Tom's D'Etat winning the 2019 Clark H. (G1) - Coady photo
WinStar Farm has reached an agreement with Gayle Benson’s GMB Racing to acquire the breeding rights to Grade 1-winning millionaire and leading Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) contender Tom’s d’Etat, the farm announced today.
“When my late husband, Tom, decided in 2014 that we were going to enter the horse racing business, the first place we came to was WinStar Farm to see their operation,” said Gayle Benson, owner of the New Orleans Saints and New Orleans Pelicans. “GMB Racing is extremely excited that our best horse, Tom’s d’Etat, will begin his stud career with Kenny Troutt and his entire team at WinStar. We look forward to watching the second half of his career be just as successful as his first, and we know he will get that opportunity at WinStar. I am also eager to bring many of our mares from Benson Farm to breed to him in the coming years.”
By sire of sires Smart Strike, Tom’s d’Etat won the 2019 Clark S. (G1) at Churchill Downs and is undefeated in two starts in 2020, both stakes. He registered a brilliant 4 ¼-length victory in the $500,000 Stephen Foster S. (G2) at Churchill Downs June 27, earning a career-best 109 Beyer Speed Figure, and kicked off his seasonal campaign in April with an impressive late-charging win over Grade 1 winner and subsequent Hollywood Gold Cup (G1) winner Improbable in the Oaklawn Mile S. at Oaklawn Park.
Trained by Al Stall, Tom’s d’Etat is a strapping bay who has emerged as one of the leading horses in training. Tom’s d’Etat has compiled 11 wins, six of them in stakes, from 18 trips to the post, banking $1,627,272, and is on a four-win streak with his sights set on the Whitney S. (G1) at Saratoga for his next target.
“I have been honored to be able to train two great horses in Blame and Tom’s d’Etat,” said Al Stall. “He has been brilliant winning four in a row, and I can’t wait to lead him back over there in the Whitney.”
In winning last month’s Stephen Foster in dominant fashion over multiple Graded stakes winner By My Standards, Tom’s d’Etat covered 1 1/8 miles in an eye-catching 1:47.30, geared down in the late stages. The final time came within a whisker of Victory Gallop’s track and stakes record of 1:47.28 set in the 1999 renewal of the Stephen Foster. In winning his fourth consecutive stakes race in the Stephen Foster, a “Win and You’re In” qualifier for the Breeders’ Cup Classic, Tom’s d’Etat secured a berth in this year’s $7,000,000 Breeders’ Cup Classic at Keeneland Nov. 7.
Tom’s d’Etat scored his biggest victory to date last year, winning the $600,000 Clark S. as much the best by 3 ¼ lengths. Before taking down the Clark S., and running a 104 Beyer in the impressive performance, Tom’s d’Etat ran a 105 Beyer in winning the Fayette S. (G2) at Keeneland by a widening 4 ¼ lengths, and he also scored in the 2019 Alydar S. at Saratoga, recording a 104 Beyer. All told, he has recorded nine triple-digit Beyer Speed Figures, eight of them consecutively, in his illustrious career.
“Tom’s d’Etat has proven over the last two years to be of the highest quality,” said Elliott Walden, WinStar’s president, CEO, and racing manager. “Eleven of his last 12 Thoro-Graph figures are negative numbers. He has nine triple-digit Beyers and eight in a row. He was .02 off the track record in his last start at historic Churchill Downs, and he won two of the best races in the country at 1 1/8 miles in the Stephen Foster and the Clark.
“Any way you slice it, he is top class,” Walden added. “He is the last great son of Smart Strike from the family of Candy Ride. We walked Speightstown into the stallion barn at age seven and Distorted Humor at age six. Hopefully, he will be another story we can tell how he defied the odds like them.”
Bred in Kentucky by SF Bloodstock, Tom’s d’Etat was purchased by GMB Racing for $330,000 at the 2014 Keeneland September sale from the Hunter Valley Farm consignment. He is produced from the stakes-winning and multiple stakes-placed Giant’s Causeway mare Julia Tuttle who is out of Candy Cane (ARG), a full sister to Pacific Classic (G1) winner and leading sire Candy Ride (ARG).
For more information about Tom’s d’Etat, contact Sean Tugel, Liam O’Rourke, or Chris Knehr at (859) 873-1717.