Thursday, August 8, 2013

After the Auction: Jimmy Connors

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.”

Jimmy Connors – the human – won eight Grand Slam singles titles and two Grand Slam doubles titles. Jimmy Connors – the horse – has won a Monmouth Park maiden special weight. But he, too, possesses immense talent.

A two-year-old chestnut colt by Yes It’s True, Jimmy Connors was one of my selections at last year’s Fasig-Tipton July Sale, selling for just $20,000. He debuted at Monmouth Park on July 27, going five and one-half furlongs on the dirt. After tracking the pace from third, he was guided to the outside around the far turn as he aimed for the lead. Finding his best stride, Jimmy Connors coasted past the leaders in mid-stretch, drawing away to a 4 ¼-length victory.

Bred for precocity, Jimmy Connors displayed just that in his debut. The opportunities are endless for the colt and although he likely won’t reach the same level of brilliance in racing that the tennis player attained in his own sport, he could easily garner accomplishments of his own.

Pedigree Analysis

Jimmy Connors is among the talented army of Yes It’s True juveniles that have accumulated a large amount of wins this year, leaving him as the international leading sire of two-year-olds. Jimmy Connors shares his sire with the graded stakes winners Actin Good, Aikenite, Chantrue, Off Duty, Nordic Truce, Proud Accolade, Yesbyjimminy, and Yes He’s the Man.

The pedigree of Yes It’s True is rather understated, but also lined with indicators that he would become the successful sire he is. His sire, Is It True, only produced a pair of grade one winners – including Yes It’s True himself – but is by Raja Baba, the leading North American sire of 1980. Raja Baba was a fairly productive sire of sires, producing not only Is It True, but Royal Ski and Well Decorated.

The dam of Yes It’s True, Clever Monique, was a profitable producer, also yielding the multiple stakes-winning Honest Deceiver. Intriguingly, Yes It’s True’s seventh dam is Dancing Date, the dam of Terrang, who captured a record ten stakes events at Santa Anita. Yes It’s True is a descendant of American family one, the same female family that has yielded the grade one victors Gato Del Sol, Germany, and Tizway.

Yes It’s True’s broodmare sire is Clever Trick, who was also the damsire of such grade one winners as Came Home, Elegant Fashion, Nothingtolose, and Victors Cry. Clever Trick’s sire is Icecapade, a half-brother to the great Ruffian. Interestingly, Yes It’s True only has one trace of Native Dancer in his pedigree, which comes through Shenanigans – the dam of Icecapade and Ruffian.

Jimmy Connors’ dam has also produced the black-type-placed Elle Tish Slew. She is a half-sister to the graded stakes winners Canadian Frontier and Seeking Slew, as well as the multiple black-type-winning and graded stakes-placed Slewfoundmoney. Jimmy Connors comes from a prosperous dam line and has Bertrando as his broodmare sire, providing him with the same damsire as champion Unrivaled Belle. This Yes It’s True/Relaunch cross is the same that produced the graded stakes-winning Off Duty.

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