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HomeArsenalCalifornia-bred The Chosen Vron Gearing Up for Breeders’ Cup Dash

California-bred The Chosen Vron Gearing Up for Breeders’ Cup Dash

John Sondereker, majority proprietor of The Chosen Vron, had modest expectations as he settled in to look at his 5-year-old gelding compete within the Grade 1, $400,000 Bing Crosby Stakes on July 29 at Del Mar.

The secure star was using a seven-race profitable streak, however all of these victories had come towards overmatched state-breds. Defending winner American Theorem was returning for a repeat bid within the race, which carried an computerized, fees-paid berth within the $2 million Qatar Racing Breeders’ Cup Dash on Nov. 4 at Santa Anita. The deep 12-horse area additionally featured Dr. Schivel, the 2021 Bing Crosby victor, and one other crack sprinter in Anarchist.

As Sondereker waited for the beginning of the six-furlong sprint, he was extra uncertain than hopeful. “I didn’t assume he was going to win the race, however I used to be OK with that. Our expectations weren’t excessive,” mentioned the previous banking govt. “There’s a huge distinction between a $100,000 Cal-bred race and a Grade 1. The distinction is large.”

Sondereker watched as The Chosen Vron raced midpack by the opening half-mile earlier than common rider Hector Berrios gave his mount his cue. The valiant gelding responded as he at all times does – with a rush. Sonderecker’s hopes and people of his companions, coach Eric Kruljac, Robert Fetkin, and Richard Thornburgh, soared momentarily however then dimmed simply as shortly as Berrios encountered bother early on the flip. He had no selection however to examine and alter paths. In that on the spot, the momentum misplaced appeared insurmountable.

However that is The Chosen Vron, a homebred who outran his pedigree way back in sweeping three California-bred championships. He was the highest 3-year-old male in 2021 and was honored as each the highest older male and premier turf horse in 2022.

Irrespective of how huge the stage, regardless of how stiff the competitors, The Chosen Vron wouldn’t be denied. “Unexpectedly, he got here operating once more. He threw it again in gear,” Kruljac mentioned. “He simply willed his means the final 100 yards to get again in entrance.”

Locked in a three-horse duel with two eager rivals to his outdoors, the strong-willed winner inched away from Anarchist by a head. It was one other head again to Dr. Schivel in third.

Sondereker, 80, and Kruljac, 70, couldn’t consider what they’d simply seen or the course it put them on to the Breeders’ Cup. They each selected the identical phrase to explain their journey. Blessed. The Bing Crosby win elevated The Chosen Vron to millionaire standing with $1,032,678 in purse earnings.

“It’s such a thrill to be part of it. I really feel blessed,” Sondereker mentioned. “I used to be blessed with this luck to have this lovely animal.”

Kruljac, having downsized to 10 horses or so on the twilight of his profession, by no means envisioned reaching the grand worldwide stage that’s the Breeders’ Cup. “I really feel blessed, completely blessed, that he got here alongside the way in which he did,” he mentioned. “I by no means would have dreamed of getting one like The Chosen Vron.”

The gelding boasts 13 victories in 17 lifetime begins. He’ll take an eight-race profitable streak into the Qatar Racing Breeders’ Cup Dash at his dwelling base of Santa Anita, the place he has been almost excellent in profitable 9 of 10 contests. He has not misplaced since ending fifth within the Pat O’Brien Aug. 27, 2022, at Del Mar, which was his solely profession end off the board.

This all happened as a result of Kruljac had educated the mare Tiz Molly, The Chosen Vron’s dam, and he noticed high quality in her regardless of a six-race profession lower quick by damage in 2013-2014. “We performed the breeding lottery and got here out winners,” mentioned the veteran coach and breeder.

The Chosen Vron, an especially standard horse on the West Coast, stands aside in his intelligence and demeanor. These needs to be great belongings when he opposes the quickest of the quick within the Breeders’ Cup Dash.

“Nothing appears to upset him. He simply appears to float. He simply appears to be calm and funky always,” Sondereker mentioned. “He’s that uncommon Thoroughbred that simply doesn’t let issues hassle him in any respect. I’ve by no means seen him act up and I’ve been round him so much.”

Sondereker has been fascinated by horses since he labored at a small observe close to Cleveland as a teen. He attended his first Kentucky Derby in 1960. He has owned Thoroughbreds because the late Nineteen Eighties however had by no means despatched out a Grade 1 winner till that Crosby rollercoaster trip.

Kruljac had registered a earlier Grade 1 triumph when Depart Me Alone beat a area of 3-year-old fillies in Saratoga’s Check Stakes in August 2005. He had so little hope that The Chosen Vron would attain such heights that he did not nominate him for the Breeders’ Cup. The connections have each intention of supplementing him for $100,000.

One enormous query revolves round how properly The Chosen Vron will deal with the prolonged layoff from late July till early November. Kruljac famous that the gelding “trains vigorously” and mentioned, “We’re type of being affected person and searching fairly far down the highway for his subsequent race, which goes to be the largest race of his life.”



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