Friday, September 27, 2013

After the Auction: Ketel Twist

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. 

There are few things more frustrating than “second-itis.” Repeatedly finishing second with a horse you know has the talent to win can be incredibly disappointing, so one could easily assume the connections of Ketel Twist felt this frustration. In her first three starts, the filly – one of my selections from the 2012 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Yearling Sale – played the role of runner-up, never finishing more than 2 ¼ lengths behind the winner.

In her debut, which occurred at Belmont Park on July Fourth going six furlongs on the inner turf course, Ketel Twist raced mid-pack before closing keenly to miss winner, a heavy favorite, by 1 ¾ lengths. That favorite was Richies Party Girl, who would go on to finish a strong fourth in a group three event at Deauville in France.

Ketel Twist stretched out to a mile and one-sixteenth next out, traveling over the turf course at Saratoga a month later. Sent off as the favorite, the Bill Mott trainee was rank as she sat off the leader and was edged late by La Reine Bourbon. At the beginning of September, Ketel Twist started in a maiden special weight at Saratoga of the same conditions, tracking the pace as the lukewarm favorite. Despite running gamely, she was outdueled by Courtesan, one of my 2012 Keeneland September Yearling Sale selections who outshone her by a half-length.

Three weeks later, Ketel Twist resurfaced at Belmont Park, where she made her dirt debut after the one-mile maiden special weight had been taken off the turf. Setting a steady pace, Ketel Twist held off a rally from a longshot down the homestretch, gamely fighting to score by a head.

Pedigree Analysis

A daughter of the late Dixie Union, Ketel Twist shares her sire with the grade one winners Hot Dixie Chick, Overanalyze, and Union Rags. Dixie Union is a son of Dixieland Band, who has proven to be a respectable sire of sires, producing not only Dixie Union, but also Bowman’s Band and Dixieland Heat.

Ketel Twist’s dam, Frozen Treat, is a daughter of the late Dynaformer, which allows Ketel Twist to be bred on the same Dixieland Band/Dynaformer cross as the grade one-winning Sharp Lisa. Although Frozen Treat only won a single race from ten starts, she is a full sister to the graded stakes winner Masseuse and a half-sister to the stakes winners Buff and Second Performance. Frozen Treat herself is taking steps toward becoming a successful broodmare like her dam, as she has also produced the stakes winner Catrageous.

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