Yates’ Homebred Prevails over Well-Bred Juveniles Friday
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Trainer Michael Yates’ leap of faith in Cajun Breeze’s stallion potential once again paid dividends at Gulfstream Park Friday, when Just Right Mike defeated a group of well-bred 2-year-olds to graduate in Race 2.
The Florida-bred son of Cajun Breeze, who finished third in his debut April 17 after being bumped at the start, chased pacesetter Carson City Kid before kicking in through the stretch to prevail by 1 ¼ lengths under Miguel Vasquez in the 4 ½-furlong sprint.
“He ran really well today. He sat off the lead horse and when he asked him, he went on,” Yates said. “I’m thrilled.”
Owned and bred by Yates’ Shadowbrook Farm Inc., Just Right Mike, who ran 4 ½ furlongs in 52.92, was sent to post as the 5-2 second choice behind 9-5 favorite Restored Order, the first offspring of multiple Grade 1 stakes-winner Frosted to make the races. The Todd Pletcher-trained Restored Order raced greenly in the stretch and finished third, a neck behind Mark Casse-trained Carson City Kid, a son of Uncaptured.
Just Right Mike is from the third crop of Cajun Breeze, who won four races and nearly $225,000 during a 33-race career for Shadowbrook Farm Inc. and Robert Eversole.
“The main thing was that I really had a lot of confidence in the horse and believed that he could have been much more than what he achieved on the track,” Yates said. “I got to looking at his pedigree – he’s by Congrats, a son of A. P. Indy, and the mare is a daughter of Awesome Again. I just thought he had the pedigree to make a sire. He was a good sound horse.”
Cajun Breeze’s stallion career got an immediate boost in 2018, when Cajun Firecracker captured the $100,000 Florida Sire Stakes Dr. Fager before going on to earn nearly $225,000. Cajun Casanova, from Cajun Breeze’s second crop, is a multiple-stakes winner who won the March 21 Texas Glitter Stakes on turf.
Shadowbrook’s Cajun Brother launched his career with two straight victories this year, graduating in his debut against open company March 14 while prevailing by two lengths over Ima Pharoah, a son of American Pharoah, and coming right back to win a state-bred optional claiming allowance for 3-year-olds by nearly three lengths April 16. Homebred Whiskey Sunrise, a 3-year-old full brother to Cajun Firecracker, graduated April 12 by 4 ¾ lengths
“He gets a good looking baby. They’re all smart horses. They’re good to be around and they’re sound,” Yates said.
Prominent Florida breeders Gil and Marilyn Campbell have purchased a half-interest Cajun Breeze, who is now standing at their Stonehedge Farm in Ocala, FL, where he has received increasing outside interest from breeders.
Breakthrough, a son of 2016 Florida Derby (G1) and Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Nyquist, was scratched from Friday’s race, but is entered to run in Saturday’s Race 2. The Wesley Ward-trained Kentucky-bred colt, who was purchased for $330,000 at the 2019 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July sale, has been installed as the 9-5 morning line favorite. Todd Pletcher-trained Hyperfocus, a son of 2014 Florida Derby winner Constitution, is also scheduled to make his debut in the 4 ½-furlong dash.
Gulfstream Park Press Release
Photo: Just Right Mike gets his maiden win May 8 at Gulfstream. Credit: Coglianese Photos/Ryan Thompson