By Margaret Ransom
Hronis Racing owns and John Sadler trains Higher Power, a talented son of Medaglia d’Oro who stepped up to the highest level and won the Pacific Classic (G1) at Del Mar by 5 ¼ lengths for his first graded stakes score. He then finished third after a troubled start in the Awesome Again (G1) before ending 2019 with a strong closing third in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1), again after some trouble out of the gate.
Last year, Sadler brought Hronis Racing’s BC Classic winner Accelerate to Gulfstream Park, where he finished third in the Pegasus World Cup (G1) before being retired to stud at Lane’s End Farm.
With another strong contender for big races in southern California moving forward, Sadler decided the place to start the 2020 season for the 5-year-old Higher Power is in South Florida again with a at the $3 million purse in the World Cup.
After a winter freshening, Higher Power has been back on the worktab since late November and represents one of the stronger California-based participants in the 1 1/8-mile race.
Post position: No. 6
Jockey: Flavien Prat
Trainer: John Sadler
Owners: Hronis Racing (Kosta and Pete Hronis)
Career record: 15-5-1-6
Career earnings: $1,376,648
Pedigree: Medaglia d’Oro-Alternate, by Seattle Slew
Running style: Front-runner/Stalker
“Only Grade I win in weak Pacific Classic; in over his head.” — Ed McNamara
“No slouch despite never threatening in finishing third in Breeders’ Cup Classic; will need repeat of his best outing to win this but certainly fits in all of the exotics.” — Noel Michaels.
Notes: Known by fans for his nearly all white nose … bred in Kentucky by Pin Oak Stud and purchased for $250,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Horses of Racing Age sale last April on the advice of Hronis Racing’s bloodstock advisor, David Ingordo … dam is a half-sister to Canadian Horse of the Year Peaks and Valleys … started career in the care of Donnie Von Hemel in the fall of 2017 and was transferred to Michael Stidham late last year before passing through the auction ring.
|1||True Timber||Joe Bravo||Kiaran McLaughlin||15-1|
|2||Tax||Jose Ortiz||Danny Gargan||8-1|
|3||Diamond Oops||Julien Leparoux||Patrick Biancone||15-1|
|4||Seeking the Soul||John Velazquez||Dallas Stewart||30-1|
|5||Omaha Beach (SCR)||Mike Smith||Richard Mandella||SCR|
|6||Higher Power||Flavien Prat||John Sadler||6-1|
|7||War Story||Joel Rosario||Elizabeth Dobles||30-1|
|8||Mr Freeze||Luis Saez||Dale Romans||20-1|
|5||Spun to Run (SCR)||Javier Castellano||Juan Carlos Guerrero||SCR|
|10||Mucho Gusto||Irad Ortiz, Jr.||Bob Baffert||9-2|
|11||Tenfold||Tyler Gaffalione||Steve Asmussen||30-1|
|12||Bodexpress||Emisael Jaramillo||Gustavo Delgado||30-1|
California native and lifelong horsewoman Margaret Ransom is a graduate of the University of Arizona’s Race Track Industry Program. She got her start in racing working in the publicity departments at Calder Race Course and Hialeah Park, as well as in the racing office at Gulfstream Park in South Florida. She then spent six years in Lexington, KY, at BRISnet.com, where she helped create and develop the company’s popular newsletters: Handicapper’s Edge and Bloodstock Journal.
After returning to California, she served six years as the Southern California news correspondent for BloodHorse, assisted in the publicity department at Santa Anita Park and was a contributor to many other racing publications, including HorsePlayer Magazine and Trainer Magazine. She then spent seven years at HRTV and HRTV.com in various roles as researcher, programming assistant, producer and social media and marketing manager.
She has also walked hots and groomed runners, worked the elite sales in Kentucky for top-class consignors and volunteers for several racehorse retirement organizations, including CARMA.
In 2016, Margaret was the recipient of the prestigious Stanley Bergstein Writing Award, sponsored by Team Valor, and was an Eclipse Award honorable mention for her story, “The Shocking Untold Story of Maria Borell,” which appeared on USRacing.com. The article and subsequent stories helped save 43 abandoned and neglected Thoroughbreds in Kentucky and also helped create a new animal welfare law known as the “Borell Law.”
Margaret’s very first Breeders’ Cup was at Hollywood Park in 1984 and she has attended more than half of the Breeders’ Cups since. She counts Holy Bull and Arrogate as her favorite horses of all time. She lives in Pasadena with her longtime beau, Tony, two Australian Shepherds and one Golden Retriever.