Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Juvenile Spotlight 8/29/12

Off My Cloud (8/15): This Graham Motion trainee won at first asking, dominating a Delaware Park maiden special weight by 10 ½ lengths without Lasix. By Belong to Me and out of a Storm Boot mare, Off My Cloud is no twelve-furlong horse but can certainly extend beyond the five and one-half-furlong distance she debuted at. She is a half-sister to the black-type-placed Cop a Tude.

Unabashed (8/17):
One of many Todd Pletcher trainees to break its maiden at Saratoga, this filly came from mid-pack and despite traffic troubles, Unabashed took her debut by an easy 4 ½ lengths while being hand-ridden by John Velazquez. Beautifully bred, Unabashed is a daughter of Elusive Quality, known for siring Quality Road and Smarty Jones, and is out of a graded stake-winning Forty Niner mare. This filly certainly should not be restricted to sprints, as she can handle distance.

Notacatbutallama (8/20):
Runner-up in his debut, this Repole Stable-owned Todd Pletcher trainee (sound familiar?) broke his maiden at Saratoga in his second start, sitting just off the lead before drawing away in late stretch to win by 6 ½ lengths, completing the final sixteenth of a mile in a jaw-dropping 5.84 seconds. By a successful son of the great Storm Cat in Harlan’s Holiday, Notacatbutallama’s damsire is the Preakness Stakes (GI) and Belmont Stakes (GI)-winning Hansel. It would not surprise me in the least if this New York-bred stretched out in distance and took to the dirt.

Bourbon Twist (8/22):
This filly broke slowly and found herself near the back of the pack after the start of her debut, a mile and one-sixteenth maiden special weight over Saratoga’s turf course. As a slow pace was set, the Chad Brown trainee settled about four lengths off the lead as the two-year-olds galloped down the backstretch. Bourbon Twist remained nonchalant as the far turn commenced, but suddenly, she hit another gear and within just a matter of strides, took the lead. She only lengthened that lead, crossing the wire 4 ¼ lengths ahead of the others. By Canadian champion Langfuhr and out of a Cozzene mare, Bourbon Twist is likely not a long distance runner but should continue to relish the turf and proceed to display her talent.

Magical Moon (8/24): A disappointing fifth in her debut, which came at Churchill Downs in June, this filly’s second start came on August 24 at Saratoga, in which she broke roughly but found a position off the leaders, who set brisk fractions as the five and one-half-furlong turf maiden special weight proceeded. Impressively, the filly accelerated to take the lead as the race for home began, drawing away to a 10 ¼-length victory beneath
Rosie Napravnik. By Malibu Moon and out of a graded stakes-winning Lord At War mare, Magical Moon could have success on any surface – though most likely turf – and could certainly stretch out.

Honorable Dillon (8/25): Following a third-place finish in his debut, this colt broke his maiden in his second career start at Saratoga. After being unwilling to go into the gate, Honorable Dillon bobbled at the start and after slowly gaining his momentum, the Eddie Kenneally trainee was guided to the lead by Jose Lezcano. Under generous urging, the colt galloped away to a 1 ¾-length victory. By Tapit and out of a Shy Tom mare, Honorable Dillon appears to be more suited to distances under nine furlongs.

Sign (8/26): Breaking from the inside post, this filly joined the front-running contingent, settling just behind the leaders as the juvenile fillies raced down the backstretch. With Rosie Napravnik aboard, Sign remained on the rail as she stalked the leaders into the far turn, but swung to the outside as the field turned for home. Racing far wide, Sign galloped away from the field with absolute ease, crushing her rivals by an outstanding 11 ¾ lengths. By Pulpit and out of a stakes-winning daughter of Mighty, this filly has the perfect pedigree for nine furlongs, but also could extend beyond that. Her bloodlines hint that she will be very versatile, as her pedigree is full of indications that she could run over any surface.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Part Two: 2012 Fasig-Tipton Texas Summer Yearlings

As expected, the prices at the Fasig-Tipton Texas Summer Yearlings Sale were a far cry – a very, very far cry – from those of the Saratoga Sale. Of my top ten selections, seven sold and three did not reach their reserves. They sold for a total of $55,900.

Listed below are the horses featured in
Part One, with descriptions of the results of the auction:

Hip #5: Sold for $1,200 to Darrel Bravenec.

Hip #9:
Sold for $5,000 to Roy W. Cobb.

Hip #10:
Sold for $2,500 to Coy Mark and Lori Collinsworth.

Hip #23:
Sold for $3,700 to Warren Winslow.

Hip #30:
Drove the hammer to $9,500, but did not reach the reserve.

Hip #38:
Sold for $12,000 to Wesley Melcher.

Hip #39:
Drove the hammer to $19,000, but did not reach the reserve. Was sold privately for $15,000.

Hip #106:
Sold for $26,000 to Linda Sims as among one of the top ten highest-priced horses to sell.

Hip #166:
Sold for $5,500 to George Barclay.

Hip #169:
Drove the hammer to $9,500, but did not reach the reserve.

It certainly would have helped to have been able to evaluate conformation as well!

Remember to like Past the Grandstand on Facebook and follow Past the Grandstand on Twitter! Links can be found on the right side of the blog. 

Monday, August 27, 2012

A Spectacular Saratoga Saturday

Saturday was a day full of rarities at Saratoga. From Zagora becoming the first French-bred to win the Ballston Spa Stakes (GII), to Contested winning the Test Stakes (GI) from off the lead, to Willy Beamin winning the King’s Bishop Stakes (GI) off three days’ rest, and to Alpha and Golden Ticket crossing the wire in a dead heat for the victory in the Travers’ Stakes (GI), the Saratoga card on August 25 was one to remember.

Zagora’s Record-Breaking Ballston Spa

Becoming the first French-bred to take the Ballston Spa wasn’t the only record Zagora set in her Ballston Spa victory. The Chad Brown trainee also set a new course record, posting a final time of 1:39.07 for the mile and one-sixteenth turf event, eclipsing the previous record of 1:39.92 set by Leroidesanimaux in 2005. The Ballston Spa was her fourth graded stakes victory this season.

Contested’s Aced Test

Contested returned to her brilliant winning ways when she swept to a two-length lead in the Test. Following a poor start, she did not go straight to the lead, but found herself in front at the end of the race, completing the seven furlongs in a brisk 1:22.47. Sprint races are where she belongs and she is certainly among the best in the division, though she will have to face very tough rivals such as Winding Way and Groupie Doll later this season in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (GI).

Willy Beamin’s Inspiring King’s Bishop

Racing off just three days’ rest is unheard of in modern-day American racing. Winning off merely three days’ rest is even rarer. But Willy Beamin did just that. Following an easy romp in the Albany Stakes on Wednesday, the gelding was sent off at 11-1 in the King’s Bishop, in which he closed to finish a half-length ahead of Fort Loudon for the victory. I am in absolute admiration of this fine Thoroughbred!

A Historical Travers

The Travers – also known as the Midsummer Derby – was inaugurated in 1864 and is thus the oldest major Thoroughbred race still contested in the United States. Though magical history hung over the race, so did the dark cloud of the losses of many of our sophomore superstars. With I’ll Have Another, Union Rags, Bodemeister, and, possibly Hansen, retired – and with Paynter on the sidelines – the Travers lacked superstardom. But what the historical race lacked in star power, it made up for in excitement. The finish of the ten-furlong race could not have been more thrilling, resulting in a dead heat between the favorite, Alpha (a horse I can’t help but compare to Stay Thirsty), and longshot Golden Ticket. Dead heats are rare in and of themselves, but this was the first one in the extensive history of the Travers.

Many believe the result of this race made the three-year-old division even more unclear. To me, however, it made it clearer that I’ll Have Another still holds the lead for Eclipse Award Champion Three-Year-Old Male. Rather, the larger question was how the traditional Travers canoe would be painted. The answer to that question: two separate canoes, one for each victor.

Remember to like Past the Grandstand on Facebook and follow Past the Grandstand on Twitter! Links can be found on the right side of the blog. 

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Part One: 2012 Fasig-Tipton Texas Summer Yearlings

Gone are the outstanding prices we saw at the Saratoga Sale, as well as even the prices we saw at the July Sale. This Fasig-Tipton yearling sale will attract much lower prices than previous ones this year, due to a catalog of a much lower caliber. In fact, rather than my usual top selections that are combined with honorable mentions, I only have ten top selections for this sale. Nonetheless, I am eager about this auction!

Hip #5: By Valid Expectations’ full brother Littleexpectations, hip 5 is out of a half-sister to two black-type winners and is from the same family as the grade one winners Solar Splendor and Sultry Song.

Hip #9: By champion Afleet Alex, this filly is out of a half-sister to the grade one-winning Awesome Gem.

Hip #10: By the grade one-winning Bluegrass Cat, this filly is a half-sister to two winners. Her second dam is also the granddam of the grade one winners Data Link and Hymn Book.

Hip #23: By a half-brother to the champion Artax in Serengeti Song, this filly is a half-sister an Argentinian group one winner, as well as a stakes winner at Belmont. She shares the same third dam as the second-fastest Kentucky Derby (GI) winner Monarchos.

Hip #30: By the sire of Pardonmecomingthru in Chatain, this filly is a half-sister to a black-type winner and a black-type-placed runner. She is from the family of the multiple grade one-winning Political Ambition.

Hip #38: By the brilliant multiple grade one-winning sprinter Zensational, this filly is a half-sister to a multiple black-type-winning gelding that is also graded stakes-placed, as well as a black-type-placed runner.

Hip #39: This filly is very similarly bred to the multiple grade one-winning Kip Deville, as she shares the same sire in Kipling and her second dam, Klondike Kaytie, is the dam of Kip Deville. Hip 39 is a half-sister to a black-type-placed runner.
Coyote Legend
Photo by Terri Cage

Hip #106: By the up-and-coming Texas sire My Golden Song, this filly’s dam line is like Texas racing royalty. She is out of a full sister to the popular multiple black-type-winning Coyote Legend and Gold Coyote – very well-known, successful horses on the Texas racing circuit.

Hip #166: By a son of Street Cry in Clever Cry, this filly is a half-sister to a graded stakes winner and a black-type-placed runner. Her multiple group stakes-winning and grade one-placed second dam has a very impressive produce record, being the dam of a multiple grade one-winning Breeders’ Cup victor.

Hip #169: By the successful young sire Roman Ruler, this colt is out of a half-sister to a grade one winner, a black-type winner, and a black-type-placed runner.

But my personal favorite in the sale is not one of my top ten selections, but a buddy of mine: hip #93, a son of Space Spot (by Seattle Slew) and the Afternoon Deelites mare Autum's Delight. He has quite the personality and I wish him, as well as his friend hip #7, the best of luck!

Hip #93
Photo by Terri Cage
I will do a follow-up piece after the sale, spotlighting these horses again with the results of the auction.

Remember to like Past the Grandstand on Facebook and follow Past the Grandstand on Twitter! Links can be found on the right side of the blog.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

PTG's One Year Anniversary!

On August 19, 2011, I published my very first blog post on Past the Grandstand. It was the beginning of my blog, which is now home to more than 200 posts! I never imagined it would grow so large so quickly. This all stemmed from my love for the horse, the beautiful animal I have been around all my life.

In May of 2004, I watched as the gusty, lovable Smarty Jones galloped through the mud en route to a victory in the Kentucky Derby. Ever since, I have been in love with the sport of Thoroughbred racing. My adoration for the sport has absolutely skyrocketed since that fateful first Saturday of May, seeing me visit the racetrack countless times, including trips to two Breeders’ Cups. Fortunately, there are many more racetrack visits to come in the future, including another trip to the Breeders' Cup (and hopefully even more than that)!!
Miss Fifty and me at Churchill Downs
Photo by Terri Cage

I have been blessed with so many wonderful experiences since beginning my blog. From a spectacular visit to Churchill Downs for the 2011 Breeders’ Cup, to meeting some of my favorite racehorses, to riding the incredible geldings Lights on Broadway and King of Speed, to having my article on Lights on Broadway published on, to being humbled by the rescue of several horses from the Many, Louisiana horse seizure, to sharing my story withMiss Fifty with the world, to further delving into my dream of working in the Thoroughbred sales industry, to falling in love with Dover Heights, to meeting the rescued Asmussen mares, and many other awesome experiences, Past the Grandstand has become my way to express my love of the sport of horse racing – my passion.

Sometimes – okay, a lot of times – I get too caught up in the analysis of races, the assessment of pedigrees, the evaluation of conformation, and all that jazz and nearly forget the heart of why I do all of those dissections – my love for not just the Thoroughbred, but the horse. But I get that reminder multiple times a day when I go out to the barn.

Most of my readers know me as “a young, avid fan of horse racing.” Well, yes, at sixteen, I am young and yes, of course, I am an avid fan of horse racing. But what it all boils down to is that I’m a horse lover. That’s about as close as you can get to a definition of me.

Whether it’s playing with my two bratty miniature horses; loving on my beloved twenty-eight-year-old mare Tommie Sue; rubbing on my darling Paint filly Lily or giving a pat to her dam, Jesse; calling my sister to check in on my first OTTB Dexter or on our gelding Jasper; visiting, riding, and training my charming newest addition, Sidney; or spending time with the horse that is my best friend, Pebbles, I love spending time with my horses. In fact, I’m moved to tears sometimes because of how much I love and cherish them.

I will be the first to admit I am not tremendously eloquent with words, but I will admit that I can get very mushy when it comes to my horses. It’s when I’m talking about my horses that the cheesiest things come out of my mouth. They hold my heart and they always will.

I would like to thank all my fans and readers for their support over the past year. This past year has been a gift from God and I would like to thank every single person that has supported me throughout the past year – my parents, family, and friends, of course, as well as anyone else that has helped and supported me. It truly means a lot.

I invite you all to watch this video I made below, displaying photos and videos of my life not only throughout the past year I have spent with Past the Grandstand, but my life in horse racing and with horses in general. Again, thank you all!

Remember to like Past the Grandstand on Facebook and follow Past the Grandstand on Twitter! Links can be found on the right side of the blog. 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

After the Auction: Nechez Dawn

As an avid fan of sales with possible aspirations to become an adviser/bloodstock agent, auctions are one of my favorite topics to write about on Past the Grandstand. This is the fourth edition in a blog series called "After the Auction" that will feature horses I selected in sales that have found success after the sale. *Note: If an "After the Auction" features a two-year-old, it will also be listed as a "Juvenile Spotlight."

Her hooves pounded and her breaths came in sync with her stride as her rider asked her for everything she had. Standing along the rail, I watched as the bay filly thundered down the stretch, flying across the wire in a blink of an eye. Little did I know, the two-year-old that had just galloped past me to record a furlong work in 10 2/5 seconds would become a stakes winner at one of the premier summer meets in the nation.
Nechez Dawn
Photo by Terri Cage

The filly that had just galloped past me was one of my top picks for the 2011
Fasig-Tipton Texas Two-Year-Olds In Training Sale. Since Past the Grandstand did not exist at the time, Nechez Dawn was not featured on my blog at the time of the sale, at which she brought $51,000 as the fifth highest-priced horse in the sale, but considering she has become one of my most successful sale selections yet, it is time to feature this talented filly!

Nechez Dawn debuted in March of this year at Gulfstream Park, going five furlongs over the turf. Settling just off the leader, Nechez Dawn aided in setting brisk fractions before drawing clear in the stretch. Despite drifting out severely in the stretch, the bay filly galloped to a three-length victory, posting a final time of 56.82.

The filly suffered her first defeat when going six furlongs over the synthetic track at Keeneland, finishing fifth in allowance. However, she rebounded when she returned to the turf next out in an allowance at Arlington Park. Going straight to the lead, Nechez Dawn battled Zingwella on the front-end, but maintained her advantage throughout the approximate five-furlong race. Despite drifting out in the stretch, Nechez Dawn continued to lead, gamely outdueling her rivals to garner a 1 ¼-length victory.

Nechez Dawn was then entered in the
Del Mar Paddock Sale, at which she sold for $125,000 as the second highest-priced horse to successfully sell. Landing in Jeff Bonde’s stable for Ten Broeck Farm, Inc., Nechez Dawn made her southern California debut in Daisycutter Handicap at Del Mar on Friday, August 10.

With a sharp break from the gate, Nechez Dawn united with seven other fillies and mares to embark on the five-furlong journey over Del Mar’s turf course. She was immediately roused to the lead by Edwin Maldonado, quickly forming a two-length lead on the others. The others grew closer to her, but Nechez Dawn maintained her lead, setting brisk fractions while galloping along at odds of 7-1.

Nechez Dawn continued to lead as she swung off the far turn, going wide but still holding her advantage on the others. Despite drifting outwards as the others charged, Nechez Dawn did not let her rivals surpass her and crossed the wire a triumphant half-length ahead of her opponents.

Sired by Indian Charlie, a tremendous sire of principally speedy horses, Nechez Dawn shares the same sire as the champions Fleet Indian, Indian Blessing, and Uncle Mo, as well as such grade one winners as Liaison and Pampered Princess.

Nechez Dawn’s dam is a daughter of Valid Appeal, a stallion well known for producing the productive sires Successful Appeal and Valid Expectations. He is also the broodmare sire of the champion Soy Conquistador, as well as the group one winners Big City Man, Exciting Story, and Splendid Blended.

Nechez Dawn’s pedigree is not one to get you tremendously excited, but despite her tendency to drift in late stretch, her racing ability should get you excited. This is certainly a very talented turf sprinter and following her career has been very rewarding – just as it always is to follow a horse from a sale throughout its racing career.

Finished 2nd:
Skillful Joy Stakes
Very One Stakes

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Juvenile Spotlight: He's Had Enough and Spurious Precision

Just a matter of minutes apart, a pair of two-year-old colts turned in impressive performances, stamping themselves as serious potential superstars. Though racing at different levels, both colts won at the premier summer meet on their side of the country, signing their names in the book of two-year-olds to watch.

He’s Had Enough

With his name and connections, one can’t help but remember the victor of this year’s Kentucky Derby (GI) and Preakness Stakes (GI), I’ll Have Another. Perhaps his name is in reference to cookies as well, or maybe not… No matter what his name refers to, this is a talented colt.

Going to post in a maiden special weight at Del Mar, He’s Had Enough broke poorly from the fourth gate with Garrett Gomez aboard and thus found himself behind the majority of the field, running nearly ten lengths off the frontrunner. With not a single horse beaten in the opening stages in the race, it was clear that He’s Had Enough had his work cut out for him. He shortly passed one horse, but continued to be far off the front end.

Gradually, the light gray colt grew closer to the leaders and as Gomez set to work aboard him midway through the far turn, it was clear that He’s Had Enough was ready to make up ground. Suddenly, the colt gained much speed and was pulled to the outside by Gomez with sights set on the lead. Despite being forced to go five-wide, the colt found his best stride at the top of the stretch and wore down Caballo Del Cielo. Though he ran greenly, He’s Had Enough flew past Caballo Del Cielo in the final strides as Gomez sat still.

Bred for early success, He’s Had Enough is a son of Tapit – the sire of 2011 Champion Two-Year-Old Male Hansen, as well as 2008 Champion Two-Year-Old Filly Stardom Bound. Tapit is also the sire of such grade one winners as Careless Jewel, Tapitsfly, and Zazu. Tapit is a son of Pulpit, who is also the sire of the successful stallion Sky Mesa. Pulpit is of course a son of the great A.P. Indy, the sire of twenty-six grade one winners, including Bernardini, Flashing, Mineshaft, Little Belle, Music Note, and Rags to Riches. The A.P. Indy sire line from which He’s Had Enough descends has been highly successful, as A.P. Indy is also the sire of such productive studs as Bernardini, Congrats, Malibu Moon, Mineshaft, and Stephen Got Even. 

He’s Had Enough’s dam is the black-type-winning Amelia, who has also produced the black-type-winning Kindergarden Kid and the track record-setting Tiz True. Amelia is a half-sister to the group stakes-winning Bertolini and the stakes-winning Alchemilla. Her granddam is Reine De Course mare and 1983 Broodmare of the Year, Courtly Dee, who produced an incredible seven graded stakes winners, including the champion Althea, as well as two graded stakes-placed horses. Other direct descendants of Courtly Dee include the grade one-winning horses Acoma, Balletto, and Arch, as well as the champion Festival of Light.

With Dixieland Band as his damsire, He’s Had Enough shares the same broodmare sire as the grade one winners Diamondrella, Monarchos, Southern Image, and Street Sense, as well as the graded stakes winners Blues and Royals, Eight Belles, Freefourinternet, Queen of Wilshire, and Secret Circle.

He’s Had Enough’s pedigree suggests that he will be able to stretch out to longer distances and with Alydar, A.P. Indy, Northern Dancer, and Unbridled – all horses who succeeded at classic distances – in just the first three generations of his pedigree, he certainly has a chance to be victorious at classic distances in the future. Perhaps he can follow in the footsteps of I’ll Have Another.

Spurious Precision

Last year, Union Rags frolicked en route to an easy win in the Saratoga Special Stakes (GII). The son of Dixie Union would go on to win the Belmont Stakes (GI). On August 12, a grandson of Dixie Union, Spurious Precision, easily won the Saratoga Special.

Spurious Precision has even more distance limitations in his pedigree than people believed Union Rags had. His sire, High Cotton, never won beyond a mile and one-sixteenth and when he attempted ten furlongs, he was defeated by 18 ¾ lengths. In addition, he has primarily been successful with siring sprinters, such as Currency Swap and Tarpy’s Goal.

The dam of Spurious Precision, Scarlet Combo, never won at a distance longer than six and one-half furlongs. In addition, she is a half-sister to the multiple stakes-winning sprinter Volterra, as well as the stakes-winning middle-distance horses Ennisbeg and Wolark.

Though Spurious Precision’s pedigree doesn’t hint for much of a future at routing, it does hint that he could become a successful racehorse – a feat he has already accomplished. After easily winning his debut at Saratoga last month, Spurious Precision went off as the heavy favorite in the Special.

Breaking sharply from gate three, Alan Garcia’s mount went straight to the lead, holding a half-length advantage over Southern Honor. Racing a few paths off the rail, the colt set a blistering first quarter of 21.35 while continuing to lead. Into the far turn, Spurious Precision maintained his half-length lead while Garcia remained stationary aboard him.

With a half-mile in an astounding 44.02, Spurious Precision had every right to fade as the field turned for home. Rather, he began to kick clear despite a rally from Drum Roll. His rivals chased after him, but the speedy colt would let no one by. In the final stages, he continued to draw away, crossing the wire in hand to triumph by five lengths.

Spurious Precision is clearly a brilliant individual and I believe he has a bright future should he be restricted to sprints and middle distances. The Special has of course launched the successful sprinters Henny Hughes and Kodiak Kowboy. We shall see what the future holds for him!

Remember to like Past the Grandstand on Facebook and follow Past the Grandstand on Twitter! Links can be found on the right side of the blog. 

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Juvenile Spotlight: Dreaming of Julia and Stopshoppingdebbie

Lane’s End Farm has consistently proven to be among the best stud farms in not just the nation, but the world. From the dynasty created by A.P. Indy to the exciting possibilities of fresh, newer sires such as Curlin, Lane’s End stallions continue to have an effect on the racing world, which can be evident at any track. Recently, these following two fillies further endorsed that.

Dreaming of Julia

Stonestreet Stables has done it again! As if the spectacular maiden victories by Kauai Katie and Teen Pauline weren’t enough, Kauai Katie followed in the hoofprints of Stonestreet’s champion My Miss Aurelia by winning the Adirondack Stakes (GII). But a few days before the filly took the Adirondack, another Stonestreet filly broke her maiden in jaw-dropping style: Dreaming of Julia.

Breaking from the seventh gate in a six and one-half-furlong maiden special weight event, Dreaming of Julia was pushed to the lead by John Velazquez and quickly overtook Bustle to take the lead as the two-year-old fillies raced down the backstretch. By the time she’d set a 22.03 first quarter, Dreaming of Julia had an approximate one-length lead on the others as she began to enter the far turn. Despite a rally from Form Fitting around the turn, Dreaming of Julia maintained her advantage on the field as she galloped into the stretch with a confident Velazquez aboard.

Dreaming of Julia quickly opened up on the field, drawing away with sufficient handling from Velazquez. Form Fitting remained as the clearly second best horse, but it was even more obvious who the best horse in the field was: Dreaming of Julia. With absolute ease, the bay filly crossed the wire an astounding 10 ½ lengths ahead of her rivals.

This filly possesses a pedigree I could praise all day. Not only is she sired by the stallion I most admire in modern-day bloodlines, but her pedigree is like an array of Thoroughbred royalty. 
There’s one aspect in Dreaming of Julia’s pedigree that many will likely overlook: the filly possesses both Hasty Matelda and Somethingroyal – the same mares that were the subject of Penny Chenery’s famous coin toss – in her pedigree. A daughter of A.P. Indy, Dreaming of Julia of course traces back to Somethingroyal through the mare’s greatest offspring, Secretariat, who is the broodmare sire of A.P. Indy. Interestingly, Dreaming of Julia is a direct descendant of Hasty Matelda, who is her seventh dam.

As mentioned, Dreaming of Julia is sired by A.P. Indy, one of the greatest horses to ever stand at stud. He has sired twenty-six grade one winners so far, including Bernardini, Flashing, Mineshaft, Little Belle, Music Note, and Rags to Riches. He is also a highly successful sire of sires – having produced such stallions as Bernardini, Congrats, Malibu Moon, Mineshaft, Pulpit, and Stephen Got Even – and broodmare sire – having sired the dams of such horses as Bluegrass Cat, Mr. Sidney, Plum Pretty, Royal DeltaSuper Saver, and Wait a While.

The dam of Dreaming of Julia is the multiple grade one-winning Dream Rush. Though a successful sprinter, Dream Rush is a daughter of Wild Rush – who, though also successful at short distances, was capable of winning up to a mile and three-sixteenths. Wild Rush is of course a son of Wild Again, the winner of the inaugural Breeders’ Cup Classic (GI). Wild Again is the broodmare sire of such grade one winners as Cheiron, Emma’s Encore, Macho Again, Mea Domina, Pyro, and Wild Spirit.

With a dam line full of black-type, Dreaming of Julia’s sixth dam is Gay Matelda, a winner of many important stakes races and the dam of the group stakes-winning Reine Mathilde, as well as the stakes-winning horses Not a Mistake and Shelter Half. Gay Matelda is of course a daughter of Hasty Matelda, who won the Matron Stakes.

Dreaming of Julia is a fine example of breeding speed to stamina and perhaps that cross will allow her to stretch out beyond sprinting distances. This is a very talented filly and though she joins multiple talented Stonestreet fillies, she has a grand chance to prove herself to be the best of them. Who knows what the future holds, other than the fact that I will gladly follow this filly throughout her career.


After his 2008 campaign, Curlin became the first horse since the great Cigar to garner back-to-back Horse of the Year titles. A son of successful sire Smart Strike – who has also produced such grade one winners as English Channel, Fabulous Strike, Lookin at Lucky, My Miss Aurelia, Never Retreat, and Square Eddie –Curlin bred his first book of mares in 2009. The foal crop produced from these mares was born in 2010 and first hit the track this year. Curlin has had several winners already, including Stopshoppingdebbie.

Emerald Downs does not garner the attention of tracks such as Del Mar or Saratoga, but nonetheless, a very gifted two-year-old filly surfaced there on August 12. That filly is none other than Stopshoppingdebbie. The heavy favorite in a small field of five, Stopshoppingdebbie led from start to finish, setting brisk fractions before making it obvious that she was the best filly in the field. With effortlessness, Stopshoppingdebbie swept to a seven-length victory in a final time of 1:02.97 for five and one-half furlongs.

No, Emerald Downs is not a well-known track. However, many of the names found in this filly’s pedigree are. As aforementioned, the topside of Stopshoppingdebbie’s pedigree is very strong. But the bottom side is quite solid as well.

Her dam is Taste the Passion, who won multiple stakes at Emerald Downs. Taste the Passion has also produced the multiple stakes-winning Shampoo, a fan favorite at Emerald. Other offspring of Taste the Passion include the stakes-winning Smarty Deb and the multiple stakes-placed Seattle Sniper. Stopshoppingdebbie’s broodmare sire is Wild Again, who as mentioned in Dreaming of Julia’s information, is the damsire of such grade one winners as Cheiron, Emma’s Encore, Macho Again, Mea Domina, Pyro, and Wild Spirit.

Like her siblings, Stopshoppingdebbie is likely destined to remain at Emerald Downs. However, she could very well become one of the best Washington-based horses and certainly a fan favorite. Whether she enters the big leagues or not, I believe she will be a fun filly to watch.

Remember to like Past the Grandstand on Facebook and follow Past the Grandstand on Twitter! Links can be found on the right side of the blog.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Camelot's Date with Destiny

With some sentences drawn from “The Chance of Dual Triple Crowns

September 15, 2012 will be a date with destiny for Camelot, a horse fittingly named to be the only one with a chance to become the first Thoroughbred since Nijinsky II in 1970 to take the English Triple Crown. Usually the question of “Can he do it?” would emerge in such a situation, but, rather, many are asking, “How much will he win by?”

Camelot is on his way to achieving a legendary status and many have already dubbed him an all-time great, despite the fact that the stunning bay has only contested five times throughout his career. However, it is completely understandable why this colt is so highly regarded. All five of those starts have been victories and four of them have been group ones, including three classic triumphs.

After winning a maiden special weight at Leopardstown Racecourse in Dublin, Ireland last July, the two-year-old version of Camelot took the Racing Post Trophy (GI) at Doncaster Racecourse by 2 ¼ lengths, becoming the winter book favorite for England’s premier race and second leg of its Triple Crown, the Epsom Derby (GI).

In just the third race of his career, Camelot contested in the 2,000 Guineas (GI), the first jewel of the English Triple Crown. As a field of eighteen three-year-old Thoroughbreds began their one-mile journey at Newmarket Racecourse, the highly-regarded Camelot found a position near the back of the pack with the young Joseph O’Brien aboard. The colt came from off the pace to overpower French Fifteen by a neck despite his distaste for the going and one-mile distance.

Camelot proceeded along the Triple Crown journey, starting next in the prestigious Epsom Derby. The Aidan O’Brien trainee again found a spot near the rear of the field as Joseph O’Brien coolly settled aboard him, appearing absolutely confident in his superb mount. The 2,000 Guineas victor remained several lengths off the lead as the nine horses continued their mile and one-half journey, relaxing beautifully beneath nineteen-year-old O’Brien. With urging from O’Brien, Camelot accelerated impressively, rapidly gaining ground on his stablemate Astrology in the long straightaway. In spite of the fact that it appeared Astrology would battle him to the wire, Camelot kicked clear under confident handling from O’Brien, winning by a remarkable five lengths. The scary part about his unbelievably impressive Epsom Derby victory? Joseph O’Brien yet again did not believe the colt relished the going.

Four weeks after capturing the Epsom Derby, Camelot contested in the Irish Derby (GI) at The Curragh. With his two-length triumph in the second leg of the Irish Triple Crown, Camelot not only gathered the third classic victory of his career, but became the first horse since High Chaparral ten years ago to win both the Epsom and Irish Derbies.

Should all go well, Camelot will in fact make a start in the St. Leger Stakes (GI), the final jewel, in attempt to become the first English Triple Crown victor in forty-two years. Luckily for him, his bloodlines hint that he will able to be triumphant at the grueling mile and three-quarters distances of the final leg of the Triple Crown.

The sire of Camelot is the late but brilliant Montjeu, who won multiple prestigious races at twelve furlongs, including the esteemed Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (GI). Montjeu has sired two St. Leger winners in Masked Marvel and Scorpion and is of course a son of the great sire Sadlers Wells, who produced the St. Leger victors Brian Boru and Milan. The dam of Montjeu, Floripedes, was a champion French filly who won the Prix de Lut├Ęce (GIII), which covers approximately fifteen furlongs, or a mile and seven-eighths.
Kingmambo's memorial at Lane's End Farm
Photo by Terri Cage

Camelot’s dam, Tarfah, was a successful racehorse herself, winning three stakes races, including the Dahlia Stakes (GIII). Tarfah is a daughter of the great Kingmambo, who, despite being a tremendous miler on the track, sired 2004 St. Leger winner Rule of Law. Kingmambo has proven to be a top broodmare sire of distance horses, being the damsire of such horses as Duke of Marmalade, Midday, and Wiener Walzer.

Camelot’s third dam, the stakes-winning Fickle, is a daughter of the outstanding sire Danehill, who sired multiple brilliant distance horses, such as Champs Elysees, North Light, Westerner, and many others. Camelot’s dam line provides him with many stamina influences, including his fifth dam, Seventh Bride, who won the ten-furlong Princess Royal Stakes. Interestingly, Camelot descends from the same female family – family four – as English Triple Crown winner Rock Sand.

Thousands of American racing fans mourned the loss of I’ll Have Another’s chance at our Triple Crown, but perhaps those fans can turn their attention to the magnificent Camelot. His date with destiny awaits and should he continue his brilliance like many expect him to and become just the sixteenth horse to win the English Triple Crown, he could leave the racing world cheering with joy.

Remember to like Past the Grandstand on Facebook and follow Past the Grandstand on Twitter! Links can be found on the right side of the blog.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Part Two: 2012 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Sale

The Saratoga Sale spanned two sessions – one on Monday and one on Tuesday. By the conclusion of the sale, 107 yearlings sold for an average price of $299,065. Of my top 15 selections, 9 sold, 6 did not reach their reserves, and none were declared out of the auction. Of my 10 honorable mentions, 7 were purchased, 1 did not attain its reserve, and 2 were declared out of the sale. My top 15 selections sold for a total of $4,495,000 - with an average of about $499,444 - while my honorable mentions were purchased for a total of $2,975,000 - with an average of $425,000. Altogether, my top 25 selections (with 16 total purchased) from this high quality sale sold for a grand total of $7,470,000 with an average of $466,875.

Listed below are the horses featured in Part One, with descriptions of the results of the auction:

Hip #5: This Distorted Humor colt was sold for $500,000 to John Ferguson, bloodstock agent for Sheikh Mohammed bin Rasheed al Maktoum and was the third highest-priced yearling of session one.

Hip #11:
Very similarly bred to Rachel Alexandra, this colt drove the hammer to $475,000 but did not reach his reserve.

Hip #26:
This filly was purchased by Blandford Bloodstock Ltd. For $160,000.

Hip #46:
This colt reached a final bid of $370,000 but did not reach his reserve.

Hip #48:
A grandson of Personal Ensign, hip forty-eight was sold for $150,000 to Michael Riggioro.

Hip #52:
This Giant’s Causeway colt was purchased for $135,000 by Sam Herzberg.

Hip #58:
A half-brother to Horse of the Year Invasor, this colt drove the hammer to $110,000, but did not attain his reserve.

Hip #80:
This colt was the session-topper of the first session, selling for $1,200,000 to John Ferguson.

Hip #91:
A full brother to the grade one-winning Mushka, this colt was the second highest price of the first session, going for $1,100,000 to Stonestreet and George Bolton.

Hip #96:
A son of Breeders’ Cup Distaff (GI)-winning Spain, this colt was sold to Whitehorse Stable for $650,000.

Hip #130:
This Tapit colt was purchased by Shadwell Estate Co. Ltd. For $400,000.

Hip #134:
Despite driving the hammer to $395,000, this Distorted Humor did not reach her reserve.

Hip #157:
This Street Cry filly reached a final bid of $285,000 but did not reach her reserve.

Hip #170:
This Street Cry filly was sold for $200,000 to Brooklyn Boyz – J J Crupi, agent.

Hip #178:
This Empire Maker filly drove the hammer to $340,000, did not reach her reserve.

Honorable Mentions:

Hip #10:
This Exchange Rate colt only drove the hammer to $65,000, thus not reaching his reserve.

Hip #16:
This filly was declared out of the sale.

Hip #21:
This Elusive Quality filly was purchased by $350,000 by Robert E and Lawana Low.

Hip #62:
This colt was declared out of the sale.

Hip #68:
This Malibu Moon colt went to Clark O. Brewster for $100,000.

Hip #95:
This Malibu Moon filly went for $200,000 to Angel Equine.

Hip #117:
This daughter of champion Wait a While was the sale topper at $1,575,00, with Todd Pletcher, agent, signing the ticket.

Hip #120:
This Unbridled’s Song colt was purchased by Nick de Meric, agent, for $250,000.

Hip #121:
This filly was declared out of the sale.

Hip #183:
This Bernardini colt was sold for $150,000 to Kenneth McPeek, agent.

Remember to like Past the Grandstand on Facebook and follow Past the Grandstand on Twitter! Links can be found on the right side of the blog.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Juvenile Spotlight: Capo Bastone and Know More

West Coast-based three-year-olds have proven to be among the very best in this year’s sophomore division. With the California-based I’ll Have Another taking the first two legs of the Triple Crown with fellow California horse Bodemeister just behind him, as well as Paynter emerging as perhaps the best three-year-old male with a runner-up finish in the Belmont Stakes (GI) and a win in the Haskell Invitational (GI), it has been clear that California three-year-olds are leading the way. Will next year be the same? Over the weekend, a pair of two-year-olds at Del Mar suggested it just may be.

Capo Bastone

Last summer, a colt that brilliantly broke his maiden at Del Mar impressed me greatly, thus joining my watch list so that I could keep track of him. That colt was Secret Circle, eventual winner of not only the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Sprint, but the Southwest Stakes (GIII) and the Rebel Stakes (GII). This year, one of the first two-year-olds to catch my attention at Del Mar was a colt by the name of Capo Bastone.

Sent off as the favorite in a field of nine, the John Sadler trainee found a position near the back of the pack as the horses galloped down the backstretch. As a brisk quarter mile of 21.66 was set, Capo Bastone remained eleven lengths off the lead, inching up along the rail as the horses moved around the far turn.

The colt had reached mid-pack by the time the field began to turn for home, but was forced to swing wide off the final curve. Garrett Gomez set to work aboard him, setting his sights on the two leaders. With an imposing turn of foot, Capo Bastone closed on the two frontrunners, appearing ready to fly by.

However, when Distinctiv Passion veered out, Gomez was forced to pull Capo Bastone to the outside. Despite having to change his course, Capo Bastone’s motivation was not greatly hindered and the chestnut colt continued to fly towards the lead without much urging from Gomez. With impressive ease, Capo Bastone crossed the wire a widening neck in front.

Capo Bastone is a son of the up-and-coming sire Street Boss, who has already proven to be a force to be reckoned with. On the track, Street Boss – a horse based in Southern California – was a spectacular sprinter, winning three graded stakes – three of which were grade ones – and setting two six-furlong track records. Street Boss is of course a son of Street Cry, a top sire known for producing the great champion Zenyatta, as well as the champion Street Sense and eleven other grade one winners. Street Boss has already proven to be a productive sire in his young career, having already sired not only multiple winners, including impressive Saratoga maiden winner Top Tier Lass, but a stakes winner.

Capo Bastone’s dam is the black-type-placed Fight to Love, who has also produced the multiple graded stakes-winning C J’s Leelee. Fight to Love is a daughter of the Secretariat mare Love is Love and the multiple grade one-winning Fit to Fight. Fit to Fight is the broodmare sire of such stakes winners as Blind Date (also graded stakes-winning), Royal Assault, Sales Tax, and Upgrade (also graded stakes-winning).

Capo Bastone displayed not only the ability to overcome trouble and still win with ease, but he also exhibited sheer talent. Though he is not particularly bred for classic distances, he could likely go beyond sprinting distances. Nonetheless, this is a colt to watch.

Know More

J. Paul Reddam’s white and purple silks became easily recognizable this year when I’ll Have Another and Mario Gutierrez carried them to victory in the Kentucky Derby (GI) and Preakness Stakes (GI). When they flashed across the Del Mar finish line on Sunday afternoon with a two-year-old named Know More, whispers of the future left the mouths of racing fans. Was this the next I’ll Have Another?

Usually, a horse begins its career in a maiden race – a race in which no horse is yet a winner. Rather than doing so, Know More commenced his racing life in a graded stakes race, the Best Pal Stakes (GII) to be exact. I’ll Have Another ran in this very race as a two-year-old, finishing second behind the eventual grade one-winning
Creative Cause. Unlike I’ll Have Another, Know More crossed the wire a victor.

The bay colt broke sharply from the outside stall before settling a few lengths off the pace beneath Garrett Gomez as the juveniles galloped down the backstretch of the six and one-half-furlong event. Showing the ability to rate that many debuting juveniles do not show, Know More began to inch up on the outside as the far turn began.

With steady urging from Gomez, Know More loomed on the outside as the graded stakes-winning Amarish continued to lead. Still with several lengths to make up, Know More began to kick into gear as the far turn reached its end, being asked by Gomez to catch the leaders. Despite running a bit greenly, Know grew closer to Heir Kitty in the final yards before accelerating beautifully to pass him en route to a half-length victory.

Know More’s sire is Lion Heart, winner of the nine-furlong
Haskell Invitational (GI) and runner-up in the Kentucky Derby (GI) behind Smarty Jones. Lion Heart is also the sire of Dangerous Midge, winner of the twelve-furlong Breeders’ Cup Turf (GI); Line of David, winner of the nine-furlong Arkansas Derby (GI); and Soul Warrior, winner of the nine-furlong West Virgina Derby (GII). However, he has primarily sired speedy horses, such as the graded stakes-winning sprinters Agave Kiss, Heart Ashley, and Pretty Prolific. Nonetheless, Lion Heart is a son of Tale of the Cat, who, despite being a successful sprinter on the track, is well-known for siring Gio Ponti, a champion who won up to a mile and three-eighths.

Know More is likely to inherit more stamina influence from his dam, Seattle Qui. This mare is also the dam of the stakes-winning and graded stakes-placed Classical Slew. Despite the fact that Classical Slew was successful at sprinting distances, Know More’s broodmare sire is the 1977 Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew, damsire of Astra, Boboman, Dangerous Midge, and Offlee Wild. The sire of Know More’s second dam is Spectacular Bid, who won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes (GI). Interestingly, Know More’s third dam is the dam of the European champion Bakharoff.

He may not be the next I’ll Have Another, but Know More certainly appears to be a very gifted individual. It is not every day that a horse makes its debut in a graded stakes race and prevails. Know More is certainly a colt that has made the watch lists of many racing enthusiasts, including mine.

Remember to like Past the Grandstand on Facebook and follow Past the Grandstand on Twitter! Links can be found on the right side of the blog.