WinBlaze homebred Corner Office became the first stakes winner for freshman sire Bal a Bali when he captured the July 23 Hoover Stakes at Belterra Park.
The 2-year-old gelding romped by 8 1/4 lengths against Ohio-breds in his second start June 17 at Thistledown before being bet down as the 2-5 co-favorite in the Hoover, again facing state-bred competition. Perched off the leaders in the early stages behind a :22.94 first quarter, the dark bay seized command turning for home and surged clear to a two-length score under jockey Jose Bracho.
Trained by Timothy Hamm, Corner Office improved his earnings to $63,300 from three starts. He is the third winner produced from the Kitten's Joy mare Elated, who has yearling and weanling colts by National Flag.
Bal a Bali, bred by Haras Santa Maria de Araras in Brazil, was a Triple Crown winner in his native country before being sent to trainer Richard Mandella in the U.S. Under Mandella's care, the son of Put It Back became a dual grade 1 winner on the turf, annexing the Frank E. Kilroe Mile Stakes (G1T) and Shoemaker Mile Stakes (G1T) as as a 7-year-old in 2017. He retired with earnings of $1,258,268 and 15 wins from 26 starts.
Standing at Calumet Farm for $5,000, Bal a Bali has sired two winners to date.