By Mark Scully/Racing Post
Phoenix Thoroughbred completed a deal that sees it take a majority stake in Splashy Kisses, a 2-year-old daughter of Blame who got off the mark at the second time of asking in a Del Mar maiden special weight in August.
The filly, who is out of the winning Cherokee Run mare Indian Valley and bred by Kentucky’s Winchester Farm, will remain in training with the California-based Doug O’Neill.
Phoenix will take a 51% stake in Splashy Kisses, with her original part-owner ERJ Racing, fronted by NHL star Erik Johnson, retaining the remainder.
Connections harbor high hopes for the filly, who was first purchased for $30,000 from Fasig-Tipton’s The Turf Showcase last year before realizing $100,000 at the same sale company’s The Gulfstream Sale when bought by Dennis O’Neill and ERJ Racing.
There was plenty to like about her victory. The filly led almost all the way in the six-furlong contest under Joel Rosario before stretching away under only modest urgings from the rider to score by 5 3/4 lengths.
According to reports in the U.S., she could take a sharp step up in grade soon, with the Chandelier Stakes (G1) over 8 1/2 furlongs Sept. 29 at Santa Anita Park on the radar.
Should she carry the Phoenix colors to victory, she would not be the first filly bought into by the operation to enjoy success. Signora Cabello bagged a pair of group 2 contests since a deal was struck with her original owners, Zen Racing.