Yates Reaping Benefits of Faith in Stallion Cajun Breeze
Florida Horseman Represented in Saturday’s Swale, Holy Bull
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Michael Yates, a long-time Florida breeder, owner and trainer with a year-round presence at Gulfstream Park, is reaping the benefits of his unwavering faith in Cajun Breeze, a tough-as-nails competitor who became an instant success as a stallion in the Sunshine State.
Yates and Cajun Breeze will be represented in both the $250,000 Holy Bull (G3) and $100,000 Swale (G3) on Saturday’s Gulfstream program that will also feature the $100,000 Forward Gal (G3), $100,000 Kitten’s Joy (G3) and $100,000 Sweetest Chant.
Yates is scheduled to saddle Cajun’s Magic for the Holy Bull, the first graded stakes on the Road to the Curlin Florida Derby (G1), and Dean Delivers for the Swale, a six-furlong sprint for 3-year-olds.
Cajun Breeze, a stakes-placed son of Congrats who won four of 33 starts while primarily competing in allowance and stakes company for Yates, is the sire of both 3-year-olds, both of whom are owned by Stonehedge LLC. After being represented by a pair of stakes winners in his very limited first crop in 2018, Cajun Breeze was moved from Yates’ Shadybrook Farm to stand at stud at Stonehedge Farm to advance his stallion career.
Cajun’s Breeze’s offspring have demonstrated versatility and toughness.
“They’re just very solid horses that have really good minds,” Yates said. “A lot of them have a lot of raw talent. I feel like we haven’t seen the best of them yet.”
Yates opted to run Cajun’s Magic in the Holy Bull due to his experience around two turns. After winning the six-furlong Dr. Fager and finishing second in the seven-furlong Affirmed in the first two legs of the 2021 Florida Sire Stakes series, he finished a very game second behind favored Octane in the 1 1/16-mile In Reality final.
“We didn’t want to run them in the same race, and Cajun’s Magic already ran a mile and a sixteenth in the sire stakes and ran a good race,” Yates said. “I think he’s better now than he was then. Even though he’s coming off a layoff, he’s been training really well.”
Cajun’s Magic will take on eight rivals, including Remsen (G2) winner Mo Donegal, Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) third-place finisher Giant Game and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) second-place finisher Tiz the Bomb.
Dean Delivers finished a dead-game second in his return off a five-month layoff after battling favored Dean’s List through the stretch before coming up just a neck short of victory.
“I thought it was a huge effort, especially off the layoff. He didn’t get away from the gate very well, but it may have been a blessing in disguise because there was a hot pace,” Yates said. “I thought he ran a great race.”
Dean Delivers graduated at first asking by 7 ½ lengths before finishing a neck behind Cajun’s Magic in the Dr. Fager.
“He’s worked very well. His work between races was the deciding factor. I was anticipating running him in a Florida-bred allowance race,” Yates said. “Being that he ran such a big race off the layoff, you got to worry about the bounce factor a little bit, but he’s gone so forward and is doing really well, we decided to take a shot and see what we have.”
Dean Delivers will face five opponents Brad Cox-trained In Dreams, a winner of his last two starts at Churchill Downs and Oaklawn; Todd Pletcher-trained My Prankster, a stakes-placed son of Into Mischief; and Saffie Joseph Jr.-trained Of a Revolution, who finished a close second in the six-furlong Limehouse last time out.
Jesus Rios has the call on Cajun’s Magic, while Miguel Vasquez has the mount aboard Dean Delivers.