Sunday, December 1, 2013

After the Auction: Homesick Angel

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. 

Hip 149, a bay daughter of Divine Park, stepped into the sales ring at Keeneland as one of the first horses in the ring for the second session of the 2012 Keeneland September Yearling Sale. The bidding came to a halt at the price of $260,000, placing the well-bred filly into the hands of Sierra Farm.

Once ready to begin her racing career, the filly – given the name Homesick Angel – entered the barn of Philip Sims, for whom she made her first start in early October at Keeneland in a seven-furlong maiden special weight on the synthetic. While racing mid-pack, Homesick Angel encountered traffic troubles but managed to finish third in a field of nine.

The next month, she surfaced in a maiden special weight going seven furlongs on the dirt at Churchill Downs. She contended for the lead throughout, but was overtaken late, finishing second as the favorite.

Four weeks later, however, Homesick Angel proved that the third time is the charm. Facing ten other two-year-old fillies on closing day at Churchill Downs, Homesick Angel sat just off the pace while racing wide. Seizing the lead as the field turned for home, the filly kicked clear with ease to score by five lengths.

Pedigree Analysis

Homesick Angel is a member of the second crop of her grade one-winning sire, Divine Park. In his young career as a stallion, Divine Park has produced the stakes-winning, graded stakes-placed Dancinginthecircle and the grade one-placed Blonde Fog, as well as the stakes-placed Divine Ambition.

Homesick Angel is the first foal out of her stakes-winning dam, On the Menu – a daughter of Canadian Frontier. On the Menu’s dam, Don’t Trick Her, is one of the most remarkable broodmares in recent memory. An unraced homebred for Brereton C. Jones, Don’t Trick Her begat not only On the Menu, but also Check the Label, who granted her even greater success, winning four graded stakes events, including the Garden City Stakes (GI). She is also the dam of Include Me Out, who has become her best offspring yet, having won four graded stakes races as well, two of which have been grade ones.

Although an American-bred, Homesick Angel has a rather international pedigree, tracing back to numerous horses bred in Canada, France, Great Britain, and Mexico. Through her prosperous tail female line, Homesick Angel is the descendant of four Reine De Course mares.

Where could Homesick Angel’s career lead her? Only time will tell, but she is keeping good company by having raced on a “Stars of Tomorrow” card at Churchill Downs. Other horses to have done so include classic winners Believe You Can, Fort Larned, Rachel Alexandra, Shackleford, and Super Saver.

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