Saturday, October 22, 2011

Juvenile Spotlight: Agave Kiss

One of my favorite things to do is find young horses that have the potential to be superstars. It is very entertaining and rewarding to "discover" two-year-olds before they go on to record prestigious victories. Juvenile Spotlights highlight some of the two-year-olds I have "discovered." Some Juvenile Spotlights feature horses right after they have broken their maiden or after they record their first major victory. Either way, I have followed these horses since before they hit the headlines. I don't do a Juvenile Spotlight on every two-year-old I "discover", but I try to feature as many as I can.
The dark chestnut filly in Flying Zee Stable’s light-colored silks broke from the gate, rushing to the lead under nineteen-year-old Ryan Curatolo.  She easily led the field down the Belmont Park backstretch, running the first quarter mile in 22.59.
“And it’s Agave Kiss in control. I mean in control.” announcer Tom Durkin said.
Durkin knew, just as Curatolo did, that the filly had plenty left. At the quarter pole, Curatolo was a statue in the saddle, despite the fact that fourteen other two-year-old fillies were behind him and Agave Kiss. The young jockey asked her for just a little bit of run all the way down to the wire, just to remind the filly to keep running. After all, it was just her first race.
The flashy filly glided to the finish line, her smooth legs effortlessly floating over the dirt. She crossed the finish line, leaving the others over six lengths behind. The final time was 1:09.79 for six furlongs.
Just like every race on the Belmont card on Saturday, Agave Kiss’ maiden race was for New York-breds. However, her impressive victory should not be knocked for that fact. New York has already produced a talented two-year-old filly this year in Pure Gossip. Not to mention that Commentator, Funny Cide, and Ruthless were all New York-bred.
The dam of Agave Kiss is Salty Romance, who won the Delta Princess Stakes as a two-year-old. She later finished second in the Santa Ysabel Stakes (GIII) at Santa Anita. Salty Romance has also produced Luxury Appeal, who finished second in two New York-bred stakes.
Lion Heart, who won the Hollywood Futurity (GI) and Haskell Invitational Handicap (GI) and finished second to Smarty Jones in the 2004 Kentucky Derby (GI), is Agave Kiss’ sire. The son of Tale of the Cat has sired sixteen stakes winners, including the winner of the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Turf (GI), Dangerous Midge. Other top horses he has sired include Line of David, Soul Warrior, Heart Ashley, and Gran Lioness.
In addition to putting on a spectacular performance, Agave Kiss has all the makings of a talented racehorse. She has a promising pedigree, a long, smooth stride, and the build of the racehorse. She has long, smooth legs that support her stunning frame. The refined features of her head include a big, intelligent eye and large nostrils that will allow her to breathe better. She has a beautiful neck that ties in well at the shoulder, which is broad and muscled like the rest of her body. With all these characteristics and what she’s shown, Agave Kiss has plenty of potential to become something special.

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