Santa Anita Park Recap for Monday (2-18-19)

Good main track and good turf course. Three front running sprint winners on dirt (7f, 7f, 5f). The winning turf course running styles were a front runner down the hill, a stalker at one mile, a front runner at one mile, a downhill stalker, and a patient runner at one mile (rail at 20 feet).    

Joel Rosario booted home a pair of winners. Richard Baltas and Tim Yakteen both saddled two winners.  

The 20 cent Rainbow Pick 6 pool was $182,616 and multiple winning tickets paid $7,480.88 each. There will be a Pick 6 jackpot carryover of $280,342 when live racing resumes Friday, Feb. 22. 

Upsetter Macho Unusual Wires Field To Take $200,000 California Cup Oaks

Upsetter Macho Unusual Wires Field To Take $200,000 California Cup Oaks

byPress Release| 02.19.2019 | 10:03am

Mucho Unusual wins the California Cup Oaks

Dismissed at odds of 10-1, George Krikorian's homebred Mucho Unusual went to the front and never looked back in Monday's $200,000 California Cup Oaks at Santa Anita, as she breezed by three lengths under Joel Rosario. Trained by Tim Yakteen, the California-bred daughter of Mucho Macho Man, out of the Unusual Heat mare Not Unusual, got one mile over a “good” turf in 1:36.92.

The Cal Cup Oaks, for 3-year-old fillies bred or sired in California, is part of the lucrative Golden State Series, which is sponsored by the CTBA.

In her first start on turf and around two turns, Mucho Unusual made an easy lead, getting the opening quarter mile in 24.14 and dictated terms to the far turn, whereupon she unleashed an eye catching turn of foot, opening up on her competition turning for home in an impressive burst.

Most recently fourth as the 3-5 favorite in a Cal-bred allowance going 6 ½ furlongs here on Jan. 27, Mucho Unusual was off at 10-1 in a field of nine and paid $23.80, $11.20 and $6.20.

A longtime owner/breeder and a member of the California Horse Racing Board, Krikorian picked up $110,000 for the win, taking Mucho Unusual's earnings to $200,420, while improving her overall mark to 5-2-2-0.

Doug O'Neill trained the two-three finishers, as Lippy, who was attentive to the pace, checked in a half length in front of Lakerball, who rallied from mid-pack.

Ridden by Mario Gutierrez, Lippy was off at 23-1 and paid $24.80 and $11.40.

Lakerball was off at 4-1 with Rafael Bejarano and paid $4.40 while finishing 3 ¼ lengths in front of Hot On the Trail.

Apache Princess, the 6-5 favorite with Kent Desormeaux, stumbled at the break, was jostled around the first turn and was caught extremely wide at the top of the lane, never threatened while running fifth.

Complete fractions on the race were 24.14, 48.84, 1:12.97 and 1:25.06.

5-6-17BigScore (1).JPG


George Krikorian's homebred Big Score, the son of Mr. Big, finished a hard fought third in the Grade 2 American Turf.  He came out of the race in excellent shape and is back at his home base in California with Tim Yakteen.

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Big Score registers 10-1 upset of Transylvania on Keeneland opening day

 Matt Wooley/equisport photos

 Matt Wooley/equisport photos

Big Score was beaten a little more than five lengths by Oscar Performance in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) last November, but in their rematch Friday in the $150,000 Transylvania (G3)<>, the feature on Keeneland’s spring meet opener, it was Big Score who led home a parade of longshots while Oscar Performance struggled home fifth as the 3-5 choice.

Settled in mid-pack under Javier Castellano while Holiday Stone set a pace of :23.92, :48.48, and 1:13.17, Big Score waited for an opening in upper stretch. In second by the eighth pole, he wore down the 34-1 speedster to win by a half-length. Makarios completed the trifecta at 38-1 and was followed by Ticonderoga, Oscar Performance, Cowboy Culture, Sonic Boom, and Profiteer.

A homebred racing for George Krikorian and trained by Tim Yakteen, Big Score paid $22.40 as a 10-1 chance after completing 1 1/16 miles on turf labeled good in 1:43.23.

“We’ll look at Churchill most likely,” said Yakteen, referring to the American Turf (G2) on Kentucky Derby weekend as Big Score’s possible next start.

A debut winner at Del Mar last July, Big Score next finished second in the $100,000 Del Mar Juvenile Turf. He preceded his fifth in the Breeders’ Cup with a 3 1/4-length score in the $100,000 Zuma Beach at Santa Anita.

A Kentucky-bred by Mr. Big and out of the Unusual Heat mare Not Unusual, Big Score hails from the family Hall of Fame filly Tosmah. He’s now earned $237,800 from a line of 5-3-1-0.


Photo by Anne M. Eberhardt

Photo by Anne M. Eberhardt

From the time he purchased the colt at the 2003 Keeneland November breeding stock sale, George Krikorian believed the day would come when Mr. Big

would get an opportunity to showcase some real talent. Throughout his nine-race career, results for the son

of Dynaformer were spotty at best. As the eld for the Transylvania Stakes Presented by Keeneland Select (G3T) April 7 hit the lane, the stallion's dark bay son emerged from behind horses to succeed in making good on his owner/breeder's faith.

The fact Krikorian's Big Score took down a Breeders' Cup winner in his season debut Friday was only part
of the massive nature of the colt's half-length win over

Holiday Stone in the 1 1/16-mile Transylvania Stakes at Keeneland. In earning his rst graded stakes triumph, Big Score provided the best advertising ever for his 14-year-old, California-based sire, who has just 16 foals of racing age from ve crops.

After purchasing Mr. Big as weanling and watching him win two of nine starts on the California circuit, Krikorian thought too much of the bay horse to not give him even the smallest chance in the breeding shed. He bred him to a couple of mares and got a happy surprise when his rst runner— Big Break— ended up winning ve races with $236,259 in earnings.

Emboldened, Krikorian sent a handful more mares
his stallion's way, including the Unusual Heat mare Not Unusual, whose third foal, Big Score, earned his third win in ve starts with his big run in the Keeneland stretch.

"Mr. Big is a horse I bought as a weaning and... he had some unfortunate racing luck and didn't really get a chance to show his talent," said Krikorian, who currently stands Mr. Big at E. A. Ranches in California for a fee of $6,000. "He was such a good-looking horse, I couldn't bring myself to just pension him, so I decided to just breed him to a couple of mares. The rst foal ran and won by almost nine lengths, so that motivated me to breed him to additional mares.

"This is an example of the kinds of horses he is producing."

Big Score already added to his sire's burgeoning résumé when he broke his maiden on debut going
a mile on the turf at Del Mar in July. Two starts later, he captured the Oct. 10 Zuma Beach Stakes over the Santa Anita Park grass course, earning himself a spot in the starting gate for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (G1T), where he was fth, beaten 5 lengths by 3-5 Transylvania favorite Oscar Performance.

Like Oscar Performance, Big Score was making
his rst start since the Breeders' Cup outing. Unlike
his grade 1-winning rival, the dark bay runner left little doubt about his progression from 2 to 3, as he rated fth between horses while Holiday Stone cut opening fractions of :23.92 and :48.48 over a course rated good.

"I had a wonderful trip. I really like the way he did it today—very relaxed, very comfortable, good rhythm all the way through the race," said Javier Castellano, who rode Big Score. "I kept track of the pace. The way he did it (winning from o the pace) was phenomenal."

As the eight-horse field came off the final turn,

Holiday Stone was still holding on to his advantage, but the rail opened up for Oscar Performance—
who had a ground-saving trip tracking third— to unleash a turn of foot. While jockey Jose Ortiz got no response from the favorite, Castellano had plenty to work with, as Big Score angled out from behind rivals and wore the pacesetter down in the final strides to hit the wire in 1:43.23.

Sent o at 10-1 odds, Big Score paid out $22.40, $10.40, and $7 across the board. Makarios ran on late to get third with Ticonderoga fourth and Oscar Performance attened out to nish fth.

"No real excuses. I thought he settled in nice behind," said Brian Lynch, trainer of Oscar Performance. "The pace was not real quick and the rail opened up when it needed to, but he just did not quicken. He could have gotten tired. He was working on a much faster turf course at Palm Meadows (Training Center in South Florida). Maybe he was not as tight as I thought he would be."

Big Score improved his earnings to $237,800 and will likely start next in the May 6 American Turf Stakes (G2T) at Churchill Downs, according to trainer Tim Yakteen.

With his sire already gaining regional popularity thanks to eight winners from as many starters, Krikorian is hopeful his homebred runner will continue to put his stallion's name on a broader map.

"Last year I moved him to California and bred 39 mares, and he's being bred to about 50-60 this year," Krikorian said. "There are going to be a lot of Mr. Bigs on the ground the next couple of years. Especially after what happened today, that is really going to help our program." BH


Swinging Star upsets in the finale at Santa Anita for Tim Yakteen.

by Millie Ball / XBTV / 1.17.2017

At odds of 12/1 Swinging Star was given a beautiful ground saving ride under Flavien Prat to win the last race carded at Santa Anita on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.  Owned and bred by George Krikorian, the gelded son of Malibu Moon sprinted six and a half furlongs on the downhill turf course labled "good" in 1.13.28. Swinging Star is out of the multiple Grade 1 winner Starrer.  The same trainer, owner and jockey combination came within a half length of pulling off another upset earlier in the day, when Camino de Estrella finished second to Bob Baffert's favorite Dabster in the Maiden Special Weight for three year olds.

Video link below : Swinging Star

Twirling Tiger put a bow on the box for Yakteen Racing Stables in 2016

by Millie Ball / XBTV/ 1.14.2017

Closing out the year the right way, Yakteen Racing Stables celebrated a victory Dec. 29. at Santa Anita with Twirling Tiger. The 3 year old son of Candy Ride was making his first start for trainer Tim Yakteen and Owner Paymaster Racing LLC. since being claimed back in March.  Twirling Tiger had hinted his readiness during his final preperations when seen working in company from the gate Dec. 19. published on 

The rain in Southern California has hindered the newly turned 4 year old's return to the worktab but his connections are keen to continue where they left off.




Big Score Impresses In Zuma Beach, Earns Spot In BC Juvenile Turf

by Mike Willman/Santa Anita | 10.11.2016 | 8:26am 


Big Score and jockey Flavien Prat win the $100,000 Zuma Beach Stakes


George Krikorian's homebred Big Score overcame his outside post position and rocketed to a scintillating 3 ¼ length victory under Flavien Prat in Monday's $100,000 Zuma Beach Stakes at Santa Anita. Trained by Tim Yakteen, the Kentucky-bred colt by Mr. Big negotiated one mile on turf in 1:33.56 and stamped himself a leading candidate for the Grade I, $1 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf at one mile here on Nov. 4.

“I don't think distance will be any concern,” said Yakteen. “I think he showed that he's not one dimensional today. He doesn't have to come from completely out of it (as he did in running second in the one mile Del Mar Juvenile Turf on Sept. 3). The pace was substantially faster today, the first part of the race and Flavien kept him a little closer, but it didn't seem to compromise his kick…I would love to participate in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf.”

Breaking from post position 11 in a field of 12, Big Score broke alertly, folded over in mid-pack and was three wide around the Club House turn. Approaching the far turn, he accelerated nicely while still three-wide, made the lead three sixteenths from home and bounded clear like a horse who may relish added distance.


“Since he won first time out (going a mile on turf in a maiden special weight race on July 24), I've thought he was a good horse,” said Prat. “Last time, I was a little too far behind the rest of the field and had to wait a little bit to get through…Today, I took my time and put him right there, even though the pace was pretty fast. I wanted him right there and he always shows a good turn of foot. The Breeders' Cup is what we're looking for.”

Off at 9-2, Big Score paid $11.60, $4.80 and $3.80. With two wins from three starts, he picked up $60,000 for the win, boosting his earnings to $117,800.

Krikorian, who also owns Big Score's sire, Mr. Big, noted that his stallion, recently relocated from Kentucky to E.A. Ranches in Ramona, Calif., is showing good promise following his initial breeding season in the Golden State.

“These horses by Mr. Big are doing well. He's a son of Dynaformer, who stood in Kentucky for many years and has now passed away. He was bred to 39 mares this year and if he keeps going the way he is, he could be his best son at stud.”

Sonic Boom, who exited a six furlong turf maiden special weight win at Kentucky Downs on Sept. 15, finished gamely between horses for the place, prevailing by a half-length over Ventry Bay. Ridden by Brian Hernandez, Jr. Sonic Boom was off at 4-1 and paid $6.20 and $5.40.

Ventry Bay, who broke from post position 12 with David Flores, was forwardly placed throughout and was just out-finished for second money and had to settle for third, a nose in front of Harbour Master. Off at 12-1, Ventry Bay paid $7.40 to show.

Fractions on the race were 21.89, 44.83, 1:09.43 and 1:21.69.

Live racing resumes at Santa Anita on Friday, with first post time at 1 p.m.

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Copyright © 2016 Paulick Report.

This entry was posted in Breeders' Cup and tagged Big Scoregeorge krikorianHorse Racingsanta anitathoroughbredTim Yakteenzuma beach stakes by Mike Willman/Santa Anita. Bookmark the permalink


Big Score Lives Up to His Name in the Zuma Beach

Monday, October 10, 2016 | Back to: Top News

Previous Story | 

9th at San, $100,000Zuma Beach S.(1m)Winner: Big Score, c, 2 by Mr. Big

ZUMA BEACH S., $102,415, SA, 10-10, 2yo, 1mT, 1:33.56, fm.
1–#BIG SCORE, 120, c, 2, by Mr. Big
1st Dam: Not Unusual, by Unusual Heat
2nd Dam: Fly First Class, by General Meeting
3rd Dam: Laura’s Jet, by Wajima
O/B-George Krikorian (KY); T-Tim Yakteen; J-Flavien Prat.
$60,000. Lifetime Record: 3-2-1-0, $117,800.
2–Sonic Boom, 118, c, 2, More Than Ready–Silent Circle, by
Indian Charlie. ($135,000 Ylg ’15 KEESEP). O-Lothenbach
Stables, Inc.; B-Athens Woods, LLC & More Than Ready
Syndicate (KY); T-Ian R. Wilkes. $20,000.3–Ventry Bay, 118, c, 2, Scat Daddy–Raffishing Look, by
Kingmambo. ($325,000 Ylg ’15 KEESEP). O-Ice Wine Stable,
Susan Magnier, Michael Tabor & Derrick Smith; B-Gainesway
Thoroughbreds Ltd. (KY); T-Wesley A. Ward. $12,000.Margins: 3 1/4, HF, NO. Odds: 4.80, 4.30, 12.30.
Also Ran: Harbour Master (GB), Oopper Wallah, Offshore, Billy Big (Ire), Bowies Hero, Riser, Colonel Samsen, Secret House, Sorry Erik. Scratched: Toshiro.
Big Score, a maiden winner going one mile over the Del Mar lawn July 24, was second behind the reopposing Bowies Hero going the same distance in the Sept. 3 Del Mar Juvenile Turf S. The dark bay colt angled over from his outside post and settled in mid-pack early while three wide as Riser (Mizzen Mast) zipped through fractions of :21.89 and :44.83. He made rapid progress on the final bend and powered to the lead in upper stretch and spurted clear for an authoritative victory. “I think he can handle more distance,” admitted winning trainer Tim Yakteen. “I definitely don’t think distance will be any concern. I think he showed that he’s not one dimensional today. He doesn’t have to come from completely out of it. The pace was substantially faster today, the first part of the race, and Flavien [Prat] kept him a little closer but it didn’t seem to compromise his kick. He still had a pretty good kick.” The win had owner/breeder George Krikorian dreaming of a return to Santa Anita next month. “The way he’s been running, we thought he’d run well today,” Krikorian said. “We’ll definitely point him now to the million-dollar race [GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Nov. 4.]” Krikorian campaigned the winner’s sire, two-time winner Mr. Big (Dynaformer). “These horses by Mr. Big are showing a lot of promise,” he said. “I moved him to E.A. Ranches in Ramona for this year and he was bred to 39 mares. If he keeps going the way he is, he could be the best son of Dynaformer at stud.” Mr. Big is \fs21softlinealso the sire of graded stakes placed Big Book. Not Unusual, purchased by Krikorian for $67,000 at the 2007 Barretts October Yearling sale, produced a filly by Mucho Macho Man this year and was bred back to Mr. Big.

Yet another debut winner for stallion Mr Big!

Krikorian Thinking ‘Big’ With Dynaformer Stallion Now Standing In California


by Ray Paulick | 07.26.2016 | 1:56am

George Krikorian has enjoyed success from limited opportunities with his sire Mr. Big

When Big Score rallied from more than seven lengths back under jockey Flavien Prat to win a one-mile maiden race for 2-year-olds on turf at Del Mar on Sunday, I glanced down at my program to look at the colt's pedigree.

Bred in Kentucky by George Krikorian and carrying his magenta, black and silver silks to an impressive 2 ¾-length win at odds of 8-1, Big Score was sired by a stallion named Mr. Big and out of a mare by leading California stallion Unusual Heat.

Mr. Big? I had never heard of him. But Big Score, making his first career start, beat a field that included a hot favorite in Mystic Kid, a son of Lemon Drop Kid. Other runners in the race were sired by Midnight Lute, CongratsGio Ponti and Hat Trick.

I did some hasty online research and saw that Mr. Big was a son of the late Dynaformer who'd won two of nine starts for Krikorian, racing from ages 4 to 7. At 17.2 hands, he came by his name honestly.

A few minutes later, I ran into Dr. George Mundy, an old friend from Kentucky who advises Krikorian – a California movie theater magnate who has a horse farm in Versailles, Ky. Krikorian is also building one of his Krikorian Premiere Theatres in downtown Lexington, at the corner of South Broadway and High Street across the street from Rupp Arena. The facility will include 12 movie screens in auditoriums with fully reclining leather seats; a 200-seat sports bar and bistro with a 70-foot wide screen for events; a 16-lane bowling alley; and a full-service restaurant and gourmet food court, with coffee bar. Krikorian also bought a building in Beaumont Circle in Lexington that houses my old employer, Blood-Horse Publications, along with the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association, and a few other businesses.

But I digress.

Mundy told me a little about Mr. Big, namely that Krikorian purchased him as a weanling (for $220,000 at the 2003 Keeneland November breeding stock sale from Viking Stud) and that the horse had some problem getting to the races.

Trained at first by John Shirreffs and later by Bob Baffert, Mr. Big raced three times at 4, four times at 6 and twice at 7.

After Mr. Big was retired, Krikorian sent him to his Kentucky farm and bred him to a handful of his own mares, beginning in 2010.

“George believed in the horse,” Mundy said.

Mr. Big had two named foals of 2011, his first crop, seven in 2012, two in 2013 and three in 2014, including the aforementioned Big Score.

That's a grand total of 14 foals of racing age in four crops.

There's a reason I hadn't heard of Mr. Big.

But maybe I should have.

Mr. Big, by Dynaformer, now stands at E.A. Ranches in Ramona, Calif. (Joy B. Gilbert photo)

Seven of those foals have made it to the races and six of them won. His first runner was Big Break, who debuted for trainer Art Sherman at Santa Anita Park in a maiden claiming race for 3-year-olds in 2014, winning by 7 ¾ lengths. He was promptly claimed for $50,000 by Steve Knapp. Big Break continues to race, most recently finishing fourth in an allowance/$40,000 optional claimer, his 32nd career star.

Mr. Big's best runner, Big Book, foaled in California in 2012, won her first two races, then finished first in the Fleet Treat Stakes last summer at Del Mar. A post-race sample detected an overage of acepromazine, however, resulting in Big Book being disqualified from the win. A month later, she finished second in the Grade 3 Torrey Pines Stakes, also at Del Mar.

Big Score's win on Sunday came just one day after Big Book suffered sesamoid injuries during training hours at Del Mar and will never race again. She was one of three horses reported injured that morning. Krikorian and Tim Yakteen – who trains both Big Score and Big Book – hope to be able to save Big Book as a broodmare. (UPDATE: Daily Racing Form reported on Tuesday that Big Book was euthanized as a result of her injuries.)

Such are the highs and lows in this game.

Shortly after Big Book won her second race last summer, Krikorian struck a deal to stand Mr. Big at E.A. Ranches in Ramona, Calif. His fee is $3,500 live foal.

During his first California breeding season in 2016, the only son of Dynaformer standing in the Golden State was bred to 39 mares, with 33 of them pronounced in foal.

Krikorian, a New Hampshire native who grew up near Rockingham Park and is the son of a Thoroughbred trainer, said he bred 12 or 13 mares himself to Mr. Big, who was produced from the Fappiano mare Fashion Delight (out of Grade 1 Frizette winner Charleston Rag and a half sister to the dam of Group 1 Epsom Oaks winner Casual Look)

“This horse had a lot of potential and he's really well bred,” said Krikorian. “He stamps his foals beautifully: they're tall, with good bone, good minds.”

Needless to say, Krikorian is expecting “big” things in the future.

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Copyright © 2016 Paulick Report.

This entry was posted in Ray's Paddock and tagged big bookBig ScoreBob BaffertDynaformere.a. ranches,george krikoriangeorge mundyjohn shirreffsMr. BigTim Yakteen by Ray Paulick. Bookmark the permalink.


"Lute" commands respect!

It has been a productive start to the Los Alamitos meeting for Yakteen Racing Stables.  Commander Lute, owned by Paymaster racing and Mike Waters, made his way to the winner's circle exactly ten days after Daphne's Day graduated from her maiden ranks. "Lute's" victory was particularly sweet as it provided Joe Talamo with his first double at the current meeting and the owners their very first win in Southern California! Congratulations to all.

2016- Let's keep the 'Ball' rolling!!

I'm happy to report we started the year well!   Aren Vaughn was our first runner and winner of 2016. He broke his maiden on January 3rd, for Donnie Crevier, beating 10 down the hill side turf course at Santa Anita. 

Film Freak quickly followed suit for owner/breeder George Krikorian, winning a Maiden Special Weight over the same trip, nineteen days later. 

George was back in the Santa Anita winner's circle just 3 weeks after with another homebred, Action Hero, earning his maiden allowance condition over a mile on the dirt. 

 Speaking of dirt, Dirt In Your Face closed out the month of February in a strong manner, breaking his maiden by more than twelve lengths for Utah based owner Jay McKee

Congratulations everyone and let's keep the 'Ball' rolling!


Big Book (Mr. Big) earned first black type placing in the Torrey Pines Stakes

By Millie Ball

George Krikorian's homebred filly Big Book finished second to Grade 1 winner Stellar Wind in Sunday's feature at Del Mar, the 38th running of the Grade 3 Torrey Pines Stakes. Big Book entered the race undefeated in three starts and exited with her first black type placing. 

Trainer Tim Yakteen was very pleased with her effort, "She came out of the race in excellent shape.  She will get a little breather during the Los Alamitos meeting and be ready for Santa Anita."

Throwing the ‘Book’ at the Torrey Pines

Friday, August 28, 2015 | Back to: Shared News

Big Book | Benoit Photo

By Heather Anderson

Undefeated Big Book (Mr. Big) makes her graded stakes debut in Sunday’s GIII Torrey Pines S. at the seaside oval off a professional victory in Del Mar’s Cal-bred Fleet Treat S. July 25 for trainer Tim Yakteen and owner/breeder George Krikorian. The attractive grey worked a sharp five panels in :59 4/5 (10/95) at Del Mar Aug. 22 and is giving every indication she is sitting on a big effort, according to Yakteen.

“She is coming into the race off an excellent work,” said a hopeful Yakteen, who trains a handful of horses for Krikorian, a member of the California Horse Racing Board and founder of Krikorian Premier Theatres. “She seems to be coming along absolutely perfect.”

Perfect sums up Big Book’s race record to date. Unraced at two due to her size inherited from 17.2-hand sire Mr. Big (Dynaformer), the sophomore earned a nose success versus state-breds at first asking sprinting six furlongs at Santa Anita May 23 before a win against similar in an optional claimer stretched to a mile–the same distance as the Torrey Pines–June 13 prior to her Fleet Treat victory. Regular rider Rafael Bajarano will be back aboard Big Book this weekend.

Added Yakteen, “She’s a very big filly, very much along the lines of her sire Mr. Big. She’s a very straightforward filly. She loves her training. [The preparation for the Torrey Pines] has pretty much been uneventful, she’s doing quite well. You have to watch yourself around the barn [though] because she is a little aggressive.” 

A May foal, Big Book is a Krikorian product through and through and is a product of the popular Dynaformer over Carson City cross that produced GI Kentucky Derby hero Barbaro. By California resident and Krikorian-owned Mr. Big, a $220,000 KEENOV weanling purchase in 2003 by Krikorian who is a half-brother to GIII Santa Paula S. winner Magnificience (Stormy Atlantic), Big Book is built in a similar mold to her sire.

“They are all big and strong boned,” said Krikorian, who grew up near the now-defunct Rockingham Park in New Hampshire. “Mr. Big stamps all his foals that way. She certainly started to stand out when we put her into training.”

Big Book’s dam Novel Twist (Holy Bull), out of the Carson City mare The Green Owl, joined the Krikorian fold when snapped up for $100,000 at the 2006 Keeneland September Yearling Sale. She a half-sister to three stakes winners with the best of them being Group 2 winner Barbecue Eddie (Stormy Atlantic), who also ran third in the 2007 GI Ancient Title S.

Mr. Big and Novel Twist both carried Krikorian’s distinctive magenta-and-blue silks to allowance victories at Hollywood Park and Laurel Park, respectively. Although neither set hoof in a stakes race of any sort, Krikorian, the son of a trainer, is no stranger to graded stakes victories, having enjoyed great success at the highest level with horses like MGISWs Starrer (Dynaformer) and Hollywood Story (Wild Rush), as well as GISW Star Billing (Dynaformer), who sold for $2.6 million at KEENOV in 2013 to Mt. Brilliant Farm.

One of 20 horses in training for Krikorian, owner of Starwood Farm in Versailles, Kentucky, Big Book has raised the flag for the success of the Kirkorian breeding operation.

“I think I’ve had some pretty good success with the homebred program, so I’m really pleased with the direction that’s been going,” said a buoyant Krikorian, who will be on hand Sunday to see Big Book take her chance and break new ground for her sire. “She’s running against some pretty nice horses and we’re hoping that she does well. So depending on how that all works out, that’ll determine the next steps for her.”

Added Yakteen, “You always have to respect your competition. Obviously the standout in this field is going to be [GISW] Stellar Wind [Curlin]. She comes with some pretty strong credentials. It’s just nice to be able to run against a filly like that. I think Big Book deserves an opportunity and I think the timing is right. She’s proven herself at a mile and I think this is a great time to jump into graded company.”