When Ramona Bass isn’t busy raising money and tending to operations at the renowned Fort Worth Zoo, she and her son Perry Bass II are active in thoroughbred horse racing and breeding with Bass Racing LLC and Bass Stables LLC.
On Saturday (Oct. 8), a Bass-bred and owned 3-year-old colt named Annapolis qualified for next month’s $2 million Breeders Cup Mile by winning the Coolmore Turf Mile Stakes at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Ky.
Annapolis beat second-place finisher Ivar by a length and a half while setting a stakes-record of 1:33.29 on firm turf with the nation’s winningest jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. in the saddle. The $1 million Coolmore was a “win and you’re in” qualifier for the prestigious Breeders’ Cup World Championships, which be held Nov. 4-5 at Keeneland.
Annapolis, a son of War Front out of the mare My Miss Sophia, has won five of his seven races for the Basses and trainer Todd Pletcher. He left the starting gate at odds of slightly under 6 1/2-1, returning $14.70 on a $2 win bet.
“This is the pinnacle,” Perry Bass II said in the winner’s circle after the race, according to Bloodhorse.com. “To breed one and win and to win a race like this – it’s the epitome. It adds a whole other dimension than if you just bought them as a yearling… I have pictures on my phone from like the day after he was born. It’s just another layer to it that makes you proud.”
Bloodhorse also quoted Ortiz praising the colt’s effort against older horses in the Coolmore: “He’s only a 3-year-old, but he’s doing so good right now. I think he has ability. He’s a nice horse.”
Annapolis races under the colors of Ramona Bass’ father, the late Arthur Seeligson Jr., a San Antonio oilman who enjoyed great success in thoroughbred breeding and racing. One of his horses, Avatar, finished second in the 1975 Kentucky Derby and won that year’s Belmont Stakes, the third jewel of thoroughbred racing’s coveted Triple Crown.