Saturday, June 25, 2011

A Shocking Debutante

For over 200 years, aristocratic fillies have won the Churchill Downs Debutante Stakes. The roll call of winners include Alcibiades, Bewitch, Furl Sail, Hollywood Wildcat, Silverbullitday, Chilukki, and Cashiers Dream, who set a 5 ½ furlong record of 1:02 2/5. Fillies that didn’t win the Debutante but later went on to championship seasons are Countess Dianna and Rachel Alexandra. One youngster, Shockwave, is already a stakes winner and the favorite in this year’s edition of the Churchill Downs Debutante Stakes.

Victorious in two starts by a combined 22 lengths and already a stakes winner, SHOCKTIME (Langfuhr - Red Thread, by Devil His Due) is the deserved morning line favorite. The Lone Star Park invader is the first foal for her unraced dam. Her dam is a full sister to the durable stakes placed gelding Itsallboutthechase, and that’s it for blacktype in this distaff family.

You could have claimed TIPPY TOES (D’Wildcat - Procedure, by Quiet American) twice for $50K. She’s a half sister to the juvenile stakes winner Midst. Her second dam Aquire was a track record setter at Keeneland. Hollywood Prevue hero Your Tent Or Mine is part of this distaff family.

Drawing the one post, FIVE STAR MOMMA (Five Star Day - Momma In Law, by Nureyev) won her 5 ½ furlong debut in 1:05 2/5. Her dam won three of seven starts and she’s a full sister to the Group 3 winner England’s Rose. There’s some precocity in this distaff family, as her second dam placed in the Hollywood Starlet. Five Star Momma has strong turf breeding and may eventually find her way to the lawn.

QUEEN TEUTA (Theatrical - Queens Plaza, by Forestry) showed improvement from her first to second start. Her dam won the Grade 2 Sorority Stakes. Queen Teuta’s third dam Jeano was a dual winner of the Doubldogdare Stakes and she’s the grand-dam of 2005 Champion Two Year Old Filly Folklore.

The only maiden in the group, MY DUE PROCESS (Henny Hughes - Easy Action, by Crafty Prospector) almost got it done last time out, but was caught at the wire by a head. She worked back a bullet after that race and is bred top and bottom for precocious speed. Her half brother Kong’s Revenge placed in the Futurity (G-2). Their dam was a stakes placed juvenile and she is a half sister to Santa Ysabel (G-3) heroine Itty Bitty Pretty and the multiple stakes winning sprinter Greeley’s Conquest.

FLASHY LASSIE (Flashy Bull – Lemon Pop Lassie, by Lemon Drop Kid) destroyed $20K maiden claimers by nine lengths in her debut. Her first crop sire has three winners from five starters. She’s the first foal produced by her dam. Lemon Pop Lassie is a half sister to a stakes winner and two stakes placed runners, all fillies.

CULOTTE (Sky Mesa - Normandy's Nell, by Mt. Livermore) has speed throughout her pedigree and proved it galloping to a five length win, getting 4 ½ furlongs in a strong :51 3/5. She’s the first foal for her dam who was unplaced in five attempts. Normandy's Nell is a half sister to Del Mar Oaks (G-1) heroine Famous Digger.


SHOCKTIME owns the only black type in the field. How good are the fillies she beat at Lone Star? FLASHY LASSIE should love the extra distance and she worked a strong five furlongs. TIPPY TOES has shown the ability to win off of the pace. With a race full of drag racers, she could be passing them all at the end. Add the trainer/jock combo of Pletcher/Leparoux and morning line odds of 12-1 and she looks very attractive. CULOTTE demolished Queen Teuta last time out and came back to work very well.





Blue-Blooded Babies Equal Double Digit Payouts

Well-bred maidens making their debuts can often reward their backers with double-digit payouts. So far this year, astute handicappers were rewarded with payouts on Evita’s Sister ($24.00) a full sister to Grade 1 winner Evita Argentina, Lava Girl ($32.00) a half sister to the multiple Grade 1 winning hero Lava Man, and Power World ($30.00) a half brother to Grade 2 winner Santa Catarina.

Well bred babies facing the starter on Saturday, June 25 include the following:

Calder - Race 2 MSW - QUEEN DRAMA (Burning Roma – Riveting Drama, by Notebook) is a full sister to Little Drama and half sister to Big Drama. Little Drama placed second in his initial start, a Maiden race in mid-June 2010. He got the job done the following month in the Frank Gomez Memorial Stakes. Queen Drama has been working well, including a last breeze bullet from the gate. She’s in the barn of Little Drama’s trainer, David Fawkes.

Churchill Race 8 MSW - SARK - is a son of first crop sire English Channel, the 2007 Turf Champion. Sark's dam November Snow won from sprint to classic distances at the top level of racing. She recorded victories in the Test (G-1), Alabama (G-1) and Rare Perfume (G-2), and placed in the Ballerina (G-1), Go For Wand (G-1) and Turfway Breeders' Cup (G-2). Unfortunately, November Snow's record as a broodmare is poor. From twelve foals, she has produced one with blacktye, November Slew, who placed in the Sorrento (G-2). Only four other foals are winners. Two of her daughters have produced stakes horses, including the Carter Handicap (G-1) hero Morning Line. Sark may eventually wind up an underachiever, but we'll give the Wayne Lukas trainee the benefit of the doubt and hope he's the breakthrough stakes winner for his dam. Sark is trying turf for the first time.

Colonial Downs Race 6 MSW - CEE'S MY LADY (Malibu Moon - Cee's Irish) Her dam needed 4 starts to win her maiden, but beforehand, was 2nd twice, including a stakes race. She went on to win a few listed stakes including the Sunland Park Oaks and placed 3rd in the Hollywood B.C. Oaks. (G-2). Cee's Irish won over dirt and placed in turf stakes. The first 3 dams and the 5th dam are all blacktype. Cee's My Lady's trainer Will Phipps is doing well at Colonial this year.

Pleasanton - Race 5 MSW - MILANIA (Bernardini - Keeper Hill, by Deputy Minister) is the first daughter produced from her dam. Keeper Hill is a multiple Grade 1 winner and counts the Kentucky Oaks, Las Virgenes and Spinster amongst her victories. Milania’s first three dams are stakes horses and the fillies are better on the track than their male conterparts in this family. Milania is inbred to the good producer Killaloe, dam of the top sire Fappiano. Killaloe is Milania’s fourth dam and she is also the grand-dam of Quiet American, the broodmare sire of Bernardini. Keeper Hill needed 4 starts to win her maiden, but she was in the money in her previous 3 starts. Milania should definitely prefer running two turns, but like her dam, could place in the money here, especially since she's had 5 gate drills. Her trainer is Jerry Hollendorfer.