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