Bred: Carlo E. Vaccarezza (Fl.)
Sire: Spanish Steps
Dam: Hay Jude, by Wavering Monarch
Little Mike has been a horse full of surprises, winning a number of stakes including a gate-to-wire upset of the Grade 1 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic at odds of 12-1 on 2012 Grade 1 Kentucky Derby day at Churchill Downs.
The gelding by Spanish Steps was bred by Carlo Vaccarezza in Florida and races for his wife, Priscilla. He has improved every year he’s raced, and is having a banner season in 2012, including a sensational victory over an international cast in the Grade 1 Arlington Million Stakes and a signature win in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Turf.
Going into 2013, running in four races he failed to bring home a win. Little Mike came back in top form to win the Grade 1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational Stakes.
His half brother Little Nick was an accomplished sprinter on the turf, earning just under $500,000, and Little Mike also started his career sprinting but has shown the ability to carry his speed stretching out in distance.
His biggest fan might just be his former jockey Joe Bravo.
“I’ve been riding for 24 years and I can’t say a horse will stick out more in my mind than Little Mike will,” said Bravo after winning the 1 1/8-mile Turf Classic. “Who says there wasn’t a question about him getting the distance? I had a lot of questions, but Little Mike speaks.”