First-time starter Forte Feroce seized command at the quarter pole and romped to a clear win in the third race at Emerald Downs June 15, becoming the first winner for Texas-based freshman sireGrasshopper .
J. C. Racing Stable’s Texas-bred gelding out of stakes-placed Dove Hunt mare Catarina Ranch won by 4 3/4 lengths at 10-1 odds under Anne Sanguinetti, who was riding for trainer Jeffrey Metz. He covered the 4 1/2-furlong maiden special weight race in :51.78 on a fast track. Metz bought him for $15,000 from breeder Ed Few through the Benchmark Training Center consignment at the Fasig-Tipton Texas 2-year-olds in training sale in April.
Grasshopper, a 10-year-old son of Dixie Union, posted a 5-6-2 record from 21 career starts and earned $848,582. He won the 2008 Mineshaft Handicap (gr. III) at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots and finished second in the previous year’s Travers Stakes (gr. I) atSaratoga Race Course and Super Derby (gr. II) at Louisiana Downs. He also placed second in three other graded stakes in 2008 and was third in the season’s Whitney Handicap (gr. I) at Saratoga.
Grasshopper, who is out of the Mr. Prospector mare Grass Skirt, stands at Lane’s End Texas in Hempstead for a 2014 fee of $3,500. The full brother to 2007 Delta Jackpot Stakes (gr. III) winner Turf War and stakes winner Straw Hat has 25 2-year-olds in his first crop.