Barn Notes: Lone Sailor, Serengeti Empress, Chocolate Martini, Colby Hernandez

By Ryan Martin

  • Amoss’ Graded Stakes Winners Resume Serious Business
  • Colby Hernandez Nearing Milestone Win


When it comes to campaigning Thoroughbreds, trainer Tom Amoss has a pretty good idea of when crunch time should begin after a brief freshening. He believes that time has come for graded stakes winner Lone SailorSerengeti Empress and Chocolate Martini.

Following some down time at GoldMark Farm in Ocala, Fla., both Lone Sailor and Serengeti Empress returned to Amoss’ barn at the very end of 2018 and recorded their first breezes of the year this weekend. Owned by G M B Racing, Lone Sailor returned to the work tab on Friday morning when the 4-year-old son of Majestic Warrior went a half-mile in 49.20 over the Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots main track. On Sunday morning, Grade II Pocahontas winner Serengeti Empress covered the same amount of ground in 48.00 – the fastest of 69 recorded works at the distance.  

“They were similar works, just easy and get reacquainted type of works,” Amoss said. “I didn’t ask for a lot in either of those works but just to get the ball rolling with them. They will both work next week and the work will be significant enough that we should get a pretty good idea of where we are it fitness with those two horses. Without pinpointing a race, I’d say we’re on schedule for a late February or early March race for them both. Next week’s works are going to have a lot to do with how close we are to a race.”

Amos stated that the Grade II $400,000 New Orleans Handicap on March 23 would be a long term goal for the 4-year-old son of Majestic Warrior.  

A winner of the Grade III Oklahoma Derby at Remington Park two starts back, Lone Sailor has not raced since a sixth-place finish in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Classic behind Accelerate. Owned by Joel Politi, Serengeti Empress logged her first work since a start in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies where she ran seventh behind Jaywalk.

Meanwhile, Grade II Fair Grounds Oaks winner Chocolate Martini will breeze for the first time her 4-year-old year on Monday morning. The Double Doors Racing and Thirty Nine Racing-owned daughter of Broken Vow was claimed by Amoss for $25,000 in February 2018 two starts before her Fair Grounds Oaks triumph. She acquired more black type later on in the year with two third-place efforts in the Grade II Summertime Oaks at Santa Anita and the Grade I Coaching Club American Oaks at Saratoga.

“She’ll be in the same boat as those two,” Amoss said. “It will be an easy work to get acquainted. The following week we’ll look to get a work in company for her just like with these two before we really decide where we’re headed. I think that late February to early March will probably be the time frame for those horses.”

Lone Sailor was bred in Kentucky by Alexander-Groves-Matz. He was purchased for $120,000 from Gainesway’s consignment operation at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale in 2016 and is out of the Mr. Greeley broodmare Ambitious, whose dam Aldiza was a Grade I winner. 

A 3-year-old daughter of Alternation, Serengeti Empress was bred in Kentucky by Tri Eques Bloodstock and is out of the unraced Bernardini broodmare Havisham. She was a $70,000 purchase from the Keeneland September Yearling Sale in 2017 where she was consigned by Brookdale Sales.


Jockey Colby Hernandez is only four victories away from reaching a total of 2,000 career victories.

On Sunday afternoon, Hernandez, 30, took one step closer to said milestone with a win in the finale about Crooked As Can Be ($.20).

Hernandez is named the rider aboard five horses on Monday afternoon’s program: Wabash Cannonball (Race 1, 5-2), Fetching Fury (Race 2, 7-2), Whoz Talkin Now (Race 5, 3-1), Unrestricted (Race 6, 7-2), Golden Argument (Race 9, 6-1).