By Frances J. Karon
Flat Out, Spendthrift’s son of Flatter (by A.P. Indy), had two stakes horses over the weekend: 3yo colt Wendell Fong, first in the Gold Fever at Belmont; and 4yo filly Pacific Gale, second in the G3 Vagrancy, also at Belmont. But what is particularly striking here is that Wendell Fong and Pacific Gale are both out of mares by Forestry (Storm Cat). And there’s more — Flat Out’s 4yo stakes-placed gelding Threes Over Deuces won an allowance race at Delaware Park on Saturday, one of 42 individual winners by Flat Out this year — and he, too, was produced from a daughter of Forestry.
In other words, three of the seven foals of racing age sired by Flat Out from daughters of Forestry are black-type horses.
Pacific Gale is the most proven of these. Though she’s only won one stakes race, the Sorority at Monmouth in 2017, she has placed in four G3s, including seconds this year in the G3 Distaff at Aqueduct and G3 Hurricane Bertie at Gulfstream, plus the aforementioned Vagrancy last weekend, when she was a neck behind winner Heavenhasmynikki (a daughter of Majestic Warrior who is also bred on the A.P. Indy/Storm Cat cross). Bred in Kentucky by Bally Breeders, Pacific Gale was a $50,000 Keeneland November weanling to Colt Creek, a $24,000 OBS August yearling to Bryan Rice, and a $72,000 OBS April 2yo to Tobey Morton, for whom John Kimmel trains her. She’s earned over $290,000, and as competitive and consistent as she’s been at G3 level, it’s not hard to imagine that she has a graded stakes win on the horizon.
Gold Square LLC’s Wendell Fong is lightly raced, with three wins from four starts. His only loss was a fourth in his second start, when he jumped from maiden special weight win to stakes company and was well-beaten by the more seasoned Alwaysmining, who was already a stakes winner by that time and who runs in the Preakness on Saturday, and Kentucky Derby starter Gray Magician. The $47,000 Keeneland November weanling, bought from breeder Nick Lotz by Paris Racing Circle, matured into a $160,000 Keeneland September yearling and has earned over $107,000. Jeremiah Englehart trains. (Coincidentally, Call Paul, a G2SW who was second to Wendell Fong in the Gold Fever, is by Friesan Fire, a son of Flat Out’s grandsire A.P. Indy, out of a daughter of Forestry. Also coincidentally, Wendell Fong is a half-brother to multiple stakes winner Ruffenuff, whose sire Mineshaft is, like Flat Out, from the A.P. Indy sire line.)
Flat Out, a foal of 2006 produced from Cresta Lil (Cresta Rider), was his sire’s first G1SW — years before Flatter’s West Coast was Eclipse champion 3yo male — though he didn’t win a stakes race until he was three and didn’t win his first G1, the 10-furlong Jockey Club Gold Cup, until he was five. He also won the JCGC at six, joining Curlin (2007–2008), Skip Away (1996–1997), Creme Fraiche (1986–1987), Slew o’ Gold (1983–1984), Shuvee (1970–1971), Nashua (1955–1956), Dark Secret (1933–1934), Firethorn (1935 and 1937), and Mad Hatter (1921–1922) as two-time winners of that race, which was run at a distance of 12 furlongs (1921–1974) and 16 furlongs (1921–1975). Tonalist later joined the club, with wins in 2014 and 2015. Of course, none of these came close to Kelso’s record of five JCGC wins, but Flat Out is included on a pretty special list of names.
At seven, Flat Out was first in the G1 Cigar Mile and third in the JCGC. In addition to his stakes wins, he placed 13 graded races, eight of which were G1s and include the Breeders’ Cup Classic, between the ages of five and seven. He earned nearly $3.65 million for Preston Stables LLC, which had bought him as a yearling under the Oxbow Racing banner for $85,000 at Fasig-Tipton July. He provided trainer Charles “Scooter” Dickey with the first G2 and only G1 of Dickey’s career before switching to the barn of Bill Mott two races into his 6yo season.
Retired to Spendthrift, Flat Out stood his first two seasons (2014 and 2015) for $10,000 and is standing for an advertised $5,000 this year, with his oldest runners just four. He is currently sixth among N.A.-based stallions on the list of leading third-crop sires, and the only one in the top 10 whose stud fee is less than $7,500. The fickle weanling and yearling commercial market hasn’t been kind to Flat Out recently, but if his sons and daughters are anything like their sire, their best is yet to come, and that low stud fee is mighty attractive. His 2yo colt out of Knockatrina (Langfuhr) caught the eye at last month’s OBS April sale, selling for $370,000 to Martin Anthony. And with the results to date, his affinity for mares by Forestry, who has hit it off well with A.P. Indy-line stallions in general — Congrats, a full brother to Flatter, is the sire of quadruple G1SW Turbulent Descent from a Forestry mare — makes it a cross that deserves to be experimented with more aggressively.