Divisidero unleashed a powerful late run from off the pace to wear down a stubborn Beach Patrol and capture the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (G1) on Kentucky Derby Day at Churchill Downs for the second consecutive year. Divisidero won this year's 1 1/18-mile turf test by a half-length.
The Keeneland September Yearling Sale graduate was hammered down for $250,000 in 2013 with Margaux Farm signing the sales slip as agent. The Kentucky-bred son of Kitten's Joy, out of the Lemon Drop Kid mare Madame du Lac, was consigned by breeder Hinkle Farms.
“Divisidero was always a very correct and sound-looking foal, weanling and yearling,” said Tom Hinkle. “He had a great mind and never had any issues at the farm. By the time he got to June of his yearling year and we started sales prepping him he really started to blossom.
“We were really pleased with how good he looked when we shipped him to the 2013 Keeneland September Sale,” Hinkle said. “Once on the sales grounds he was extremely professional. Every time he came out if the stall he did everything right.”
The 5-year-old Divisidero is trained by Kentuckian William “Buff” Bradley for Gunpowder Farms. Julien Leparoux was aboard for the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic score.
Gunpowder Farms’ Tom Keithley said they were determined to buy Divisidero.
“As new owners in the Thoroughbred industry, we eagerly look forward to the Keeneland sale,” Keithley said. “As soon as the books are made available online we begin to review the pedigrees. We usually create a short list of 25 to 40 prospects per book. With Divisidero, we actually wrote ‘stallion prospect’ next to his hip number on our short list. After conformation, we added ‘diamond in the rough’ because he was still a bit immature.
“Unfortunately, another bidder was also impressed with him,” he continued. “We hit our valuation of $170,000 and kept going all the way to $250,000. We really don’t ever do that but this case was an exception. We felt there was not another colt we wanted or needed from the sale other than Divisidero. It’s really quite unbelievable, but there you have it: new owners, the largest yearling sale of the year, and a little hard work and perseverance produces a very happy result!”
The Woodford Reserve Turf Classic victory, Divisidero's fifth in 13 lifetime starts, all on the turf, made him a millionaire. He is a perfect three-for-three at Churchill Downs, having also won the American Turf (G2) there in 2015.
“All involved with his development have been patient and have given him time when he has needed a little break,” said Hinkle. “Hopefully he has some more big races in him. To watch him win three graded stakes (two being Grade 1) on Derby Day for three consecutive years has been a tremendous thrill for our family and all of our staff at the farm.”