Flor de Sombra #7 with Mychel Sanchez riding won the $200,000 Shamrock Rose Stakes at Penn National Racecourse on Friday night 11/25/22. Photo By Bill Denver/EQUI-PHOTO.
A good Pennsylvania-bred can make their connections far more than just purse money, and no horse exemplified that notion better than Flor de Sombra in 2022.
During her juvenile season, the daughter of Social Inclusion racked up $424,990 in earnings tied to her status as a horse born and sired in the Keystone State, including state-bred stakes purses, breeders’ awards, and stallion awards. Those earnings were nearly $100,000 ahead of second-place Gordian Knot, who brought in $326,125 in state awards.
Flor de Sombra won four of five starts during her 2-year-old season, racing as a homebred for Joseph Imbesi and trained by Guadalupe Preciado.
The filly’s season started on July 26, when she effortlessly disposed of a 5 1/2-furlong maiden special weight field at Parx Racing by a geared-down 7 3/4 lengths. She went off at odds of 9-1 that day, and she wouldn’t see a price like that again in 2022.
Flor de Sombra’s second act was just as impressive, taking the 5 1/2-furlong Miss Blue Tye Dye Stakes on Aug. 22 at Parx by two lengths as the heavy favorite, one again gearing down after leading in the stretch by six lengths. The filly suffered her lone defeat of the season when she finished third in the Imply Stakes at Parx on Sept. 24, weakening in the stretch after setting the pace.
After that setback, Flor de Sombra went on to roll off two more stakes victories to finish off her season, drawing off in the Finest City Stakes at Presque Isle Downs to win by two lengths on Oct. 24, and impressing once again with a 4 3/4-length triumph in the Shamrock Rose Stakes on Nov, 25 at Penn National.
Flor de Sombra earned $254,000 in Pennsylvania-bred stakes purses during her 2022 campaign, which comprised the majority of her state incentive earnings.
As the breeder of a state-bred and state-sired runner, Imbesi earned a 50 percent bonus on the purse earnings for Flor de Sombra’s maiden special weight score, and a 40 percent bonus on purse for her other efforts on the year. This totaled $137,200 in breeder’s awards, which was the most of any Pennsylvania horse last year.
Flor de Sombra is out of the winning Talent Search mare On a Star, who also raced as a homebred for Imbesi. The breeder purchased second dam Twiggles, an unraced daughter of Maria’s Mon, for $5,000 at the 2009 Keeneland September Yearling Sale.
Imbesi had a stellar year in 2022, breeding three of the top four earners of incentive awards. Gordian Knot, by Social Inclusion, finished second in state incentive earnings, while Buy Land and See, a son of Cairo Prince out of the aforementioned Twiggles, was fourth with $214,320.
Also benefitting from Flor de Sombra’s highlight season was the ownership group behind sire Social Inclusion, who earned $33,790 in stallion awards through the filly. Stallion owners can earn a 10 percent bonus on purse earnings when a Pennsylvania-bred and-sired runner finishes in the top three at a track within the state.
Social Inclusion finished sixth in the state by stallion awards earned in 2022, with $78,511. Flor de Sombra was once again the year’s highest individual earner in that category.