In the Money

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Analysis: 2-year-olds to Watch

August 13th, 2013

ITM analysis of the top 2-year-olds to watch from: August 7 – August 14

(* denotes a previous ITM Horse to Watch)


*Danza (colt, Street Boss – Champagne Royale by French Deputy) – As the dueling duo of winner Corfu (Malibu Moon) and Wired Bryan (Stormy Atlantic) unfolded in front of him in the Saratoga Special, this “other” Todd Pletcher trainee – who went off at 14-1 – was rating steadily off the fast pace. He closed swiftly on the inside in late stretch, too late to catch the front two, but with an energy and stride that indicates he’ll enjoy going longer than six-and-a-half furlongs. We tabbed him as one to watch after his gutsy maiden win in which he re-rallied against Permanent Campaign (Sky Mesa). This colt has shown some fortitude in his first two races. Corfu, who set speedy fractions of :21.62 and :44.02 and still held on, is a sprint talent, but will need to learn to rate if he wants to continue winning as the distances increase. In both his wins rivals were getting to him. Wired Bryan has proven himself to be underrated and is one of the top 2-year-olds on the East Coast. His pedigree leans heavily to sprint and middle-distances and could also excel on turf. Replay:

*Skylander Girl (filly, Stroll – Heliotrope by Northern Score) – This Ontario-bred is now an impressive two-time stakes winner at Woodbine with a victory in the Ontario Debutante, beating heavy favorite Conquest Whiplash (Hear No Evil). In her lone “off” performance, the Shady Well, she had a troubled start and still managed fourth. Sire Stroll is having a good season with his juveniles.

*Smack Smack (gelding, Closing Argument – Smack Madam by Victory Gallop) – With his top competition Ride on Curlin scratched from the Paririe Meadows Juvenile Mile because of a shin problem (read more here:, the path was paved for this favorite to remain undefeated, and he answered the call. The wall of frontrunners, going at a moderate pace, receded in the second half of the race, allowing the closers an opportunity. This Don Von Hemel trainee went five wide and moved ahead of Ethical (Candy Ride) just before the wire. The Kentucky-bred, owned by Toby Keith’s Dream Walkin’ Farms, is 3 for 3.

Media interviewing Doug O'Neill, who has two future stars on this week's list

Media interviewing Doug O’Neill, who has two future stars on this week’s list

*Concave (filly, Colonel John – Galadriel by Ascot Knight) – After a debut win on turf, this Doug O’Neill runner adeptly moved to the synthetic at Del Mar and handled a jump to stakes company with a win in the Sorrento Stakes. She had a perfect trip just off the pace under Mario Gutierrez and outdueled the game She’s a Tiger (Tale of the Cat), finishing the six-and-a-half furlongs in 1:17.45. One of the top filly prospects currently on the West Coast; a multi-surface threat and the first stakes winner from the first crop of Colonel John. She’s likely to start next in the Del Mar Debutante on Aug. 31.

*Go Greeley (colt, Horse Greeley – Orchids Halo by Smoke Glacken) – This Ontario-bred is the most versatile 2-year-old on the grounds at Woodbine. He can come from off the pace or win on the lead in determined fashion, as he proved in the Vandal Stakes. It appeared challenger Heart to Heart (English Channel) was going to pass him in the stretch of the six-furlong test, but this John Ross trainee wouldn’t let him pass. The final time of 1:10.33 is solid for the synthetic. He’s 3 of 4 with one second.

Flay Mignon (turf) (filly, Yesbyjimminy – Forest Retreat by Forest Camp) – This New Jersey-bred – who is shockingly not owned by Bobby Flay – moved from a maiden claiming debut win to dominating a large field in the Colleen Stakes at five furlongs on turf. The Eddie Plesa runner proved she can hold her speed, re-gaining the lead after an early battle with Gem City Gal (Mr. Sekiguchi) and pulling away for the win in :56.77. Keep an eye on this unheralded sire by Yes It’s True, as he’s producing some precocious youngsters.


Diamond Bachelor (turf) (colt, War Front – Seasoned by Pulpit) – Astute move by trainer Patrick Biancone to debut this top prospect on grass, where he displayed his quick turn of foot and turned back the field at Del Mar. He appears to be a professional runner both in style and demeanor. He sat off Bourne Hot (Latent Heat), made his move under Julien Leparoux and took control without much urging in the one-mile test. He did get a quick pace and the final time of 1:35.82 isn’t head-turning, but he ran a final split of 11:22 and was very strong on the gallop out. Biancone said the Oak Tree Juvenile Turf on Sept. 4 is likely next. One of many in a slew of War Front – Pulpit crosses to recently win:

Biancone: “He has created a stir around the stable with his training in the morning. It cost quite a bit of money ($570,000) to buy him in the 2-year-old sale (Barretts March), and from there I put him in the program at Pegasus Farm to get him ready for Del Mar and everything has gone well.

“I think he is really a two-turn horse, that’s why I ran him at a mile for his first race. We’re going to stay two-turns on the turf with him.”

Sweet Whiskey (filly, Old Fashioned – Baby Betty by El Corredor) – There’s always buzz surrounding Todd Pletcher babies at the Spa, but this one seemed to draw particular interest. She delivered one of the most eye-catching – and fastest – performances by a juvenile filly of the meet so far, dispatching the field in a hand ride and finishing the five furlongs in 1:02.81 (track record is 1:02.51). Could new sire Old Fashioned have his first major prospect here? She’s listed as possible for the Spinaway along with stable mates Elena Strikes and Stopchargingmaria.

Due Diligence (turf) (colt, War Front – Bema by Pulpit) – The Chad Brown barn is heating up at the Spa, and with good reason with future stars like this grass runner. The full brother to impressive allowance winner Console bolted to the lead and was never tested in a statement romp going five-and-a-half furlongs. Even geared down he posted a solid time of 1:02.65. The field was made up of newcomers, but the manner in which this colt handled his first race suggests he’s already ahead of his peers. Another one in a line of War Front winning warriors.

Solemnly Swear (colt, Yes It’s True – Sala de Oro by Expelled) – In last week’s edition of Weekly Watch, we noted the success of Yes It’s True’s juveniles this season. This Kelly Breen runner adds his name to the list after a blowout win by more than eight lengths at Monmouth Park in his third start. He put it all together while stretching out to a mile.

Evening Glow (filly, Stephen Got Even – Bronze Glow by Devil’s Bag) – It’s safe to say few expected this kind of performance from this 6-1 debut starter at Penn National. The Pennsylvania-bred snatched the lead and was never tested, pulling away to romp by more than 14 lengths. The Bernard Houghton trainee posted a solid time of :58.27 for five furlongs against state-bred company.

*Fascinating (filly, Smart Strike – Untouched Talent by Storm Cat) – Patience is the key with this half-sister to Bodemeister, who continues to develop with each start. She finished a flying third behind the talented Bajan (Speightstown) and Southern Susnhine (High Cotton) in her second start for trainer Bob Baffert. She’s getting there and likely needs more than these shorter distances.

Kelly Breen has several top 2-year-olds at Monmouth

Kelly Breen has several top 2-year-olds at Monmouth

Stonetastic (filly, Mizzen Mast – Special Me by Unbridled’s Song) – Trainer Kelly Breen is having another sharp Monmouth meet with his juveniles, and this gray filly was a perfect example as she won by more than 12 lengths in front-running fashion on debut. Mizzen Mast continues to roam under the radar as a productive sire.

*Boheme de Lavi (filly, Graeme Hall – Salty N Sassy by Salt Lake) – We tabbed this Florida-bred as one to watch next out after her just-miss debut showing at Gulfstream Park. She followed up as expected, winning handily going six-and-a-half furlongs at Calder. Graeme Hall could have a nice crop of 2-year-olds developing.

Clenor (turf) (filly, Oratorio – Chantarella by Royal Academy) – This Irish-bred, purchased privately in July, made heads turn in her U.S. debut and fourth career start with a last-to-first win on grass at Del Mar. The fast pace set up in her favor, and she took advantage, but she was much the best after going four wide into the stretch and making up substantial ground; she’s a little green, but this is another intriguing juvenile prospect for trainer Doug O’Neill.


Sweet Reason (filly, Street Sense – Livermore Leslie by Mt. Livermore) – Tough to tell if the sloppy track boosted her debut performance, but either way, her late run down the stretch ranks as one of the more memorable efforts of the Saratoga meet. She was last in the field of eight until the stretch rally.

Indigo Kitten (turf) (colt, Kitten’s Joy – Blue Holiday by Cure the Blues) – A terrible start in which this colt hit the gate and collided with a rival negates this ninth-place debut and it should be a toss race. Look for this Wesley Ward trainee when he returns at Keeneland or Churchill. Another one to watch from this race is Breakeven Analysis (Lemon Drop Kid) who finished second for Chad Brown.

Deceived (colt, Broken Vow – Naughty Natisha by Known Fact) – This New York-bred is another to watch next out after a troubled debut. The Leah Gyarmati trainee hit the gate with his hindquarters and started in the back of the pack, yet still managed to finish a rallying third over the sloppy track behind winner Free Mugatu (Utopia).

Bluegrass Flash (turf) (colt, Bluegrass Cat – To Marquet by Marquetry) – A notable debut at 1 1/16-miles on grass for this half-brother of Discreet Marq and Marquet Cat for trainer Christophe Clement. After lagging behind the field in last, he embarked on a rally, surging past the field and landing in a battle with Marvin’s Miracle (Cosmonaut). He fell short, but Marvin’s Miracle had the added benefit of a prior race.

First Daughter (filly, First Samurai – A.P. Investment by A.P. Indy) – She rallied for fourth after a slow start in her debut sprinting at Calder; appealing pedigree and she likely needs more ground.

Mosler (colt, War Front – Gold Vault by Arch) – This Bill Mott first-time starter was fourth in what could evolve into a key Saratoga race that featured winner In Trouble (Tiz Wonderful) and runner-up Sound of Freedom (War Front). This colt should benefit from the experience and boasts a multi-surface pedigree.

Just Call Kenny (colt, Jump Start – Green Jeans by Green Dancer) – Nice debut win at Monmouth for the Virginia-bred, and also an impressive comeback for second by Gadget Man (Honour and Glory), who jumped in the air in the break and rallied from last.

Honorable Judge (colt, Afleet Alex – Lucky Again by Wild Again) – Solid winning debut going a mile at Parx for this full brother to Breeders’ Cup Marathon winner Afleet Again; Equibase notes “with speed to spare.”

Arabella’s Muse (filly, Finality – Excited Miss by Mass Market) – This British Columbia-bred is the talk of Hastings Park after she romped by more than 13 lengths in her debut going six-and-a-half furlongs; a stellar time of 1:16.43 for this track and class. Her dam, Excited Miss, was 6 of 8 for her career with five stakes wins at Hastings.

Charismata (filly, Curlin – Jack’s Little Girl by Broad Brush) – Yet another Curlin juvenile lands on the radar after a victorious debut at Emerald Downs for trainer Doris Harwood.

Tower of Texas (colt, Street Sense – Rare Opportunity by Danzig Connection) – He was no match for winner Jose Sea View (Badge of Silver) in his debut at Woodbine, but this colt has a winning pedigree, likely needed a race and could move up with a switch to dirt or turf. He is a sibling of multiple stakes winner Street Sounds and also Silver Highlight, who won a 10-furlong stake on turf at Woodbine.


Productive match: The War Front-Pulpit cross

August 13th, 2013

By J.J. Hysell

Breeding trends can be difficult to define with so many variables in play. One cross in particular, however, has recently emerged as a standout.

The blend of sire War Front with a Pulpit mare has produced four dominant winners in the past two weeks. Two of them were first-time starters.

The flurry of winners began with Departing, out of the mare Leave, who won the Grade 2 West Virginia Derby on August 3. Trained by Al Stall and owned by Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider, the gelding has flashed talent throughout his career. He won the Texas Heritage Stakes and the Grade 3 Illinois Derby and is five of seven overall.

One of the most talked about winners of the Saratoga meet is Console, out of the mare Bema. Trained by Bill Mott and also owned by Claiborne and Dilschneider, the lightly raced 4-year-old stamped himself as a turf sprinter to watch with his scintillating, front-running win going five-and-a-half furlongs in an allowance optional claiming contest on Aug. 7. He finished in a snappy 1:01.82. He began his career with a victory at Kentucky Downs, won on the synthetic at Keeneland and is three of five overall.

The War Front domination spread to the West Coast as debut runner Diamond Bachelor, out of the mare Seasoned, proved a runaway victor going a mile on turf at Del Mar. Trained by Patrick Biancone and owned by Diamond 100 Racing Club, the colt tracked the pace before he took the lead and drew off by more than three lengths. He is likely to make his next start in the Oak Tree Juvenile Turf on Sept. 4.

The most recent winner from this cross is Due Diligence, a full brother to Console trained by Chad Brown and owned by William Lawrence and Klaravich Stables. The colt was sent off as the heavy favorite in his debut race at Saratoga Aug. 12 going five-and-a-half furlongs on turf and lived up to his billing. He cruised in a romp, untested.

Another to follow from this cross is Native Bombshell, a 3-year-old filly out of the mare Flat Screen trained by Chad Brown. She won two of three before taking some time off. She has recently returned to training at Belmont.



Changes to Kentucky Derby, Kentucky Oaks points series for 2014

August 9th, 2013

The new Road to the Kentucky Derby points series was released Friday, August 9, and there are a few notable changes.

Races added and dropped from points system

Races added and dropped from points system

There are also several alterations to the Road to the Kentucky Oaks system as well.

Two races were added to the Derby points series: the Iroquois at Churchill Downs on Sept. 7, worth 10 points to the winner, and the Jerome at Aqueduct on Jan. 4, also worth 10 points to the winner.

Dropped from the list: the Royal Lodge at Newmarket, the CashCall Futurity at Hollywood Park, the Sam F. Davis at Tampa Bay Downs and the Derby Trial at Churchill Downs. The Lexington at Keeneland was changed from a 20-point race to a 10-point race.

The Breeders’ Cup Juvenile remains a 10-point race in the “Prep Season” portion of the series.

Six races were dropped from the Kentucky Oaks points trail: the Fillies’ Mile at Newmarket, the Hollywood Starlet at Hollywood Park, the Old Hat at Gulfstream Park, the UAE 1,000 Guineas at Meydan in Dubai, the California Oaks at Golden Gate and the Cicada at Aqueduct.

The Busher at Aqueduct on Feb. 1 – which produced this year’s Oaks winner Princess of Sylmar – was added with 10 points to the winner. The Beaumont at Keeneland on April 13 was reduced from 20 points to 10 points.

Link to the full list of races in each series for 2014:


Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic to return to Distaff

August 8th, 2013


The Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic, for fillies and mares 3-years-old and older, will be returned to its original name, the Breeders’ Cup Distaff.

The Breeders’ Cup Distaff, the race’s name from 1984 through 2007, will continue to be run as the final race of the five Breeders’ Cup races scheduled on November 1 at Santa Anita. Saturday’s program will consist of nine Breeders’ Cup races, culminating with the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic, which will be shown live and in primetime on NBC. The $2 million Breeders’ Cup Distaff will be run at 1 1/8 miles.

“We restored the Ladies’ Classic to its original name due to feedback from our loyal fans who have a strong affinity for the Distaff,” said Craig Fravel, Breeders’ Cup President and CEO. “In recognition of our 30th year, the Distaff has provided us with some of racing’s most remarkable moments, personified by such outstanding Thoroughbreds as Lady’s Secret, Personal Ensign, Azeri, Zenyatta, and our two-time defending champion, Royal Delta. It is a fitting tribute to bring back the name Distaff to honor the rich history of the Championships.”



Bill Farish elected Breeders’ Cup chairman

August 7th, 2013


Breeders’ Cup Board of Directors voted Bill Farish, Jr., of Lane’s End Farm, as Board Chairman. Farish succeeds Tom Ludt, who has served as Chairman the past two years, and will remain a Director.

Farish was Breeders’ Cup Chairman from 2006 through April 2011. He will serve a two year-term.

“I am honored with the privilege to serve our nominators and our participating horsemen again as Breeders’ Cup Chairman,” said Farish. “I look forward to working with our Members and Directors to strengthen our organization and to continue our mission of growth and enhancement of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships as the leading international Thoroughbred racing event year after year.”

Analysis: 2-year-olds to Watch

August 6th, 2013

ITM analysis of the top 2-year-olds to watch from: July 31 – August 7

(* denotes a previous ITM Horse to Watch)


*Boji Moon (gelding, Cactus Ridge – Philadelphia Moon by Malibu Moon) – The Iowa-bred proved his superb debut win was no fluke when he followed up with a 12 1/2-length tour of force in the Iowa Cradle Stakes. He’s won his two starts by a combined 23 1/4 lengths. The real test for this Chris Richard runner will be open company if he lands there. With that pedigree, it will be no surprise if he will be competitive with any rivals; an under-the-radar one to watch.

*Alberts Hope (gelding, Run Away and Hide – Accepting Fate by Saint Ballado) – Trainer Mike Puype bumped him up to stakes company after his impressive debut win at Hollywood Park, and the Kentucky-bred proved he belonged with a hard-fought win over Celtic Moon (Denis of Cork) in the Best Pal at six-and-a-half furlongs. Alberts Hope had the edge on trip thanks to jockey Alonso Quinonez electing to move to the outside instead of venturing inside for the stretch battle.

Mike Puype: “I was kind of surprised by his first time out (win) because I had never really pushed on this horse. I think there’s a little bit more even than you’ve seen today. Obviously the next step is on to the (Del Mar) Futurity. We’ll give it a shot and see if he’s good enough.  He doesn’t owe anyone anything after this win (considering) what we paid for him ($40,000).”

*Yes I’m Lucky (turf) (colt, Yes It’s True – Whenthedoveflies by Dove Hunt) – The wins keep coming for juveniles by sire Yes It’s True. This Eddie Plesa runner remains undefeated in three starts with a win going five furlongs on the grass in the Tyro Stakes. Strong ride on the inside path by Paco Lopez as Yes I’m Lucky dueled with stable mate Run for Logistics (Bernstein) and dispatched him in late stretch. This is a multi-surface stakes winner with appealing qualities for sprint to middle distance. Draw a line through this race for Choctaw Chuck (Bwana Charlie), who stumbled at the start and had difficulty finding his footing on the turf.

*General Jack (turf) (colt, Giant’s Causeway – J’ray by Distant View) – His superb maiden-breaking win in the Shakopee Juvenile at Canterbury – in which he stopped the clock in a notable 1:29.70 for the seven-and-a-half furlongs – flatters one of our top 2-year-olds to watch on turf, Tiger Bourbon. This Mike Maker runner was second to Tiger Bourbon in his debut and looks to have a bright future.

Got Shades (turf) (colt, Pollard’s Vision – Melancholy by Run Softly) – He benefitted from remaining positioned behind the fray – in which several horses were forced wide on the first turn – but there’s no doubt this was an inspiring performance in the Sunny’s Halo Stakes by this Kentucky-bred. He posted a solid time of 1:29.77 for the seven-and-a-half furlongs on turf.

Nevada Deputy (turf) (filly, Pollard’s Vision – Northern Deputy by Deputy Commander) – The favorite in the Donnie Wilhite Memorial Stakes was stymied by traffic issues and could only muster third; she remains one to watch.

*Lookingoodinatux (colt, Fusaichi Pegasus – Polish Nana by Polish Numbers) – Our post on him after his last outing, a second place finish in the CTBA Futurity: “This Colorado-bred has finished second in two starts but is on the verge of a maiden-breaking win.” In his next start, he won the Silver Cup Futurity as the heavy favorite.

Rise Up (colt, Rockport Harbor – Appenzell by Johannesburg) – He’s won two straight – on two different surfaces – including a dominating win in the Mountaineer Juvenile Stakes.


Awesome Baby (filly, Awesome Again – Miss Attractive by Running Stag) – You know a Bob Baffert youngster with this name has to be good – and she proved it in her first start, a speedy win at Del Mar that is the top-ranked of the meet so far. She set blistering fractions on the lead (:21.80, :45.03) and finished up easily in 1:03.14 for the five-and-a-half furlongs. Physically she displays the toughness that appears to be a genetic trait of the Awesome Again line. Keep an eye on this one.

King Cyrus (colt, Bellamy Road – Queen of Empire by Empire Maker) – While his win wasn’t lauded by the railbirds, this was an impressive first start for the Todd Pletcher trainee. He didn’t have everything his way, as he was forced to concede his early lead and stalk the pace, sitting wide off the two leaders. That was no quick pace or easy set up, either, as the front-runners cruised in moderate fractions. He took control in the stretch and drew off to win by 11 in 1:24.68. The Bellamy Road progeny haven’t been the buzz of late – this colt might change that.

Louisiana Flyboy (colt, Fusaichi Pegasus – Montanis by More Than Ready) – A Calidoscopio-like performance by this Louisiana-bred first-time starter. He broke awkwardly and was bumped hard, spotting the field of 10 about seven lengths. He weaved his way through the crowd, was guided to the outside going six wide and passed the entire field to win going away. An impressive and memorable debut for this Patrick Mouton trainee:

Dunkin Bend (colt, Dunkirk – Misty Run by Vindication) – He had things his way in his second start, winning easily on the front end against mostly inexperienced foes. Most important to note is he is the second winner, along with Base Case Scenario, to emerge from a key race won by Candy Dandy (Candy Ride) at Churchill Downs. The buzz will be his when he runs in the Saratoga Special.

Milam (filly, Street Sense – Autumnal by Forestry) – After jumping to a quick lead in :22.43, it looked like it was all over for Milam when J J Julep drew alongside of her in the first turn of the six-furlong test at Ellis Park. Instead of conceding to her experienced foe, this first-time starter for Eddie Kenneally, with jockey Brian Hernandez aboard, turned back the challenge and put some distance on the field, winning by more than three lengths. The final time of 1:09.72 is standout for this level and circuit. A definite for the virtual stable.

Could Shug McGaughey have another future star in Guilty Verdict?

Could Shug McGaughey have another future star in Guilty Verdict?

Guilty Verdict (filly, Medaglia d’Oro – Smuggler by Unbridled) – She couldn’t reach winner Enquete (Indian Charlie), but this debut starter for Shug McGaughey – who is out of multiple Grade 1 winner Smuggler – flashed some talent and showed she just needs more distance than six furlongs. She broke last in the field of five and started to make up ground in the stretch; her appealing long stride stood out in this field.

Noosito (colt, Harbor the Gold – Julia Rose by Basket Weave) – This full-brother to Emerald Downs legend and recently retired Noosa Beach flashed his genetic talent with a debut win at five-and-a-half furlongs. He was a bit green in the stretch but much the best.

Crowded Hour (gelding, Two Step Salsa – Foxy Duck by Foxhound) – Sharp debut run from off the pace as this Troy Wismer trainee went five-wide to move past the leaders. He would’ve won by more, but he was forced to check in the stretch run of the five-and-a-half furlong test at Presque Isle.


Whatsallthedrama (filly, Whatsthescript – Drama Cat by Tale of the Cat) – After forging her way through traffic, this Jerry Hollendorfer trainee displayed a powerful late turn of foot when she left the field behind and won by more than three lengths. No one claimed her for $50,000 out of the Del Mar sprint, so look for this California-bred to move up the class ladder.

Interchange (colt, Fairbanks – Princess Lynn by Devil His Due) – Appealing stride on this Thomas Clark runner who won his debut at Delaware Park.

Lotsa Mischief (colt, Into Mischief – Saucy Countess by Tabasco Cat) – Strong second-start showing by this Dan McFarlane trainee. He set fast fractions on the lead (:22.27, :45.91), and, instead of succumbing when challenged on the turn, he drew a second wind and ran off by nine lengths. Sire Into Mischief continues to impress with juvenile winners, particularly at sprint distances.

Hayq’s Fable (gelding, Elhayq – Fairy Fable by Fairy King) – Fractious and distracted in his debut, he returned for his second start more focused and delivered an eye-catching, front-running romp at Fairmount Park. This Illinois-bred boasts an intriguing pedigree as the son of the Shadwell runner Elhayq, who won the Bowling Green Handicap, and a strong Northern Dancer influence throughout.

City by the Bay (filly, City Zip – Glitter Time by Glitterman) – Speedy debut by this William Morey trainee, who covered the five furlongs in :57.62 at Santa Rosa.

Wry (colt, Distorted Humor – High Heels by E Dubai) – He failed as the favorite in his debut at Ellis Park, but he was hampered by a troubled start that left him spotting the field about 15 lengths. He will likely benefit from the race and move forward with that appealing pedigree.

High Roll (gelding, Roman Ruler – Wild Crazy Lady by Touch Gold) – No surprise this half-brother of Muppet Man took to the synthetic in his debut. The James DiVito runner snatched the lead and didn’t look back, posting swift fractions and crossing the wire in 1:05.45 for the five-and-a-half furlongs, a solid time for first-timers on synthetic at Arlington.

My T Swift (filly, Spring at Last – T Swift by Tomahawk) – The stretch run came down to a battle between this first-time starter and an experienced foe, Stormin Wendy, who got the edge. This was a sharp debut in the slop for the Hamilton Smith Maryland-bred, who might appreciate a fast strip or surface switch next out.

Aotearoa (gelding, Good Journey – Madera Royal by Lil Tyler) – Sharp debut by this California-bred against state-bred competition. He tracked the leaders and maintained a high cruising speed in the stretch, pulling away to win by more than four lengths and finishing the five-and-a-half furlongs in 1:03.76.

Andallthatitmeans (gelding, Cause to Believe – Mascaretta by Regal Remark) – With a couple of solid races to his credit, this British Columbia-bred put it all together in the British Columbia Cup Nursery Stakes, romping by more than 10 lengths. Decent time of 1:17.34 for the six and a half furlongs. Sire Cause to Believe, a multiple graded stakes winner, is one to watch on the Canadian circuit.


Indian Charlie yearlings prove most wanted at Fasig-Tipton Saratoga’s second session

August 6th, 2013

By J.J. Hysell

Tuesday night proved more tempered both financially and in ambience as there were no million-dollar purchases – and no mystery bandit bidders, as we witnessed Monday.

The most coveted yearlings sold in the $600,000 – $700,000 range with an Indian Charlie leading the way. This is the final crop of yearlings for the sire, who died after a bout with cancer in Dec. 2011. The Tuesday night topper was a colt out of the Storm Cat mare Queenie Cat, a half-sister to Vindication. He was purchased by Stonestreet and George Bolton for $750,000.

Distorted Humor, one of In the Money’s Sires to Watch for this sale, continued to make a statement with two well-received yearlings. Solis Bloodstock purchased a bay filly out of the Forest Wildcat mare Remember for $650,000. A bay colt out of the Tiznow mare Life Well Lived, a full sister to Well Armed, was selected by Shadwell Estate for $525,000.

Spendthrift Farm took home one of In the Money’s top-ranked yearlings of the second session, a filly by Galileo out of the Storm Cat mare Song to Remember, for $600,000.

The buzz baby was the half-brother to Cross Traffic, a bay son of Medaglia d’Oro. The bidding was heated until the $600,000 mark, at which the hammer fell for Rick Porter and Fox Hill Farm.

Fox Hill Farm also added to its list a gray daughter by the departed Unbridled’s Song, out of the Wildcat Heir mare Richiegirlgonewild, for $300,000.

Mark Casse bought one of In the Money’s top-ranked yearlings, a bay son of Blame out of the A.P. Indy mare Tell Seattle. This half-brother to Paris Vegas, who sold for $200,000, is an intriguing blend of classic stamina bloodlines.

Another interesting purchase was a Pioneerof the Nile filly out of the Pivotal mare Silvester Lady, bought by John Fort for $200,000. Pioneerof the Nile runners are proving to be quite competitive on turf; this bay filly had the look of a future multi-surface talent and boasts a unique pedigree.

Stonestreet Stables took home an appealing son of Curlin out of the Pleasant Colony mare Party Chatter for $475,000.

Another Distorted Humor who caught the eye was a colt out of the Mineshaft mare Pink Diamond bought by Niall Brennan for Marc Keller for $310,000.

Popular owner Jake Ballis purchased the lone yearling by Munnings at the sale, a chestnut colt named Sir Alfred for $120,000.






Barry Irwin tabs top prospects from first night of Fasig-Tipton Saratoga

August 6th, 2013

By J.J. Hysell

Based on In the Money’s yearling evaluations, Team Valor and Barry Irwin walked away the winners on the first night of the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Select Yearlings Sale.

Irwin liked what he saw in a bouncy, energetic Indian Charlie filly, out of the Lemon Drop Kid mare Alpine Garden. Team Valor paid $600,000 for the dark bay filly, who boasts some stamina influence on the dam side to balance her speedy sire.

Barry Irwin

Barry Irwin

Irwin would also add In the Money’s top-rated opening night prospect to the list: a son of Medaglia d’Oro out of the A.P. Indy mare Crystal Current, a full sister to Majestic Warrior. This physically impressive colt has the look of a classic distance runner.

The sales topper was a Dynaformer filly who is a half-sister to Optimizer. The filly, labeled as one to watch by many based on both pedigree and conformation, was bought by Borges Torrealba for $1,225,000.

Live Oak Plantation selected two standouts: a colt by Tapit who is a half-brother to Black Onyx, bought for $500,000; and an exquisitely bred filly by Distorted Humor out of Cascading for $1,000,000.

Zayat Stables purchased two colts, one who could prove to be a bargain at $125,000. The colt is a strapping gray son of Ghostzapper who is a full brother to the talented Judy the Beauty.

The half-brother to Royal Delta, a son of Distorted Humor, quietly sold for $350,000 to Hartley/De Renzo Thoroughbreds.

Verna Lea Stables secured a chestnut Curlin filly, out of the Malibu Moon mare Evening Star, for a sharp $40,000.

The sale continues tonight and features siblings of Rumor, Giant Moon, Bluegrass Cat and Prospective.