Thursday, September 1, 2011

Pride and Power

Two chestnuts. One grade one race.
Monday’s Three Chimneys Hopeful (GI) has many brilliant colts, but the main two I will be cheering for are J C’s Pride and Power World. Both are very talented colts. One is known for his flashy speed while the other is known for his stamina.
J C’s Pride is the least experienced of the two, but he’s definitely not lacking in talent. He’s one of the most well-known two-year-olds on the East Coast. A chestnut son of Henny Hughes out of the Silver Deputy mare Hi Lili, he’s raced twice and has already broken a track record at Saratoga.
In his first start, J C’s Pride finished second to highly-touted Overdriven – who will miss the Hopeful after an inconclusive nuclear scintigraphy. J C’s Pride finished thirteen lengths clear of the third-place finisher in that five furlong maiden special weight at Belmont Park. He was then pointed to a maiden special weight at Saratoga Race Course.
Darley, where Henny Hughes -
the sire of J C's Pride - stands
at stud.
Photo by: Terri Cage
On July 27, the son of Henny Hughes broke his maiden in a stylish manner. The chestnut colt broke sharply from post three, shooting straight to the lead under Jose Lezcano.  He never looked back from there, finishing three and one-quarter lengths in front of the rest of the field. The final time was 56.54 for five furlongs, which broke the track record for that distance on the main track.
Not only has J C’s Pride shown much potential on the track, but his pedigree offers potential as well. His sire, Henny Hughes, has sired four stakes winners in two crops of racing age. The sire of Henny Hughes, Hennessy, sired Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner and top sire Johannesburg, as well as many other talented horses.
Being by a tremendous sprinter in Henny Hughes, many people doubt J C’s Pride’s ability to go long. However, there is potential for him to stretch out on his dam’s side. J C’s Pride’s dam, Hi Lili, is by Silver Deputy, who of course sired this year’s Stephen Foster (GI) winner, Pool Play.  Hi Lili’s dam, Snit, won ten of twenty-seven starts, including four stakes races. Her one graded stakes win came in the Cotillion Handicap (GII) at a mile and one-sixteenth. Snit was victorious at the distance of a mile and one-eighth three times. She went on to produce three stakes horses, two of which won at the distance of a mile and one-eighth. One of those two was GIII winner Blind Date.
J C’s Pride may not be the next Belmont Stakes winner, but this talented colt definitely has potential to go long. And if he doesn’t go long, he certainly has a good chance to become an accomplished sprinter or miler.

Flower Alley,
one of Distorted Humor's
most successful sons.
Photo by: Terri Cage
One of my favorites in the Hopeful is Power World, a son of top sire Distorted Humor. The colt broke his maiden in a game victory at Churchill Downs before going on to finish second in the Bashford Manor Stakes (GIII) and the Sanford Stakes (GII). The distance of the Hopeful will be the longest distance he has covered yet, which should suit him just fine.
His sire Distorted Humor has sired many winners of a distance of mile and one-eighth or longer, including GI winners Commentator, Flower Alley, and Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Funny Cide, as well as many others. Distorted Humor is currently the fourth-leading sire in North America by earnings. His chief earner this year is Alternation ($221,500), who won the mile and one-eighth Peter Pan Stakes (GII) at Belmont Park earlier this year.
The dam of Power World is Purrfectly, a daughter of the great pensioned sire Storm Cat. Purrfectly has already produced a top producer in Santa Catarina, a GII winner who finished second in three GI events, including the Kentucky Oaks. It is safe to say that Power World has an impressive pedigree that gives him plenty of potential to achieve success at longer distances.
Though both J C’s Pride and Power World are both chestnut colts with stellar pedigrees, they have completely different running styles. J C’s Pride is a front-runner who sets scorching fractions while Power World comes with a late run. The Hopeful should be an exciting race.
Of course, J C’s Pride and Power World aren’t the only talented horses entered in the Hopeful. Entries include impressive maiden winners Hunt Crossing, Vexor, Currency Swap, Clip the Coupons, Big Blue Nation, and Laurie's Rocket, as well as second-place finisher in the Best Pal Stakes (GII) at Del Mar, I'll Have Another, and fifth-place finisher in the Three Chimneys Saratoga Special Stakes (GII), Trinniberg. Regardless of who wins, the Hopeful could be a huge hint as to what horses will be our top three-year-olds in 2012. After all, past runners in the Hopeful include 2011 Travers Stakes (GI) winner Stay Thirsty, 2005 Champion Three-Year-Old Male Afleet Alex, 1990 Preakness Stakes winner Summer Squall, multiple GI winner Chief’s Crown, Triple Crown winners Affirmed and Secretariat, and the great Man o’ War.

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