December 20, 2009

Presious Passion Part I

Every once in a while a horse comes along that completely captures your imagination. Their unique talent is an intellectual curiosity, their fortitude fills your heart with admiration. With each passing race, you watch with increasing anticipation and hopefulness. Ladies and Gentleman, a horse like this is distinct in every way, and I am thrilled to see that our Holiday weekend will be graced with an appearance by just such a horse. For the third consecutive year, Calder’s W.L. McKnight Handicap has attracted the singular talent that is, Presious Passion. Not many grade 2 races with a $150,000 purse become so fortunate. The soon to be seven-year-old gelding has developed into nothing short of a force of nature. Flaunting ridiculous speed in marathon turf races throughout the United States, Presious Passion has won over the most fickle of fan. How did Presious Passion rise from humble beginnings to a burgeoning national hero?

Presious Passion is a Florida bred son of International turf stakes winner Royal Anthem and was the first foal out of the unraced mare, Princesa’s Passion. He was purchased from breeders Joseph and Helen Barbazon by Patricia Generazio who along with her husband Frank, liked what they saw in Presious Passion while visiting horses they owned at the Barbazon’s Pleasant Acres Farm. Presious Passion made it to the races only twice as a juvenile and was trained by Frank Generazio. His two starts were both out of the money finishes and his dirt race was less than good. Big changes were in store for the young horse though, as the Generazios decided to get out of the training end of the business. They sent Presious Passion to Florida and trainer Mary Hartmann.

His partnership with Hartmann would become a mutually beneficial one, and under Hartmann it was decided that turf would be his new surface. With the changes came new success, and it was immediately clear that the future of Presious Passion would be on the grass. He became a solid turf runner that first Winter at Gulfstream Park and would be ready for his stakes win in the Summer of his three-year-old year. Monmouth Park’s 2006 Jersey Derby would be the first chance for fans to see what Presious Passion may someday become, as he relished the very firm turf and set a new course record on his way to collecting the winner’s trophy. From there, I would like to tell you that he would skyrocket up the American turf scene to stardom, but that would not be accurate, for it would not be all biscuits and gravy just yet.

Presious Passion was a good turf horse, but at this point in his career you could not say much more. He was still losing the majority of his races and finished his second season with only three wins in his ten starts on the lawn. He was also a horse without a clear purpose. One day he would rally, another day he would stalk, and then yet another he would flash early speed. He had no defined running style. How things have changed.

To be continued…


Photo Courtesy and Property of Sue Kawczynski

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

too fast to be a stayer ala royal palace.....incredible running style and the trainer deserves all the credit......shows how deadly SPEED is if used wisely and judiciously

hawkwins said...

My favorite BC race this year, even though he didn't quite hold on... A nice tribute.

LDP said...

Anon,
He stayed pretty well in the BC Turf, he was only beaten half a length and killed the course record in this year's United Nations which is 11 furlongs. He may be a very fast horse, but he can stay very well too.

Brian,
He is one of my favorite horses and I hope he continues to run next year as well. On a dry track this old boy could even give Gio Ponti a run for his money.

Jason said...

Brian,
Awesome entry to your blog!! I absolutely LOVE Presious Passion. I was hoping he would hold on to win the BC turf this year. But there's no shame in finishing 2nd to Conduit and he shows time and time again that he's one of the best speed horses of all time. Not only does he play catch me if you can, he also plays the even though im running out of gas i can go forever card too. I love your posts on your blog and look forward to Part 2 of this entry.

The_Knight_Sky said...

Nice shot by Ms. Kawcynski.

I didn't know it at the time, but now I'm sure I've seen her in the Belmont Park paddock chatting up with the fans in the stands.