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).