Waterville Lake Stable Set For First Breeders’ Cup With Juvenile Turf Sprint Contender Derrynane

New York-based owners Waterville Lake Stable will enjoy the Breeders’ Cup spotlight for the first time when they send out their Empire State-homebred Derrynane in the Grade 2, $1 million Juvenile Turf Sprint on November 5 at Del Mar.

Waterville Lake Stable is owned by Richard Leahy in partnership with John W. Meriwether and Tim Tully, all of which are stakeholders in Waterville Golf Links in County Kerry, Ireland, where their name derives. Many horses that race under the Waterville Lake Stable banner are a nod to the ownership group’s familiarity with Ireland. Derrynane is named after Derrynane Beach, located on the Ring of Kerry.

Trained by Christophe Clement, Derrynane, a bay daughter of Quality Road, was a winner at first asking with a two-length victory going 5 ½ furlongs in a state-bred maiden special weight on July 22 over good Mellon turf at Saratoga. Following a distant fifth in the open Bolton Landing one month later over a yielding turf at the Spa, Derrynane was an ultra-impressive winner of the five-furlong Woodbine Cares on September 19, which prompted her connections to consider the Breeders’ Cup.

“We were very pleased with her run first out,” Leahy said. “When she ran her second race in the Bolton Landing, it was over a bog, and we knew that she was far better than that. Given the timing and the weather, we went to Woodbine and she won quite easily.”

Derrynane is the first progeny out of the graded-stakes placed Hard Spun mare Portmagee, who captured the License Fee in 2017 following a third in that year’s Grade 3 Intercontinental, both at Belmont. Portmagee, named after a village near Waterville Golf Links, is currently in foal to More Than Ready.

“From early on, she was extremely good looking and did everything right,” Leahy said of Derrynane. “She seemed very well balanced and well put together. The mother was extremely attractive and well balanced, also. She had a good personality and demeanor. The mother was a sprinter but we never thought there was any reason she couldn’t go further.”

The relationship between Leahy and Clement extends over two decades, linking up via former NYRA chairman Peter Karches, who owned horses with Clement at the time. In addition to Waterville Lake Stable, Leahy also owns horses with Clement under his Oak Bluff Stable moniker of which he is the standalone owner.

Leahy and Clement have enjoyed success with Waterville Lake Stable-owned graded stakes winners Mariensky, Strike It Rich and Derrianne as well as New York-bred stakes winners Miss Valentine, Sea Foam and Celtic Sky.

As Oak Bluff Stable, Leahy and Clement have campaigned the graded-stakes placed Therapist, a multiple stakes winner against New York-breds and open company.

“With Christophe the horse always comes first, we like that,” Leahy said.

Leahy speaks high volumes of the New York-bred program.

“I think the New York bred program is a sensational one,” Leahy said. “It’s lucrative and in my mind, you’re only a van ride away from the best stallions in Kentucky. There’s no reason if you have a good mare that you can’t produce a competitive horse in New York. It’s not easy to win these races. They’re competitive races as well. Over the years I’ve been doing this, the New York-bred horses have gotten more and more competitive.”

Leahy said he is looking forward to the possibility of going to the Breeders’ Cup with Derrynane. While it would be a first Breeder’s Cup endeavor for Leahy, it would be a second for Waterville Lake partner John Meriwether, who owned Buckhar – the 13th-place finisher of the 1993 Mile.

“We’re very excited about her future,” Leahy said. “It’s really special. Hopefully, she has a long career ahead of her. I was talking to Christophe’s son Miguel the other morning and he was very excited about her breeze last week.”

The post Waterville Lake Stable Set For First Breeders’ Cup With Juvenile Turf Sprint Contender Derrynane appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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