Sunday, September 22, 2013

After the Auction: Courtesan

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. 

Numerous brilliant turf runners have been conditioned by Christophe Clement, including the champion Gio Ponti and the multiple grade one-winning Winchester. Can Courtesan, one of my selections from last year’s Keeneland September Yearling Sale, add her name to this list?

Courtesan debuted on the dirt at Saratoga, going seven furlongs in a maiden special weight originally scheduled for a mile and one-sixteenth on the grass. Against five other opponents, Courtesan finished nearly 15 lengths behind the top two finishers as she crossed the wire in third, 4 ½ lengths clear of her nearest rival. However, the sloppy surface likely contributed to the exaggerated distances between horses.

The following month, Courtesan had her chance to make her turf debut, facing nine other juvenile fillies in a mile and one-sixteenth maiden special weight. Racing over good going, Courtesan settled near the inside as she tracked the pace, galloping less than three lengths behind the frontrunner. Swinging wide around the far turn, Courtesan found room to run between competitors and partook in a battle with the favorite, Ketel Twist (who, ironically, was one of my selection's from last year's Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Sale and would go on to win her subsequent start), down the homestretch to prevail by a half-length.

Pedigree Analysis

Courtesan is a daughter of 2007 Kentucky Derby winner, Street Sense. Since entering stud in 2008, Street Sense has proven to be a tremendous sire of fillies, siring the grade one-winning fillies Aubby K and Sweet Reason, the graded stakes-winning filly 
Unlimited Budget, and the additional stakes-winning females Ice Cream Silence, Sensible Lady, and Silverette. Street Sense is a son of the spectacular stallion Street Cry, who is perhaps best known for siring the great champion Zenyatta. Including Street Sense and Zenyatta, Street Cry has produced an astounding thirteen grade/group one winners.

This filly’s dam, Lady Discreet, is out of the Reine De Course mare Pretty Discreet, making her a half-sister to the grade one winners Discreet Cat and Discreetly Mine, as well as the stakes-winning, grade one-placed Pretty Wild and the graded stakes-placed Discreet Treasure. Lady Discreet is a daughter of Boundary, a son of the legendary sire Danzig. This Street Cry/Danzig sire line cross has produced the grade/group one winners Here Comes Ben, Lyric of Light, and Shocking, as well as the additional graded/group stakes winners Falls of Lora, Motor City, Princess Highway, Splash Point, Street Sounds, and Tallow.

WON: Juvenile Filly Turf Stakes
3rd: Jessamine Stakes (GIII)

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