Lady and The Track | June 18, 2019

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Team Valor Betting on South American Horse Racing

Team Valor Betting on South American Horse Racing: Each year, we see South American horses being imported to the United States, and some of them wind up running in graded stakes races, such as recent runners Winning Prize, Bal A Bali, Calidoscopio, and Brujo de Olleros. In addition to successful runners, we have also seen South American broodmares doing very well in America. Mares like Sarasota (ARG), Ramatuelle (CHI), Zardana (BRZ), and Teamgeist (ARG) have produced Salutos Amigos, Texas Red, Smart Transition, and House Rules, respectively. These are just names that passed through my mind quickly, but if we were to go deeper, we would surely find a lot of nice broodmares.

Team Valor

Team Valor International has been acquiring fillies and mares over the past few years with an eye toward breeding them to Animal Kingdom. Photo: Coglianese/NYRA

This week, news came about Team Valor’s acquisition of two Brazilian-bred fillies with great campaigns. Colorado Girl is a daughter of the well-known Elusive Quality and out of Oklahoma Girl (BRZ), by Midnight Tiger, and is a winner of 8 races out of 11 starts, including a Grade I stakes. Juno is unbeaten and a two-year-old champion filly and a product of the Brazilian sire Setembro Chove and Irmadohomemra, by Candy Stripes.

Since Team Valor International has been acquiring South American horses lately, we contacted Team Valor founder and CEO Barry Irwin in an attempt to collect some information about their plans with these fillies.

“Team Valor International has been acquiring fillies and mares over the past few years with an eye toward breeding them to Animal Kingdom. Some of them we will race before they visit Animal Kingdom, such as Juno, who hopefully has a lot of racing left in her,” Barry Irwin said.

The South American breeding method and the manner in which breeders strive for quality horses has always intrigued and attracted Team Valor International. “The reasons I like South American fillies and mares in general is I appreciate their soundness. Breeders in South America take great care in planning matings and raising horses the correct way. I like the toughness of the South American-bred horses,” Irwin added.

In fact, Team Valor International now claims a select group of South American mares: Sarasota (dam of two graded winners in the U. S.), That’s Hot (dam of a Grade II winner in the U. S.), Flash Dance (dam of a Grade I winner in Brazil), Esstadista (Champion Filly at 3 in Uruguay), Pura Classe (Grade I winner in Brazil), Caterina (first three foals are stakes winners including the Champion Colt at 2 in Uruguay), Colorado Girl (Grade I winner of 8 races in 11 starts), and Juno (Grade I winner, unbeaten in 5 starts). The purchase of these fillies and mares is not just coincidence since there exist previous analyses of their bloodlines.

“Each one of these mares was bought because of their compatibility with the bloodlines of Animal Kingdom. Some of them were bought because they had produced good runners by stallions from the same Blushing Groom sire line as Animal Kingdom,” Irwin explained. “Juno was produced by a daughter of Candy Stripes, so any foal by Animal Kingdom out of her will be inbred 3 x 3 to Candy Stripes. I wanted to inbreed once to see what kind of foal we would get,” Irwin added.

Colorado Girl will not run in the U.S. as she was bought to breed to Animal Kingdom, but since Juno is just a three-year-old, Team Valor will give her a chance to run. “We have no plans where to race Juno yet, but she will acclimate in Ocala, Florida, with trainer Bill Recio, who was instrumental in preparing Brujo de Olleros,” Barry Irwin said.

Conscientiously, Team Valor International is taking their time with Juno since she was bred in the Southern Hemisphere. “I learned a long time ago that horses from the Southern Hemisphere require at least 6 months, preferably 9, to acclimate to the Northern Hemisphere. If they are kept in Florida or Southern California, that climate allows them to come around quicker,” Irwin explained.

Team Valor has agents and horsemen constantly monitoring South American horse racing, always on the lookout for the right horse. Certainly Animal Kingdom will receive the right mares according to Team Valor’s analysis, and hopefully the results will be satisfactory.

Lady and The Track would like to thank Barry Irwin for taking the time to talk to us. We look forward to seeing Animal Kingdom progeny excel on the track.