, including eight stakes, and banked $925,477 for owner-breeder Alfred A. "Sonny" Pais. His resume includes a trio of graded stakes victories--the 2021 GII San Carlos S. and the GIII Kona Gold S. in both 2022...

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HOTY to be Announced at Annual CTBA Awards Dinner Mar. 12

The 2023 California-bred Horse of the Year will be announced at the CTBA Awards Dinner and Annual Meeting on Tuesday, Mar. 12 at Le Meridien Hotel in Arcadia, CA. The finalists for Horse of the Year are (in alphabetical order) Ceiling Crusher (Mr. Big), Kings River Knight (Acclamation) and The Chosen Vron (Vronsky). For ticket information for the Awards Dinner and Annual Meeting, click Annual Meeting & Awards Dinner | CTBA or contact Christy Chapman at [email protected].   Other Cal-bred champions to be recognized at the banquet:   Champion Two-Year-Old...

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The Chosen Vron Back For More This Weekend

Don Valpredo is to Cal-breds what tungsten is to steel. "I absolutely love the training industry and the breeding industry here," said Vapredo, 85, over the phone from Bakersfield. "In fact, I'm sitting here today with the Stallion Register on my lap, trying to find the right mix for my broodmares." When Valpredo hasn't been producing Cal-breds--along with John Harris, he's responsible for 1994 California Horse of the Year, Soviet Problem--he's sought to popularize them through multiple warmed seats on multiple industry boards over multiple decades. They even named a...

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Cal-Bred The Chosen Vron To Race In 2024

The Chosen Vron's (Vronsky) story will continue in 2024. Trainer Eric Kruljac will bring the 5-year old gelding back for another year he announced Thursday. The gelding started an eight-race win streak at Los Alamitos in September of 2022 which ended with his fifth-place finish in this year's GI Breeders' Cup Sprint. "I've put the Breeders' Cup behind me," said Kruljac. "He was kind of covered up. He might have had a little trouble getting out. I think he was behind a couple of horses and when they took off...

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The Chosen Vron Expected to Be Supplemented to Breeders' Cup

The Chosen Vron (Vronsky) earned a free entry into the GI Breeders' Cup Sprint with his victory in the GI Bing Crosby S. Saturday at Del Mar, but the 5-year-old gelding is not nominated to the Breeders' Cup and will need to be supplemented for $100,000 to make it into championship weekend. "We definitely are going to supplement for the Sprint," trainer and co-owner Eric Kruljac said Sunday. "Especially since it's at Santa Anita this year. We'll possibly look for a prep. Long range, you look at your options, but...

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Cal-Bred The Chosen Vron Takes 'Win and You're In' Bing Crosby

The hometown hero got it done. Facing an exceptionally deep field of sprinters in Saturday's 'Win and You're In' GI Bing Crosby S. at Del Mar, it was the California-bred The Chosen Vron (Vronsky) who got the money. He, however, is not nominated to the Breeders' Cup and would have to be supplemented for this fall's GI Breeders' Cup Sprint. With the victory, the 5-year-old gelding matched a bar set earlier in the day by Eclipse champion male sprinter Elite Power (Curlin) with both horses stretching their respective winning streaks...

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Vron Couldn't Have Chosen A Better Barn

As a junior he wound up in the same fraternity as a guy named Bob Baffert, who was already riding winners, already conspicuous. Eric Kruljac, for his part, had transferred to University of Arizona from Arizona State, where he had been on a football scholarship only to blow a knee. Then, when Baffert proceeded to stardom at the racetrack, Kruljac literally went undercover. He worked for a buddy as a private investigator until, having learned the ropes, starting an agency of his own. For several years you'd find him tailing...

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Fun to Dream Crowned CTBA Horse of the Year

Grade I winner Fun to Dream (Arrogate) was crowned California-bred Horse of the Year at the CTBA Awards dinner held Monday night. The 4-year-old filly, who is out of the Maria's Mon mare Lutess, was bred by Connie Pageler and trainer Bob Baffert and is owned by Paegler and Natalie J. Baffert. The gray filly was also named Cal-bred champion 3-year-old filly and sprinter, and her dam was named Cal-bred broodmare of the year. "I did this, it was a crazy thing, I called Garrett O'Rourke at Juddmonte and I...

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California-Bred Champions Announced

Finneus (Stay Thirsty), Lieutenant Dan (Grazen) and The Chosen Vron (Vronsky) are the three finalists for California-bred Horse of the Year for 2021, to be announced at the annual CTBA Awards Dinner and Annual Meeting Mar. 28, 2022 at Le Meridien Arcadia. The business meeting begins at 4 pm., the cocktail reception at 5 p.m. and the awards dinner at 6 p.m. Other Cal-bred champions to be recognized at the banquet: Champion California-bred 2-Year-Old Male - Finneus Champion California-bred 2-Year-Old Female - At the Spa (Outwork) Champion California-bred 3-Year-Old Male...

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Classier Returns in Affirmed

Classier (Empire Maker) kicks off his sophomore season versus four rivals in Sunday's GIII Affirmed S. at Santa Anita. The $775,000 KEESEP graduate got the 'TDN Rising Star' nod on debut sprinting at Santa Anita Oct. 24, then returned on quick notice with an eighth-place finish after showing speed in the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile last time Nov. 6. Working bullets for his return, Bob Baffert takes the blinkers off for this. The Chosen Vron (Vronsky) tackles two turns for the first time here. The Cal-bred was impressive in his...

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