Thursday, April 7, 2011

Kicking of Keeneland With Maiden Juveniles

Keeneland kicks off the Spring 2011 meet with a full field of two year old maidens. Nothing like starting with the promise of thingskeerasingseason to come. 

Tomorrow’s first race drew a full field of debuting two year olds going 5 ½ furlongs over the Polytrack. Traditionally at Keeneland, speed rules and in sprint races, whoever gets the best break and thus, the lead, is usually the winner. Below are a few notes regarding some of the contestants.

Two entrants were scratched, Soul Vacation, who was part of the entry, and Gentlemen’s Code one of my interesting longshots.

EVERYDAY DAVE (Weather Warning – Numerieus, by Numerous), trained by the master of two year olds, Wesley Ward is the even money favorite. Everyday Dave is by a minor son of Storm Cat out of a French juvenile stakes winner. He is the first foal from his dam and the distaff family is unremarkable and European. Nothing in his pedigree catches our eye, but his consistently faster works do, and his moring breezes indicate that he’s ready to roll. It’s hard to argue against a trainer with 69% lifetime wins with debuting maidens, but there’s another prospect in here that caught our eye.

Gold Digger
GIMMEAWISH (Gimmeawink – Wish For Candi, by Candi’s Gold) is worth serious consideration. His sire gets about 25% winners over Polytrack and 15% juvenile winners, which is above average. Gimmeawish has a precocious distaff family His dam won two listed stakes at Hastings as a juvenile and she has a pretty good record as a broodmare. All seven of her foals raced, four are winners, and one is a stakes winner. Three won at two, including Gimmeawish’s full sister Michaela's Candi and Pete’s Wonder, who placed in the Victoria Stakes at Woodbine in his second start.

Gimmeawish has inbreeding to Gold Digger, through her sons Mr. Prospector, the third sire of Gimmeawink, and his unraced half brother Yukon, the sire of Candi’s Gold. The trainer, John Pucek, has a 32% lifetime record with maidens. Gimmeawish has flashed some speed in the mornings and his 10-1 odds are enticing.

CURFEW TOWER (City Zip – Lights Out, by Way Of Light) is by a superior sire of two year olds and Polytrack runners out of a dam by a Champion French Juvenile. His dam failed to win as a juvenile and his half sister by Suave hasn’t won in six attempts. There are still a few things to like about this colt. He’s shown some speed in the mornings at Keeneland and his trainer Eric Reed has a 38% lifetime win rate with two year olds.

CONCEPT (Montbrook – Quincy Market, by Boston Harbor) is the token filly in the race. Her sire and damsire get win-early sprinters and 25% of her sire’s offspring hit the board over Polytrack. Her dam took 10 starts to win her maiden and neither of Concept’s siblings are winners.

HACHI (Cuvee – What’d I Say, by Shuailaan) has sprinter speed over stamina. His dam didn’t win a race until she was four and she’s a half sister to two stakes winners. The distaff family isn’t particularly precocious and Hachi is her first foal. Cuvee gets 16% lifetime juvenile winners, but only around 14% Polytrack winners. The Corrigan barn is 26% lifetime with maidens.

ADENA'S CHANCE (Limehouse - Little Krissy, by Kris S.) only recorded two public works at Keeneland, including a decent gate work, so this colt is likely working at a private farm. At least we hope so. His sire gets an above-average 16% juvie winners and Kris S. is no slouch as a broodmare sire. Adena's Chance’s dam won one of two starts as a three year old, and we’re suspecting she had soundness issues. He’s her fourth foal, and only one half sibling is a winner. That one took his sweet time winning his maiden and only won twice in 18 attempts.