Black Ops took command right out of the starting gate and never looked back as he zipped to a three-and-three-quarter-length win in the Budweiser Special Stakes at Albuquerque Downs Sept. 21.
It was the first Stakes victory for the veteran Hard Spun gelding, who just missed breaking the track record for six-and-one-half furlongs by less than a second. Finishing third in the race was Bokeelia Island, by Medaglia d'Oro.
Bred in Kentucky by G. Watts Humphrey Jr., Susie Keller, Vicki Oliver & G. Watts Humphrey III, Black Ops is out of the winning A.P. Indy mare, Rendition, and he’s a full brother to Hard Rendition, a multiple G1-winning filly in Mexico. The rich female family also includes such standouts as Desert Stormer (G1 Breeders’ Cup Sprint), Better Lucky (G1 Vinery First Lady, G1 Matriarch), Sahara Gold (G2 Stonerside Beaumont Stakes) and Casino Host (G2 Del Mar Handicap).
Hard Spun has sired 75 career Stakes winners, including 11 Grade 1 winners. The stallion’s 2019 Stakes winners are led by Out For A Spin, winner of the G1 Central Bank Ashland Stakes; Gatting (G1 Makybe Diva Stakes); Green Light Go (G2 Saratoga Special); A Thread Of Blue ($1,000,000 Saratoga Derby Invitational, G3 Palm Beach Stakes); Hard Legacy (G3 Regret Stakes) and Lucullan (Fasig-Tipton Lure Stakes).