The lovely lady above is E Sveikata is a 2 year old filly out of the mare My Philly by Even the Score. Because of the different dams I’m technically not allowed to refer to her as Tabby’s half-sister, though they are both by Even the Score. However you want to refer to her, she shares half a gene pool with Tabby Lane. A group I lead has purchased a 40% interest in E Sveikata and we’re very much looking forward to her debut as a charge of trainer Kathleen O’Connell in Florida.
The goal with this group to purchase half an interest in two horses but near the close of the deal three members fell out and left us with a choice: continue on with E Sveikata (“Kat” as our little 40% nicknamed her) or hold out and try to get replacements. Time was short so we soldiered on.
My Philly (Cimarron Secret-Ensign Helen-Blue Ensign) was a useful filly, a winner of 9 races in 34 starts with an in the money percentage of 62% and $108,438 earned. She was a precocious 2-year old winning at first asking in a Suffolk Downs maiden special weight, placing 6th next out in the Finger Lakes Juvenile Fillies and then a 3rd in a non-winners of two allowance before a career threatening injury sidelined her for 18th months. After her return she was never quite the same though she managed 8 more wins including back-to-back $22,000 allowance tallies at Canterbury Park. She challenged in the 2006 Claiming Crown Tiara as well as the 2007 HBPA Mile. Never fully recovered from her injury, she nonetheless demonstrated ability and grit – traits that horses either have or they don’t.
E Sveikata was bred (and 60% owned) by Gabe and Jenepher Puniska, a delightful couple now living in Florida but originally from greater Chicago. They own My Philly and, I think correctly, surmised that without her freak injury, Phillly could have been something special. The decided to breed her when her career was done and Gabe carefully selected Even the Score as a match. We’ll see if his work paid off soon enough, but ever since Bernell Rhone turned me on to this gal, I have had a very strong feeling that she’s something special. No real blistering insight – this time it is just gut feeling. Her breeding gives her a shot, I think, but the rest is just my gut telling me that she’s going to be special.
We kicked around a plan to send her to Bernell but that was prior to the agreement with the SMSC and it was hard to make the argument that she should try and break her maiden at Canterbury in a $14,000 MSW when she would run for more than double that at Calder. As it turns out, she’s only just now rounding into shape for her first race so it probably worked out for the best that she stayed in Florida for now. It’s hard to argue with O’Connell’s success with young horses and we’re hoping that trend continues with Eva the Diva, as she’s known around the barn – apparently her “prep school” level education at Eisaman Equine has earned her the reputation as a diva. Thankfully not a reflection of her personality, only her stellar preparation by one of the best in the business!
Tabby Lane’s efforts have been well documented here (overly documented to some!) so we’re pretty excited about what this young filly could accomplish. She’s been working well within herself and we’re not really sure of the depth of her talent, but as an unraced 2-year old, her potential is limitless. She wins a maiden special convincingly in a week or two, smokes the filed in an overnight stake and we’re in the starting gate Breeders’ Cup weekend! Okay, maybe a bit far-fetched, but the point is valid: until they step onto the track and run that first race, just about anything is possible!
Best of luck to all the partners!