Friday, June 10, 2011

Back To The Future

The most precocious two year olds of 2011 are making their appearance at tracks across the country. It seems fitting that the first major stakes races for juveniles will be held on the weekend of the Belmont Stakes, the last Classic race for three year olds. Starting the juvenile – to – classic cycle once again.
The first major competition for the babies, the Cinderella and Willard L. Proctor Memorial Stakes will be held in California on June 11 and 12, respectively
CinderellaStakesThe Cinderella Stakes was initially held in 1950. In the 1980’s and 1990’s it was sporadically contested, but the race has been consistently run since 2000. In the last ten years, more than half of the winners continued on to win other stakes races throughout their careers. Two, Golden Ballet and River’s Prayer, became Grade One winners. Additionally, fillies that have placed in the Cinderella have also developed into stakes runners, including the Test and Acorn Stakes heroine, Champagne D’Oro.

Seven two year old fillies are scheduled to face the starter in the Cinderella Stakes at Hollywood Park on Saturday, June 11. Five of the fillies already have a start or two under their girths.

The Cinderella includes offspring from the initial crops of two sires, Silent Name and Awesome Gambler. Walter Solis trains both fillies.

SILENT SUE (Silent Name – Cold Porridge, by Tiffany Ice) has started twice, beating Cinderella SILENTSUE3contender Bluegrass Story by a ½ length in their last race. She’s a daughter of first crop sire Silent Name. The son of Kentucky Derby hero and legendary sire Sunday Silence out of a daughter of Danehill, Silent Name raced in France for two years before conquering Grade 2 foes over the California turf and Polytrack. Silent Name has a strong distaff family and his first five dams all have blacktype. His third dam Sweet Revenge was victorious in the Alcibiades, Adirondack, Astarita and Schuylerville Stakes as a two year old and her best daughter, Blushing Away, is Silent Name's second dam. Silent Name has two starters. The distaff families will be the key to how the offspring of Silent Name perform. Some of his offspring will be precocious win early types while others will need time and distance.
Silent Sue’s damsire Tiffany Ice, a son of Icecapade, won the Sanford Stakes at two, and became a leading Oregon sire. Cold Porridge, the dam of Silent Sue, was a hardy racemare. She faced the starter 70 times with a 10-13-12 record. She produced sound offspring, including Liepers Fork, a multiple stakes winner in Indiana who started 75 times, and Offlee Swift, also a multiple stakes winner in Indiana. Silent Sue’s trainer Walther Solis gets 13% winners with the maiden to stakes race angle.

WILLABAWESOMEThe second Solis trainee, WILLA B AWESOME (Awesome Gambler – Cause I’m Tricky, by Nineeleven) won a statebred maiden race at first asking in late April. The new California sire Awesome Gambler, a son of Coronado’s Quest out of a Deputy Minister mare, won the 1 1/8 mile Alydar Stakes and placed in the Gateway to Glory Stakes. He’s had five starters, but Willa B Awesome is his only winner. Most of Awesome Gambler’s offspring will need a few races under their girths and will grow into their talent.

Nineeleven, Willa B Awesome’s damsire is a son of Phone Trick. He won once in eleven starts and stands in California. Willa B Awesome’s half sister Got Tobe Rio placed twice in stakes races as a juvenile. Her immediate distaff family is modest, but the two time Champ Alysheba is descended from this family. Willa B Awesome worked a brilliant five furlongs for the Cinderella.

Neither Silent Sue or Willa B Awesome have inbreeding in the first five generations.

Jerry Hollendorfer, the perennial leading trainer atKILLERGRACES Golden Gate, has entered a promising filly by the name of KILLER GRACES (Congaree – Heatherdoesntbluff, by Old Trieste). The beautiful Chestnut finished second by a desperate nose in her debut on May 1, but defeated Silent Sue by 1 ¼ lengths. Killer Graces’ sire was at his best as a miler, but he won the Hollywood Gold Cup at 1 ¼ miles, which was his only victory at the distance in three attempts. He’s become a useful regional sire and is one of the top studs standing in New York. Killer Graces’ damsire Old Trieste was a miler in the Grade 2 division. He was a solid California sire, producing Grade 1 winners Silver Train and Sinister Minister. He’s the damsire of last year’s Arlington-Washington Futurity champ Major Gain. Killer Graces is a half sister to the juvenile stakes placed runner Rockin Heather. The second and third dams were stakes horses, but otherwise, there is little blacktype in this immediate distaff family. Killer Graces does trace back to two notable blue hens, Co-Champion Two Year Old Filly Regal Gleam and the foundation mare La Troienne. Killer Graces has posted back-to-back bullet moves at Hollywood.

GOGI (Swiss Yodeler – Self Taught, by Cee’sGogi Tizzy) just missed in her debut, but came back a month later to win by an commanding 3 ½ lengths. The pretty gray filly has one of the most precocious pedigrees in the field. Her sire won the Willard Proctor as a juvenile and he is known as a top California producer of early speed. Damsire Cee’s Tizzy is also a top California sire and is best known for producing Tiznow. Gogi has eight full siblings. All but one has started, but none have won more than three times in double digit starts. Gogi’s second dam won a listed stakes, but like most of the other fillies in the Cinderella, there is little blacktype in the immediate families. Trainer Mike Harrington has only 8% win rate this Hollywood meet, but he wins with 17% of his maidens-to-stakes runners.

MISSAMBITIONMISS AMBITION (Touch Gold – Adios Meadowlake, by Meadowlake) won at first asking in a maiden claiming race on May 21. She has a stamina over speed pedigree. Her sire won the 1997 Belmont Stakes and her damsire won the Arlington –Washington Futurity. Miss Ambition’s full sister Happy Touch failed to win in four attempts. Miss Ambition is descended from a minor branch of, Alanesian, the dam of Boldesian. The blue hen is Miss Ambition’s fifth dam. Trainer Peter Miller gets a strong 20% wins with last time maidens making their stakes debuts.
Three fillies make their racing debuts in the Cinderella.

The first, POR QUE TE QUIERO (A.P. Indy – Sensation, by Dixie Union), has been working steadily at Santa Anita. Her pedigree isn’t particularly precious and she may find the 5 ½ furlongs of the Cinderella a touch short; However her dam won her maiden at the same distance by 11 lengths over two eventual stakes winners and she also took the Astarita Stakes (G-2) by five lengths as a two year old, so there’s certainly the chance that Por Que Te Quiero has the same precocious talent as her dam. The Guillot barn has a 10% win rate with first time runners, but only a 2% rate with listed stakes runners.

CHLOE W (El Corredor – Fair and Lively, by Lively One) posted a strong four furlong move in her last breeze. Her sire was a multiple Grade 1 sprinter/miler and a half brother to the precocious Roman Ruler. Chloe W’s damsire balances the pedigree with a touch of stamina. He was mostly a Grade 2 – 3 type winning stakes between 1 1/6 miles and 1 1/8 miles, but he did earn Grade 1 status with a victory in the 1 ¼ mile Swaps Stakes. His daughters have produced a few listed stakes winners in the US, but the stallion has been standing in Japan since 1998. Two out of four of Chloe W’s half siblings are winners and one ¾ brother won two of 14 starts. Her second dam Aromcor was a stakes winner and three of her daughters produced minor stakes winners, so there’s some quality in the family. Trainer Eric Kruljac is 6% with his first time starters.

WILD TRUFFLES (Offlee Wild – Lady Truffles, by Candi’s Gold) has been working steadily at Hollywood Park. Her sire was the leading freshman sire of 2009. Most of his progeny are best as juveniles and in his first year at stud, Offlee Wild sired his leading money winner, She Be Wild, winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies. Wild Truffles is the first foal for her dam, Lady Truffles, who won the Cal Cup Juvenile Fillies. Lady Truffles is a half sister to Rose Catherine, who was second in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf. The Powell barn is 5% with first time starters.


How the track is playing: Thirteen races have been held at 5 ½ furlongs this meet. 31% of the winners wired the field. The rest of the wins have been divided fairly evenly between mid-pack runners and front runners.
Typical of early two year old runners, most of the field have scored their victories on the front end in comparable times. Willa B Awesome has shown the ability to come from off of the pace and if the front runners exhaust themselves in a speed duel, she’ll be mowing them down in the lane. Killer Graces has the best works in the field and her trainer conditioned the Champions Lost In The Fog and Blind Luck. Silent Sue showed improvement between her first two races. She’s capable of moving forward. Two newcomers that could play a part in the outcome of the Cinderella are Por Que Te Quiero and Wild Truffles. Por Que Te Quiero’s dam was a very talented and precocious mare and there’s quality breeding. The distance might be too short for Por Que Te Quiero, but she could be running late. Wild Truffles has the unfortunate outside post. Horses making their first start tend to break outwards from the last post and can lose valuable lengths. Wild Truffles has a strong distaff family and her sire’s offspring are very quick.

#1 Willa B Awesome
#3 Killer Graces
#5 Silent Sue
#6 Por Que Te Quiero - longshot

Willard L. Proctor Memorial Stakes

The Willard L. Proctor Memorial Stakes is the male counterpart to the Cinderella. Like the Cinderella, the Willard L. Proctor Memorial has been run sporadically since 1953, but has been run consistently since 2000. Overall, the winners and place finishers of this race haven’t fared as well in subsequent races as their female counterparts, but the race has produced the major sire Swiss Yodeler, Champion Sprinter Squirtle Squirt and last year’s multiple Grade 1 winner J P’s Gusto. This year, six two year old colts are set to contest the race, on June 12.

MAJESTICCITYMAJESTIC CITY (City Zip – It’ schemestrybaby, by Meadowlake) earned a triple digit speed figure in his debut three weeks ago. Not surprisingly, he has one of the most precocious pedigrees in the field. Majestic City’s sire and damsire were juvenile stakes winners, while his third damsire Pleasant Tap, offers a touch of stamina. Majestic City is the first foal for his dam It’ schemestrybaby, who won only once in 24 starts. She’s a half sister to the stakes placed She’s Running. The immediate distaff family is light on blacktype, but Majestic City’s third dam produced the international turf horse Golden Pheasant, winner of the Arlington Million and Japan Gold Cup. The City Zip/Meadowlake cross has produced Trishmeister, a stakes winner going 1 1/8 miles over the lawn and the stakes placed sprinter/miler Little Miss Zip. Majestic City’s trainer Peter Miller has a strong 20% win rate with last out maidens moving into stakes races.

JOYZEY BILLY (Momentum – Ravina, by Rahy)JOYZEYBILLY won a statebred maiden race by a desperate nose in his debut. He was sold and moved to the barn of Cliff Sise, where he’s logged two fairly slow works. Joyzey Billy’s sire won the Grade 3 Native Diver going 1 1/8 miles and was multiple Grade 1 placed between 1 1/8 miles and 1 ¼ miles. Damsire Rahy was a Group 3 sprinter in England and won a Grade 2 at a mile in the US. He’s an excellent broodmare sire, and his daughters have produced the Grade 1 winners After Market, Life At Ten, Megahertz and Ruthererienne. Joyzey Billy’s dam one once in six attempts in England. Although well bred, none of her half siblings nor her dam have blacktype. Joyzey Billy has strong turf attributes from Nureyev, his second sire, Rahy (a son of Blushing Groom) his damsire, and Nijinsky, Joyzey Billy’s second damsire, so he may eventually wind up on turf.

CAST A DOUBT (Wildcat Heir – Casting Pearls, by Fusaichi Pegasus) signaled all systems go with a bullet four furlong breeze two works back. He has precocious speed top and bottom in his pedigree. Cast A Doubt’s sire has been one of the leading producers of win-early juveniles for the last three years. Likewise, his damsire has sired the notable juveniles, Roman Ruler, Premier Pegasus and Riveting Reason. Cast A Doubt’s dam won her only start. She’s a half sister to Barbara Fritchie (G-2) heroine Harissa. There’s other minor blacktype scattered throughout this family and the English Champion Three Year Old and Epsom Derby winner Benny The Dip is part of this distaff family.

SWORDSMANSHIP (First Samurai – Lacy Gray, by Unbridled’s Song) has been working consistently over the Santa Anita dirt. His second crop sire produced last year’s Schuylerville Stakes winner Le Mi Geux. Swordsmanship’s full sister Zazzle needed six attempts to win her maiden, and placed third once. Swordsmanship’s dam is a half sister to a couple of minor stakes winners and this immediate family produced She’ll Heir, last year’s Cinderella Stakes winner, Pan American Stakes winner Bearpath, Grade 3 winner Wild Hope, and the multiple stakes winner D’Wild Ride. The Kitchingman barn has a respectable 25% win rate with ungraded stakes and is vicorious with 13% of their first time starters.

ANNE’S SEVEN CATS (Mambo Train – Culture Clash, by Petionville) is a filly taking on colts in her first race. This isn’t uncommon and this year’s Willard Proctor is shaping up as a weaker race than the Cinderella. Anne’s Seven Cats’s sire won the Turf Paradise Derby and placed in two stakes at 1 1/8 miles. The son of Kingmambo stands for a private fee in Arizona and his first crop hits the racetracks this year. Anne’s Seven Cats damsire was a graded stakes winner from 6 furlongs to 1 1/8 miles, including the Ohio and Louisiana Derbies. Anne’s Seven Cats is the second foal from her dam. Culture Clash, who won once in four tries. The second dam, Antonia Bin (by Sadler’s Wells) placed once in two tries. She hasn’t produced anything of note, but she is a full sister to the Irish Champion Juvenile and prominent sire El Prado. Additionally, the third dam, Lady Capulet, won the Irish One Thousand Guineas. Anne’s Seven Cats is inbred to the blue hen Special through the half siblings Nureyev and Fairy Bridge. Anne’s Seven Cats has strong turf breeding through her second sire Kingmambo, second damsire Sadler’s Wells and her second dam Lady Capulet. If she doesn’t take to the Cushion Track or dirt, Anne’s Seven Cats may do well over the lawn. The Metz barn is 0 for 27 with first time starters.

TRUCOLATINOTRUCO LATINO (Silver Train – Dewey’s Trick, by Mazel Trick) finished a distant seven lengths behind Majestic City in their debut. His second crop sire is off to a good start at stud. His best juvenile is the very swift J J’s Lucky Train. Damsire Mazel Trick is a Grade 2 sprinter/miler. His daughters have produced the Grade 1 winner Check the Label and Grade 3 winners Early Robusto and Summer Soiree. Truco Latino is the first foal for his dam, who has a good 20 -4-4-3 race record. She won her debut at Hollywood Park at first asking and she placed in two listed stakes over the Turfway Polytrack. Dewey’s Trick is a half sister to Moccasin winner Classic Olympio and stakes winner Mister Felipe. The Delon Barn hits with 4% of second time runners and has only a 9% win rate over Cushion Track. They are victorious with 15% of listed stakes winners.


Majestic City is the favorite based upon his brilliant debut. Even if he regresses slightly, he can still win. Cast A Doubt owns one of the most precocious pedigrees in the field and a series of strong works. Joyzey Billy has experience and can move forward off of his first race. His latest works aren’t inspiring, but he has proven to have some talent.

#2 Majestic City
#5 Cast A Doubt
#3 Joyzey Billy