Sunday, June 23, 2013

After the Auction: Meadowood

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. “After the Auctions” 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.”

Catching my eye in the sales ring at the Keeneland September YearlingSale (via an online feed), I quickly jotted down Hip 1386. A balanced, athletic-looking bay colt, the son of Harlan’s Holiday impressed me with his conformation and I watched as he drove the hammer to $190,000. Who paid that sum of money? Stonestreet Farm and George Bolton, the same connections that campaigned champion My Miss Aurelia, and, along with other owners, two-time Horse of the Year Curlin throughout the majority of his three-year-old campaign.

Hip 1386 grew into a colt named Meadowood, who debuted at Monmouth Park on June 23, 2013 against four other first-time starters in a five-furlong maiden special weight. The heavy favorite in the small field, Meadowood broke well from the rail and was urged by jockey Joe Bravo to contest the pace. Bravo continuously encouraged the bay colt and angled his mount to the outside as the horses entered the far turn, allowing Meadowood to draw even with the frontrunner, Amelia’s Wild Ride. 
Under strong handling from Bravo, Meadowood gained a narrow advantage as the field turned for home. Engaging in a battle with Amelia’s Wild Ride, Meadowood began to edge clear outside the sixteenth pole, coasting to a two-length victory.

Meadowood’s sire, Harlan’s Holiday, has found much success since entering stud in 2004, siring the likes of the champion Shanghai Bobby and the graded/group stakes winners Denis of Cork, Mendip, Necessary Evil, Saratoga Sinner, and Summer Applause. A multiple grade one winner, Harlan’s Holiday has recurrently crossed well with mares from the Unbridled sire line like Meadowood’s dam, Into Reality. Both Denis of Cork and Necessary Evil were produced from this cross, as were several other winners.

Into Reality herself was a rather successful racehorse, winning the Dipsea Trail Stakes at Golden Gate Fields as a three-year-old. Her success as a broodmare is still quite unknown, as Meadowood – her second foal – is the only one that has raced. But as a granddaughter of Unbridled through her sire Untuttable, Into Reality’s broodmare career receives much support, as Unbridled has been a terrific dam sire, producing the dams of the grade one winners Dream Rush, Lady Joanne, Orb, Shackleford, and Tapit. His sons – particularly Unbridled’s Song – have also proven themselves as maternal grandsires, siring the mares that foaled the likes of the grade/group one winners Better Than Ever and The Lumber Guy, as well as the graded stakes winners Hold Me Back and Super Ninety Nine.

Meadowood is a model of precociousness, making quite the impression as a yearling prior to becoming a win-early juvenile. He did not win his maiden by an overwhelming margin, but displayed notable professionalism in just his first start. This is just the beginning for a very promising colt.

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