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.

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