The marvel of Benny the Bull began at Tomoka Hills Farms in Alachua, Florida 15 years ago.
The son of Lucky Lionel—Comet Cat, by Birdonthewire was purchased by Greg James for $38,000 at the 2004 Keeneland September yearling sale.
Some described him as laid-back, and easy to handle with the look of a big pony who just wants to go back to his stall and take a nap. But “the Bull” certainly didn’t run like a pony.
Not in the least. Benny was a monster. All in all, he went on to win or place in 14 of 20 starts, retiring with a whopping $2,353,430 in earnings.
Originally trained by Jeff Talley, Benny won the Iowa Sprint Handicap at Prairie Meadows in June 2007. Shortly thereafter, James sold controlling interest to a partnership headed by IEAH and retained an ownership interest.
Under new trainer Richard Dutrow Jr., Benny won the 2007 Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash Stakes (gr. I) at Laurel. In 2008; the True North Handicap (gr. II) at Belmont Park; the Smile Sprint Handicap (gr. II) at Calder Race Course; the Sunshine Millions Sprint Stakes at Gulfstream Park; and the Gulf News Dubai Golden Shaheen (UAE-I).
In 2008 Benny the Bull was named Eclipse Award’s American Champion Sprint Horse by beating out Bob Baffert-trained Midnight Lute 107 votes to 86.
In 2012, “the Bull” was retired to stud at Vinery Stud in Summerville, Florida.
The Florida HBPA is proud to sponsor the Benny the Bull Stakes on August 25th at Gulfstream Park. Come out and enjoy the action and pay tribute to one of the truly great Florida-bred sprinters.
We hope to see you there!