Tuesday, August 31, 2010

On The Breeders’ Cup Trail – Watch List for August 31, 2010

This week’s watch list includes an undefeated stakes winner, possible Champagne Stakes contenders and some very well bred, talented juveniles who might make an appearance in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile races.
Gourmet Dinner - Photo: Jim Lisa
Gourmet Dinner (Trippi – Potluck Dinner, by Pentelicus) undefeated in three starts including two legs of the Florida Stallion Stakes, Gourmet Dinner has sprint speed on both sides of his pedigree. His sire and damsire were graded stakes winning sprinters. Gourmet Dinner is a half brother to turf sprinter Gaston A and stakes placed I’mroyallymecke’d. The dam is a half sister to two listed stakes sprinters. We’ll see if Gourmet Dinner can sweep the Florida Stallion Stakes in the In Reality Stakes on October 16.

Forum - Photo: Dogwood Stables
The third time was the charm for Forum (Roman Ruler - – Winners High, by High Yield). The well-bred colt sat on the hedge behind the pace setter, found a seam in the stretch and ran down the leader at the wire in a 1 1/6 mile turf race on August 28. Forum hails from the Calumet Farm-bred distaff family of Shuvee and he should be at his best up to 9F over turf or dirt.

Looking ahead to the Champagne Stakes (G-1) on October 9, we may see a couple of recent winners jumping into stakes company next time out. Uncle Mo (Indian Charlie – Playa Maya, by Arch) was an impressive 14 ½ length maiden winner is by a stallion who gets swift but fragile offspring. Damsire Arch won the Super Derby at 10F. Dam was in the money in all starts and is stakes placed. Second dam is a half sister to a stakes winner, but that’s about it for the distaff family.

Curlinello (Smart Strike – Colonella, by Pleasant Colony) made his debut in a difficult seven furlong race on August 21. Sitting mid pack, Curlinello made up five lengths with one furlong to go and ran down Joe Vann over the speed favoring Saratoga dirt. He’s a full brother to Arlington Classic winner Pleasant Strike, but has a strong dirt pedigree, especially for the mud. His phenomenal distaff family includes second dam Champion Minstrella, Saint Liam and traces back to the blue hen Gallorette. This is a colt with the pedigree to enjoy two turns and the clout of a distaff family to make him a serious horse to watch.

Checking out the fillies, Street Chimes (Street Sense - Pleasant  Chimes, by Pleasant Tap) was a good looking maiden winner traveling 7 furlongs over a sloppy Saratoga main track on August 22. She won under a hand ride by a diminishing ¾ length in 1:27.49. The daughter of Street Sense has Rasmussen Factor inbreeding (inbred to a superior dam within five generations) to Natamla through Northern Dancer, sire of Street Chimes’ second damsire, Dixieland Band, and Raise the Standard, the second dam of Machiavellian, who is the sire of Street Sense. Dam is a stakes winning half sister to Grade 2 winning turf warrior Freeforinternet and the second dam Dixie Chimes is a full sister to King’s Bishop winner Chimes Band.

Special mention of  the second place finisher Grace Alley (Flower Alley – Heart of Grace, by Exploit) who was flying at the end and made up several lengths through the stretch. As mentioned in the Freshmen Sire Guide, Flower Alley’s offspring will start to make their appearance as mid-to-late season two year olds. They’ll mature through their three year old season and most will prefer going two turns. Grace Alley is the first foal for her dam, who is a half sister to Grade 2 winner Broad Dynamite. Broad Dynamite produced stakes winner Dynazapper. Champion sprinter Very Subtle and Ruffian Handicap (G-1) winner Pool Land were produced from this family.

Excited (Giant’s Causeway – Path of Thunder, by Thunder Gulch) produced an exciting, yet very professional win in her debut on August 27 traveling 1 1/6 miles in 1:45.17  over the firm Saratoga turf. Breaking from the one post, the good looking chestnut daughter of Giant’s Causeway was stuck on the rail for most of the race and was blocked behind a wall of horses during most of the stretch drive. Without hesitation, she jumped through a small opening several strides from the wire and won by ½ a length. Excited is the first foal for her dam. Path of Thunder, a full sister to the Champion mare Spain, was a $1.2-million KEESEP yearling who won two minor stakes in 18 starts. Excited is a sister in blood (by the same sire out of full sisters) to Dreamtheimpossible, who was a stakes winner in Ireland and third in the Meon Valley Stud Fillies' Mile (G1 Ascot).

Summer Laugh - Photo: Adam Coglianese
Summer Laugh (Distorted Humor – Summer Colony, by Summer Squall) maybe headed to the Spinaway (G-1) on September 5. Trying 6 ½ furlongs over the Saratoga dirt On August 8, she laughed all the way to the wire beating her competition by 6 ¾ lengths, running 6 ½ furlongs in 1:18.12 at Saratoga. Summer Laugh’s dam was a durable mare. Her many victories included the Personal Ensign (G-1), Molly Pitcher (G-2) and LaCanada Stakes (G-2).

Friday, August 27, 2010

Breeders’ Cup Watch List of Promising Juveniles

No matter how quickly today’s two year old runners become stars, they can quickly disappear from view by tomorrow. That’s simply the nature of juvenile racing. It’s wise to start a watch list from mid-summer through the end of the year to become familiar with the up and comers.

Last week, the racing world was buzzing with the dominating performances by Position Limit in the Adirondack Stakes and Kantharos in the Saratoga Special. But does anyone remember the dominating performances of last year’s winners? How about their names?

For the record, last year Worstcasescenario cruised home by 4 ½ lengths in the Adirondack and wasn’t heard from again until her three year old season when she placed in two turf races. D’Funnybone was a runaway winner of last year’s Saratoga Special and he fared a bit better, carving out a niche as a nice sprinter this year as a three year old.

The following list could have Breeders’ Cup implications and become the basis for next year’s Triple Crown hopefuls. The watch list articles will be on-going throughout the year. Below are a few talented youngsters that may compete in up-coming stakes races.

While Position Limit was dazzling, keep an eye on Alienation(Rock Hard Ten – Alienated, by Gone West). She put up a fight to win her five furlong debut over Hollywood’s turf course, and then traveled east to take on winners over the dirt. Alienation pressed swift opening fractions of :21 3/5 and :45, and still gave a brief challenge to Position Limit when the other pace pressers backed up. Alienation’s sire won over dirt, but as we predicted in last year’s Sire Guide, he’s starting to make a name for himself as a producer of turf and synthetic track runners that need time to mature. Alienation’s dam won over dirt and placed on the turf and some very good runners have descended from this distaff family including 2006 Champion European Two Year Old Teofilo. If she can rate, Alienation will be one to watch as she matures and adds distance. Time will tell whether dirt or turf is her best surface, or if she’ll become one of the good fillies that can run over anything.

Bob Baffert continues to open the stable doors and unleash his herd of pricey babies. Smash(Smart Strike – Dixie Holiday, by Dixieland Band) could be one to watch. A $400K purchase at 2010 OBSC March Select Two-Year-Olds in Training Sale, Smash is a half brother to Holiday Runner, winner of two stakes races as a juvenile. The dam is a half sibling two stakes placed runners. Smash won his five furlong debut on July 18 over the Hollywood Cushion Track by 2 ½ lengths in :57 4/5 without being asked. The bay colt sat off the pace three wide, cruised past the front running leader without being asked and won professionally.

Awesome Feather - Photo: Jim Lisa
In Florida, a state known for producing precocious juveniles, Awesome Feather (Awesomeofcourse – Precious Feather, by Gone West) reigns undefeated at Calder after winning the JJ’s Dream and Desert Vixen Stakes. Awesome Feather is descended from a family of stakes winners. Although her sire is fairly obscure and won only a couple of minor sprint stakes races, Awesome Feather’s dam Precious Feather was a multiple stakes winner and her second dam Last Feather was a Group 3 winner in France. Third dam Quill was champion two year old filly and blue hen. Awesome Feather may appear in the next leg of the Florida Stallion Stakes series, The Brave Raj on September 28.

Stay Thirsty - EclipseSportswire
Meanwhile at Saratoga, we selected the winner of the eighth race on July 14 in our Play of the Day at Horse Racing Nation. Stay Thirsty(Bernardini – Marozina, by Storm Bird) was the only horse in the race with experience and he cruised to a sensational 5 ½ length victory over a well-bred group of maidens, including Heisman, the full brother to Any Given Saturday. Stay Thirsty is a half brother to freshman sire Andromeda’s Hero and his precocious full brother Superfly. His pedigree indicates that he’ll love stretching out and he should improve with maturity.

Sensational Slam Photo Crystal Jones
Speaking of sensational, don’t let Sensational Slam (Grand Slam – Roman Romance, by San Romano) pass you by. The Bobby Flay owned, Todd Pletcher trained colt is undefeated in two starts, both stakes wins at Woodbine. A $240K OBS Select Two Year Old, Sensational Slam has a fantastic pedigree. His dam is a multiple stakes winning sprinter and he can trace his distaff family directly back to Best In Show, through her daughter Sex Appeal. Sex Appeal is a half sister to Blush With Pride, the granddam of Rags to Riches. Several champions were produced from this family including Peeping Fawn, Aldebaran, Spinning World, Domedriver, etc.

Sensational Slam has Rasmussen Factor inbreeding (inbred to a superior mare within five generations) to two excellent dams. As mentioned, he traces back to Sex Appeal and she produced Sensational Slam’s fourth dam, Northern Prancer a full sister to El Gran Senor, who is Gone West’s damsire.

The second inbreeding is to Tamerett. She is Gone West’s second dam, and she produced Tentam, the second sire of San Romano. For now, Sensational Slam is beating up on the Canadian Colts, but he could venture south of the border as the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile draws near.

Next week, we’ll review other promising juveniles on the road to the Breeders’ Cup.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Coming Soon to a Stakes Race Near You

Today the blue-blooded babies will see action in two strong maiden races on the card today at Saratoga. The sixth race at Saratoga, maidens traveling 1 1/16 miles over turf, includes offspring from three freshmen sires. The eighth race, a six furlong dirt sprint, includes offspring from three Champion Juveniles, and freshman sire Bernardini, plus full and half siblings to graded stakes winners. Look for these promising youngsters in stakes races down the road.  Below are the pedigree profiles, race analysis and selections:

Race 6 | Maiden Two Year Old Fillies | 1 1/16 miles (Turf) | Purse: $51,000
Henny's Hurricane Photo Candice Chavez
Henny's Hurricane (Henny Hughes – Amarillo, by Crafty Prospector) Freshmen sire is off to a slow start at stud, with only 3 winners from 15 starters. Dam has two runners who started but didn’t win at two, however, one runner won a stakes race at three. The dam was a stakes winner at four and is a half sister to a stakes winner and stakes placed runner. Henny's Hurricane has primarily a dirt based pedigree, but her second damsire Apalachee was a Group 1 miler in England. Henny's Hurricane draws the one post for her debut and the jock is only 5% with turf runners.

More Than Real (More Than Ready – Miss Seffens, by Dehere) Both the sire and damsire were precocious juveniles. The More Than Ready – Dehere cross has produced a Grade 3 stakes placed runner. Dam was unplaced on one attempt over the lawn, but was a stakes winning dirt sprinter and the second dam was also a stakes winner. More Than Real has turf influences in her second and third generations and her sire and damsire get runners over all surfaces. The filly shows good works over dirt and turf and has high percentage winning connections.

My Sparky (Dehere – Head For Home, by Whisky Wisdom) Dam was unplaced in one start over the lawn. She is a half sister to a turf stakes winner. My Sparky owns a good last out work over turf, but the Weaver barn is only 3% with debut turfers.
Dynamic Holiday (Harlan’s Holiday – Dynamic Cat, by Dynaformer) This filly has a strong distaff pedigree. She is a half sister to a turf stakes placed runner and the dam was a stakes winner over turf. Dynamic Holiday was a distant second over Tapita in June. Her works have been steady and she shows a slow work over the turf. The barn is 22% with turf runners and she attracts a strong jockey.

High Strider (Aragorn – High Maintenance, by Danehill) High Strider has the strongest turf pedigree in the race and a rare double Rasmussen Factor inbreeding. She is inbred to Natalma through Northern Dancer and his half sister Spring Adieu. Another inbreeding occurs to South Ocean, who is High Strider’s fourth dam and also the dam of Storm Bird, Aragorn’s third sire. This filly has a quality distaff family full of champions. High Strider’s freshman sire was a brilliant turf miler. He is represented only by three winners, but it is early in the year and his offspring should do well as the season progresses. High Strider represents the Pletcher barn which surprisingly only wins with 10% of first time starters over turf.

Sunlight Sonata Photo: Sheri Pitzer
Sunlight Sonata (Unbridled’s Song – Storm Away, by Storm Cat) was the most expensive baby in the race, brining $340K at last year’s Fasig Tipton Saratoga yearling sale. Her dam is an unraced half sister to a stakes winner, but the class is a few generations back in this pedigree. Sunlight Sonata’s second dam Sun Blush is a half sister to stakes winner Maria’s Storm, the dam of Giant’s Causeway. Third dam Immense is a half sister to Champion tow year old Dearly Precious and the fourth dam Imsodear is a blue hen. Sunlight Sonata also has inbreeding to the good mare Grand Splendor. Sunlight Sonata didn’t show much in her debut over the muddy Belmont track but she has had two eye-catching turf works since that race.
Gulch’s Way (Thunder Gulch – Chestnut Way, by Horse Chestnut) Gulch’s Way’s half sibling has won over turf. Her dam is a half sister to Invisible Ink, who is by Thunder Gulch. Gulch’s Way shows a couple of average works over the turf, but the Nicks barn gets 25% first time winners over turf, which are the best stats in this field.

Speedy’s Gal (Yes It’s True – Rash, by Miswaki) Dam has a 3-1-1-1 record over turf. She is a half sister to multiple Grade 1 winner Milwakee Brew. Speedy’s Gal owns a string of average works, including one over turf. The Donk barn is 0-23 for first time starters over turf.

War Clan
War Clan (War Front – Ashley’s Clan, by Seattle Slew) Freshman sire War Front is a son of Danzig. Most of his babies will be late maturing and prefer two turns. War Clan’s well bred dam won one of six attempts over the lawn. She is a half sister to multiple Grade 1 winner Pure Clan and Grade 2 winning sire Greater Good. The second dam Gather The Clan won a Grade 3 turf race and the third dam What a Summer was a Champion Sprinter. War Clan showed nothing sprinting over the dirt last month. She represents the highly respected Mott barn.


Experience is key in maiden races, especially in a full field where anything can happen.

In her debut, Sunlight Sonata was fourth behind Position Limit who is entered in tomorrow’s Adirondack Stakes (G-2). Sunlight Sonata shows a live (fast/slow/fast) work pattern after that race. War Clan shows a good last out work over the turf and should find this surface and distance to her liking. Dynamic Holiday has the turf breeding and while her works aren’t as fast as others in here, she has experience and attracts a high percentage jock. High Strider has the best turf pedigree in the race and should do well at this distance. Keep an eye on More Than Real, she’s bred to win early and has very good works.

Sunlight Sonata
High Strider
More Than Real
War Clan – longshot
Race 8 | Two Year Old Maidens | 6 furlongs | Purse: $50,000

Heisman (Distorted Humor – Weekend in Indy, by AP Indy) Full brother to Any Given Saturday makes his debut. Any Given Saturday was second in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes at two. Colt had the unfortunate luck to draw the rail and his works are rather slow for the Pletcher barn.

Magnet Cove (Aptitude – Toni Denitto, by Quiet American) Modest but durable distaff family. Dam won twice in 11 starts, both past a mile. The works are good, but he will likely find this distance too short.

Washington's Rules (Roman Ruler – Petite Charme, by Silver Charm) is working well. Dam is an unraced half sister to Canadian G-3 winner Raylene, and stakes winning sprinter Princess Janie. Trainer is 0-9 with maidens this week, but in the money 63%.

Orsonian (Officer – Miss Speed, by Forty Niner) has win early speed top and bottom and the works to win first time out. Orsonian has a rare inbreeding to La Troinne. His dam and sire trace directly back to the important mare through their respective female families. He is a half brother to multiple stakes winner Amazing Speed and stakes winning sprinter Wild Speed. Second dam is a G-3 winner.

Brock (Distorted Humor – Tomisue’s Delight, by AP Indy) is a half brother to Grade 1 turf winner Mr. Sidney and stakes placed turf runner Save Big money. Dam was a multiple Grade 1 winner and full sister to Mineshaft. Second through fourth dams are blue hens and colt’s distaff family also traces back to La Troinne. Brock shows strong works and the barn wins with 21% first time runners.

Call the Ball (Vindication – Cattleya, by Forestry) has precocious speed top and bottom in his pedigree. Colt’s half sister won her debut at two. Second dam was a G-3 winner and a full sister to the handicap horses Include and Encaustic. While the pedigree indicates plenty of speed, the works are slow and the barn wins 11% with first timers.
Fair Whit (Birdstone – Slew Smarts, by Seattle Slew) Half brother won tow of three starts at two and is stakes placed. Not much blacktype (stakes wins) in the first few generations, however the fourth dam won the Kentucky Oaks. The works aren’t bad, but this colt will likely want two turns.

Eltheeb (Bernardini – El Rabbi, by Fusaichi Pegasus) By Champion three year old and freshman sire Bernardini. Dam is a half sister to English Gr. 1 two year old winner Saratoga Springs and stakes winner Populist. Strong pedigree, good works, high win percentage barn.

Stay Thirsty - EclipseSportswire
Stay Thirsty (Bernardini – Marozina, by Storm Bird) is the only horse in the race with experience. He’s a half brother to freshman sire Andrommeda’s Hero and his precocious full brother Superfly. The second dam was a multiple stakes winner.


He who gets a sharp break can likely win, since 43% of the sprint races this week have been won wire-to-wire.

Stay Thirsty has experience and was a gaining second at 5 ½ furlongs last out. The rest must be selected based upon pedigree, works, trainer and jockey stats. Brock shows very strong works for a high percentage barn.

Orsonian has a very precocious pedigree and the only 3 furlong “lung opener” in the group. Trainer stats are low for this group and Gomez is 0-9 in the maiden department this week, but this one could be a live longshot. Eltheeb also has good works. Trainer has only 3 maiden starters this week, but has been in the money with two of them. Many eyes and dollars will be on Heisman, however maidens seldom win from the rail and his works aren’t that fast. Hard to overlook a runner from the Pletcher barn and he could run in the money, but there are others with better works.

Stay Thirsty
Orsonian – Longshot

Monday, August 9, 2010

It’s Never Too Soon to Talk Breeders’ Cup

The Breeders’ Cup will be held in three months. More precisely, two months, 28 days. A lot will happen in that time period. Heck, the Juvenile Division has barely begun to form.
With the summer festivals at Saratoga and Del Mar in full swing, we will be treated to a preview of possible contestants for the Breeders’ Cup races. Babies can mature seemingly overnight, and a spectacular performance by a hitherto unknown maiden can make last week's sensation yesterday's news.

During the next two months and twenty-something days, this blog will focus upon up-and-coming two year old colts and fillies that may enter one of the four Breeders’ Cup Juvenile races. There’s no time like the present to become familiar with the names, pedigrees and accomplishments of future stars.
Stakes events will be plentiful leading up to the Breeders’ Cup. Below is a list of races that will help shape the Juvenile Divisions. Races with asterisks (*) are designated Breeders' Cup win-and-you're-in competitions. 

Are you new to racing or want more information on the Breeders’ Cup? Check out the official site: http://www.breederscup.com/. Read the latest Breeders’ Cup news and reminisce in the history area. Not only are there charts from all of the previous races, you can re-live some of the thrilling moments of past contests.

*NEW*  Breeders' Cup 360 includes articles on handicapping the Breeders' Cup and invites your participation!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Best Pal Stakes (G-2)

Last year’s Best Pal Stakes (G-3) hero Lookin At Lucky continued on to earn division honors as Champion Two Year Old Colt. As a three year old, he matured into a Classic winner and recently trounced other three year olds in the Haskell Invitational Stakes.

clip_image002This year, J P's Gusto (Successful Appeal – Call her Magic, by Caller I.D.) will attempt to add another graded stakes race to his collection and extend his win streak to three. The game bay colt fought tenaciously through the stretch of the Hollywood Juvenile Championship (G-3) to win by a neck over Western Mood. Previously, he set a stakes record in the Willard Proctor Memorial. The final time of 1:02.97 was a stakes record since the race was lengthened to 5 ½ furlongs in 2006. J P’s Gusto hails from a quality distaff family. He is a full brother to juvenile stakes placed Magic Appeal and he is also a half brother to stakes placed Kid Majic. Additionally his dam is a stakes winner over dirt and turf. She is a half sister to the dam of the Champion mare Proud Spell. J P's Gusto recorded a bullet work since his last race and appears to be ready to put forth his best effort.
In his second start, Comma to the Top (Bwana Charlie – Maggie’s Storm, by Stormy Atlantic) was defeated six lengths by Western Mood after leading most of the way in a five furlong race. He found maiden claimers easy pickings in his last start, drilling them by 8 ¾ lengths. Comma to the Top’s half sibling and dam were unplaced at two, but his dam is a half sister to stakes winner Yes He’s a Pistol. Trainer Peter Miller is 17% with the maiden to stakes winner angle.

A son of this year’s Freshman Sire Rockport Harbor,  Minutesandtouches (Rockport Harbor – Flexible Princess, by Honouclip_image002[7]r and Glory) finished third in the Hollywood Juvenile Championship after a slow start. His sire was undefeated in four starts at two, winning his debut at 5 ½ furlongs and also the Nashua (G-3) and Remsen (G-2). Minutesandtouches dam won both of her starts at two and was stakes placed at three. This distaff family has produced General Assembly and several other notable winners. The pretty gray Minutesandtouches is still a maiden but he should appreciate the longer distance of the Best Pal.

clip_image002[9]Western Mood (West Acre – True Mood, by Deputy Minister) went four wide and was out finished by J P’s Gusto in the Hollywood Juvenile Championship. His sire, an unraced son of Forty Niner out of a Claiborne Farm bred mare, is a ¾ brother to Grade 1 winner Preach (dam of major sire Pulpit) and Yarn, dam of British Two year old Champ, Minardi, and granddam of dual Two Year Old Champ Johannesburg. Western Mood is a half brother to Tropical Park Derby winner Fly By Phil. Grade 1 Juvenile winner Afternoon Deelites was produced from this female family. Western Mood is another colt who should enjoy the extra real estate of the Best Pal Stakes.
clip_image002[11]Sway Away (Afleet Alex – Seattle Shimmer, by Seattle Slew) tries Polytrack after winning his debut over the Pleasanton dirt. His half sister won two of three starts at two. Although his second dam is a minor stakes winner, this distaff family is modest. The farther they go, the better for Sway Away as both his sire and damsire are Classic winners and his second damsire Summer Squall was also a Classic winner. Sway Away’s works over the synthetic surfaces have been decent and the Bonde barn is 15% with dirt to synthetic winners.
River's Chapel (Chapel Royal – Summer Band, by Dixieland Band) lead the Hollywood Juvenile Championship field through fast early fractions, but faded to sixth, beaten by over 12 lengths at the finish. By last year’s leading Freshman Sire, River's Chapel shows two average works since that race. His immediate distaff family is durable but modest. His second dam is a half sister to multiple graded stakes warrior Life’s Hope.

How the track is playing: Stalkers are winning over 50% of the races while front runners wire the field 31% of the time.
River's Chapel is the true speed in the race and he will likely go to the lead like he did last time out. J P's Gusto, Comma to the Top and Sway Away have shown that they can sit off the lead. Minutesandtouches and Western Mood should benefit from the track bias and come running at the end.
Western Mood
J P's Gusto

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Sorrento Stakes (G-3)

clip_image002[9]The Grade 3 Sorrento Stakes for two year old fillies has been held at Del Mar racetrack for over fifty years. Many of the winners and runners-up have used the race as a stepping stone to Championships. The names of Brave Raj, Phone Chatter, Silverbulletday, and Tempura have added their names to the honor role of winners. Not all subsequent champions who were entered in the Sorrento Stakes won the race. Eliza and Stardom Bound finished and the great Serena’s Song was third in the Sorrento second before clinching division honors.
This season’s renewal of the Sorrento Stakes appears to be a quality field. Three stakes winners, including the undefeated Final Mesa, will square off against stakes placed runners and recent successful debut winners.

A Z Warrior is a daughter of freshman sire Bernardini out of Carson Jen (by Carson City). Bernardini was lightly raced, but his spectacular performances earned him the Eclipse Award as Champion Three Year Old. A Z Warrior’s half brother EZ Warrior is a multiple stakes winner, including the Hollywood Juvenile Championship (G-3) and her half sister JZ Warrior is also a multiple stakes winner. Their dam Carson Jen was stakes placed. A Z won her debut in a professional manner. She dueled on the rail the whole way and drew off to win by 1 ½ lengths. The dark bay filly represents the high-percentage winning team of trainer Bob Baffert and jockey Martin Garcia.

Congrats is the other freshmen sire represented in the Sorrento Stakes. The full brother to Flatter is off to an excellent start at stud. His daughter Wickedly Perfect, out of Wickedly Wise, by Tactical Cat, won her five furlong debut by an impressive 4 ½ lengths over the Hollywood Cushion Track last month. Her dam is a half sister to a stakes winner and stakes placed runner. Wickedly Perfect shows two strong six furlong breezes and the pretty gray filly represents the O’Neil barn.

She'll Heir, a daughter of last year’s leading Freshmen Sire, Wildcat Heir came from off the pace to post a one length victory in the Cinderella Stakes. All of her siblings are winners and her damsire Favorite Trick, was the Champion Juvenile of 1997. She’ll Heir’s second dam was a stakes winning sprinter. She'll Heir won the Cinderella Stakes but finished fourth, three lengths behind Dawnie Macho in the Landaluce Stakes last time out. She’ll Heir posted two very strong works after the Landaluce, indicating that she may move forward. The Cerin barn has an eye catching 22% win rate with horses making their third start off of a layoff. Recently re-instated Patrick Valenzuela picks up the mount and the Hall of Famer is always dangerous.

Izshelegal (Macho Uno – Unkatzable, by A.P. Indy) started her career facing winners in the Landaluce. The daughter of two year old champ Macho Uno was a fast closing second, only ¾ a length behind Dawnie Macho. Izshelegal’s distaff family is a long list of whose who and includes multiple graded stakes winners Katz Me if You Can and Cuddles as her first and second dams. Northern Afleet and the classy Tap to Music are also part of this family. Izshelegal should appreciate the extra distance of the Sorrento Stakes.

Belleofthebridle (Yes It’s True – Unbridled Appeal, by Unbridled) was a distant second in the Willard Proctor behind eventual Hollywood Juvenile Championship victor J P’s Gusto and bore out in the stretch of the Landaluce but still finished third. The daughter of Yes It’s True recorded two strong works for the Sorrento. Belleofthebridle’s dam is a half sister to Grade 3 stakes winner Turkappeal and is also a half sister to the dam of the precocious Grade 1 winner Mani Bhavan.

clip_image002[5]Final Mesa (Sky Mesa – Final Style, by Smart Style) is the most impressive filly in the race. She’s undefeated, and has vanquished her competition by a combined 21 lengths while claiming two stakes wins. The speedy miss is a half sister to the stakes sprinter Uncle Cammie. Her first two dams are unaccomplished, however her third dam is The Bride, a full sister to Secretariat and her fourth dam is the blue hen Somethingroyal. Final Mesa goes out for the dangerous Wesley Ward barn.
Dawnie Macho (Macho Uno – Blush of Dawn, by Montbrook) held on by 2/3 a length to earn a win in the Landaluce Stakes. Dawnie Macho’s clip_image002[11]immediate distaff family is modest but durable. She had every right to regress in that race after traveling to a new barn, and attempting a new surface and distance in less than a month off of a recording a track record in her debut at Arlington.
How the track is playing: 31% of the races this meet have been won wire to wire, however, half of the races have been won by stalkers.
She’ll Heir and Izshelegal are stalkers who can benefit from a fast pace up front. With four confirmed front runners, they should be assured a swift pace. Wickedly Perfect has shown that she can sit off the pace and win. The fastest fillies on paper are Final Mesa and Dawnie Macho. The former will attempt to stretch her speed an extra furlong while Dawnie Macho was all out to hold off Izshelegal at six furlongs. A Z Warrior has a classy family and while her winning time was the slowest of this group, her connections and pedigree should be respected. Belleofthebridle’s speed figures and race placements are decreasing.
Final Mesa
Wickedly Perfect
She'll Heir – longshot selection