The FHBPA-sponsored Not Surprising Stakes was captured by Sterling Drive, a 10-1 shot from the barn of Milt Wolfson for N.T.S. Stable on July 6th.
The race brings fond memories to the Van Worp family, who made the pilgrimage down to witness this tribute to their hard knocking gelding. A true bargain, Not Surprising brought $7,500 through the ring at OBS in 1992, and went on to post a record of 61 starts and an eye popping 23 wins en route to $1,112,301 in earnings over 7 years.
Trained as a 2 year old by Bill White, who fondly remembers him to be a “big, strong baby almost 16.2 hands, and because of his size we weren’t sure how he would run in the short races. He accomplished way more than we expected.”
Indeed, as a 2 year-old, he captured the Dr. Fager leg of the Florida Sire Stakes.
Entering his 3 year-old campaign, Not Surprising entered the family barn, trained by Judd Van Worp, where he would remain for the remainder of his career. Over the span of his 7-year run, he chalked up wins in Handicaps and Stakes around the country. He won the Pelican Stakes twice, and the Forego along the way. A willing road warrior, he hit the winners circle at Calder, Hialeah, Tampa, Belmont, Saratoga and Finger Lakes.
In a show of respect, long after being retired, Calder had Not Surprising shipped down to South Florida to be honored in a winners circle photo along with his two trainers, Bill White and Judd Van Wort.