Cajun Breeze Delivering Quick Results With Young Winners
BY AVALYN HUNTER
For breeders, getting a foal that can win early is important, both for recouping the expenses of breeding and maintenance as fast as possible and for getting those all-important winners on a mare’s resume. For the last six years, Stonehedge Farm South stallion Cajun Breeze has been quietly delivering the goods. From his first six crops—of racing age—he has gotten 57 percent winners and six percent stakes winners. Forty percent of those winners scored their first wins as juveniles.
Bred in Florida by Curtis Mikkelsen and Patricia Horth, Cajun Breeze is a son of the good A.P. Indy sire Congrats.Congrats got his start at Cloverleaf Farms II near Reddick, Fla., and was champion freshman sire in 2010 off his first crop of Florida-sired foals.
A member of that crop, Cajun Breeze was produced from Cajun Dawn, whose sire Awesome Again made a mark on Florida breeding through his son Awesome of Course. Bred by Jacks or Better Farm, Awesome of Course sired 2010 champion juvenile filly Awesome Feather and graded stakes-winners Awesome Banner, Dogwood Trail and Fort Loudon.
Cajun Dawn produced 2016 Sunshine Millions Distaff-winner Mom’z Laugh (by Leroidesanimaux) and Grade 3-placed multiple stakes-winner Cajun Delta Dawn (by Kantharos), as well as grade 2-placed Peace at Dawn (by Peace Rules). A half-sister to stakes-winners Diplomat’s Reward (by Roman Diplomat) and Dispersed Reward (by Dispersal), she is out of the winning Copelan mare Pat’s Reward, a member of a Florida family developed by Fred Hooper that includes 1999 Acorn Stakes (G1)-winner Three Ring and multiple track record-setter Roman Envoy.
Cajun Breeze made only one start as a 2-year-old for owner-trainer Michael Yates (who raced Cajun Breeze in partnership with Robert Eversole) and did not get back to the races until December of his 3-year-old season.
He raced steadily for the next three years, mostly in Florida, and ended up winning or placing in 14 of his 33 starts, including three stakes placings. The horse entered stud at Yates’s Shadybrook Farm and got stakes winner Cajun Firecracker (bred by Yates) from his first small crop.
He hasn’t looked back since. Moved to Stonehedge after farm owners Gil and Marilyn Campbell purchased a half interest in him in 2018, Cajun Breeze had 36 winners in 2023 including Grade 3 Smile Sprint-winner Dean Delivers. He was seventh on the 2023 Florida sire list.
“The best thing about Cajun Breeze is that he gets winners,” Stonehedge manager Larry King said. “He’s a muscular, strong, well-built horse with a great shoulder and those big round hindquarters and he stamps his foals. They’re smart and learn fast. They’re easy to handle and train. They’re sound and they get out there and run and win. We couldn’t ask for anything more.”
Cajun Breeze will stand the 2024 season for $5,000 stands and nurses.
Return to the Jan. 22 issue of Wire to Wire