Double Touch was an extra special stakes-winner for Boomer Bloodstock over the weekend, shared with great friend, Flying Start classmate and trainer, Dan Blacker.
It was a day of firsts for connections as the Boomer Bloodstock-purchased 4YO Double Touch (GB) by Dutch Art won the listed Wickerr Stakes at Del Mar in San Diego, California.
Bought at the 2016 Tattersalls Horses in Training Sale for Radley Equine, Rick Gold, Roadrunner Racing, Scott MacDonald & Ken Smole for £70,000, Double Touch was transferred to trainer and Boomer’s fellow 2007 Godolphin Flying Start grad Dan Blacker in California.
Flying Start is to credit for creating a successful partnership between Blacker and Boomer.
“It’s a really close-knit group,” Blacker explained. “You have 12 students from around the world, all a similar age and you’re put together for two years … they’re some of my greatest friends and always will be.
“Tom Morley [Flying Start classmate] was my best man and the other guys were in my wedding so they’re all really good friends. We all work in a close-knit business as well so when we graduated from the program, it wasn’t a big task staying in touch because we’re all good friends.”
The partnership between Blacker and Boomer was on full display on Sunday with the pair together when Double Touch crossed the line a head in front to give Blacker and the gelding their first stakes victories.
“It was great. Boomer is obviously a big part of buying the horse. So that was cool that we got to celebrate the win together,” Blacker said. “He’s a great judge of a horse and I’m really thrilled for the ownership group. Roadrunner Racing, it’s their first stakes win. Rick Gold, it’s our first stakes win together, he’s been a really great supporter of mine.”
Under an expert ride by Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens, Double Touch took the lead as the field entered the straight for the 1600m race. But the race wasn’t won yet with the gelding having to survive a late run from Bombard to win the race.
Blacker has long thought the gelding has the talent to compete at this level but admits he needed things to go right to show it.
“He ran a little lackluster at Santa Anita [last out] but the turf was weird that day,” he explained. “It was a little loose and he likes it like the road. That’s what we got yesterday. I always felt that there was a really good race like that in him, he just needs all the stars to align. He needs a fast pace to run at and a really good ride, obviously that we got from Gary and everything worked out really well.”
Double Touch will now stick to racing at 1600m and is pointed at the Grade 2 Del Mar Mile on 19 August.
That race was won in 2012 and 2013 by Boomer purchased Obviously – who provided Boomer his first Grade 1 victory as a bloodstock agent when winning the 2013 Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile.