When you think older turf horse, you think of the seasoned veterans of racing. So it comes as a surprise to many that a horse can burst onto the scene so quickly and dominate a division like Big Net Profit in 2015.
A late developing foal, Big Net Profit is a scratch bred son of Raven’s Pass x Kris S. x Fastnet Rock, owned and trained by Kirby’s 2gunranch. Quietly breaking his maiden in Ohio on December 27th of 2014, Big Net Profit, quickly dispatched Allowance fields in Kentucky and Florida at odds of 31/1 and 17/1 respectively. Little credit was given by the bettors when Big Net Profit stepped up to the plate in the 11F Paycheck Turf Memorial in Florida on March 4th. Sent off at odds of 14/1 the colt was 9 lengths off the lead on the backstretch, when he displayed his now trademark late rush, passing the leaders late and winning by over a length.
On May 10th, after shipping to Minnesota, Big Net Profit was facing listed company again in the Devil’s King Turf at the classic distance of 10F. The winner was allowed an easy lead and slow fractions, while Big Net Profit laid back in his usual fashion, coming up short in the end, finishing 2nd. Next up was the 9 1/2F Sir Tenant Turf in Illinois on June 20th. Laying closer to the pace this time, the big colt got home a half length in front, with an impressive 113 speed figure.
Emboldened by success, it was decided to send the horse to Europe to take on the big dogs on their own turf. July 12th, Big Net Profit made his first start away from US soil in the Grade 2 Princess of Whales at 12F. This was not to be his day, he sat 4 lengths off the pace and simply flattened out in the stretch and lost ground coming home. Surely this was a disappointing result, but the owner and trainer were not discouraged. Shortening back up to 10.5F, Big Net Profit tackled Grade 3 company in The Lancaster and again Big Net Profit displayed his late turn of foot, coming from 10 lengths back, he breezed past the leaders and drew off to win by 1 3/4 lengths.
With a graded win under his belt, it was time to face the top horses in the division in the Grade 1 Champions Stakes in Ireland. This was a loaded race filled with Grade 1 winners, but Big Net Profit proved he belonged in the race, laying close to the pace and keeping the leaders in his sights, the colt seized control at the top of the stretch and cruised home to a decisive 3 and 3/4 length win over the best turf horses in world.
With success comes expectation and big dreams. Having proven himself in America and Europe, the colt was shipped to Australia to compete in the Grade 1 Coxless Stakes. Could Big Net Profit go from obscure maiden winner in Ohio to winning Stakes on 3 continents in the same year? It did not look possible at the top of the stretch when he was 6 lengths off the lead and in traffic, when a lane opened and he quickly took advantage, again with his trademark late rush, he ran down the leaders and drew clear for a 2 length win.
3 continents down, 2 to go for the son of Raven’s Pass. Big Net Profit shipped to South Africa for the Grade 1 Summer Jolly Cup. It was not to be this day though, perhaps the grueling travel schedule was too much, early in the race he sat about 9 lengths off the lead, and he made a move at the top of the stretch but the blazing finish was just not there that day. He came up just short finishing second by 2 lengths.
Asia was the only continent left to tackle, so next on the schedule was the prestigious Winter Cup in Japan. Great horses take on all challenges, and the easy way out would be to find a softer spot. This race was to be run 13 furlongs on the turf and prior experience had shown that this was a stretch for the horse. No matter, the champion deserved his shot and the connections entered him. Perhaps in hindsight the result was predictable, a disappointing 7th place finish to wrap up his 4 year old season.
Let’s recap what a deserving champion season looks like by the numbers.
10 different tracks
4 million dollars in purses won
millions of fans around the world.
100% respect for facing the big challenges
Ladies and Gentleman, Big Net Profit, your 2015 Eclipse Champion.