Monday, November 19, 2012

Hollywood Prevue a Baffert Brigade

The Hollywood Prevue Stakes (G-3) hasn't produced a legitimate Triple Crown contestant since 2003, when the aptly named Lion Heart out-performed his pedigree to place second in the Kentucky Derby. As to be expected, the winners of the seven furlong Prevue Stakes are sprinter/miler types.

This year, Bob Baffert will have a profitable Thanksgiving since he entered four of the five contestants. All four are coming off of maiden victories and all four have at one point beaten each other.

ShakinItUpReminiscent of his sire, Champion Sprinter Midnight Lute, SHAKIN IT UP (Midnight Lute - Silver Bullet Moon, by Vindication) likes to sit behind horses and unleash an explosive move in the stretch. Come to think of it, his second dam, Champion Silverbulletday used to do the same thing. Shakin It Up was beaten 1 ¼ lengths by Super Ninety Nine in his debut.

Breeders' CupSUPER NINETY NINE (Pulpit - Exogenetic, by Unbridled's Song) has the pedigree to become a nice middle distance horse. His half sister is a stakes winner in Washington State while their dam is a ¾ sister to the ill-fated Exogenous, heroine of the Beldame and Gazelle, and runner -up in the Alabama and CCA Oaks.

Z BIG APPLE (Malibu Moon - Stormy Monday, by Storm Cat) is a full brother to the stakes winning sprinter Pinkarella. CashCall Futurity (G-1) hero Liaison is descended from the same female family. Z Big Apple beat Really Mr Greely by 3 ½ lengths in their debut.

Rounding out the Prevue field is the aforementioned REALLY MR GREELY (Horse Greeley - Mattie Camp, by Forest Camp). There isn't much blacktype in the first two generations of his female family, however, his third dam is the grand-dam of HOY/Sire Ghostzapper and his half brother City Zip.

HEIRKITTYThe fifth contestant, trained by Peter Miller is the filly HEIR KITTY. She's the most experienced horse in the race and was second in the Best Pal Stakes (G-2) in her second start. The daughter of Wildcat Heir was off slow and never got involved in the Del Mar Debutante against Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies duo Executiveprivilege and Beholder.


Frontrunners have won four of the last ten editions of the Prevue Stakes, while the rest were divided evenly between pace-pressers/stalkers.

One of two scenarios can happen. Baffert won't want to cook his horses on the lead against each other, so whomever is fastest out of the gate may just slow the pace to a crawl and cruise on home.

However, HEIR KITTY will have to punch it from the one hole if she's to keep from being boxed in by the Baffert brigade. She could bring a speed duel to the two faster horses, REALLY MR. GREELEY or SUPER NINETY NINE. If the speed duel develops, SHAKIN IT UP'S late pace speed figures outclass the rest of the field. He can sit back and let the others sort it out up front and pass at will.

I'll go with the second scenario.