Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Juvenile Spotlight: Pure Gossip

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.

Lane's End Farm, where
Pure Gossip's late
grandsire, Dixieland Band,
stood at stud.
Photo: Terri Cage
I was watching HRTV and knew a New York-bred maiden special weight for two-year-old fillies was coming up at Saratoga. I decided to look up the pedigrees of each filly in the race. Though many had decent pedigrees, I wasn’t super impressed by any pedigree and decided to pick the fillies off of how they looked in the post parade instead.
When Pure Gossip stepped onto the track, I was immediately impressed by her looks. She looked composed and she had incredible conformation. She was the only filly I picked in the race. She went off at odds of 37-1.
At the end of the five and one-half furlong dirt race, the daughter of Pure Prize crossed the wire nearly four lengths ahead of the rest of the field. Though it was a state-bred maiden, I put Pure Gossip in my Equibase Virtual Stable © so I could keep track of her.

Her next race was the Anne M. Clare Stakes at Saratoga, a state-bred stake. The filly made a mild rally and finished fourth in a field of six, though she missed second by just under a length and third by a head.
Pure Gossip was moved to the turf for her next start, the Miss Grillo Stakes (GIII). On the soft turf course, the 23-1 shot exploded at the top of the stretch to win by six and one-half lengths. Though the time for the mile and one-sixteenth race was a slow 1:47.71, it was a very boggy turf course. Yet Pure Gossip still looked very impressive.
Many discount state-bred maiden winners, but they can be good races to find a diamond in the rough, especially in a state like New York. Pure Gossip looks to be like one of those diamonds.

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