Friday, August 31, 2012

Executiveprivilege vs. the rest in Del Mar Debutante

Take an in-depth look at the fillies entered in the Spinaway Stakes at the main IMT website.

Since 2000, four fillies who would later be crowned Champion Two Year Olds have contested the seven furlong Del Mar Debutante (G-1). Three of them, Halfbridled, Sweet Catomine and Stardom Bound, won the Debutante and completed a Debutante/BC Juvenile Fillies double. Tempura and Blind Luck were runners-up in the Debutante but won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies.
Executiveprivilege_SorrentoThis year, the undefeated EXECUTIVEPRIVILEGE will attempt to add her name to the Del Mar Debutante roster of winners. The daughter of First Samurai has previously defeated four of the Debutante contestants while earning victories in the Landaluce and Sorrento Stakes (G-3). Should Executiveprivilege remain undefeated after the Del Mar Debutante, she may enter the starting gate of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies as the favorite.
Eight young competitors stand in the way of Executiveprivilege’s quest. Two of them, Heir Kitty and Miss Empire, finished second and third consecutively against colts in the Grade 2 Best Pal last month.
HEIRKITTYHEIR KITTY pressed the pace in the 6 ½ furlong Best Pal Stakes and was poised to win the race when she was caught at the wire by the maiden Know More, who beat Heir Kitty by half a length.
Miss Empire and Kevin Krigger win the $100,000 Cinderella Stakes Saturday,  June 16, 2012 at Betfair Hollywood Park, Inglewood, CA.<br />Benoit PhotoMISS EMPIRE broke poorly in the Best Pal Stakes, but she was making up ground in the stretch. She finished third, beaten 1 ¾ lengths in the race. She had previously been bested by 4 ½ lengths in the Landaluce by Executiveprivilege. Miss Empire is bred for distance and the stretch running daughter of Empire Maker should enjoy the extra distance of the seven furlong Debutante.
SPEEDINTHRUTHECITY takes another shot at Executiveprivilege in the Debutante. The daughter of City Zip has twice finished second, been beaten by a combined five lengths in the Landaluce and Sorrento Stakes by Executiveprivilege. Speedinthruthecity’s speed figures have improved in every outing and her off the pace running style could make her a formidable contender in the stretch.
RENEE'S TITAN faced Executiveprivilege in the Sorrento stakes and it was no contest as the daughter of Bernstein placed fourth, beaten 4 ¾ lengths. Renee's Titan will likely be on or near the lead in the Debutante.
Three last out maiden winners take a jump into the graded stakes pool in their next outing.
After finishing over eight lengths behind Executiveprivilege in her debut, BEHOLDER returned to beat maidens at Del Mar by 3 ¼ lengths. The daughter of Henny Hughes has a sprinter’s pedigree, but should handle seven furlongs without difficulty.
MECHAYA was a decisive two-length winner of her debut, getting 5 ½ furlongs in a swift 1:03. She dueled on the front end that day and could be one of the fastest fillies in the race. Mechaya, a daughter of City Zip, has a sprinter’s pedigree.
PAT’S BACK won her maiden on August 25 and was ambitiously entered in the Debutante. The daughter of Put It Back wired a field of maidens in her second start.
The only maiden in the field is WASTED AT MIDNIGHT. The daughter of first crop sire Midnight Lute found all sorts of trouble in her debut, initially winding up 13 lengths behind the front runners but came storming down the stretch to miss the win by 1 ½ lengths. She adds blinkers and with a decent start, she could pull an upset.


Track bias: 44% of main track sprints have been won by front runners/pace pressers while one run closers have won 38%.
Executiveprivilege is undefeated and it’s hard to argue with that. Her speed figures have been dropping in each race, which is concerning, yet she’s won them easily. Miss Empire should love the extra distance and has the pedigree to improve with maturity. If she can stay a little closer to the pace and get a clean trip, she could be one to watch, as she owns the highest late pace figure in the field. Heir Kitty gets a jock switch from Flores (11% MT Sprints) to Nakatani (14%). She could wind up in the midst of a contentious pace. Speedinthruthecity has shown speed figure improvement in each start and can sit off of the pace. She’s twice proven second best to Executiveprivilege, but has been working well. Wasted At Midnight looks and runs like her sire, Champion Sprinter Midnight Lute. She has a chance as a legitimate longshot.
#5 WASTED AT MIDNIGHT – longshot pick

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

P.G. Johnson Stakes - A BC Preview

The P. G. Johnson Stakes, carded for two year old fillies running a mile over the turf, has been contested only five times since its inception in 2005. The NYRA cut the race in 2007-2008 due to economic concerns. The race proved to be a valuable stepping stone when Tapitsfly, the 2009 winner of the P. G. Johnson, was also victorious in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf. 2010 P.G. Johnson runner-up Kathmanblu also placed in the Breeders’ Cup. We will likely see the top runners from this year’s P.G. Johnson head to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf.

This year, seven fillies are ready to battle it out over a firm turf course. Todd Pletcher brings three fillies into the P.G. Johnson Stakes.

TARA FROM THE CAPE (Leroidesanimaux (BRZ) - Royal Irish Lass, by Saint Ballado) was victorious in the Thomas (Tuck) Greene Memorial Stakes going 7 ½ furlongs over the Delaware lawn in her last start. She is the only stakes winner in the race. She has quality in her distaff line as her second dam Irish Linnet won the 1 1/8 mile Yaddo Stakes five years straight, the Noble Damsel (G-3) twice and was in the money 45 from 62 starts, mainly stakes races.

TOP TIER LASS (Street Boss - Top Tier, by King of Kings) is a daughter of first crop sire Street Boss. She sparkled in her debut, galloping to a seven length win over a good turf course in her debut. Her dam is a half sister to Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf runner-up Stopshoppingmaria.

Pletcher’s third entrant is SKYFALL (More Than Ready - Yard Art, by Lasting Approval). She made her debut over the slop at Saratoga and made an impressive four-wide move on the turn, getting up to win by ¾ a length over the second place horse. Skyfall’s unraced dam is a half sister to G-3 winner Ascutney, dam of Raven’s Pass, hero of the Breeders’ Cup Clasic and the Queen Elizabeth II (Eng-1). Another half sister bore Del Mar Oaks (G-1) winner No Matter What, who in turn produced multiple G-1 heroine Rainbow View, G-1 winner Just As Well and G-3 winner Winter View.

Breaking from the far outside is GO KITTEN GO (Kitten's Joy - Go Cherokee Go, by Cherokee Run). After winning her debut, the daughter of Kitten’s Joy started in the Coleen Stakes at Monmouth, where she took part in a blanket finish, separated by second and third place by a head and neck. There is little blacktype in Go Kitten Go’s immediate distaff family, but she shares the same line as Test Stakes (G-1) heroine Victory ride and the second dam is a full sister to Hollywood Derby (G-1) winner River Flyer.

Top turf trainer Christophe Clement sends out DA MI BASIA MILLE (Pure Prize - Miss Cozze, by Not For Love). She won her debut at the 1 1/16 mile distance over the Saratoga turf. Da Mi Basia Mille hails from a modest distaff family. Her dam is a full sister to a stakes winner. Otherwise, there is no other blacktype in the first two generations. The NY Champion colt Raffie’s Majesty is a part of this distaff line.

Hall of Fame trainer Wayne Lukas has entered BROKEN SPELL (Broken Vow - Rich Find, by Exploit). She needed four starts to win her maiden, but won her last start by 1 ¼ lengths over this course at 1 1/6 miles. Broken Spell has a distaff line sprinkled with stakes winners. Her dam is a stakes winning turf miler and a half sister to the dam of the heroic Eight Belles. Other stakes runners in this family include the stallion Belong To Me, the gallant stakes veteran Skipaslew and Breeders’ Cup Turf Champ Dangerous Midge. The fourth dam Straight Deal is a Champion Handicap Mare and blue hen.

The wildcard of the field is WATSDACHANCES (Diamond Green (FR) - High Finance (IRE), by Entrepreneur (GB)) The Irish-bred filly blew away a maiden field in Ireland by six lengths in a turf sprint. She enters the P.G. Johnson for the formidable Chad Brown. Watsdachances has little blacktype in her European distaff family.


Track bias: 13 races were contested over the inner turf last week. 46% were won by late-pace types, while early speed won 38%. 23% of the runners wired the field. The turf should be firm, no rain is forecast.




BROKEN SPELL - longshot pick


Friday, August 17, 2012

Alabama Stakes Facts, Breeders’ Cup and Beyond

Read more about each contender and see race selections at ThoroFan Handicapper’s Corner.

Alabama_trophy1The Grade 1 Alabama Stakes is the third leg of the Triple Tiara, the closest race series to a filly version of the Triple Crown. The current configuration created in 2010 consists of the Acorn (G-1) , held at a mile at Belmont Park. The 1 1/8 mile Coaching Club American Oaks (G-1) takes place at Saratoga. In the Alabama, three year old fillies will be asked run 1 ¼ miles over the dirt in a true test of classic stamina.

So which running style is most effective in the Alabama Stakes? Pace pressers have been victorious seven times, while five each of mid-pack runners and stalkers have won. Only two pace setters have won since 1990. Six fillies made their move to be in front by the mile pole, while ten came charging down the lane to grab the lead in mid-stretch or to get their nose down at the wire.

RoyalDeltaBCOne would think that the Alabama Stakes would produce major contenders for the Breeders’ Cup Distaff. However, since the Breeders’ Cup Distaff inception 1984, only one Alabama heroine has won both races in the same year, last year’s Champion Royal Delta. Seven have placed second in the Distaff, one filly was third, and the rest have finished out of the money. Nine fillies didn’t contest the Breeders’ Cup Distaff in the same year that they won the Alabama. Since 1990, ten contestants won their post-Alabama start while nine placed second. Only four finished out of the money in their next start.

Nine heroines of the Alabama Stakes earned Eclipse Awards for Champion Three Year Old Filly.

Below is a recap of the Alabama Stakes since 1990.

RoyalDelta2011 – ROYAL DELTA – Pace presser, won by 5 ½ lengths. Track Fast. Next start: 2nd in Beldame, 1st BC Distaff. Champion Three Year Old Filly.

2010 - BLIND LUCK – stalker won by a neck. Track fast. Next start: 2nd in Fitz Dixon Cotillion Stakes; 2nd BC Distaff. Champion Three Year Old Filly.

2009 CARELESS JEWEL - pace presser, took over at a mile. Next start: 1st in Fitz Dixon Cotillion Stakes, 8th BC Distaff.

proud spell2008 PROUD SPELL - pace presser, took over at a mile. Next start: 2nd in Fitz Dixon Cotillion Stakes, didn’t contest BC Distaff. Champion Three Year Old Filly.

2007 LADY JOANNE - sat in third 1 ½ lengths behind the leaders, took over at a mile. Next start: 2nd Judmonte Spinster; 4th in BC Distaff.

2006 PINE ISLAND - stalked, took over in the stretch. Next start: 1st Gazelle. Broke down in BC Distaff.

2005 SWEET SYMPHONY - stalked, took over in the stretch. Next start: 2nd Beldame, 9th BC Distaff.

2004 SOCIETY SELECTION - stalked, took over in the stretch. Next start: 2nd Beldame. 9th BC Distaff.

2003 ISLAND FASHION - took over at ¾ pole (before the mile). Next start: 4th Gazelle, didn’t contest BC Distaff.

2002 FARDA AMIGA – stalked, took over in the stretch. Next start: 2nd BC Distaff. Champion Three Year Old Filly.

2001 FLUTE – wired the field. Next start: 2nd Beldame; 7th BC Distaff.

2000 JOSTLE – pressed from 3rd, took over at a mile. Next start: 1st in Fitz Dixon Cotillion Stakes; 9th BC Distaff.

1999 SILVERBULLETDAY – sat mid-pack took over in the stretch. Next start: 1st Gazelle; 6th BC Distaff. Champion Three Year Old Filly.

1998 BANSHEE BREEZE – sat mid-pack took over in the stretch. Next start: 1st Spinster; 2nd BC Distaff. Champion Three Year Old Filly.

1997 RUNUP THE COLORS – pace presser, took over in the stretch. Next start: 6th Gazelle, didn’t contest BC Distaff.

1996 YANKS MUSIC – sat mid pack, took over in the stretch. Next start: 1st Ruffian, didn’t contest BC Distaff. Champion Three Year Old Filly.

1995 PRETTY DISCREET – wired the field. Next start: 6th Gazelle, didn’t contest BC Distaff.

HEAVENLY PRIZE1994 HEAVENLY PRIZE - sat mid-pack took over at a mile Next start: 1st Gazelle; 2nd BC Distaff. Champion Three Year Old Filly.

1993 SKY BEAUTY - sat mid-pack took over in the stretch. Next start: 1st Rare Perfume; 6th BC Distaff.

1992 NOVEMBER SNOW – Stalker, won by a nose. Next start: 1st Rare Perfume, didn’t contest BC Distaff.

1991 VERSAILLES TREATY – pace presser, took over at a mile. Next start: 1st Gazelle; 2nd BC Distaff.

Go For Wand1990 GO FOR WAND – wired the field. Next start: 1st Maskette; Broke down in BC Distaff. Champion Three Year Old Filly.

Winners of the Alabama Stakes that didn’t contest the Breeders’ Cup Distaff: Mom’s Command, Up The Apalachee, Maplejinsky, November Snow, Pretty Discreet, Yanks Music, Runup The Colors, Island Fashion, Proud Spell.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Special Speed at Saratoga

Speed is the name of the game at Saratoga, especially if the track is wet. Most of the fillies in the Adirondack Stakes have beaten their competition by open lengths and will receive the toughest test so far of their young careers. The colt division isn’t lacking for speed either. One entrant set a track record and another all but equaled a one in maiden races. Will they run back to their promising debuts or will someone surprise?

Adirondack Stakes (G-2)

Six fillies face off in the Adirondack Stakes (G-2) at Saratoga. This is a small but elite field. Three of the six are entering off of dominating wins and two of the six are listed stakes winners.

The morning line favorite Kauai Katie (Malibu Moon - More Than Pretty, by More Than Ready) is the buzz horse. Breaking from the one post, Kauai Katie galloped around the course as if she were alone. She traveled 5 ½ furlongs in 1:03.66, wowing by 12 lengths and earned a 107 Brisnet speed figure. Kauai Katie has two full sisters. One is undefeated in two starts while the other is still a maiden after six tries. Their dam placed in juvenile stakes and won a listed turf sprint at three.

KAUAI KATIE faces two undefeated stakes winners in the Adirondack, Cayllano and Salamera.

CAYLLANO (Bluegrass Cat - Blissful Trip, by Trippi) has defeated her foes by a combined 17 ½ lengths. After winning her five furlong debut in a sharp :57.87, she was victorious in the White Clay Creek Overnight Stakes at Delaware Park. She emulates the precociousness of her dam, who also won her career debut, then placed in the Fashion Stakes.

Shipping in from Florida, SALAMERA (Successful Appeal - Autumn Music, by Unbridled's Song) beat maidens in late May. A month later the pretty gray filly was up in time to win the JJ’s Dream by a neck. Three of Salamera’s half sisters own blacktype and one was named Champion Imported Filly in Puerto Rico.

Another Florida shipper, VITAMETA (Street Sense - Emery Board, by Grindstone) was much the best in her five furlong debut, drawing off to win by seven lengths. She has the pedigree to enjoy running two turns and to improve with racing. Her half sister is a G-3 stakes placed miler. Their dam won the one mile Go For Wand stakes and placed in the Florida Oaks (G-3).

Two fillies that were unplaced in the Schuylerville Stakes try again to earn blacktype.

#5 FULLY LIVING (Unbridled's Song - Half A. P., by Pulpit) went wide on the turn in the Schuylerville and just missed getting third place by ½ a length. It was her first start in two months. Fully Living’s dam is a half-sister to Champion Juvenile Halfbridled. Fully Living owns a sharp bullet breeze and Lasix for the first time.

#1 SWEET SHIRLEY MAE (Broken Vow - Joyful Chaos, by Rahy) was a disappointment in the Schuylerville, finishing eight lengths behind the winner. She’s a half to the multiple turf stakes winner Sal the Barber. Sweet Shirley Mae is the only one in the field with experience racing over a sloppy track, so she could move forward if the track is off.


Track bias: 80% of the races this meet have been won by paces setters or pressers.

All of these lightly raced youngsters are pace setters or pace pressers.




#2 FULLY LIVING – longshot pick

Saratoga Special (G-2)

Seven closely matched colts will head to the gate in the Saratoga Special (G-2). One precocious baby owns a stakes win. Speed is the name of the game at Saratoga. One entry, Southern Honor set a new track record for 4 ½ furlongs while Shanghai Bobby just missed setting a 5 ½ furlong record.

SHANGHAI BOBBY (Harlan's Holiday - Steelin', by Orientate) won his debut in mid-April. He then wired the field in the Track Barron Stakes at Belmont a month later, getting 5 ½ furlongs in a blazing 1:02.87, just missing the eight year old track record of 1:02.26. His dam is stakes placed and his second dam is the full sister to City Band, winner of the Golden Rod (G-3) and Oak Leaf Stakes (G-1).

SOUTHERN HONOR (Yes It's True - Pontiana, by Deputy Minister) gave notice of his speed when he set a new track record at Parx for 4 ½ furlong in :50.75. He beat maidens by 7 ¾ lengths. He’s the first foal produced by his dam. His second dam is the multiple graded stakes veteran and Maryland Champion Shine Again. She won the seven furlong Ballerina (G-1) and First Flight (G-2) for two consecutive years.

SPURIOUS PRECISION (High Cotton - Scarlet Combo, by Scarlet Ibis) is the only colt in the field with a win over the track. He brings a recent bullet work to the race. His dam is a half sister to a couple of stakes winners, but otherwise, there is little blacktype in this female family.

DRUM ROLL (Majestic Warrior - Sparkling Forest, by Forest Wildcat) broke outward in his debut, rushed up and opened up to win by 2 ¾ lengths. If the track is sloppy, he could put on a show. Offspring of first crop sire Majestic Warrior are really enjoying the mud. He’s a half brother to the stakes placed Bibblesman, otherwise, there’s no blacktype in the distaff family.

IN HARM'S WAY (Hook and Ladder - New Harmony, by A.P. Indy) was victorious over state-bred maidens in his second start. His half-siblings don’t own any blacktype, but this is a stakes winning distaff family. His unraced dam is a half sister to the multiple graded turf horse Parade Ground and his stakes winning full brother Parade Leader. Her half sister Speed Dialer won the Arlington-Washington Lassie (G-2). Another half sister, Wavering Girl was Champion Juvenile Filly in Canada and produced the G1 stakes turf horse Military. In Harm's Way’s third – fifth dams are blue hens.

DAN THE TIN MAN (Songandaprayer - Mrs. M, by Mecke) ambitiously took on stakes runners in his debut, then dropped realistically to beat maidens in his second start. He ships in from Canada and makes his first run over the dirt. Dan the Tin Man’s dam is G-3 stakes placed and is a full sister to a stakes placed runner.

HE'S SO FINE (Purge - World Event, by Quiet American) has a pedigree to enjoy running two turns. Despite this, he beat maiden claimers at five furlongs in his second start. There’s no blacktype in his first two generations, although both half siblings are multiple winners. Princess Rooney Handicap (G-1) winner Game Face is part of this distaff family.






Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Vulnerable Favorite in Sorrento Stakes

Eight fillies face the impressive favorite Executiveprivilege in the Grade 3 Sorrento Stakes. The great-granddaughter of Champion Davona Dale won her debut and the Landaluce Stakes without ever being challenged. Today, Executiveprivilege will try to win a Landaluce/Sorrento double. This hasn’t been accomplished since 2003 when Buffythecenterfold pulled off the feat. The top mares Excellent Meeting, Serena’s Song and Lite Lite were unable to complete the Landaluce/Sorrento victory in their two year old seasons.

ExecutiveprivilegeEXECUTIVEPRIVILEGE (First Samurai - Refugee, by Unaccounted For) has beaten her foes by close to eight lengths, but she will have to overcome her poor Polytrack pedigree. Her sire has been represented by six runners at Del Mar. None have won and only one has hit the board. Trainer Bob Baffert has 19% winners in main track sprints this meet, with 52% finishing in the money. Bejarano is having an excellent meet, with 25% winners and 59% finishing in the money in main track sprints.

One of the fillies Executiveprivilege should fear is SPEEDINTHRUTHECITY (City Zip - License to Speed, by Thunder Gulch). The Peter Miller trainee got the jump on her rival, but wasn’t good enough to hold off Executiveprivilege in the Landaluce. Speedinthruthecity appeared to veer in slightly while being passed by Executiveprivilege. Speedinthruthecity has a strong Polypedigree. Her sire City Zip has 20% winners and 47% runners in the money over the main track at Del Mar. Speedinthruthecity’s speed figures improved from her first to second start. Peter Miller has a 29% win race and 71% in the money, while Talamo checks in with 13% winners, 37% in the money in main track sprints.

Besides Speedinthruthecity, trainer Peter Miller brings BARES TRIPPER (Sky Mesa - Bare Dancer, by Cherokee Run) to the Sorrento. Bares Tripper outclassed a field of high level claiming fillies by 3 ½ lengths just 12 days ago at Del Mar. She owns the second highest speed figure in the field. Bares Tripper is bred to be fast. Her dam won a sprint listed stakes and she is a full sister to a stakes winning sprinter, so there’s some quality in Bares Tripper’s pedigree.

SERIOUSOn the same day that Barns Tripper was victorious, SERIOUS (Flower Alley - I's a Fact, by Is It True) laughed at her rivals in a maiden claiming field by 4 ¼ lengths. She was claimed out of the race and now represents the barn of Brian Koriner. He’s currently 0-6 with one in the money finisher. Jockey Quinonez is 1-18 in sprints.

Switch_to_the_leadNine days ago, SWITCH TO THE LEAD (Songandaprayer - Dressed for Succes, by Tricky Mister) won a six furlong maiden race in a sharp 1:10 4/5. Her trainer has posed 1 win in 9 main track sprint starts, with four runners finishing in the money. Japanese jockey Fukunaga has one winner in 17 main track sprints. Switch to the Lead’s dam placed in the Lone Star Park Juvenile Fillies at six furlongs. She’s a half-sister to the multiple G-3 winning sprinter Gators N Bears.

RENEE'S TITAN (Bernstein - Titan Queen, by Tiznow) zipped out of post one in her debut and kept going, beaten her maiden field by 4 ½ lengths. The second and third place finishers came back to win next time out. Her sire has only 1 winner from 29 starters over the Del Mar Polytrack. Her dam is a half-sister to a stakes winner and a half-brother by Bernstein, big Band Sound, placed in three graded stakes turf events in Canada. Doug O’Neil is having strong Del Mar Meet. He’s won 30% of main track sprints while placing in 57% of them. Jockey Nakatani has won 1 of 21 sprints while placing in 29%. Renee’s Titan had a very strong breeze over the Polytrack in preparation for the Sorrento.

The three longshots in the field are O Happy Gray, Somethingabouther and English invader Wittgenstein. O HAPPY GRAY was no match for Executiveprivilege in the Landaluce, finishing 7 ¾ lengths behind her rival. Her sire Cee’s Tizzy gets 9% winners over the Del Mar Polytrack. O Happy Gray’s work over the surface was average. SOMETHINGABOUTHER ships in from Colonial Downs where she was beaten a half-length over the yielding turf in a listed stakes. Her work over the surface was average. Somethingabouther’s sire War Chant’s progeny are 1-8 over Del Mar Polytrack. Somethingabouther is a half-sister to a stakes placed turf miler.

The wildcard in the field is WITTGENSTEIN. Her well-bred sire Shamardal, a son of Giant’s Causeway, has produced several winners over Polytrack in England. Wittgenstein placed in one of two starts over the all-weather track in England, but enters the Sorrento with no works over the Del Mar surface. She will be trainer Brian Meehan’s first starter at this meet.


Track bias: 48% of the winners raced on the front end in main track sprints this meet with closers taking 33%.

EXECUTIVEPRIVILEGE is at a disadvantage, and will try to buck history and her poor Polytrack pedigree. At her short odds, she’s a play against. She could finish in the money, so you may want to add her to your exotics. SPEEDINTHRUTHECITY can turn the tables here with her superior Polytrack pedigree and improved speed figures. The two Miller trainees, BARES TRIPPER and SERIOUS have a shot. RENEE’S TITAN has been working well at Del Mar despite her sire’s poor Polytrack record. Don’t count out the O’Neil barn!




#3 SERIOUS – longshot pick


Saturday, August 4, 2012

Best Pal Stakes – A Glimpse of the Future

Want to Know More about the Best Pal Stakes winner? 

Two of the last three editions of the Best Pal Stakes (G-2) gave racing fans a glimpse of the future. 2009 Best Pal Stakes hero Lookin At Lucky would be named Champion Two Year Old and later become a Preakness winner. Last year, I’ll Have Another was second in the Best Pal, but did his best running this year as a Kentucky Derby/Preakness Champ.
This year’s Best Pal Stakes field includes Scherer Magic, the winner of the Hollywood Juvenile Championship (G-3), Amarish, winner of the Willard Proctor Memorial, Miss Empire, heroine of the Cinderella Stakes, and Know More, an untried maiden from the team of O’Neil/Reddam, the folks who brought us I’ll Have Another. It also includes Moreno, a very well bred maiden with the pedigree to enjoy Classic distances.
Scherer_MagicSCHERER MAGIC (Doneraile Court - She's a Nasty One, by Touch Gold) has defeated all comers by over 9 lengths in two outings. He worked a bullet over the Del Mar Polytrack July 30. So far, Scherer Magic is outperforming his pedigree. There’s some minor blacktype in his second distaff generation, but otherwise, nothing notable. His sire Doneraile Court has one winner from nine starters over the Del Mar Poly.
Jerry Durant's Amarish and Edwin Maldonado win the $100,000 Willard L. Proctor Memorial Stakes Saturday,  June 16, 2012 at Betfair Hollywood Park, Inglewood, CA.<br />Benoit PhotoAMARISH (Scat Daddy - Issues, by Awesome Again) won his maiden impressively by over seven lengths. He got caught up in an insane speed duel in the Hollywood Juvenile Championship and tired badly to finish sixth, over nine lengths behind Scherer Magic. He gets a jockey change today to Maldonado. By the sensational young sire Scat Daddy, Amarish has the pedigree to improve with distance. His first three dams are stakes placed runners and he descends from the family of Champion Juvenile Filly Smart Angle and multiple graded stakes winner Smarten, sire of the top sire Smart Strike. Scat Daddy’s offspring are 0-4 over Del Mar Poly.
The sire of precocious sprinters, Wildcat Heir is represented by two runners in the Best Pal. Wildcat Heir is a superior Polysire and has 28% winners at Del Mar.
HEIR OF STORM (Wildcat Heir - Tiz What It Waz, by Tiznow) 22b won his debut at Hollywood by half a length. His last two works were strong. Heir of Storm is the first foal out of his unraced dam. This is the distaff family of 1998 Champion Sprinter Reraise. Heir of Storm has a speed over stamina pedigree and should appreciate the added distance. He gets first time Lasix.
HEIRKITTYHEIR KITTY (Wildcat Heir - Be Silver, by Silver Buck) is one of two fillies taking on the colts. She dominated maiden fillies by over 4 lengths in her turf debut. Although Heir Kitty’s dam was 0-13 in her career, she placed in the Desert Vixen Stakes at Calder as a two year old.
Miss Empire and Kevin Krigger win the $100,000 Cinderella Stakes Saturday,  June 16, 2012 at Betfair Hollywood Park, Inglewood, CA.<br />Benoit PhotoHeir Kitty’s stablemate is Cinderella Stakes winner MISS EMPIRE (Empire Maker - Miss Excitement, by Rajab). The precocious filly couldn’t make up ground in the Landaluce Stakes after going three wide into the stretch. Miss Empire is a half-sister to the top sprinting stakes veteran Boronardo, hero of the Ancient Title (G-1) and Sunshine Millions Sprint, two time winner of the Count Fleet Sprint Handicap (G-3), etc. Offspring of Empire Maker have a 21% win rate over Del Mar Polytrack.
By the same sire as Scherer Magic, K COURT (Doneraile Court - Olivia K, by Smokester) has been outclassed in two outings in stakes competition. After a third place finish against state-breds, K Court adds blinkers. His immediate female family is lightly raced with no blacktype.
Two maidens take on a tough assignment in the Best Pal.
MORENO (Ghostzapper - Danceinthesunlight, by A.P. Indy) was beaten only ½ length by Heir of Storm for all of the marbles in their debut. The bay colt owns a pedigree to excel at longer distances and hails from a classy female family. His dam is an unraced daughter of Canadian Champion Three Year Old Filly Dancethruthedawn. His third dam Dance Smartly is a Canadian Triple Crown Winner, Canadian Horse of the Year and blue hen. Besides Dancethruthedawn, Dance Smartly bore Queen’s Place hero Scatter the Gold. Moreno’s fourth dam Classy N Smart is a multiple stakes winner and blue hen. She’s the dam of the top sire Smart Strike. Moreno should do well at Del Mar as his sire is a superior Polysire.
Rounding out the field is the first time starter KNOW MORE (Lion Heart - Seattle Qui, by Seattle Slew). His sire has already produced a winner in the 2008 Best Pal, Azul Leon. Know More is a half brother to Willard Proctor Memorial winner Classical Slew.


Track bias: Speed rules in the main track sprints.
AMARISH is the speed freak in here, unless Heir Kitty can press him. The rest should be content to sit just off of the lead. If AMARISH can get an uncontested lead and Maldonado can slow the pace, he could be tough to catch, but I don’t like that his sire’s offspring are 4-0-0-1 over Del Mar Poly. Maldonado has won 2 of his 3 sprint wins on the lead. SCHERER MAGIC is perfect so far. The main concern is that his sire’s offspring don’t like Del Mar. MORENO owns the highest late pace speed figure, the classiest pedigree in the field and he should love the poly. HEIR OF STORM, MISS EMPIRE, and her stablemate HEIR KITTY also have superior poly pedigrees.
#3 HEIR KITTY – Longshot