Va-bred Service For Ten wins Laurel Stake for Breeder Cox

Service At Ten, shown here winning the Vincent A. Moscarelli Memorial Stakes, won the Dave's Friend Stakes at Laurel on Saturday.

Service At Ten, shown here winning the Vincent A. Moscarelli Memorial Stakes, won the Dave’s Friend Stakes at Laurel on Saturday.

“You never really know where the next good one is coming from.”

So says Nellie Mae Cox of Virginia-bred Service For Ten, and truer words were never spoken. The 4-year-old Virginia-bred gelding won the Dave’s Friend Stakes at Laurel on Saturday.

Service For Ten was a happy accident for Cox. Bill Collins purchased Tenacious Cheryl, a $1,000-RNA at Timonium, in 2008 for Cox’s husband as a sporthorse broodmare. The Service Stripe colt she was carrying became Service For Ten.

Cox raised Service For Ten, entering him in the Yearling Futurity in 2010, where he placed fourth in the colt class.

“She was a very pretty mare and I guess the mating with Service Stripes just proved to be the one,” Cox said. “He was attractive (as a yearling). He was not perfect, but he was attractive and always a very nice horse to be around and work with and so forth.”

“We broke him and had him ready to run in the middle part of his 2-year-old year, hoping to maybe get a race in him at Colonial Downs, but that didn’t materialize,” Cox said. “Then I sent him to Flint Stites, and he won first time out in a $10,000 claimer (in September).”

Cox and Stites entered Service For Ten back for $25,000 and the horse was claimed by his current connections, Mark Lapidus and Damon Dilodovico. Service For Ten has continued to pay dividends for Cox, however, winning the first prize in the $5,000 Breeders’ Fund bonus for horses that compete in the Yearling Futurity. The prize is awarded to the highest earners of each crop, with earnings counted through the end of their 3-year-old year.

Lapidus and Dilodovico had success with Service For Ten off the bat, running him in allowance company and garnering four wins in Maryland. In February of this year, Service For Ten made his stakes debut, running third in the John B. Campbell Handicap at Laurel. He won the Vincent A. Moscarelli Memorial Stakes at Delaware in August and ran a game third in the Frank de Francis Memorial Dash in September prior to his 1 ½-length victory this weekend.

Service For Ten will be the last in the line. After Service At Ten was foaled in 2009, the Coxes bred Tenacious Cheryl to a warmblood stallion, but the mare had a difficult foaling.

“We did not think that she would be suitable for breeding again, so I think she is doing some 3-day stuff for a young girl in Hanover County,” Cox said.

You never know where the next good one is coming from, indeed.