Pontiff, A Dual-Surface Winner By Giant’s Causeway, Moves From Washington To California

August 18, 2021

Elk Grove, CaliforniaPontiff, a winning son of multiple leading sire Giant’s Causeway and half-brother to major sire Pulpit, has relocated from Washington to stand at Daehling Ranch in Northern California for the 2022 breeding season. His fee is $2,500, live foal guarantee.

Bred in Kentucky by Claiborne Farm and sold for $310,000 as a Keeneland yearling in 2011, Pontiff was rated highly enough by original trainer Dale Romans and former owner Donegal Racing to contest Gulfstream Park’s $1 million Florida Derby (G1) in his third lifetime start as a 3-year-old maiden in 2013, in a race that was won by subsequent Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Orb. Following an unplaced finish in that early test, he went on to record victories on dirt in Oklahoma and on turf in Minnesota and Texas, excelling at two-turn distances as an older horse.

Pontiff retired from racing in 2017 with three wins and 17 placings from 35 career starts, and total earnings of $126,481.

He initiated his stallion career in Washington in 2018, and recently stood at Warlock Stables in Spokane. He has 24 registered foals: 14 juveniles and 10 yearlings, with one placed runner.

Produced by the breed-shaping matriarch Preach, a Grade 1-winning daughter of Mr. Prospector, Pontiff is a half-brother to the successful, late sire Pulpit, whose sons at stud include multiple leading sire Tapit. Among the other notable stallions in his family, which features more than 30 black-type horses under his first two dams, are Fed Biz, Johannesburg and Tale of the Cat.

“We are excited to move Pontiff to California, in order to take advantage of the state’s lucrative breeding and racing program,” said Warlock Stables owner Tim Floyd, who manages the 11-year-old stallion for a partnership that now includes Daehling Ranch owners Justin and Julia (Daehling) Oldfield and California Chrome’s former co-owner Perry Martin. “The Washington breeding industry has shrunk significantly over the past 20 years, so his opportunities here as a young, well-bred stallion are extremely limited.”

“With his extraordinary pedigree, we believe Pontiff deserves a chance to court a better and more abundant broodmare colony in California,” Floyd added. “He is a handsome, charismatic stallion whose early foals really look the part, and whose best-bred foals are in his upcoming crops.”

Pontiff arrived at Daehling Ranch on August 16. He will be featured in a Northern California Stallion Tour on October 2; for information about this free bus tour, call (916) 996-0887.

Thoroughbred Information Agency Press Release

Photo: Pontiff ( Tim Floyd Photo)

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