Hirsch family has deep connections to Southern California racing
ARCADIA, Calif.—From a family whose California racing roots date back more than 70 years, owner/breeder Bo Hirsch was understandably ecstatic when it was announced that his brilliant homebred mare Ce Ce had been voted Eclipse Champion Female Sprinter at an Eclipse Awards Gala Thursday night at Santa Anita.
Primarily based at Santa Anita dating back to her first-out maiden win on April 19, 2019, Ce Ce, a 6-year-old daughter of Elusive Quality out of Hirsch’s Grade I winning Miss Houdini, cemented her Eclipse standing with a 2 ½ length score in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint Nov. 6 at Del Mar.
Trained by Michael McCarthy and ridden in all of six starts in 2021 by Hall of Fame veteran Victor Espinoza, Ce Ce began her march towards an Eclipse Award with a 3 ¼ length score in a seven-furlong classified allowance here on April 17—her first start of the year.
Fourth in the Grade II, mile and one sixteenth Santa Maria on May 22, Ce Ce then jumped on an airplane to South Florida and powered to a 3 ¼ length win in the Grade II Princess Rooney Stakes going seven furlongs at Gulfstream Park on July 3.
Subsequently third in Saratoga’s Grade I Ballerina Stakes at the same distance Aug. 28, she returned to Santa Anita and took the Grade III Chillingworth Stakes Oct. 3, which served as a springboard to Breeders’ Cup glory at Del Mar.
With four wins from six starts, Ce Ce, who according to Hirsch will run through her 6-year-old season, amassed 2021 earnings of $888,000. A three-time Grade I stakes winner, Ce Ce has an overall mark of 17-8-2-3, good for lifetime earnings of $1,793,100.
Hirsch, whose father Clement was co-founder and president of Santa Anita’s Oak Tree Racing Association and was major player as an owner/breeder in California racing dating back to the late 1940s, has himself been active in California racing since his father’s passing in March of 2000.
“Winning this award is the climax of years and years in this business,” said Hirsch. “My father got a special Eclipse Award for what he had achieved in racing from being involved at Oak Tree and Del Mar, but this is the first Eclipse Award in the Hirsch family for a horse. This is what we’re in this business for and I’m so damn proud, I can’t tell you. I’m hoping I can take it to heaven with me.
“It’s an incredible honor, it’s one that I will cherish for the rest of my life. I also want to thank everyone involved with Ce Ce. Over the years, they have made me look like I know what I am doing and I thank them very much. And I want to thank this business, I love it! For my money, this is the greatest sport in the world!”
Santa Anita Press Release
Top Photo: Bo Hirsch (Benoit Photo)