D Hatman Thoroughbreds Sonny Inspired has won three stakes in his career, two of them runnings of the Ben’s Cat, named for the famed Maryland-bred sprinter. The first time, run in March 2016 on the main track, the gelding went off as the even-money favorite and won by a length. The second was a bigger surprise.
Producing a steady run down the center of the track to catch tiring pacesetters Spartianos and Smile for Eternity, the 7-year-old Sonny Inspired surged in the final 50 yards to win the $75,000 Ben’s Cat by three-quarters of a length over Grandiflora, with favored English Minister third. Final time for the six furlongs on the firm turf was 1:08.95, and he paid $19.80 for the win as the fifth choice in the field of eight.
It was the 10th career win and third in a stakes for the son of Artie Schiller trained throughout his career by Phil Schoenthal. “He’s a wonderful, wonderful old warrior that just comes back every year and shows up and gives you what he has. He’s just a pleasure to be around,” said Schoenthal. “He’s just that one small notch below the real open stake horses. It’s really just so much fun to have a horse that you bought as a yearling, he’s now 7 and he’s still doing it. It’s just very gratifying.” The victory pushed his career earnings to $563,174 from 52 starts.
Sonny Inspired is the first foal out of the Silver Deputy mare Argentesque, and was purchased by D. Hatman Thoroughbreds for $20,000 out of the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Fall Yearling sale. He represents three generations bred by Charles and Cynthia McGinnes’ Thornmar Farm, and was one of three winners on the Maryland Pride Day card at Laurel on Aug. 18 bred by the couple. Two-year-old first-time starter Come Sundown (Great Notion—Desiderata) won the first race, and Pete’s Play Call (Munnings—Taft Lil Queen) took the second in allowance company.
The McGinneses have sold all of Argentesque’s yearlings to date, including a Flatter colt at last year’s Keeneland September sale for $340,000, and a Trappe Shot filly, Glad All Over, in 2014 at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Fall sale for $195,000. The mare’s current yearling, a colt by Bayern, is in Book 2 in this fall’s Keeneland September sale.