Breeders and Owners Hoping to Hit the Jackpot with Majestic Secret
Aug 3, 2017
Looking for a Little Luck in Saturday’s FTBOA Florida Sire Stakes
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL
– George and Debbi Klein will travel from Arizona to South Florida hoping to hit another jackpot at Gulfstream Park.
The Kleins’ homebred 2-year-old colt, Majestic Secret, is set to compete in the $100,000 Dr. Fager Division of the FTBOA Florida Sire Stakes Saturday that will be co-featured by the $100,000 Desert Vixen Division for 2-year-old fillies.
A few years ago, the Kleins enjoyed good fortune at The Casino at Gulfstream Park, where Debbi hit the jackpot for an estimated $8,000 in winnings.
“My wife won all that money and said, ‘You know what? Why don’t we go buy a mare for ourselves, just for our family?’” said George Klein, who had previously dabbled in breeding partnerships.
A self-described “wannabe, self-taught bloodstock guy,” Klein and longtime friend and Florida horseman J. R. Cavanaugh ventured to Keeneland for the November Mixed Sale, returning to Ocala with Cotulla, an unraced daughter of Indygo Shiner who brought a winning bid of $4,700.
Bred to Kantharos, Cotulla produced Majestic Secret, who has established himself as a strong Florida Sire Stakes prospect during his three-race career. The Florida-bred colt debuted at Gulfstream May 25 with a sixth-place finish after hitting the gate while breaking from the No. 1 post position. He returned to the races June 8 to offer a much improved effort, finishing second behind Todd Pletcher-trained Bal Harbour.
Majestic Secret came back to graduate June 25 with a front-running victory by three-quarters of a length while stretching out from 4 ½ to 5 furlongs.
While it took a stroke of good fortune to win the money to buy Cotulla, the Kleins hardly relied on mere luck to come up with Majestic Secret.
George Klein and Cavanaugh had identified Kantharos as a very exciting prospect when the undefeated son of Lion Heart embarked on his stallion career in Florida and went to the Keeneland November Mixed Sale specifically looking for a mare to breed to him.
“I look at thousands and thousands of pedigrees. I fell in love with Kantharos, because he is the only stallion in North America with six crosses of Bold Ruler. No other stallion has that many,” Klein said. “Even though he has all those crosses, the most common one – A. P. Indy, Seattle Slew, Boldnesian – isn’t there. Guess what? When you give him that it sets off genetic fireworks.”
“My mare is loaded with Seattle Slew – she has two crosses – and she’s loaded with War Admiral,” said Klein, a semiconductor engineer by profession.
Klein and his wife, a registered nurse, became enchanted with the idea of breeding thoroughbreds when they had to opportunity to visit the Santa Anita walking ring before the 2009 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) as guests of Chris Pallas, Debbi Klein’s brother who was in a partnership that owned multiple graded-stakes winner and eventual fifth-place finisher Mambo Meister.”
“It left a big impression on my wife. I’d already been a horseplayer for years. We got to go in the paddock and experienced the whole thing,” George Klein said. “I got this crazy idea: ‘I can do this.’ I got a couple of broodmares and started breeding.”
The Kleins’ horses are raised at Cavanaugh’s Wicklow Farm in Ocala and trained by veteran horseman Rory Miller, who has saddled three 2-year-old winners at Gulfstream during the spring and summer.
“Rory is such a good guy to work with, because he takes such good care of your horses,” said Klein, who sold interests in Majestic Secret to three family members.
Although the Kleins reside in Gilbert, Ariz., they continue to support the Florida-bred program.
“The purse structure and the breeders’ awards – other than New York – in my opinion are the best in Florida and gives breeders a chance to make some money,” said George Klein, a native New Yorker. “Also, that’s where all my connections are.”
The Kleins, who also own a yearling full brother and a weanling Awesome of Course-sired half-sister to Majestic Secret, were on hand for their Dr. Fager prospect’s maiden victory and are planning to return to Gulfstream Saturday.