The OBS Spring Sale has only grown in popularity and prestige in recent years. Graduates include the winners of this year’s Pegasus World Cup Turf, Saudi Cup, and Dubai World Cup in addition to the 2021 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. We hit Ocala with one colt in mind and were thrilled to add him to the roster. This spectacular son of Malibu Moon hails from the same female family that gave us G1 winner and millionaire Preservationist. Learn more about the tremendous individual that makes up the 2022 Stellar, LLC and contact us to join his team.
Every year, the Ocala Breeders’ Sales offers the opportunity to purchase some of the best two-year-olds in training. Recent graduates of their sales include two-time Pegasus World Cup Turf winner Colonel Liam, 2021 Champion Two-Year-Old and Breeders’ Cup winner Corniche, 1-2 Saudi Cup finishers Emblem Road and Country Grammer, G1 winner Cafe Pharoah, and potential Florida Derby favorite White Abarrio. Our experienced acquisition team assembled at the March Sale to find colts who meet our standards of combining an outstanding physical with the pedigrees to excel on track and as stallions. To say Dr. Stephen Carr and Paula Parsons succeeded in that goal is an understatement. The newest additions to the roster are:
Hip 154: Liam’s Map – Star Torina, by A. P. Indy
Hip 357: War Front – Claire de Lune, by Galileo
Hip 567: Malibu Moon – Leaveminthedust, by Danzig
Rocketry, whose retirement was announced over the summer, arrived at Old Friends in Georgetown, Kentucky to begin his new role as thoroughbred ambassador. The much-loved fan favorite, who earned over $800,000, had been enjoying some downtime in Middleburg since retiring.
“Just like the movie character, Rocketry could not have lived up to his nickname of ‘Rocky’ any better,” said Don Little, Jr. “He consistently campaigned in stakes carrying the Centennial flag with honor every time he set foot on the track. He was sound throughout his career while breaking three track records over a distance of ground. Being involved with a horse like this was truly a joy, thrill, and one that will be cherished by all the partners involved,” Little continued. “While he will be missed on the oval, we look forward to him showing off to visitors at Old Friends.”
“Who doesn’t love Rocketry?” said Old Friends founder and President Michael Blowen. “We’re very fortunate that Centennial Farms trusts us to care for their great marathoner. Thanks to Don Little, Jr. and Jimmy Jerkens for allowing us to showcase him to his many fans.”
The Keeneland September Yearling Sale annually brings together some of the most exciting young horses in the world, with a truly international crowd on hand, each hoping to secure the next champion. The Centennial Farms acquisition team of Dr. Stephen Carr and Paula Parsons worked tirelessly to identify and procure four colts who fit Centennial’s proven formula for success. Despite record, competitive bidding, we were able to stick to our plan and secure terrific individuals. They are sons of proven sires Blame, Candy Ride, and Violence, in addition to a member of the second crop of undefeated G1 winner Mastery. Learn more about the 2021 Elmont, LLC and contact us to get involved.
Centennial Farms’ co-owners Don Little, Jr., Peter Horvitz, and Margaret O’Meara, and the many partners to whom he provided lifelong memories announce the retirement of multiple graded stakes winner Rocketry. The handsome son of Hard Spun retires sound with career earnings of over $810,000 and three track records to his credit.
Rocketry, bred by Gainesway Thoroughbreds, was quick to stamp himself as a good looking prospect, commanding $195,000 as a Keeneland November weanling when acquired by McMahon & Hill Bloodstock. Returned to Keeneland as part of the Hidden Brook consignment the following September, he drew the attention of Centennial’s Dr. Stephen Carr and Paula Parsons, hammering for $450,000. Always an impressive individual, his popularity in the sales ring was also a testament to his pedigree, which includes a bevy of graded stakes horses.
Like so many Centennial stars before him, Rocketry received his early education under Parsons and her team at the Middleburg Training Center, a place he’d return to throughout the years for vacations from a racing environment. He joined trainer Jimmy Jerkens at Belmont Park in June of his two-year-old year, under whose care he would remain throughout his career. Rocketry displayed what would become his trademark late-running style beginning with his first career start at Gulfstream Park. An impressive maiden score on turf at Belmont Park during the spring of his sophomore campaign earned him “Rising Star” status from the Thoroughbred Daily News. As a three-year-old, he beat older horses at Saratoga and barely missed his first graded black-type, finishing behind only subsequent G1 winners Voodoo Song, Yoshida, and future Horse of the Year Bricks and Mortar going just 1 1/8-miles in the G3 Saranac.
Rocketry would truly come into his own as a four-year-old. His continuing maturity coincided with an increased fondness for dirt and he made the transition to the main track in September of 2018. The switch resulted in a performance in the Temperence Hill Stakes that is unlikely to be matched – he stopped the clock in 2:40.18, breaking Man o’ War’s 98-year-old Belmont Park track record for 1 5/8-miles. He took his show on the road next out and picked up his first graded stakes victory. A late charge in the G2 Marathon Stakes presented by the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance established a new track record of 2:57.62 for 1 ¾-miles at famed Churchill Downs.
While his unique style and preference for longer distances would make him vulnerable to pace and biases, he continued to deliver big performances over the subsequent seasons. At five, he flew late and wide to finish second in the prestigious G2 Woodford Reserve Brooklyn Invitational Stakes. His six-year-old campaign ended with an exclamation point as Rocketry set a third track record, this time going 1 5/8-miles in 2:42.57 at Keeneland, and picked up another graded stakes victory – the G2 Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance.
Rocketry’s zest for training, the track environment, and his Jerkens Racing family never wavered during a three-race campaign in 2021. Although his seven-year-old season upped his black-type count to a total nine races, the decision was made to retire him following a fourth-place effort in Saratoga’s Birdstone Stakes. Centennial Farms could not be more proud of his on-track accomplishments or more grateful of his status as a fan-favorite. The two elements combined in spectacular fashion when a shoe worn in victory in the Temperence Hill topped a fund-raising auction for the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation.
While plans are being finalized for his retirement, “Rocky” has shipped to Centennial Farms in Middleburg, Virginia to unwind, enjoy the spacious paddocks, and be spoiled.
A yearling sale can be a bit of a marathon and a bit of a dance, but having a game plan and sticking to it makes all the difference. Dr. Stephen Carr and Paula Parsons returned to the sale where they have found eight G1 horses, including Eclipse Award champion Rubiano, Belmont Stakes victor Colonial Affair, and Breeders’ Cup winner Corinthian, and found another outstanding individual. Hip 203, from the second crop of the late champion Arrogate, was worth waiting until nearly the end of the sale. Learn more about him and how to get involved here.
Exciting sophomore Royal Realm continued his improvement with a good looking maiden victory at Belmont Park! The three-year-old has made steady progress with each career start – in fact, this victory earned him a higher Beyer figure than a highly-touted allowance race on the same card. Jimmy Jerkens and his team have done a terrific job with this colt, building on the outstanding foundation laid by Paula Parsons Training in Middleburg. We’re hopeful his wonderful partners have a lot to look forward to as he keeps learning!
Mihos returned to the winner’s circle with an impressive victory at The Big A! Trainer Jimmy Jerkens and his team did a terrific job getting this guy to top form; he matched his career high Beyer while pulling clear to a 1 1/4-length victory. We’re so grateful to the patient and supportive partners who make it all possible!
Centennial Farms will sponsor the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance Best Turned Out Horse Awards during the Pegasus World Cup Invitational Card Jan. 23, 2021 at Gulfstream Park. This is the third year in a row that Centennial has sponsored the awards.
We are honored to again partner with and support the great work of the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance, an outstanding leader in aftercare for our industry. Read the full story, learn more about the TAA, and donate to their mission here.
*WOW*. Rocketry’s running style and the unique nature of his preferred marathon races can leave the big guy open to some unfavorable set-ups and bad luck. Though he’d continually run well, he entered the G2 Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance Stakes without a win since the race’s 2018 edition, when it contested as the G2 Marathon presented by the TAA at Churchill Downs. He ended the drought in a big, big way, with the kind of performance that leaves one speechless. We are so grateful to the phenomenal partners in the 2015 Crescent, LLC who make it all possible, Jimmy Jerkens and his staff, our team, including Paula Parsons and Dr. Carr, and tremendous Rocketry.
BloodHorse: “Rocketry Returns Victorious in TAA Stakes”
Daily Racing Form: “Rocketry returns to Kentucky victorious in Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance Stakes“
It was particularly special to win a race that is named for such a phenomenal organization. Centennial Farms has been proud to sponsor the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance’s Best Turned Out Awards at the Pegasus World Cup for the past two years. Supporting an organization that does so much for the welfare of beloved equine athletes is of paramount importance. Learn more.