Rock Hard Ten – Kalahari Cat, by Cape Town
Black Onyx, winner of the 2013 Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati Spiral Stakes (G3) at Turfway Park, entered stud in 2015 at Prestige Stallions, his first foals arrived in 2016.
The son of multiple Grade 1 winner Rock Hard Ten – Kalahari Cat, by Cape Town, won three of seven lifetime starts and placed in two others while banking $418,860. In defeating 11 rivals in the Spiral Stakes at three, Black Onyx tracked the early leaders five wide before joining the vanguard on the far outside around the far turn. He swept past the pacesetters and shrugged off a late challenge from Canada’s Horse of the Year at two Uncaptured, and eventual King’s Bishop Stakes (G1) winner Capo Bastone to win the 1 1/8-mile test by a comfortable 1 ½ lengths.
The sharp Spiral score vaulted Sam Herzberg’s Black Onyx onto the Triple Crown trail and stamped him a leading contender for the 2013 Kentucky Derby. Jockey Joe Bravo commented on Black Onyx, “he has got so much heart…and is such a warrior.” Black Onyx was versatile, winning on traditional dirt, turf and synthetic. He broke his maiden going one mile on the dirt at Aqueduct and won at 1 1/16 miles on turf at Gulfstream Park before winning the Spiral over Turfway’s synthetic surface. “He proved he’s a multi-talented horse, ” trainer Kelly Breen said after the Spiral Stakes victory, “if there was a race on cobblestone, he would win that too!”
Black Onyx is Florida’s only son of Rock Hard Ten at stud, and he hails from the female family of Desert Stormer, who defeated males in the 1995 Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1), and Matriarch Stakes (G1) winner Better Lucky. Kalahari Cat, the dam of Black Onyx, is a half-sister to stakes winner and graded stakes-placed Desert Gold, who produced English champion White Moonstone.
“Jet black and 16.3 hands, he is a striking horse. There’s no doubt in my mind that Florida breeders will fall for him just as we did,” said Richard Haisfield.