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