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!

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