The pieces of the puzzle all came together for Pennsylvania resident Jon Ebbert when his horse Arcangelo won the 155th running of the Belmont Stakes. Bought at the 2021 Keeneland September yearling sale for $35,000, Arcangelo triumphed in the classic race by 11/2 lengths over favorites Forte and Tapit Trice. “I thought he was special the first time I saw him and locked eyes with him,” said Ebbert. “He was out being shown at the sale, and I saw him. I sat down and watched him. At first, I didn’t think I could afford him, but I went back to look at him several times. He was immature and a ridgling so I thought that discouraged the pin hookers. I figured maybe he would bring about $40,000, so I went inside to bid on him, and I couldn’t believe I bought him for $35,000. I knew he was a project, and he would need time to mature.”

Photo Credit to Kim Pratt

Arcangelo comes from a top caliber family. He is by the late stallion, Arrogate, out of a Tapit mare named Modeling, The unraced Modeling sold for $2.85 million in 2014 at the Keeneland November sale to breeder Don Alberto Corporation. His sire, the brilliant race horse Arrogate, won the Travers and the Breeders’ Cup Classic, and he won the 2016 Eclipse Award for American Champion 3 year old Male Horse. He was also World’s Best Race Horse of 2016 and retired with earnings of over 17 million dollars. During his short stallion career, he stood at Juddmonte Farm in Kentucky for $75,000 in 2019. The average price of an Arrogate yearling at the 2021 sales was over $100,000, and in 2020, it was over $220,000. “Luck was on my side when I bought Arcangelo for that price. I got a bargain, but I knew I’d have to spend extra time to let him develop,” said Ebbert.

“After I bought Arcangelo, I sent him to Clovis Crane in Pennsylvania to be broke. We took our time with him, and he stayed there until March of his 2 year old year. Then I sent him to Jena’s farm in Florida to continue training. I met Jena Antonucci at the Keeneland sale the day before I bought Arcangelo, and that’s when our incredible journey started,” said Jon. Racing under the name Blue Rose Farm, Arcangelo didn’t have his first start until the middle of December of his 2 year old year at Gulfstream. He broke his maiden this March at Gulfstream and then won the Peter Pan at Belmont in May. “Now, I can’t believe he won the Belmont Stakes. I’m so happy for Jena too. She did a great job, and she’s the first woman in history to win the Belmont,” continued Ebbert.

Photo Credit to Averie Levanti

Ebbert thanks his grandmother for sparking his interest in horse racing. “When I was 6 years old we wanted to take my grandmother out to eat, but she wouldn’t go because the Kentucky Derby was coming on. I watched it, and I was mesmerized by it all- the beautiful horses, the jockeys, the excitement, and all the fans, and I was hooked. I starting going to the track at Philadelphia Park when I was a kid, and for my 18th birthday I wanted to go see a different track. I wanted to see Monmouth because of the history of the track. Then, when I was about 25, I bought my first race horse named Daydreamin Boy. He raced at Philadelphia Park, now Parx, and not once did he run in the money for 20 starts,” explained Ebbert.

“I dabbled in buying and selling and getting together partnerships in the past. I think the Pennsylvania Breeder’s program is great, and I bred a few mares here to Smarty Jones. I like Smarty Jones, and I want to support Pennsylvania racing when I can,” stated Ebbert.

Photo Credit to Averie Levanti

Will Arcangelo follow in his sire’s footsteps and run in the Travers? According to Ebbert, “Jena’s stable is going to Saratoga, so that’s where Arcangelo will go. We can ship from there to run anywhere else. The Pennsylvania Derby is a possibility, but we have lots of options. We have the Haskell, the Jim Dandy, and the Travers. We just have to wait and see how the horse comes out of the race and trains. We have patience and will do whatever’s best for the horse.”


Cover Photo Credit to Averie Levanti

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.