Saturday, December 31, 2011

Gulfstream Park Derby Offers Glimpse of TC Contenders

GulfstreamParkThe inaugural running of the Gulfstream Park Derby offers a glimpse at contenders for the upcoming Triple Crown prep races.

Undoubtedly, the winner, and likely runners up in this contest will merit consideration later in the year. Ancient Rome, the only stakes winner in the field, took the Spectacular Bid Stakes earlier in the meet, winning in a swift 1:08 4/5. He’ll try to stretch his speed against a field of recent maiden winners, allowance runners and optional claimers.

Despite having a strong turf router pedigree, KING KID (Lemon Drop Kid - Very Very, by Royal Academy) won his debut sprinting over the Churchill dirt. He is by a Belmont Stakes hero and Champion Older Male out of a stakes winning turf miler, King Kid’s distaff line is fairly modest. King Kid enters the race with a strong five furlong move over the Gulfstream dirt.

REVERON (Songandaprayer - Carolina Sunrise, by Awesome Again) has improved steadily in every race, and posted wins in his last two contests. The Calder shipper has a speed over stamina pedigree, although his sire rarely produces winners past a mile. Reveron’s dam is a half-sister to a stakes winner and the second dam Stylish Star is a multiple stakes winner, counting the Del Mar Oaks amongst her wins. To prepare for his two turn debut, Reveron breezed a mile two works back.

Gold MegillahGOLD MEGILLAH (Purim - Touch Me Once, by Touch Gold) romped by over 18 lengths in the slop at Churchill in his last. Gold Megillah’s first crop sire has only four winners, but his offspring should improve with maturity and distance. Gold Megillah is the first foal produced by his dam. She’s a half-sister to a stakes placed runner and the second dam Theresa The Teacha is a Grade 3 winner. Travers runner-up Rattlesnake Bridge was produced by this distaff line.

NACHAS AND JOY (Lion Heart - Competent Sort, by Cahill Road) also won his maiden over a sloppy track. He’s a full brother to That’s A Good Thing, who was third in the Prairie Meadows Freshman. His dam is a stakes placed half-sister to the multiple listed stakes winner Derivative. The second dam, multiple Grade 1 winner Coup de Fusil set a new track record in the Delaware Handicap, getting 1 ¼ miles in 1:59 4/5.

CASUAL TRICK (Bernardini - Casual Look, byCasualTrick Red Ransom) led all of the way in his second start, scoring by 2 ½ lengths over maidens at Churchill. He’s a son of this year’s first crop sire sensation Bernardini. Casual Trick’s dam placed in a Group 2 as a juvenile and won the Epsom Oaks (Gr.1). This distaff line produced the brilliant Magnificience, who set a new stakes record in the Santa Paula. Casual Trick has been working strongly at Palm Meadows and brings a 5F bullet move into the race.

SILVER MENACE (Silver Wagon - Catmaker, by Magic Cat) has won both of his starts by a combined 8 ¾ lengths, but he switches to the barn of Kathy Ritvo, who is 0 for 14 with new horses. Silver Menace was the first winner for his first crop sire and his distaff family is modest. His dam is a half-sister to a restricted stakes winner.

AncientRome inside photo CogilaneseThe only stakes winner in the field, ANCIENT ROME (Roman Ruler - Wish It Were, by Is It True) grabbed the six furlong Spectacular Bid Stakes by a nose in his last start. Ancient Rome’s pedigree leans towards speed, however both his sire and damsire won beyond a mile. Ancient Rome’s dam was a multiple stakes winning sprinter and other than her son, owns the only blacktype in three generations of the distaff family.

POLITICALLYCORRECT (Kitten's Joy - Exceedexpectations, by Tale of the Cat) is one of the rare progeny of Champion Turf Horse Kitten’s Joy to post a win over the dirt. Politicallycorrect is one of two entrants who have been victorious at 1 1/16 miles over the gulfstream dirt. His distaff line has no blacktype in two generations. Politicallycorrect owns a recent strong bullet move for the Gulfstream Park Derby.

The other entry with a win at today’s distance is RAVELO'S BOY (Lawyer Ron - Dance Tune, by French Deputy). The son of deceased first crop stallion Lawyer Ron is seeking to become his sire’s fifth stakes winner. Ravelo's Boy has plenty of speed in his distaff line. His dam is a stakes placed sprinter, while his damsire was a top sprinter/miler. Although he owns a win at 1 1/16 miles, the distance may be at the top of Ravelo's Boy’s scope and his winning time was almost a full second slower than that of Politicallycorrect.

REX'S LAST TOUR (First Tour - Dr. Rexsonshope, by Rexson's Hope) is one for 10 and has been trounced by Ravelo's Boy and Ancient Rome. Rex's Last Tour is a half-brother to stakes placed Rexson’s Rose. He descends from the family of Florida Derby winner Hal’s Hope and the good Calder filly Mia’s Reflection.

Another son of Lawyer Ron, YOURHONORANDGLORY (Lawyer Ron - Glory of Love, by Not For Love) has won or placed in his last three starts. His dam is stakes placed, but overall, Yourhonorandglory’s distaff line is modest, filled with solid, durable claiming class runners.


Track Bias: Typically, Gulfstream’s track is speed favoring and horses in outside posts above a mile are forced wide due to the short distance to the first turn. Overall, 44% of the winners this meet have won on the front end. However, this week, three races have been contested at 1 1/16 miles and one run stalkers won two of them.

Politicallycorrect owns a win over the track at today’s distance, plus his speed figures are improving. He’s headed to his third start off of a layoff and fits well here. He doesn’t need the lead, but will be close to the pace. Casual Trick has the best pedigree of the group and he also owns the best works. King Kid is bred to relish two turns. He’ll sit off the lead but should be there at the end. Reveron brings a two race win streak to the table, but 1 1/6 miles may be stretching it. Ancient Rome also owns a two race win streak and there’s no doubt that he’s fast. He’ll be setting swift fractions and if he handles the distance, could run them off of their feet. Ravelo's Boy is the only stalker. He owns the best late-speed figure of all the entrants, and if they go too fast early, he could get up for a piece.





Friday, December 16, 2011

Brother Francis Intriguing Longshot in CashCall

The thirtieth running of the CashCall Futurity will be held on Saturday, December 17. In those 30 years, fourteen horses that have won or placed in this Grade 1 contest have won or placed in one or more of the Triple Crown Races. This year’s field includes a son of the 2003 Futurity hero Lion Heart and a son of the 2005 third place finisher Bob and John. The CashCall Futurity boasts plenty of stamina oriented pedigrees and an unusual overabundance of turf influences as well.

HANDSOMEMIKEHANDSOME MIKE (Scat Daddy - Classic Strike, by Smart Strike) switches to the barn of Doug O’Neil (16% with first time runners) after being caught late in the Generous (G3) going a mile over the lawn. His first crop sire Scat Daddy is making a name for himself as a sire of turf/synthetic runners. Not surprising since he’s a son of Champion Johannesburg. Distance shouldn’t be a problem for Handsome Mike, but the Cushion Track and his early running style could hinder him.

BROTHER FRANCIS (Lion Heart - Viapervita, by Spectrum) is still a maiden, but was flying at the end of both of his sprint starts. He has the pedigree to love two turns. His sire Lion Heart won the Futurity in 2003 and a year later was second behind Smarty Jones in the Kentucky Derby. Brother Francis’ distaff line is filled with European stamina and is strongly turf oriented. His damsire Spectrum won the 1 ¼ mile Champion Stakes (Eng. G-1) and Brother Francis’ dam won a stakes in Germany. Despite the turf influences, Brother Frances has shown ability over the main track.

GROOVIN' SOLO (Bob and John - Squall Linda, by Summer Squall) was unplaced in two starts at Del Mar this summer and so far has failed to live up to the reputations of his half brothers Norfolk Stakes (G1) winner Street Hero and Hollywood Futurity champ Premier Pegasus.

EMPIRE WAY (Empire Maker - Delta Princess,Empire Way by A.P. Indy) was tossed to the wolves in the Hollywood Prevue just eleven days after winning his maiden. the pretty gray colt was forced wide around the turn and made up ground in the stretch so his race wasn’t as bad as it appears on paper. Empire Way is a full brother to Breeders’ Cup Distaff heroine Royal Delta and he’s by a Belmont Stakes winner out of a daughter of a Belmont Stakes winner. Still, the lone work since the Prevue was average and they may be asking too much too soon.

Drill 1 PhotoBenoitThe first of three Baffert horses, DRILL (Lawyer Ron - Cat Dancer, by Storm Cat) clearly peaked back in September with a win in the DelMar Futurity. He’s raced six times since July and is clearly a tired horse. By deceased first crop sire Lawyer Ron, Drill should handle the distance, but not off form against this group.

SKY KINGDOM (Empire Maker - Sky Beam, bySKYKINGDOM Kingmambo) may be longer odds than his stablemate Drill, but is worth a hard look. He’s one of two horses in the field with a win over the Cushion Track at today’s distance. He’s the first foal for his dam. She went 0-5 on the track, but she’s a half sister to stakes winner Mambo In Seattle. Third dam is blue hen Weekend Surprise, dam of A.P. Indy, Summer Squall, Eavesdropper, Honor Grades, Saithor and she’s also the grand-dam of the top grass horse Court Vision. Sky Kingdom owns a series of good works and grabs the attention of Garrett Gomez.

BLINGO (Artie Schiller - Wassifa (GB), by Sure Blade) has a strong turf pedigree and won his debut over the surface. It appears Blingo’s connections are experimenting or this is a case of trying to make the horse something he’s not. His sire has only eleven winners over dirt, all in the maiden/allowance ranks, and none have been victorious over the Cushion Track. Blingo’s latest works over the dirt are dismal. Distance isn’t a problem but the track surface is.

ROUSINGSERMONROUSING SERMON (Lucky Pulpit - Rousing Again, by Awesome Again) was getting to Liaison in the Real Quiet Stakes and if he hadn’t gone wide, probably would have won the race. He’s progressed in each of his last three races and his latest works are excellent. A son of one of the best Poly sires, Lucky Pulpit, Rousing Sermon has the breeding on his distaff side to run all day.

Baffert’s third, but hardly least entry LIAISONLiasion (Indian Charlie - Galloping Gal, by Victory Gallop) brings a two race win streak to the table along with a last out bullet breeze. Liaison is the third foal and first colt produced by his multiple turf stakes winning dam.

The pretty gray COZZETTI (Cozzene - Lemon Drop Cello, by Lemon Drop Kid) splashed his way to a five length win over maidens going 1 1/16 miles at Belmont Park. Despite all of the turf attributes in his pedigree, Cozzetti could be the rare son of Cozzene that prefers the dirt. His sire is represented by six listed stakes winners over the dirt. Cozzene is an average producer of synthetic track runners and has two listed stakes winners over the surface. Cozetti's ’am is a half sister to two stakes winners and his second dam is a French stakes winner. Cozzetti owns a tepid work over the Cushion Track.

Drill with Martin Garcia up wins the Del Mar Futurity, Del Mar Race Course. September 7, 2011 Credit: Alex Evers/Equisport PhotosAfter winning or placing in his first five starts over dirt and Polytrack, MAJESTIC CITY (City Zip – It’schemestrybaby, by Meadowlake) was tossed into the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf and was unplaced. Majestic City has won all three starts over this track as a precocious juvenile, but he struggled in his last two races over the synthetics. His sire City Zip’s dirt and synthetic offspring are distance challenged over a mile and 1 1/16 miles is likely at the top of Majestic City’s distance range. He owns a couple of sharp works over the track.

BASMATI (Borrego - Abruzzi Ridge, by Mountain

BASMATI Cat) after winning his maiden at Santa Anita, Basmati was a very distant second in the Delta Jackpot against a weak field and he’s unplaced against graded stakes runners in California. Basmati has a stamina-oriented pedigree and will benefit with time and distance. His sire’s only stakes wins came at 1 ¼ miles, in the Jockey Gold Cup and Pacific Classic. Basmati’s dam went 0 for 4 in her career on the track. She’s a half-sister to Molly Pitcher (G2) heroine March Magic.

DESORMAIS (War Front - Desert Princess (IRE), by Desert King (IRE)) is a winner at 1 ¼ miles over Polytrack. Yes, you read that right, but he won his maiden in France in a yawning 2:12 4/5. Plus, he hasn’t breezed in a month, at least not at Hollywood. His dam is a half sister to the good Calder turf stakes winner Ballast. The Gallagher barn is 17% with shippers to the US, but only 9% with graded stakes winners.





#2 BROTHER FRANCIS – longshot pick

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Stamina Pedigrees in the Prevue

Seven lightly raced two year old colts are set to skirmish on the Hollywood Cushion Track today. The seven furlong event is one of the last chances this year to earn blacktype earnings for next year’s Kentucky Derby eligibility list. Four colts have intriguing stamina oriented pedigrees and could make some noise on next year’s Triple Crown trail.

Empire WayOne of the most exciting prospects in the field is EMPIRE WAY (Empire Maker - Delta Princess, by A.P. Indy), a full brother to Breeders’ Cup Distaff (ok, Ladies Classic) heroine Royal Delta. Empire Way won his debut just eleven days ago. The Mike Harrington trainee has a classic pedigree, as he’s by a Belmont Stakes winner out of a daughter of a Belmont Stakes winner.

Two other colts entering the Prevue after racing in November are Hodge and Brother Francis. The pretty gray HODGE (City Place - Tarahumara, by Black Tie Affair) is a half to stakes winners Lizzy’s Township and Many Kisses, plus a stakes placed runner. Hodge fought all the way in a 5 ½ furlong sprint to hold off Brother Francis by a diminishing ¾ length at Santa Anita.

BROTHER FRANCIS (Lion Heart - Viapervita, by Spectrum) came from off of the pace and was gaining with every step, but his pedigree indicates that he’ll love two turns. His sire Lion Heart won the Hollywood Prevue in 2003 and a year later was second behind Smarty Jones in the Kentucky Derby. His offspring win over all surfaces, but his turf runners can extend in distance to 1 ½ miles. Brother Francis distaff line is filled with European stamina and is strongly turf oriented. His damsire Spectrum won the 1 ¼ mile Champion Stakes (Eng. G-1) and Brother Francis’ dam won a stakes in Germany.

GALEXThe most experienced colt in the field with four starts under his girth is GALEX (Flatter - Oh Caramel, by Othello). He placed in the state-bred Everett Nevin Alameda County Stakes and was a distant second in the Jack Goodman Stakes behind eventual Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Sprint Champ Secret Circle. Galex owns the only black type in two generations of his female family, but he has inbreeding to the blue hen Weekend Surprise through her sons A.P. Indy (sire of Flatter) and Summer Squall (sire of Othello). BC Classic champ Stevie Wonderboy has the same inbreeding.

Another pretty gray colt, SO BRILLIANTSOBRILLIANT3 (Medaglia d'Oro - Merry Me in Spring, by Wekiva Springs) led all the way to win a sprint at Santa Anita in a sharp 1:09. Like many colts in the Prevue, So Brilliant has a pedigree indicating that he’ll prefer two turns. His sire won the Travers Stakes, but he was really best at 1 1/8 miles. So Brilliant’s damsire was a Grade 1 winning stakes veteran who was successful twice at 1 ¼ miles. Merry Me In Spring, So Brilliant’s dam, won a stakes going 1 1/16 miles over the turf. His second dam was also a stakes winner.

Unplaced in his last two stakes attempts, SHEER TALENT (Wildcat Heir - Malpractice M. D., by Langfuhr) enters the Prevue with a sharp 3 furlong bullet move. He has speed over stamina in his pedigree. His sire gets speedy youngsters, and while damsire Langfuhr was a Canadian Champion Sprinter, he’s sired two Canadian Triple Crown heroes and his daughter’s offspring win at all distances. There is very little blacktype in Sheer Talent’s immediate family. His dam went 0 for 5 in her racing career but she’s a half-sister to Remington Park Derby (G3) champ Temperence Time.

The third gray colt in the field, MUCHOS BESOS (Macho Uno - Ryn, by Mr. Prospector) enters the Prevue off of a maiden claiming victory. He’s a half-brother to the Grade 3 winning sprinter Sensation and Grade 2 placed I’ve Decided.

Scratched from the races is Sweet Swap, a full brother to Santa Anita Derby (G-1) hero Sidney’s Candy.


Track Bias: Stalkers won 2 of 3 races held at 7 furlongs this meet while one runner won on the lead.

Three colts, HODGE, SO BRILLIANT and GALEX like to be up on the lead. EMPIRE WAY and BROTHER FRANCIS are one run closers, while the rest like to sit mid-pack. EMPIRE WAY is entering off of a quick turn around, but if he weren’t doing well, his connections would have likely bypassed the race. GALEX showed improvement in his last start, which was his first off of a brief freshening. He should be set to give a big effort. He and EMPIRE WAY are the only two colts with multiple works over the Cushion Track. SO BRILLIANT had one work over Cushion Track two weeks ago and flashed a bullet 6 furlongs. BROTHER FRANCIS had a strong breeze two works back and he should appreciate more distance.




BROTHER FRANCIS – longshot pick

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Worth A Closer Look

Prices paid by Two Notch Road with Shannon Uske riding who lit up the board at 99-1 to win the Continental Mile Stakes at Monmouth Park in Oceanport, N.J. on Saturday August 15, 2009. Photo By Bill Denver/EQUI-PHOTOLast year the offspring of More Than Ready pulled off wins in the Juvenile Turf and Filly counterpart stakes. This year, City Zip has an excellent chance of doing the same thing. His daughter Dayatthespa and son Majestic City have excellent shots to hit the board in their divisions. Below are some contenders in the contentious Juvenile events that could light up the tote.



Probable Favorite: SECRET CIRCLE (odds: 4-5)

BLACKYTHEBULLBLACKY THE BULL (Flashy Bull - Image of Honor, by Honour and Glory) is a stalker in a race loaded with speed. It took a couple of races for him to get his act together, but he graduated in his third start. His freshman sire is #5 on the first crop sire list with 15 winners from 41 runners. Blacky The Bull’s unraced dam is a half sister to Florida Oaks heroine Designated Dancer. The California colt’s trainer Jeff Bonde wins with 15% of shippers and jockey Pat Valenzuela finishes in the money 48% with his mounts. Odds: 10-1.

SHUMOOS (Distorted Humor – Wile Cat, by Storm Cat) Euro has been running well over the lawn and won a Group 3 in her only attempt over the Polytrack. Shumoos has a dirt oriented pedigree and could improve in her first try over the surface. Her sire and damsire are versatile, getting winners over all tracks, and her second damsire Cryptoclearance was a strong dirt sire. Shumoos’ unraced dam is a full sister to La Canada (G-2) winner Cat Fighter and her second dam was the good race mare Strategic Maneuver heroine of the Spinaway, Matron, Demoiselle and Schuylerville Stakes. Schmoos’ trainer Brian Meenhan pulled an upset in last year’s Turf with Dangerous Midge. Top Jock Garrett Gomez takes the mount on Schmoos. He’s in the money 67% with his dirt sprinters. Odds: 20-1.


Probable Favorite: ELUSIVE KATE (odds 2-1)

DayatthespaDAYATTHESPA (City Zip - M'Lady Doc, by Doc's Leader) made all of the pace in the Natalma (G-3) and was caught late by Northern Passion. It was a strong effort for Dayatthespa, who was jumping into graded stakes company after a maiden win at 5 ½ furlongs. Dayatthespa’s sire City Zip sprinted over dirt, but his turf offspring are strong runners that can get a route of ground. Dayatthespa’s dam went 0 for 7 in her racing career, but she’s a full sister to two-time track record setter Phi Beta Doc, winner of the Sarnac Stakes and West Virginia Derby. Trainer Chad Brown wins with an impressive 31% of his horses trying a route for the second time. He’s also the conditioner of the inaugural Juvenile Fillies’ Turf winner Maram. Leading trainer Ramon Dominguez is successful with 22% of his turf mounts. Odds: 12-1.

DEAR LAVINIA (Grand Slam – Baroness Richter, by Montjeu) raced against the boys in her last two starts, winning the one-mile Criterium de Bordeaux and placing in the Criterium de l’Ouest. She finished third by 1 3/4 lengths behind likely race favorite Elusive Kate in the seven furlong Prix Six Perfections three races back. Dear Lavinia is the first foal produced by her blacktype winning dam, Baroness Richter. That one is a half sister to a Japanese Group 2 winning miler. Her French connections, trainer Jean-Claude Rouget and jock Christophe Lemaire teamed up with the favorite Behkabad in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Turf where they finished third. Odds: 20-1.

STEPHANIE'S KITTEN (Kitten's Joy - Unfold theStephaniesKitten Rose, by Catienus) won her maiden going a mile over the turf, but hung in the stretch of the Natalma Stakes to finish third, beaten by a widening 3 ½ lengths by Tu Endie Wei. Stephanie’s Kitten gained revenge on that rival by over seven lengths in the Alcibiades as a long shot winner. Stephanie’s Kitten is by 2004 Eclipse Champion Turf Male Kitten’s Joy. Not surprisingly, his offspring are best over turf and synthetics, up to 1 1/8 miles. Stephanie’s Kitten is the first foal produced by her unraced dam. Her second dam Bail Out Becky was a good multiple stakes race mare and her major accomplishment was a win in the Del Mar Oaks (G1). Stephanie’s Kitten’s damsire Catienus, a son of Storm Cat, placed in graded handicaps at 1 ¼ miles. He’s a fairly young broodmare sire, and as such, has only two stakes winners. Stephanie’s Kitten will once again be a long shot in the Juvenile Fillies Turf, but she has been working well and her Brisnet speed figures have improved in every race. In the long run, she may prove more effective over Polytrack, but if she continues to improve, in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, Stephanie’s Kitten has a decent chance to hit the board at a good price. Trainer Wayne Catalano has a 26% strike rate with last out winners while jockey John Velazquez hits with 17% of his turf runners. Odds: 10-1.



Probable Favorite: MY MISS AURELIA (odds: 2-1)

CandreaCANDREA (Trippi - Burn Brightly, by American Chance) She dueled on the lead in her first try around two turns in the 1 1/16 mile Oakleaf Stakes (G-1), but she couldn't hold of the late charge of Weemissfrankie, finishing second by only ¾ of a length to that rival. On a positive note, Candrea's Brisnet speed figures have improved with every race. Candrea’s sprint specialist sire Trippi competed mainly in Grade 2 and 3 level sprints, but he did win the Grade 1 Vosburgh. The majority of Trippi's offspring are best up to a mile over all surfaces, although a few can stretch their speed to 1 1/16 miles. Last year his daughter R Heat Lightning placed second in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies. Candrea is a full sister to the multiple stakes winning sprinter Dream of Angles. Her half-brother Good To Be Seen is a stakes placed runner. Candrea's dam Burn Brightly won five of 13 starts, including a stakes race as a sprinter. She's a half-sister to a Argentinean multiple graded stakes winner Dona Polenta. Candrea may be stretching her distance limitations at 1 1/16 miles, but she could have the class to finish in the money in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies. In the last three Breeders’ Cup races that were held at Churchill, fillies who finished second in their last prep hit the board most often in the Juvenile Fillies. Trainer Bob Baffert scores with 32% shippers and Martin Garcia is in the money with a very respectable 71% of his mounts. Odds: 5-1.

MISS NETTA (Street Sense - Dyna Peak, byMiss Netta Dynaformer) won at first asking, but had gate issues then was rank in the Frizzette, finishing nine lengths behind the undefeated My Miss Aurelia. Miss Netta is a member of two year Champion Street Sense's first crop. Street Sense is the only horse to complete a Breeders' Cup Juvenile/Kentucky Derby win. He's of to a strong start at stud with eight winners and two stakes placed runners from 31 starters. His offspring are likely to improve with maturity. Miss Netta is a half-sister to Grade 3 winners Dyna Da Wyna, Leroy’s Dynameaux and graded stakes placed New Joysey Jeff. Their dam is a half-sister to the dam of the top race mare Honey Ryder, who placed twice in consecutive Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf contests. Miss Netta breezed a bullet four furlongs from the gate in :46 4/5 at Belmont. Toss the Frizzette, because this filly should be on her toes. Trianer Kiaran McLaughlin won the Filly & Mare Turf in 2006 with Lahudood and grabbed third place in the 2009 Mile with Justenuffhumor. He wins with 20% of his two year olds. Jockey Rajiv Maraugh has ridden five mounts in previous Breeders’ Cups with a best finish of third place. Odds: 10-1.



Probable Favorite: FINALE (odds: 9-2)

MAJESTICCITYMAJESTIC CITY City Zip – It’ schemestrybaby, by Meadowlake) won his first three races sprinting, and was defeated a neck in the Del Mar Futurity by Drill at seven furlongs. Majestic City bore out badly in the stretch of that race, almost knocking Drill off of his feet and impeding the course of Creative Cause. For his efforts, Majestic City was disqualified to third. Instead of facing his two rivals in the Norfolk Stakes, Majestic City took on contenders in the Dixiana Breeders' Futurity at Keeneland. After pulling in the first part of the race, Majestic City appeared headed for a victory in the stretch, but couldn't hold off the fast closing Dullahan, losing by 3/4 a length to that rival. It was a good effort for his first try around two turns. His sire City Zip has become a top producer of runners over all surfaces. His turf runners don’t have the same distance limitations as their dirt counterparts. It’schemestrybaby, the dam of Majestic City took four years and 23 practice races before finding a field she could best in her 24 start. During her career, she did finish second four times and third nine times. It’schemestrybaby is a half-sister to the stakes placed sprinter She’s Raging. Majestic City’s second dam Not So Pleasant was winless in nine tries. There’s some quality in this family as the fourth dam produced the multiple Grade/Group 1 turf router Golden Pheasant. Majestic City turned recorded a very strong breeze over the Santa Anita turf in his first foray onto the lawn. He should find both the turf and the one mile distance to his liking. Odds: 6-1.

ANIMAL SPIRITS (Arch - Pennant Champion, byAnimalSpirits Mr. Prospector) got up to win the Bourbon Stakes (G3) by ½ length in his second start, winning his maiden in the process. Animal Spirits is a half brother to Broad Pennant, dam of Interactif who also includes a victory in the Bourbon on his résumé, stakes winner Stretching and stakes placed Wingspan. Animal Spirits’ second dam is the great Champion mare and blue hen Personal Ensign, whose progeny include Champion fillies My Flag, Grade 1 winners Miners Mark and Traditionally. Horses that have won or placed in the Bourbon Stakes have done well in the Juvenile Turf. Nownownow, who placed in the Bourbon took the inargural running of the Juvenile Turf. In 2009, Animal Spirit’s relative Interactif won the Bourbon and placed third in the Juvenile Turf. 27% of All Stall Jr.’s winners come back to score next time out. Robby Alberado clicks with 13% wins over the lawn. Odds: 10-1.

WROTE (High Chaparral - Desert Classic, by Green Desert) has improved his Timeform rating in every race (80, 84, 98, 106). He’s raced four times in less than four weeks, hitting the board in all of them. After gaining his second victory two weeks from his debut, Wrote finished a strong third place just eight days later in the Group 2 Royal Lodge Stakes. By two-time Breeders’ Cup Turf Champ, Wrote is the first blacktype earner for his dam, Desert Classic. Desert Classic is a half sister to a stakes placed runner. There’s plenty of quality in Wrote’s distaff line as his third dam is the blue hen Special, The dam of the top sire Nureyev and she is also the great-granddam of Champion Miler and legendary sire Sadlers’ Wells and last year’s Classic Champ Blame. Wrote’s trainer Aiden O’Brian sent out the runners-up in the Juvenile Turf in 2007 and 2008. Wrote’s jockey Ryan Moor rode Awesome Act to a fourth place finish in the 2009 Juvenile Turf. Odds: 8-1.



Probable Favorite: UNION RAGS (odds 5-2)

SPEIGHTSCITY (Speightstown - My American Girl, by Quiet American) blew away a so-so field by over 11 lengths in a rarely carded 1 1/8 mile race for two year olds at Saratoga in his second start. Speightscity’s sire, a Champion Sprinter, produces sprinter/milers. His son Haynesfield is one of his few dirt runners who have been victorious past 1 1/16 miles. Speightscity’s damsire lends endurance. Speightscity’s half-sister won a listed sprint and his dam is multiple stakes placed. Her half sibling produced True North (G-2) winner Anew. The second dam is a G-3 stakes winner at 1 1/16 miles. Speightscity only has two races under his girth and gives away experience. His speed figures improved and we know that he can handle the distance. Speightscity is the first Breeders’ Cup entrant for his veteran New York trainer Gary Contessa. He taps Cory Nakatani to ride Speightscity. Nakatani has been riding in Breeders’ Cup events since 1990 and has a 65-7-8-9 record in the Breeders’ Cup. Odds: 30-1.

TakeChargeIndyTAKE CHARGE INDY (A.P. Indy - Take Charge Lady, by Dehere) won his debut by 6 ½ lengths over the Arlington Poly, which is impressive for a debuting son of A.P. Indy. He followed up with a good second place finish in the Arlington Washington Futurity, but was an average fourth in the Dixiana Breeders' Futurity over the Keeneland Polytrack. Take Charge Indy's is the fourth and most talented foal produced by his dam. Take Charge Indy is a son of is the top U.S. stamina sire and Belmont Stakes winner A.P. Indy. Take Charge Indy’s dam Take Charge Lady is a multiple Grade 1 veteran who won the Spinster (twice), Ashland, Arlington Matron, and she placed in the Kentucky Oaks. She won or placed in 18 of 22 starts, earning over two million dollars. She has two stakes winning half siblings, Commendation, winner of the Bourbon County Stakes over the lawn and New York Oaks heroine Eventail. Eventail produced Fort Marcy winner Straight Story. Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint champ Chamberlain Bridge was produced by this distaff line. A.P. Indy is a poor sire of Polytrack runners and Take Charge Indy should improve remarkably over the Churchill dirt, especially at two turns. Trainer Patrick Byrne has a strong 25% win rate with horses switching from Poly to dirt. He’s no stranger to the winner’s circle at the Breeders’ Cup. Byrne trained the 1997 Champion Juvenile Colt Favorite Trick and the Champion Juvenile Filly Countess Diana to wins in their respective races. He came back a year later with the Classic winner and Champion Awesome Again. Jockey James Graham wins with 16% routers. He rode in two Breeders’ Cup races and has failed to hit the board. Odds: 20-1.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Deciphering the Breeders’ Cup

breeders-cup-2011-logo-300x300In the last decade, the Breeders’ Cup has been held at Churchill Downs three times, 2000, 2006 and 2010. The contests bring together the best horses in the United States and top European counterparts. Below we’ll examine which running styles, prep races and track surfaces yield the most Breeders’ Cup winners at Churchill Downs. The Dirt Mile and Filly & Mare Sprint are excluded because they have only been held once at Churchill.



Prep Race:

The historic Champagne has proved to be theUncleMo-BCJuvenile most formful prep race for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile held at Churchill. In 2000 Point Given was second in both races, while last year, Uncle Mo dominated the Champagne and Juvenile. This year, Union Rags is poised to complete the Champagne/Juvenile double.

In 2006, Street Sense, Circular Quay and Great Hunter ran three, two, one in the Keeneland Futurity and reversed that order in the Juvenile. Last year, no runner coming out of a race on a synthetic track hit the board, although Rogue Romance used the Bourbon over the Keeneland turf.

Colts that finished first or second in their prep races all hit the board in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. The only anomaly was the 2006 Champ Street Sense, who was third over the Keeneland Poly in his prep.

Twenty to twenty seven days between the last prep race and the Juvenile seems to be the magic numbers, all winners and runners up, except for last year’s place horse (Boys At Tosconova) fall into this category.


Running Style:

One run stalkers fared the best in all three Juvenile editions. While pace pressers won in 2000 (Macho Uno) and 2010 (Uncle Mo), stalkers took second and third place in both races and in 2006, stalkers took the top three spots. Those in posts 9 fared the best, hitting the board in all three editions. None farther out than post 7 have won.



Last year, Uncle Mo was the overwhelming favorite. In 2006, Circular Quay finished a distant second to Street Sense and in 2000, A.P. Valentine, the Champagne winner, failed to fire and wound up in seventh place. Pedigree matters, too. Sprint-oriented precocious youngsters don’t fare well in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile or Juvenile Fillies.

Does the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile really offer a glimpse into how the top three finishers will do in the Classics? Nine horses have hit the board in the three Juveniles held at Churchill. Only one, Street Sense, has finished in the top three in the Kentucky Derby, and in fact, is the only Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner to win the Kentucky Derby. Just to show how hard the transition from the two year old to three year old season is, only four of the nine colts raced in the Kentucky Derby, three contested the Preakness, and one, Point Given, entered and won the Belmont Stakes. Last year’s top three finishers never made it to the Triple Crown races.



Prep Race:

Two year old fillies who tuned up in the Alcibiades hit the board three times. In 2000, Platinum Tiara, runner up in the BC Juvenile Fillies, and third place horse She’s A Devil Due were fifth and first respectively in the Alcibiades when it was run over dirt. In 2006, Cotton Blossom placed third in the Juvenile Fillies after a disappointing ninth place finish in the Alcibiades over Polytrack.

DreamingOfAnnaIn 2006 and 2010, Fillies who had their last prep over Woodbine Poly finished first (Dreaming of Anna, 2006) and third (Delightful Mary, 2010).

Unlike the colts, four fillies who were second in their preps hit the board most often in the BC Fillies. The last two runnings of the race were won by fillies who were also victorious in their last race. Two fillies that were off of the board in their preps finished second and third (2000, Platinum Tiara,, 5th in Alcibiades) (2006, Cotton Blossom 9th in Alcibiades).

The time between the last prep race and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies varied from 19 to 53 days, with half of the fillies getting 20 – 26 days between the races.


Running Style:

While a mid-pack runner took the 2000 edition of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile fillies, a pace setter and pace presser took the next two editions. Runners-up favored mid-pack or stalking styles. Inside posts work best. Caressing won from post 6, but posts 1 – 4 have rounded out the other top spots in all three years.



Favorites won the last two versions of the Juvenile Fillies at Churchill and the prices were fairly chalky. In 2000, Caressing surprised as a $96.00 winner when the favorite Raging Fever failed to hit the board.

The Juvenile Fillies offers barely a glimpse at a future Kentucky Oaks winner. Out of nine fillies that have hit the board in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, one, Octave finished in the money the following spring. She placed second in that year’s Oaks.



Prep Race:

A win or placing in the Ancient Title Stakes almost guarantees a win at Churchill in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint. The 2000 and 2006 Sprint Champs, Kona Gold and Thor’s Echo, both exited the Ancient Title as a winner and runner-up respectively, while the 2010 Ancient Title winner was third in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint.

Two runners who used the Forego as a prep haveBigDramaBCSprint2010 also done well in the Sprint. In 2006, Nightmare Affair was unplaced in the Forego and placed third in the Sprint, while last year’s Sprint Champ Big Drama was second in the Forego.

All of the winners and runners-up in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint had their final prep over dirt. The only horse to race over a synthetic surface (Cushion Track) was Smiling Tiger, who placed third last year.

In 2000, the top Sprint finishers had their last prep between 20 – 24 days apart and the 2006 winner’s last prep was 28 days before the Sprint. However, in 2006 and 2010, the runners-up had anywhere from 28 – 63 days between races and last year’s winner Big Drama had 63 days between his latest race and the Breeders’ Cup Sprint.


Running Style:

Pace setters won the last two Breeders’ Cup Sprints held at Churchill while Kona Gold in 2000 was a pace presser. He also went on to establish a new track record of 1:07.77. A third of the runners-up have been stalkers. Although Kona Gold and Honest Lady finished one-two in 2000 from far outside posts, the last two editions of the Sprint have been won from the one hole. Horses in posts 1 – 7 do the best in the Sprint at Churchill.



The Breeders’ Cup Sprint has yielded double digit payouts in the last two years when the favorites failed to hit the board. The last three Sprint winners at Churchill either won or were second in their final prep.


Prep Race:

Runners-up in the Spinster and Beldame have done incredibly well in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff. In 2000, Spain used a second place finish in the Spinster to spring to a huge upset win in the Distaff, paying $113.80. Heritage of Gold, the show horse in the Distaff that year had previously finished fourth in the Spinster. In 2006, the first time the Spinster was held on Polytrack, Happy Ticket was unplaced in the race, but rebounded to finish second in the Distaff. The winner of the Spinster Asi Siempre, had finished second in the 2006 Distaff, but was disqualified to fourth.

UnrivaledBelleThe last two Churchill Distaff heroines exited the Beldame. In 2006, Round Pond was third in the Beldame before winning the Distaff, and last year Unrivaled Belle parlayed a second place finish in the Beldame into a Distaff win.

Overall, mares who didn’t win their last prep races did best in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff. Those that did win their last prep finished third or worse in all three editions of the Distaff at Churchill.


Running Style:

Spain was the only Distaff heroine to lay close to the pace, and she took over from pace setter Surfside, who finished second in 2000. The rest of the winners sat mid-pack or stalked early on. Post doesn’t seem as important in the Distaff. Although the winners came from posts 1, 4 and 6, runners-up in the last two Distaff editions held at Churchill used posts 10 – 14.



The last three Churchill Distaff winners have paid double and triple digits. In 2000 and 2006, the favorites failed to hit the board. Last year, Blind Luck was second.


Prep Races:

In 2006 and 2010, the Jockey Club Gold Cup offered the best clues to the top finishers in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Bernardini, Blame and Fly Down won, placed and showed in the Jockey Club Gold Cup.

Bernardini won the Gold Cup but finished behindbreederscupclassic Invasor in the Classic, while Blame was second in the Gold Cup and narrowly won the Classic. Fly Down finished third in both races.

All three years, the Breeders’ Cup Classic champs exited a prep race held over the dirt. All runners except 20006’s Premium Tap (5th) won or hit the board in their last preps before the Classic.

In 2000 and 2006, 28 days between the last prep race and the Classic seemed to be the norm for horses finishing in the money. However, in 2010, the top three entered the Classic off of a 35 day rest. In 2000, Giant’s Causeway narrow defeat by Tiznow came after a 42 day break. Invasor broke all the rules in 2006 and won the Classic off a 91 day layoff.


Running Style:

In 2000, Tiznow pressed Albert The Great to the mile pole and took over, but otherwise, mid-pack runners and late running stalkers have fared best in the Classics held at Churchill. Like the Distaff, post position isn’t as important. In 2000, Tiznow and Giant’s Causeway held an exciting battle from the 13 and 12 spots and Invasor dominated from post 11.



In all three editions of the Classic held at Churchill, the winners have paid double digits. None of the favorites have won, but in 2006 and 2010 they finished second. The largest payout was in 2000, when Tiznow returned a remarkable $20.40.



Prep Races:

Two races, the Oak Tree Mile and Shadwell Turf have proved beneficial preps for the Turf Mile at Churchill. In 2000 the Oak Tree Mile Champ War Chant pulled off the Oak Tree/Turf Mile double. In 2006, the Oak Tree winner Aragorn was second in the Turf Mile.

In 2006 and 2010, contenders who raced in the Shadwell Mile, hit the board. Miesque’s Approval placed fourth in the Shadwell before blowing away the field in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Mile. Last Year’s Shadwell winner Gio Ponti was second to the legendary Goldikova.

Goldikova2010BCSix of the last ten editions of the Breeders’ Cup Mile have been won by Europeans, with Goldikova taking an unprecedented last three runnings. Although Goldikova won at Churchill last year, in 2000 and 2006 American horses triumphed.

Time between the final prep and the Breeders’ Cup Turf Mile range between 20 – 48 days, with most contenders ready to race within 28 days.


Running Style:

Stalkers won in 2000 and 2006, while Golidikova raced mid-pack in 2010. Overall stalkers and mid-pack runners fared best. All three winners at Churchill were victorious from posts 10 and 11. Gio Ponti hit the board from post 3 last year, but otherwise the top three have come from posts 7 – 11.



In 2000 and 2010 the favorites won, while in 2006, Miesque’s Approval lite the tote at $50.60.


Prep Races:

Four Mares who used the Flower Bowl as a springboard to the Filly & Mare Turf have hit the board in the last two years. In 2006, Honey Ryder and Film Maker, first and second in the Flower Bowl, reversed the decision in the F&M Turf, with Film Maker coming in second and Honey Ryder taking the show spot behind the international sensation Ouija Board.

OuijaBoardFMTurfLast year’s F&M Turf heroine Shared Account failed to hit the board in the Flower Bowl, but found the firm Churchill turf to her liking. Keertana, third in the F&M Turf, was fourth in the Flower Bowel.

Europeans have done well in the F&M Turf event. Mares who hit the board in their three last races in Europe also hit the board in the F&M Turf.

The time between their last prep race and the F&M Turf varied for the American mare from 22 to 34 days, while the Europeans took a bit more time between races, from 41 to 55 days between races. Petrushka, the European favorite in the 2000 F&M Turf failed to hit the board. She had won her last preps, but had only 33 days between her last race and the Breeders’ Cup.


Running Style:

As one would expect in a turf route race, stalkers hit the board in all three editions of the F&M Turf held at Churchill. Winning and showing in 2000, but in the last two editions, in 2006 and 2010, pace pressers and mid pack runners took the top spots with one run stalkers finishing third. Inside posts (2-8) have fared best.



In 2006 and 2010, the favorites won or placed. In 2000, the favorite failed to hit the board and Perfect Sting returned $12.00 and second place Tout Charmant offered $14.00. Last year, longshot Shared Account held off the favorite Midday and returned $94.00 to her backers.



Prep races:

Beware the Europeans. They won the last three editions of the Breeders’ Cup Turf at Churchill. Every American horse that hit the board in the Turf used a different prep race to get to Churchill. All except 2000 place horse Quiet Resolve won last time out.

Time between the final prep and the Breeders’ Cup Turf varied from 21-56 days. In 2000, there was a relatively quick turn around with all contenders having raced between 21 – 28 days previously. In 2006, the winner and runner-up took 56 and 41 days between races respectively. Last year the second and third place Turf finishers waited 34 days while the winner came in off of a 50 day layoff.


Running Style:

In 2000 and 2006, one run stalkers won, but surprisingly only three horses the two winners and a runner up, have hit the board. Pace pressers and mid-pack runners hit the board the most, while last year’s pace setter finished second. A winner and third place finisher have exited the one hole, but overall, posts 6 – 11 are best.



Europeans may dominate at Churchill, but not the horses you would expect. All three years, the favorites lost, and in two of those years, 2000 and 2006, they failed to hit the board. In 2010, the favorite Behkabad was third. This opened the tote for double digit payouts.

In 2000 Kalanisi paid $11.20 to win, second place Quiet Resolve offered $28.00 to place.

2006 saw Red Rocks returning $23.60 and the gallant old Better Talk Now rewarding backers at $17.40 to place.

BC turf 20102010 was a bit more chalky, with Dangerous Midge returning $19.00 and place horse Champ Pegasus at $9.00.



bctrophLast year, the inside posts ruled Churchill’s dirt races. The Sprint, Filly & Mare Sprint and Dirt Mile were all won by horses exiting the one hole. No horse won farther out than post 7. Three dirt winners, F & M Sprint, Distaff and Classic, had won a race previously over the Churchill surface.

The race offering the greatest ROI at Churchill for the last three runnings has been the Distaff. All three years the winners have supplied double-digit payouts, the lowest being Unrivaled Belle at $17.00. In the last three Breeders’ Cup contests held at Churchill, six out of eight of the winners in 2000 and 2006 paid more than $10 to win, while last year an incredible 12 of 14 winners offered a $10 or more payout.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Two Year Olds Highlight Belmont, Keeneland

Three Grade 1 races, The Frizette and Champagne at Belmont and the Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland are the last of the major preps for the Breeders’ Cup Stakes. All three races are steeped in history and deserve merit apart from the Breeders’ Cup. Last year, Uncle Mo dominated the Champagne and headed to Churchill Downs as the favorite in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. He exited that race a Champion. Perhaps we’ll see the next Two Year Old Champ – or even the Kentucky Derby or Oaks winner in one of these exciting races.

Frizette Stakes (G-1)

In the last ten years, two outstanding fillies, Indian Blessing and Storm Flag Flying, have captured the Frizette and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies. Although only those two special fillies won both races in a decade, six youngsters that won or placed in the Frizette also finished second or third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies.

This year’s Frizette Field holds only six contestants. Most are extremely well bred and all should be competitive.

MY MISS AURELIA CoglineseMY MISS AURELIA (Smart Strike - My Miss Storm Cat, by Sea of Secrets) is the only graded stakes winner in the field. She also owns a win over the highly touted Stopshoppingmaria. My Miss Aurelia’s half-brother Albergatti placed in the Northern Spur stakes at Oaklawn. Her dam won the Desert Stormer Handicap and she is a half-sister to West Virginia Derby champ Soul Warrior. The Asmussen barn is 15% with graded stakes winners this year.

STOPSHOPPINGMARIA (More Than Ready -stopshoppingmaria Skybox, by Spend a Buck) stopped the clock in 1:09 4/5 for six furlongs in her second start earning a huge 105 Brisnet speed figure. The Pletcher trainee is a half-sister to listed stakes winners Dootsie and Sand Ridge, and her half-brother Peter Paul Rubens is a stakes placed runner in England. Stopshoppingmaria’s stakes placed dam is a half-sister to Ball Chairman, the dam of G1 winning turf sire Perfect Soul. She's also a half-sister to the grand-dam of G1 winning 1st crop sire Flashy Bull. The second dam A Status Symbol and third dam Queen Louie are stakes winners.

MissNettaPhotoEquisportMISS NETTA (Street Sense - Dyna Peak, by Dynaformer) is the least experience filly in the Frizette, entering after a maiden score. The second place finisher in the race came back to win. Miss Netta is a half-sister to Grade 3 winners Dyna Da Wyna, Leroy’s Dynameaux and graded stakes placed New Joysey Jeff. Their dam is a half-sister to the dam of the top race mare Honey Ryder. The McLaughlin barn has a strong 24% win rate with last out maidens facing stakes action.

HOLIDAY SOIREE (Harlan's Holiday - Try to Remember, by Include) did some barn and surface switching early in her career, but finally got a win in her fourth attempt when sprinting over dirt. She’s won two straight against lesser and will face a stiff class check in the Frizette. Holiday Soiree’s dam placed in three middle distance dirt stakes races. Her half-sister Silver Time is a dirt sprinter. There’s no other blacktype in the first two generations. Holiday Soiree switched barns again after her last start to John Terranova’s stable. He is 29% with horses making their first start from his barn.

SparChangePhotoCoglineseSPARE CHANGE (Bernardini - Finder's Fee, by Storm Cat) has made both of her starts over a sloppy track. She overpowered maidens in her last race, geared down to win by eight lengths. She owns a steady clip of 4F :48 works. Four out of five of Spare Change’s half siblings are winners. She’s the final foal produced by her dam. Finder’s Fee was a top race mare, earning wins as a juvenile in the Matron and Astoria, both (G1) stakes and at three she won the Acorn (G1) and placed in the Test and Mother Goose, both G1 contests. The second dam Fantastic Find is a Grade 1 winner and the third dam Blitey is a blue hen. The McGaughey barn is 16% with graded stakes winners.

HARBOR MIST (Rockport Harbor - Jaramar Miss, by Risen Star) was victorious in the state-bred Anne M. Clare Stakes in her last start. Harbor Mist should enjoy running two turns. She’s a half-sister to the stakes placed miler Jaramar Rain, who is the dam of graded stakes placed Imperial Council. Harbor Mist’s dam won once in 13 tries. The second dam Special Warmth won the Arlington Washington Lassie and her offspring have produced San Rafael speedster The Pamplemoose, Hollywood Futurity (G-1) hero and new sire Stormello and the multiple Grade 1 winning turf hero Marlin. The Serpe barn wins graded stakes at an eye-catching 29%.


How the track is playing: 62% of the pace setters/pressers are victorious at Belmont. That’s good, because there isn’t a stalker in the field.

MY MISS AURELIA and STOPSHOPPINGMARIA look like the speed of the race on paper. These two could hook up and just keep going. There’s some concern that STOPSHOPPINGMARIA could regress off of her huge win. HARBOR MIST showed the ability to run from off of the pace in her debut. She didn’t win but ran well for second place. She has improving Brisnet speed figures in all three races and should be ready for the next step up. The two best bred fillies in the race, MISS NETTA and SPARE CHANGE could make some noise if the top two falter. HOLIDAY SOIREE owns two triple digit late pace figures against lesser and won in race-horse time. She could be worth a look for exotics.




#6 HARBOR MIST – longshot


Champagne Stakes (G-1)

Last year’s Champagne Stakes winner continued on to easily dominate the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and earn the Two Year Old Championship. That was, of course, Uncle Mo. The Champagne has been a relatively good indication of how the colts will perform in the Breeders’ Cup. In the last ten years, two youngsters, the aforementioned Uncle Mo and 2007’s Champion War Pass completed the Champagne/Breeders’ Cup double. In other years during the decade, winners and of the Grade 1 prep have finished second or third eight times. 2004 and 2005 were especially form full as Champagne runners-up Afleet Alex and Sunking also placed second and third in the Juvenile and in 2005, Champagne hero First Samurai and his rival Henny Hughes were second and third in the Breeders’ Cup.

This year’s Champagne Stakes bubbles over with intriguing talent. Union Rags is the favorite off of his seven length score in the Saratoga Special. The well-bred Alpha will try to boost his resume while the long-winded Speightscity cuts back to a mile.

NO SPIN (Johannesburg - Dash for Money, by General Meeting) charged out of the pack to grab fourth in the Arlington Washington Futurity. He’ll try dirt for the first time in his career in the Champagne Stakes. By Juvenile Champ Johannesburg, No Spin has a miler pedigree and some class in his distaff family. No Spin’s dam placed in the Railbird Stakes (G3 7F). She’s a half to listed winner Flaming Heart and the second dam Hot Lear is a multiple stakes winner. The third, fourth and fifth dams all have blacktype. No Spin has been working extremely well, firing four consecutive bullets. Trainer Tim Ice wins 17% of graded stakes in which he enters.

SPEIGHTSCITY (Speightstown - My American Girl, by Quiet American) is the only colt in the field with a win past a mile. He battered a maiden field by over 11 lengths in a 1 1/8 mile contest. Speightscity has a speed over stamina pedigree. His sire, a Champion Sprinter, produces sprinter/milers. His son Haynesfield is one of his few dirt runners who have been victorious past 1 1/16 miles. Speightscity’s damsire lends endurance. Speightscity’s half-sister won a listed sprint and his dam is multiple stakes placed. Her half sibling produced True North (G2 6f) winner Anew. The second dam is a G3 stakes winner at 1 1/16 miles. Speightscity has been working strongly over the Saratoga training track

TAKES THE GOLD (Corinthian - Marquet Rent, by Marquetry) owns a win at the Champagne distance of a mile. He’s a half-brother to the brilliant one hit wonder Dashing Debby, who won the JJ’s Dream by over 10 lengths as a maiden and never placed again. Another half-sister, Hopeful Image placed in listed stakes at Calder. Their dam is a half-sister to the multiple stakes winning veteran Leave A Legacy. The Rick Dutrow barn captures 25% of stakes races that they enter.

PowerWorldPOWER WORLD (Distorted Humor - Purrfectly, by Storm Cat) is the most battle tested colt in the field. He placed in the Bashford Manor (G-3) and Sanford (G-2) but had no response over a sloppy track in the Hopeful (G-1). Power World is a half-brother to Santa Caterina, the heroine of Hollywood Breeders’ Cup Oaks (G-1). The talented filly placed in the Frizette (G-1) Debutante (G-1) and Breeder’s Cup Juvenile Fillies (G-1) as a juvenile. Power World’s dam Purrectly is a half-sister to the Juvenile English Champion filly Culture Vulture. The Neil Howard barn is 10% with horses stretching out.

ALPHA (Bernardini—Munnaya, by Nijinsky) cameAlpha Photo coglinese from off of the pace in his debut to beat maidens by over six lengths, including fellow Champagne entrant Invocation. Alpha is a half-brother to French stakes winner Mystic Melody and to Lavender Sky, who placed in four stakes races over the lawn in California. Their dam is an English stakes router and she’s a half to two French stakes winners. This family produced Champion Fantastic Light, Multiple G1 winner Turbulent Decent, KY Oaks heroine Seaside Attraction, the top sire Cape Town and many other top runners. Alpha showed his readiness for the Champagne with a 5F :59 4/5 bullet.

UnionRagsPhotoCoglinese1UNION RAGS (Dixie Union - Tempo, by Gone West) dispatched his rivals in the Saratoga Special (G-2) by over seven lengths to remain undefeated in two starts. Union Rags is a half to stakes placed Geefour. His dam showed promise in her short career, winning twice and placing once in three starts. She’s a half-sister to multiple stakes winner Marry Me Do and two of her half-sisters have produced stakes winners. Union Rags has been breezing steadily at Fair Hill.

RIGHT TO VOTE (Political Force - What a Knight, by Tough Knight) beat maidens in workmanlike fashion at Belmont three weeks ago. He’s a half-brother to Best Pal (G2) and Hollywood Juvenile Champion Stakes (G3) winner What a Song. His dam is a listed stakes winner and she’s a half-sister to four listed winners. Eoin Harty’s stable get25% winners with the maiden to stakes angle.

INVOCATION (Pulpit - Missamerica Bertie, by Quiet American) is still a maiden ad wasn’t flattered by the six length drubbing by Alpha. Invocation is the first foal out of his dam. She went 0 for 4, but she’s a full sister to multiple graded stakes winner Allamerican Bertie. Their half-sister Hurricane Bertie is also a multiple graded stakes winner. The top sprinter Peeping Tom is a member of this distaff family. The Kimmel barn wins with 7% of their stakes entries.

LAURIE'S ROCKET (Bluegrass Cat - Clay'sLauriesrocket Rocket, by American Chance) made up some ground in the Hopeful (G-1) but was hindered by a speed favoring sloppy track. He’s a half-brother to Greeley’s Rocket, who placed in four stakes at two and won a listed stakes at three. His dam is a stakes placed half-sister to Frizette & Spinaway heroine Adieu, the G3 stakes winners Direct Line, Rappaport, and listed stakes winner Speak Wisely. Laurie’s Rocket had a brisk work at Belmont for the Champagne.


How the track is playing: 62% of the pace setters/pressers are victorious at Belmont.

UNION RAGS is the only stakes winner in the field and it is his race to lose. SPEIGHTSCITY has strong speed figures the fitness and class to face this field. Toss POWER WORLD’S last race. He’ll be running late and can again take a runner-up spot. The same goes for LAURIE’S ROCKET. ALPHA is very well bred and has been working forwardly. TAKES THE GOLD has a win at this distance over this track.




#2 SPEIGHTSCITY – longshot


Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity (G-1)

Only three colts have pulled off the Futurity/Breeders’ Cup Juvenile double, and none have managed this feat since 1997. In the last ten years, four horses that have won or placed in the Futurity have also finished second or third in the breeders’ Cup Juvenile. Street Sense was third in the 2006 Futurity due to his dislike of Polytrack, but he went on to earn a win in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and Two Year Old Championship honors.

This year’s edition of the Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity sees a full field of 14 colts with two also-eligibles. The excellent Polytrack sire City Zip is represented by three sons. Three first crop sires, Street Sense, English Channel and Scat Daddy have offspring in the race. The two stakes winners, Majestic City and Shared Property are likely to be favored.

MUSICAL FLAIR (Songandaprayer - Highwaytohappiness, by Catienus) has won his last two races, including the Fasig-Tipton Turf Dash at Calder. In that contest he beat Personal Interest by two lengths. Musical Flair has a miler pedigree. His sire is known for getting precocious offspring while his damsire’s offspring win at middle distances. Musical Flair’s dam won once in nine tries. She’s a full sister to the turf sprinter Cannonball, who was third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf and placed in the Golden Jubilee S. (Eng-G1) and the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G-1). Musical Flair blazed 4F in :47 (2/28) over the Keeneland Polytrack in his last work.

SPACE RACE (Gone West – Aim for the Moon, by Deputy Minister) outclassed maidens by seven lengths at Delaware in his debut. Space Race has a classy pedigree. Most of his sire’s Poly winner’s victories are in England while Deputy Minister as a broodmare sire gets 34% Poly winners. Space Race has inbreeding to the blue hen Tamerett, as she is the second dam of sire Gone West and is also Space Race’s fourth dam. Space Race is a half-brother to Bear’s Rocket, who placed in the Colin Stakes at two. Their dam is a half-sister to With Every Wish, who is the Grand-dam of Kentucky Oaks heroine Lady Joanne and Preakness Champ Shackleford. Aim for the Moon is also a half-sister to dam of multiple stakes winner Atticus Kristy.

DullahanDULLAHAN (Even the Score – Mining My Own, by Smart Strike) is still a maiden, but was a fast closing third in the With Anticipation (G-3). Dullahan has miler speed over stamina with some turf attributes scattered through his pedigree. His sire, a son of Unbridled’s Song was best as a miler and his offspring win over all surfaces, mainly up to 1 1 1/6 miles. Dullahan is a half-brother to Kentucky Derby shocker Mine That Bird. His other half-brother, Brother Bird never recorded a stakes win, but had a decent 9-2-3-2 record nonetheless.

MOTOR CITY (Street Sense - Shawgatny, byMotorCity Danzig Connection) closed gamely for third in the Washington Arlington Futurity, despite having to go six wide around the far bend. Motor City has a stamina oriented pedigree. His sire is a two-time Champion and is showing his class at stud as a leading first crop sire. His offspring will enjoy running two turns. Damsire Danzig Connection won the Belmont Stakes. Motor City is a half-brother to English stakes winner Satulagi. His dam is a half-sister to Grade 3 winner W.D. Jacks and stakes winner Empress Jackie.

MajesticCityPhotoBenoitAfter impeding Creative Cause and slamming into Drill in the Del Mar Futurity, MAJESTIC CITY (City Zip – It’ schemestrybaby, by Meadowlake) skipped last week’s Norfolk Stakes and ships in for the Breeders’ Futurity. Majestic City has a miler pedigree. His sire City Zip’s dirt and synthetic offspring are distance challenged over a mile. Majestic City’s dam It’schemestrybaby went 1 for 24 in four years of racing. She is a half-sister to the stakes placed sprinter She’s Raging. Majestic City’s damsire Meadowlake is the broodmare sire of the sprinter/sire Henny Hughes, Apple Blossom heroine Seventh Street, Remsen winner Old Fashioned, and Statue of Liberty (9F T) winner Tishmeister. The latter is also by City Zip.

CURFEW TOWER (City Zip - Lights Out (AUS), by Way of Light) has won and placed in sprint races over the lawn, but was unplaced both times at a miler or longer and over Polytrack. Curfew Tower has a speed oriented pedigree. His sire City Zip is an above average producer of Polytrack runners. His dam was a sprinter in Australia and his damsire was a Champion Juvenile in France. Curfew Tower owns the only black type in two generations, but this distaff family has produced Derby Champ Foolish Pleasure, plus the G1 winners Purge, Jersey Girl, Jersey Town and the top California sire Valid Wager. Curfew Tower shows three progressively faster 4F works at Keeneland.

SHARED PROPERTY (Scat Daddy -SharedPropertyPhotoFourFootedFotos Yoursmineours, by Belong to Me) enters the Breeders’ Futurity off of a one length win in the Arlington Washington Futurity. He is his first crop sire Scat Daddy’s first winner over Polytrack. Shared Property has quality in his distaff family. His dam won the Honeybee Stakes and his third dam produced Champion filly Epitome. Shared Property had an average 5F work over the Keeneland surface earlier in the week.

LUCKY CHAPPY (High Chaparral - Germane, by Distant Relative) races for the connections of Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom. Lucky Chappy enters the Breeders’ Futurity off of a two win race streak, defeating turf sprinters in Italy, including a listed stakes. The last five tail sires and his first through third damsires in Lucky Chappy’s pedigree are all Champions. Lucky Chappy is a half-brother to two stakes placed runners. Their Group 3 winning dam is a half-sister to two stakes winners. Additionally, Lucky Chappy has inbreeding to the blue hen Lalun through her sons Bold Reason and Never Bend. As one would expect, Lucky Chappy’s sire gets mainly turf runners, but he does have a few winners over Polytrack. Lucky Chappy is cross-entered in the Bourbon Stakes tomorrow at Keeneland.

OUR ENTOURAGE (Street Cry (IRE) - Sand Springs, by Dynaformer) won his maiden in his second race after switching to the turf. The farther the better for Our Entourage, especially over the turf. His sire is an above average producer of Polytrack runners. Both of Our Entourage’s half-brothers have won and one is G3 placed in England. Their dam is the multiple graded stakes turf veteran Sand Springs winner of the Diana S. (G1), Just A Game Breeders' Cup (G2), Lake Placid H.(G2),etc. Our Entourage had a recent slow 4F work over the Saratoga training track.

ANCIL (City Zip - Le Grand Belle, by With Approval) was second in the Chenery Stakes (5 1/2F T) at Colonial on 7/16, but he is still a maiden. His sire is an excellent producer of Poly runners. Ancil’s dam is a half-sister to multiple stakes winner Johnny Dollar, but there isn’t much blacktype in the first three generations. Ancil flashed two consecutive bullets over the Keeneland Polytrack.

One of the best bred colts in the field, TAKE CHARGE INDY (A.P. Indy - Take Charge Lady, by Dehere) won his debut by 6 ½ lengths over the Arlington Poly, which is impressive for a debuting son of A.P. Indy. He followed up with a good second place finish in the Arlington Washington Futurity. Take Charge Indy’s dam is a multiple Grade 1 veteran who won the Spinster (twice), Ashland, Arlington Matron, and placed in the Kentucky Oaks. Take Charge Indy owns two stamina breezes. The Patrick Byrne stable wins with 22% runners trying a route for the second time.

OptimizerOPTIMIZER (English Channel - Indy Pick, by A.P. Indy) was beat only a half-length in the With Anticipation (G-3) after his jockey lost the whip. The son of English Channel has a strong stamina oriented distaff family. His dam Indy Pick is a half-sister to the top race mare Finder’s Fee, heroine of the Matron (G1) at two and the Acorn (G1) at three, as well as other graded stakes events. Another half-sister, Freedom of Speech, produced the multiple stakes winning turf veteran T D Vance. Indy Pick is also a half-sister to a top steeplechaser and to Peter Pan runner-up Treasure Beach. This distaff family carries Phipps family bloodlines. The second dam Fantastic Find won the Hempstead along with other graded stakes and the third dam Blitey and fourth dam Lady Pitt are blue hens. Optimizer has flashed two strong breezes at Churchill but the Lukas barn is 0 for 7 with the turf to Poly angle and overall just 7% winners on Polytrack.

E VALENTINO (E Dubai - Lightningbacktoo, by Katowice) was bothered at the start of the Sunday Silence stakes and didn’t have much to offer during the race, winding up seventh behind Gung Ho. E Valentino’s unraced dam is a half-sister to the Grade 2 winner Skipping Round. That one is the dam of Santa Maria Handicap (G-1) heroine Sugar Shake. The second dam Royal Veagess is a multiple stakes winning veteran of 45 races. E Valentino is closely inbred (3x4) to the blue hen Golddigger, through her famous son Mr. Prospector, the sire of E Dubai and Golddigger’s daughter Lillian Russell, the dam of Katowice. E Valentino hasn’t raced over Polytrack. His works over the surface have been slow.

GUNG HO (Kitten's Joy - Glory Dancer, by Honour and Glory) was up in time to win the 1 mile Sunday Silence Stakes by a neck. His older full sister is stakes placed. The second dam Dancing All Night never produced a stakes winner, but she is a full sister to Breeders’ Cup Sprint Champ Dancing Fee. The third dam Blitey was a top producer for the Phipps family. Blitey’s family includes multiple G1 winners Fantastic Find and her daughter Finder’s Fee; Furlough, Champion Heavenly Prize, Good Reward, Dancing Forever, etc.

FIRE ALARM (Fusaichi Pegasus - Sweet Beat, by Tiznow) AE won his debut over the Presque Isle Downs Tapita. Fire Alarm’s sire is an above average producer of Polytrack runners. Fire Alarm’s dam won once in three tries. She’s a full sister to multiple stakes placed Kitty In A Tizzy. The third dam Potridee is a Champion Mare in Argentina.

PERSONAL INTEREST (Vindication - Majestically, by Gone West) AE is still a maiden and placed in the Foolish Pleasure Stakes at Calder in his last start. Personal Interest is a full brother to stakes placed sprinter Dust and Diamonds. Their dam is a half-sister to a stakes winner and the second dam is a stakes winner. Interestingly, the second dam is a half-sister to the grand-dam of Breeders’ Futurity entrant, Our Entourage.


How the track is playing: Speed and pace pressers won the lion’s share of races on the first day of the meet.

MAJESTIC CITY is the class of the field and proven against graded stakes company. He’s adding some distance, but it shouldn’t be a concern. He has the right running style to make an impact on the race. SHARED PROPERTY is an undefeated graded stakes winner. He’s overcome difficulty in both starts and should be running at the end. There are two or three colts that could also make an impact on the race at long odds. They may be worth using in your exotics. ANCIL will be near the lead and while he hasn’t won a race, he owns the best late works over the Keeneland Poly. Musical Flair has been beating up on lesser horses at Calder. He too has a bullet over the Polytrack and horses from Calder generally do well in cooler climes. TAKE CHARGE INDY is running well over Poly despite his pedigree and he adds blinkers. His barn is 17% with that angle. GUNG HO has one of the top Brisnet late speed figures in the field and his speed figures are improving with every race. His sire’s offspring love this track (10 winners during the spring meet), he gets one of the leading riders in Leparoux and Gung Ho has a deceptively good pedigree. The main drawback is his outside post.




#14 GUNG HO - longshot

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Full Field of Fillies in the Darley Alcibiades

The Darley Alcibiades Stakes (G-1) is one of the last prep races scheduled for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies. The last filly to win both races was Silverbulletday in 1998. Since then only one Breeders’ Cup winner 2009’s She Be Wild, also placed in the Alcibiades. In 2009.

This year’s Alcibiades contest is wide open with a full field of 14 fillies and an also eligible entered. The only undefeated stakes winner, Tu Endie Wei, is the likely favorite.

#1 PUTTHEBABIESDOWN (Closing Argument - Turtle Beach, by Out of Place) was wide in the PG Johnson Stakes and settled for fourth. She has a stamina-oriented pedigree and should appreciate the longer distance. Her dam is a half sister to the dam of multiple stakes winner Probation Ready. Putthebabiesdown recorded two good works over the Keeneland Polytrack and they appear better than her Saratoga breezes.

FlashyLassiePhotoReedPalmer#2 FLASHY LASSIE (Flashy Bull – Lemon Pop Lassie, by Lemon Drop Kid) won the Debutante Stakes (G3) at Churchill and was second in the Mountaineer Juvenile Fillies Stakes. Her first crop sire Flashy Bull has 32 runners, 12 winners, but none have won over synthetics. Flashy Lassie’s dam Lemon Pop Lassie is a half sister to a stakes winner and two stakes placed runners, all fillies.

#3 VENETIAN SONATA (Bernadini – MoonlightVenetian SonataPhotoCoady Sonata, by Carson City) Gained late for fourth place, beaten only 1 ½ lengths in the Arlington Washington Lassie and should enjoy the extra distance of the Alcibiades. Her second crop sire is above average in producing winners over Polytrack, but while his offspring can run and win over the surface, they improve when switching to dirt. Venetian Sonata’s full brother Wilburn recently won the Indiana Derby. Her half brother Beethoven won the 2008 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (G-2). Venetian Sonata’s dam won the Arlington-Washington Lassie and her precocious half brother Bevo won the Belmont Futurity (G-1) and Saratoga Special (G-2). The second and third dams are also stakes winners. Venetian Sonata breezed an average 5F in 1:00 3/5 over the Keeneland Poly in her last work.

#4 TU ENDIE WEI (Johar - Ms. Tu Endie WeiPhotoMichaelBurnsCornstalk, by Indian Charlie) is undefeated in two starts, both stakes races. She lead all the way in the 6 ½ furlong Ontario Debutante and held off Northern Passion by ½ a length. That filly came back to win the G-3 Natalma Stakes. Tu Endie Wei’s fourth crop sire has three graded stakes winners. The majority of his offspring are best over the turf, but he has a handful of winners over synthetic tracks. They win from sprints to 1 ½ miles. Tu Endie Wei is a half sister to two-time Champion and Horse of the Year Biofuel.

SweetCatPhotoCoglinese#5 SWEET CAT (Kitten's Joy - Claire's Smile, by Carson City) won her maiden convincingly sprinting over the turf at Saratoga. Her sire Champion Turf Horse Kitten’s Joy, gets most of his winners over the turf and synthetics. Sweet Cat is a half-sister to Loose Leaf a stakes winner over dirt who is also stakes placed over the lawn. Her dam is an unraced half-sister to a stakes placed runner and Sweet Cat’s third and fourth dams are blue hens. Champions Flanders and Surfside were produced by this family.

#6 EGG DROP (Alphabet Soup - Rehocracy, by Adhocracy) won her maiden at fist asking over the Del Mar Polytrack. The second place finisher came back to win next time out. The pretty gray filly has little blacktype in her distaff family, although her mother is a half sister to Redoubled Miss, a Calder fixture and winner of listed stakes there. Egg Drop worked a bullet 5F in :59 1/5 (1/17) in her second to last work over the Hollywood Cushion Track. Her jockey Joe Talamo sticks with her.

#7 STEPHANIE'S KITTEN (Kitten's Joy - Unfold the Rose, by Catienus) hung in the stretch of the Natalma Stakes to finish third, beaten by a widening 3 ½ lengths by Tu Endie Wei. She’s the first foal produced by her unraced dam. Her second dam Bail Out Becky was a good multiple stakes race mare and her major accomplishment was a win in the Del Mar Oaks (G1). Stephanie’s Kitten gets her fourth rider in as many starts.

#8 NEW WAVE (Tale of the Cat - Ecology, by Unbridled's Song) After leading most of the way in the PG Johnson Stakes New Wave lugged out in the stretch and finished second to Alura Michelle by 2 ½ lengths. This pretty gray filly is a half sister to General Quarters, winner of the Bluegrass Stakes over the Poly and Woodford Reserve Turf Classic, both G1 contests. New Wave has flashed three strong works over the Keeneland Poly and gets back to the surface where she won her maiden.

AndWhyNot#9 AND WHY NOT (Street Cry - Alchemist, by A.P. Indy) was a well-beaten third in the Spinaway (G-1), her second lifetime start. And Why Not’s sire and damsire pass endurance to their offspring. And Why Not’s half brother Burj Dubai is stakes placed. Their dam Alchemist was an allowance level runner who placed third in a Grade 3 stakes. Alchemist is a half-sister to Turnback the Alarm H.(G-3) heroine Altesse. The second dam Aldiza won the Go For Wand (G-1) and placed in the Test (G-1), Spinster (G1), Frizette (G-1) and other graded stakes. The fourth dam is blue hen Courtly Dee, dam of Champion Three Year Old Filly Althea. And Why Not’s sire is above average Poly sire. The bay filly gets a rider switch from Leparoux to Gomez.

#10 FROLIC'S REVENGE (Vindication - StormyFrolicsRevenge Frolic, by Summer Squall) invades from Calder, where she finished second in the Brave Raj last time out. Ironically in her previous attempt, Frolic’s Revenge won the Lindsay Frolic Stakes, named in honor of her second dam. Frolic’s Revenge is the first stakes winner produced by her dam. Stormy Frolic is a stakes winner and a half sister to five blacktype runners, including the multiple stakes winning warrior, Super Frolic. Both the second and third dams are graded stakes winners and this is a top Florida distaff line. Frolic’s Revenge breezed a 5F bullet in 1:00 ¾ in her last work.

HeartOfDestiny#11 HEART OF DESTINY (Lion Heart - Doc's Destiny, by Doc's Leader) won her maiden by a fast-closing nose in her second start, going 1 1/6 miles over the turf. Her sire gets an average number of Poly winners. Heart of Destiny is a half sister to grade 2 placed Brother Bobby. Their dam is stakes placed, but that’s it for blacktype in this immediate family. Heart of Destiny has fired two consecutive bullets, including a 5F :58 1/5 move over the Keeneland Poly.

#12 CHEERLEADER (Flashy Bull - Destiny's Yield, by High Yield) dominated maidens, including Tavern On the Bay, by over six lengths in her debut. Cheerleader is the second daughter of Flashy Bull entered in the Alcibiades. She’s the first foal for her dam, who won once in nine tries. That one is a half sister to the dam of Westchester Handicap (G-3) hero Sir Greeley. Cheerleader has breezed two six furlong stamina works for the race.

#13 TAVERN ON THE BAY (Offlee Wild - Terrified Ice, by Darn That Alarm) after being drilled by Cheerleader, Tavern On The Bay finally won her maiden in her sixth attempt. Her sire gets the occasional winner over Poly and has one graded stakes winner at Keeneland. Tavern On The Bay has a modest distaff line with no blacktype in the first two generations.

Anne of the Dance#14 ANN OF THE DANCE (English Channel – Dans La Ville, by Winning) trounced the colts in her second start then was a gaining third in the Arlington Washington Lassie . Her first crop sire English Channel won the 2007 Breeders' Cup Turf. He has five winners from 26 starters and Ann Of The Dance is his only Poly winner. Ann Of The Dance’s unraced dam is a half sister to a Chilean Oaks (G-1) winner. That one produced Pennsylvania Derby hero Grand Hombre. Ann Of The Dance has been working steadily at Arlington.

#15 ON FIRE BABY (Smoke Glacken - Ornate, by Gilded Time) is Also Eligible. She won her debut sprinting at Ellis Park. Her sire has a few winners over Poly, but overall, his progeny prefer other surfaces. The pretty gray On Fire Baby is a half sister to Fantasy Stakes heroine High Heels and stakes winner French Kiss. Their dam is also a stakes winner. On fire Baby has recorded average works at Churchill.


How the track is playing: Traditionally, Keeneland is very speed favoring, especially near the rail.

TU ENDIE WEI is the class of the field and should handle the stretch out. ANN OF THE DANCE has won at 1 1/16 miles over Poly and is stakes placed. She’s shown progression in her last two races and I really like her, but she is hindered by a far outside post. VENETIAN SONATA should appreciate the distance and owns improving Brisnet speed figures. The Helmbrecht barn is 21% with shippers. Ditto STEPHANIE'S KITTEN. HEART OF DESTINY has the highest late pace speed figure in the field. She also has the best works and a win at the distance. NEW WAVE gets back to the Poly after forays onto dirt and turf. She’ll carry last Fall’s leading rider Leparoux. AND WHY NOT has a fantastic pedigree and good works. She should improve going two turns.