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No. 1 First-Crop Sire Vekoma gets two new MdSpWt winners on debut at Churchill Downs

June 14, 2024

No. 1 Freshman Sire Vekoma added two more impressive winners on the same race card when Viggiedal and Louisiana Jess receptively broke their maidens on debut at Churchill Downs on June 14.

In Race 2, Louisiana Jess, a Louisiana-bred colt by Vekoma out of the Tale of the Cat mare Miss Jazebel, broke nicely before settling in behind the leader. Around the turn, Louisiana Jess moved up along the inside and showed professionalism for a first-time starter to out-duel multiple horses in the stretch and break his maiden by a half-length as the favorite. The 4 1/2-furlong Maiden Special Weight race was run in :51.64. Ridden by Brian Joseph Hernandez Jr., the colt is trained by Bret Calhoun and owned by Mansfield Racing. He was bred by Clear Creek Stud & Warren Harang and was sold to his current ownership for $50,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Select July sale in 2023.

In Race 4 and just over an hour later, another debut winner by Vekoma was dominant in victory, as the filly Viggiedal drew away from her rivals in a Maiden Special Weight race. Piloted by jockey Cristian Torres and trained by Steve Asmussen, Viggiedal broke sharply and travelled along the rail until she opened up on the turn and drew off in the stretch to win by five lengths under a hand ride. She ran the 5-furlong dirt race in :57.26. Bred in Kentucky by George Bates Trustee, she was sold as a yearling for $160,000 and turned into a $350,000 2-year-old at the 2024 OBS March sale to current owners CJ Stables. Viggiedal is out of the Unbridled’s Song mare Minnelli.

Viggiedal became her sire’s 6th debut Maiden Special Weight winner to date, boosting Vekoma to the top of the freshman sire’s list with the most winners and by progeny earnings with $268,341.