On 20th March 1990 a colt sired by the immortal Cam Fella was born on a farm in New Jersey , USA.
Little did anyone know at that time of foaling that this Colt would join “ Elite “ company by the turn of the Century by becoming just the third Pacer to surpass $3 million in earnings.
The colt to be named Presidential Ball joined Nihilator and Artsplace as superstars of Harness Racing – the Race Resume of Presidential Ball read :
38 starts – 26 wins , 10 placings $3,021,363 and best winning time of 1.50.
He was Voted both USTA 2 and 3 year old Pacing Colt of the Year and in 1993 , as a 3 year old , set a single seasons earnings record of $2,222,166.
Presidential Ball was retired to stud in 1994 in USA and then in 2000 commenced a shuttle Stallion career that resulted in him breeding mares in USA , New Zealand and Australia.
Sadly all things great have an ending and on 18th January 2023 that day arrived for Presidential Ball when he was euthanised at Alabar Bloodstock’s farm in Northern Victoria . He was just 2 months shy of his 33rd Birthday.
But back to those early days of Presidential Ball. His Dam I Marilyn was a tough and fast mare racing predominantly on the Yonkers circuit and the half mile tracks of New York State in the early and mid 1980’s. She retired with a 1.55.4 record and over $500,000 in earnings.
Many students of breeding would label her breeding as being out of left field. She was sired by a stallion called Mountain Skipper [ a son of Dale Frost as was Meadow Skipper ] , whilst her Dam White Dawn , a winner of $180,723 , was by a little known son of Volomite called White Mountain Boy. The Dam of Mountain Skipper was sired by an unknown horse called Bulldog , whose only claim to fame was as a full brother to the World Champion Trotter Greyhound.
The Cam Fella / I Marilyn colt was entered in the 1991 Kentucky Standardbred Yearling Sale in Lexington. As there were over 1,000 yearlings nominated for these annual Yearling Sales , a conformation expert named Bart Glass was employed by the Sales Company to inspect all yearlings entered.
At that time the Australian pedigree researcher Philip Trainor was employed by the Kentucky Standardbred Sales Company and will let him take up the story of Presidential Ball the yearling.
“ Bart Glass had been inspecting yearlings for around 8 years up to 1991 and so must have seen over 8,000 yearlings in his travels. He had never scored a yearling on conformation and looks better than 9 out of 10 but I remember the day he called us in our Lexington office and declared he had seen his first perfect 10 yearling – that horse was the Cam Fella colt named Presidential Ball “ said Philip last week.
This writer can recall seeing Presidential Ball at the Annual Alabar Stallion Parade in September 2000 – whilst on his way to Alabar’s New Zealand farm – and like everyone present that day I was left open mouthed with the appearance of this jaw dropping horse . He was indeed a WOW horse.
Presidential Ball was sold at that 1991 Kentucky Standardbred Sale for $75,000 to Toronto , Canada owner Tony Chiaravalle who was about to get the ride of his life – $3 million in earnings in just 2 seasons of racing tells the whole story.
Presidential Ball commenced his Southern Hemisphere breeding career at Alabar’s Farm at Pukekohe on the outskirts of Auckland , New Zealand in 2000.
He came to Australia in March 2009 to continue his career and was retired from service in 2015. For the past seven or eight years [ after being gelded ] he became the best of mates with another Alabar icon in Village Jasper . They lived together in the same paddock and were rarely seen more than 5 metres apart from each other.
What a glorious retirement for two Champions of our Industry and full credit to Alabar Bloodstock for caring for two great men.
Summary of the Breeding Career of Presidential Ball.
Presidential Ball commenced his stud career in USA in 1994 and finished it in Australia in 2015. In between these dates he was also based in New Zealand from 2000 to 2009.
He sired the winners of over $60 million in North America including three Millionaires :
Cathedra Dot Com 1.51 $1,632,543
Bigtime Ball 1.48.2 $1,625,073
Allamerican Native 1.49.4 $1,499,977
Plus Washington VC 1.52,6 $560,984 – who became a leading sire in New Zealand.
His first Australian foals arrived in 2001 – 35 in total – and he was an instant hit with a Derby winning colt and three Stakes winning fillies in that debut crop ;
Emmas Only 1.57.1 $604,483
Ball Gown 1.51 $534,675
White Thunder 1.57.4 $344,717
Lets Thank Heaven 1.52.8 $324,930
Even in his final crop , bred when he was 24 years old , he sired the Menangle winning horse El Aguila 1.52.7 $122,450.
In total Presidential Ball sired 232 winners in Australia who won $13.384 million between them.
In New Zealand his progeny won $6.757 million between them so worldwide he had progeny earnings exceeding $80 million.
Presidential Ball has also made a big impression as a Broodmare Sire in the Southern Hemisphere with his daughters leaving the winners of $23.772 million and counting.
Amazingly and no doubt a pure co incidence, the Top Five performers from Presidential Ball mares in the Southern Hemisphere were all bred in New Zealand but raced in Western Australia – they being ;
My Hard Copy 1.51.6 $1,271,592
Mighty Conqueror 1.53.9 $658,953
Maczaffair 1.52 $632,953
Runoneover 1.50.8 $625,869
Rocknroll Lincoln 1.54 $507,588