Video of top Kentucky Derby contender Dortmund working 5 furlongs in :58.4 at Santa Anita on April 18. He’s scheduled to ship to Churchill Downs on April 26.
Horse racing insight that's loose on the lead
Video: Blue Grass Stakes winner Carpe Diem worked four furlongs in :48 flat Saturday at Keeneland.
In the Money Watch List for January 4:
1. Exodus (colt) – After decent performances on off tracks in two starts, this son of Medaglia d’Oro finally caught a fast track at Fair Grounds and flew home an easy winner. A solid time of 1:10.08 for this Larry Jones trainee, a half-brother of Cross Traffic, puts him square in the midst of the top 3-year-old performances this weekend. Pedigree suggests he’ll stretch out.
2. Itsaknockout (colt) – The son of Lemon Drop Kid got a tailor-made pace scenario at Gulfstream in his second start, but he won with such ease and is now 2 for 2 for trainer Todd Pletcher.
3. Season Ticket (filly) – Superb turf breeding showed itself on debut for this daughter of Lemon Drop Kid, out of the Montjieu mare Game, as she rallied powerfully to win over a solid field at Gulfstream for trainer Mark Casse.
4. Metaboss (colt) – You have to love the pedigree on this impressive turf runner who broke his maiden at Santa Anita: a son of Street Boss out of the Free House mare Spinning Yams.
5. In For the Money (colt) – We certainly like his name. This son of ITM Sire to Watch Eskendereya and a half-brother to Sheikinator is now 2 for 2 in sprints after winning an allowance at Sunland Park.
6. Outlash (colt) – This son of Unbridled’s Song, half-brother of For Greater Glory, had to fight for the win at Gulfstream in his first start. He appeared a bit heavy in the lane, but he should improve off this effort. He’s one of two strong 3-year-olds so far for the team of Todd Pletcher and Mike Repole; they also have Overcontrol, the debut-winning son of Tapit.
In the Money Watch List for January 3:
1. Shook Up (filly) – The daughter of Tapit, out of the successful mare Sugar Shake, dominated at Fair Grounds in her second start. Her win also flatters Skywarn, the half-sister of Close Hatches who defeated her at Churchill Downs.
2. Money Multiplier (colt) – With an eye-catching late rally for third in his debut at Aqueduct, this son of Lookin at Lucky – a half-brother of 2014 Risen Star winner Intense Holiday – is one to watch for Chad Brown.
3. Improv (filly) – This well-bred gray daughter of Distorted Humor was a solid second to Distinta in her debut at Gulfstream Park. She should appreciate a stretch-out from seven furlongs.
4. Mio Me (filly) – The daughter of Eskendereya has taken to turf and showed substantial improvement in her second start, a win at Santa Anita.
By J.J. Hysell
Champion Lookin at Lucky was successful throughout his career with nine wins in 13 starts, including five Grade 1 races. He made an early statement of his class by winning his first four tests, and it appears his progeny have inherited that quick learning curve. His youngsters are proving successful on all surfaces and at various distances.
Through October, the first-year sire boasts four North American stakes winners, including Grade 3 Iroquois victor Lucky Player. Lucky Player, a Florida-bred trained by Steve Asmussen, is 2 for 4 with both wins at Churchill Downs. He is expected to make his next start in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita on Nov. 1.
Good Luck Gus, a New York-bred trained by Rudy Rodriguez, broke his maiden at Saratoga on a sloppy track and later emerged victorious in the New York Breeders’ Futurity at Finger Lakes. Other stakes winners include Louisiana-bred Four Leaf Chief, who broke his maiden in a turf sprint and won the Louisiana Cup Juvenile Stakes on dirt, and Texas-bred Spider’s Alibi, winner of the Graduation Stakes at Assiniboia.
A 2-year-old who looks to have a bright future is Conquest Bigluck E, half-brother of Smitten, who is 2 for 2. The Mark Casse trainee won his debut at Churchill Downs in June with ease and was shipped to California for the Best Pal Stakes, but he was scratched due to a minor illness.
Conquest Bigluck E returned in fine form at Keeneland on Oct. 10. He came from off the pace and, with a very wide trip, closed impressively to win a 6 1/2-furlong allowance race. Owned by Conquest Stables, this colt should do well stretching out in distance and appears poised for a solid 3-year-old campaign.
Another eye-catching winner for the sire is Hopefaithjoy, who won her second start at 1 1/16-miles at Keeneland on Oct. 5. The Todd Pletcher trainee, campaigned by Starlight Ladies, was quite aggressive and feisty in the paddock and saddling ring prior to the race, but had energy to spare when the gates opened. The bay filly made a huge move at the five-sixteenths pole and dominated the field.
Bob Baffert, who trained Lookin at Lucky, has at least two prospects by his prolific Preakness winner: colt One Lucky Dane and filly Maybellene. After two starts on Del Mar synthetic, One Lucky Dane relished the move to dirt at Santa Anita, romping by more than nine lengths to break his maiden at a mile on Oct. 4.
Lookin at Lucky also has a multiple stakes-winning filly in Russia, Kentucky-bred Ultra C.
Lookin at Lucky stands for $15,000 at Ashford Stud in Kentucky.
By J.J. Hysell
We should get a good look at some of Eskendereya’s promising 2-year-olds as several are set to debut this week.
It’s interesting to note that trainer Todd Pletcher has three 2-year-olds by Eskendereya entered through Friday; all are slated for turf.
In Thursday’s first race at Belmont, a $75,000 maiden special weight at six furlongs on grass for fillies, Pletcher entered Eskenformoney and Isabella Sings for debut. Eskenformoney, with John Velazquez to ride from post No. 2, will start for StarLadies Racing, Starlight racing’s all-female ownership group.
Isabella Sings will break from the widest post, No. 7, with Joel Roasrio aboard. Owned by Siena Farms, she is a half-sister of Alaura Michele, who won two stakes races on turf at Saratoga: the P.G. Johnson and the Nani Rose. Pedigree suggests this filly could have a solid future on turf.
Friday’s fourth race at Belmont is one of the best 2-year-old turf races for colts so far this season. All eyes will be on the well-bred Security Risk for Shug McGaughey and Phipps Stable. It’s interesting the colt, a son of War Front out of champion Smuggler, is getting the nod to start here and not at Saratoga. Also well-bred for grass is Granny’s Kitten for Mike Maker and Ken and Sarah Ramsey. He’s a full brother to multiple graded stakes winner on turf Kitten’s Dumplings.
In this tough test, Pletcher entered Escondido, a son of Eskendereya set to start from post No. 6 with John Velazquez for Alto Racing, LLC. Escondido is half-brother of Cave’s Valley, who won his first three races – including two stakes races, all on dirt.
Pletcher’s other entry in that race, Reality with Javier Castellano for WinStar Farm, boasts an outstanding pedigree for turf. He is by Super Saver and out of the Danehill mare Dianehill.
Thursday’s seventh race at Delaware Park is also a strong 2-year-old contest for colts. Impromptu, a son of Eskendereya out of the very successful broodmare Magical Flash, is set to debut for Cathal Lynch and Stonstreet Stables in the five-furlong, $35,000 maiden special weight test on dirt.
Magical Flash’s list of winners includes multiple stakes winner Glinda the Good, Churchill Distaff Turf Mile winner Take the Ribbon, Flash Forward and Bright Magic. Impromptu will start from the widest post (No. 9) with Frankie Pennington aboard.
This race also features Malibu Park, half-brother of Divine Park making his first start for Larry Jones, and the well-bred Pride of Stride for Graham Motion.
Some of the top 2-year-olds that competed at Churchill Downs during the Spring meet.
Conquest Bigluck E
(Lookin at Lucky)
Mark Casse/ Alan Garcia/Conquest Stables
One of the best-looking 2-year-olds on the grounds, this strapping chestnut could pass for a 3-year-old with his size and maturity. The half-brother of Smitten won his debut at 4.5 furlongs with ease.
Take Charge Brandi
D. Wayne Lukas/Corey Lanerie/Willis Horton
In her debut, this striking filly lived up to the hype that came with her pedigree. Her dam, Charming, is half-sister of last year’s 3-year-old champion Will Take Charge. She resembles the champ in many ways, and although her pedigree didn’t signal early success, she beat what appeared to be a solid field with ease at 4.5 furlongs. She’s headed to Saratoga.
D. Wayne Lukas/Corey Lanerie/Zayat Stables
This chestnut colt looked ready to roll with a professional demeanor in the paddock prior to his debut. He pressed blazing fractions set by Louisiana Brown (:21. 54, :45.12), appeared beaten, was brought to the outside and re-rallied to win in an amazing performance at six furlongs.
Promise Me Silver
W. Bret Calhoun/Robby Albarado/Robert Luttrell
This speedy gray filly by promising freshman sire Silver City easily moved from state-bred company at Lone Star to a Debutante Stakes win.
Steve Asmussen/Shaun Bridgmohan/Corinne and William Heiligbrodt
A well-bred sprinter who was early to the winner’s circle, he won his debut at 4.5 furlongs on May 9. He returned on closing weekend to beat a decent field in the Grade 3 Bashford Manor. Both of his wins were gate to wire.
Mark Casse/Alan Garcia/Melnyk Racing Stables
On a steamy June day, this daughter of Grade 1 winner Pool Land showed her cool temperament by returning to the winner’s circle energetic and looking like she wanted to take another trip. Her debut was nothing short of perfect as she stalked, took the lead and drew off to win at 4.5 furlongs. She will be offered as part of the Melnyk dispersal at the Fasig-Tipton July sale.
Mark Casse/Shaun Bridgmohan/Conquest Stables
In a strong field of 11 going six furlongs, this filly didn’t let a rival pass, winning gate to wire on debut. One of several promising Malibu Moon youngsters to run at this meet.
Eddie Kenneally/Julien Leparoux/GoldMark Farm and Whisper Hill Farm
This registered black filly delivered a solid performance in her debut, going six-wide to rally for second behind Conquest Eclipse. She’s muscular and athletic; the future is bright.
Redlace and Pearls
(Line of David)
Steve Hobby/Joe Rocco, Jr./Alex and JoAnn Lieblong
A troubled trip in her debut, she was caught up in an early pace duel with Conquest Eclipse and couldn’t last. Physically she made quite an impression and could take some time to grow.
Ian Wilkes/Brian Hernandez/Milner, Bloch, Seiler and Hall
This is a well-built router who should flourish once she stretches out. She was bumped at the start but still managed to rally for a late-closing fourth to Conquest Eclipse.
Mark Casse/Shaun Bridgmohan/Conquest Stables
This daughter of new sire Blame was hampered by a troubled start in her debut. She rallied to finish second to the talented Take Charge Brandi at 4.5 furlongs. Out of the Pulpit dam Hot Attraction, she’ll enjoy longer distances.
(Lookin at Lucky)
Steve Asmussen/Julien Leparoux/Jerry Durant
Although this Florida-bred never got going in the Bashford Manor Stakes, he’s one to watch for longer distances.
Kellyn Gorder/Julien Leparoux/Bourbon Lane Stable
Last at the start of his debut, this colt made up substantial ground to finish third behind speedy pacesetters Mr. Z and Louisiana Brown. He won’t be a maiden long.
Mark Casse/Stewart Elliott/John Oxley
An even third in the Bashford Manor, he’s more dangerous on synthetic or turf, where he is tough to beat.
Oh Kay See
Steve Asmussen/Ricardo Santana/Asmsusen and Clark Brewster
The Pennsylvania-bred half-sister to So Many Ways likely needed that debut race in which she was fourth behind Take Charge Brandi. She boasts a quality, speedy pedigree.
Also to watch:
Tapitsphere (Tapit) – Steve Asmussen/Rosie Napravnik/Winchell Thoroughbreds
Highway to Fame (Monarchos) – William Fires/Nathan Chaves/Anthony J. Foyt, Jr.
Lockport (Temple City) – Eddie Kenneally/Corey Lanerie/Kenneally, Greathouse, Logan
Sky Bistro (Sky Mesa) – Mark Casse/Stewart Elliott/John Oxley
Unbridled Reward (Warior’s Reward) – Mark Casse/Alan Garcia/John Oxley
Boomshakalaka (Sky Mesa) – Bernard Flint/Francisco Torres/Bernard Muth
The Bashford Manor, Kelly’s Landing and Firecracker were just a few highlights from closing weekend of the 2014 spring meet at Churchill Downs.
By J.J. Hysell
You’ve heard the stories about astute claims in horse racing. In the claiming game, it’s all about finding a star that’s yet to be discovered. That’s just what happened with 3-year-old For Goodness Sake.
The son of Big Brown didn’t draw much attention when he finished seventh in a turf route in his first start on Dec. 22 at Gulfstream Park for trainer Chad Brown and owner Hoffman Thoroughbreds. He broke from the rail post and was “headstrong” in his debut according to the Equibase chart – not unusual for a first-time starter.
For his 3-year-old debut on Feb. 8, the colt was dropped into a maiden claiming race at a mile on dirt at Gulfstream. Once again, he drew the rail post, but this time he showed marked improvement. The colt rallied five-wide from off the pace and finished a strong third.
Trainer Michael Tomlinson and ownership group V-Leaf Stables saw something they liked about For Goodness Sake and claimed him for $50,000. It’s proved a wise decision.
Since finishing sixth off a layoff on May 3 when adding blinkers in his first start at Churchill Downs, For Goodness Sake has looked like a rejuvenated colt.
His breakout race was on May 25 at Churchill, a stretch-out to 1 1/8-miles on dirt. This was his announcement to the racing world. For Goodness Sake, at 8-1 with Brian Hernandez aboard, drew off and won by more than 10 lengths. He covered the distance in 1:51.56 with a final split of 12:28.
Bettors still weren’t convinced when he returned to the Churchill track to face winners for the first time in a salty 1 1/16-mile allowance race on June 28. Among his competitors were 2013 Kentucky Derby runner-up Golden Soul, graded stakes-placed Rankhasprivileges and Wizardly. For Goodness Sake went off as the third betting choice at 4-1.
Once again, the son of Big Brown showed his development. This time Hernandez guided him straight to the lead, and he held his foes at bay with a dominant win by 6 3/4-lengths. He finished in 1:43.77 with a sharp final split of 6:08.
It’s no surprise For Goodness Sake appreciates these dirt route races. In addition to being by Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Big Brown, he has strong stamina influence on his dam side through Old Trieste (A.P. Indy) and Ms. Paragon (Tank’s Prospect).
This late bloomer has proven to be a wise claim by the connections and he appears to be a stakes-quality colt. He is also quite the personality, a horse who is playful and likes to have fun. His favorite game is “pull my tongue.”
Thanks to Jonathan and Melissa Cozart for sharing these pictures of For Goodness Sake showing his fun side on a recent visit.
By J.J. HYSELL
There’s no bigger story in 2-year-old racing right now than new sire Warrior’s Reward.
The son of Medaglia d’Oro is off to a tremendous start with his first crop. He had three winners with his first three starters – all debuting fillies – on May 30. (http://inthemoneypost.com/new-sire-warriors-reward-has-three-winners-from-three-starters-friday/) The impressive romp by Bad Read Sanchez for trainer Doug O’Neill at Santa Anita Park on June 20 made it 4 for 4 for first-time starters.
While these youngsters are racking up the early wins, indications are many of them will show continued success as the distances increase.
Progeny of Lookin at Lucky continue to show early success as well. The sire recorded a winner over turf in Europe, Lady Desire, victorious at Hamilton in her second start.
Lookin at Lucky had two winners in the early 2-year-old races this meet at Churchill Downs, both sharp debuts by colts: Lucky Player (Steve Asmussen) and Conquest Bigluck E (Mark Casse).
I wrote about Texas-based freshman sire Silver City in the May report (http://inthemoneypost.com/itm-2-year-old-report-for-the-week-of-may-19/) and he continues to have winners. Promise Me Silver, one of my top 2-year-olds to watch, won the Debutante Stakes at Churchill and became Silver City’s first stakes winner. The gray filly is also the second straight Debutante winner for trainer Bret Calhoun, who won last year with another Texas-bred star, Fiftyshadesofgold.
Just like Fiftyshadesofgold, who was third in the Grade 2 Adirondack in her third start, Promise Me Silver could make her next start at Saratoga.
“I had a lot of optimism for Silver City because he was a very talented horse, but he never really got to show all his talent because of some injuries,” Calhoun said after the Debutante. “We loved him as a race horse and I thought with his pedigree he would go on to be a good stallion prospect.”
Calhoun’s Alamo City is another Silver City youngster to watch after he won his second start at Lone Star. The trainer and sire could have a stakes double at Churchill as Calhoun is expected to enter Silverhill, a debut winner at Lone Star, in Saturday’s Grade 3 Bashford Manor.
The fillies are stealing the spotlight as we near the end of the Churchill Downs meet. On June 22, trainer D. Wayne Lukas unveiled the promising Take Charge Brandi, a daughter of Giant’s Causeway. She is out of Charming, a half-sister of last year’s 3-year-old champion Will Take Charge, and the resemblance between the two chestnuts is striking.
She was hustled to the lead by jockey Corey Lanerie and extended in the lane for a 2 1/2-length win over Conquest Archangel in the 4 1/2-furlong test.
Conquest Archangel, a daughter of Blame trained by Mark Casse, was hampered by a slow start and should improve with this race experience as well as added distance.
On the same day, Casse’s well-bred Bedford Land, a daughter of Speightstown out of Grade 1 winner Pool Land (Silver Deputy), dominated in her debut at 4 1/2-furlongs. She posted a sharp time of :52.08. Bedford Land will be offered as part of the Melnyk dispersal at the Fasig-Tipton Sale on July 14.
It’s interesting to note that most winners Sunday were lathered up and taxed after their races in the 90-degree heat. Bedford Land was energetic, didn’t appear tired and her final time was slightly better than that of Take Charge Brandi: :52.08 compared to :52.26.
In California, Bob Baffert’s Enchanting Lady, a filly by Tale of the Cat out of the A.P. Indy mare A.P. Baby, showed marked improvement with her scintillating win in the 5 1/2-furlong Landaluce Stakes at Santa Anita. Her pedigree is a nice blend of speed and stamina.
Another new sire climbing the ranks is Midshipman, who notched his third winner with Naval Command. The Florida-bred filly, who went off as the heavy favorite at Gulfstream in her debut for trainer Bill Kaplan, came from off the pace on a sloppy track to win at 4 1/2-furlongs. Based on his pedigree and career on the track, it won’t be a surprise if many of the Midshipman progeny win early and are promising, speedy sprinters/milers.
One of the top performances by a 2-year-old filly this season belongs to Fashion Alert, a daughter of Old Fashioned trained by Todd Pletcher. This filly out of Titan Queen (Tiznow) showed her class by easily winning her first start, the Astoria Stakes at Belmont, in front-running fashion. She defeated highly regarded Liatris and stamped herself as a graded stakes prospect with the eye-catching performance.
Pletcher said the Grade 3 Schuylerville at Saratoga is likely next for Fashion Alert.
Sire Tapit hasn’t missed out on some of the early glory. Tapitsphere, trained by Steve Asmussen for Winchell Thoroughbreds, showed a nice turn of foot when he came from off the pace to win at 5 1/2-furlongs at Churchill Downs. Like most Tapits, he was slightly green, but he is certainly one to watch.
Distorted Humor always provides some promising early prospects. That trend continues this season. Nonna’s Boy, trained by Todd Pletcher for Repole Stable, handled his debut at Belmont Park with ease. The bay colt went to the lead and separated himself from the field in the win over a muddy track.
Another son of Distorted Humor to watch is Assorted Humour, a half-brother of multiple graded stakes winner Great Hunter trained by Glenn Delahoussaye. This chestnut colt pressed blazing early fractions and still won handily in a five-furlong test at Evangeline.
Several intriguing juveniles have recently been unveiled at Woodbine, with none receiving more attention than the precocious Mark Casse-trained Conquest Tsunami. A strapping Ontario-bred colt by Stormy Atlantic, he has been untouchable in two starts on synthetic, including an easy win in the Victoria Stakes. Stormy Atlantic progeny are known for their affinity for synthetic tracks, so this colt’s ability on dirt is unknown, but look out if he is multi-surface.
Adrosa Sky is another Woodbine-based Casse runner to watch. The chestnut colt by Sky Mesa dominated the field and finished the 4 1/2-furlongs in :52.05.
Seffeara, an Ontario-bred gelding by Old Forester trained by Steve Owens, also made an impression at Woodbine. He set a track record for 4 1/2-furlongs (:51.01) in his tremendous debut, which he won by more than 11 lengths. While Old Forester progeny often take to synthetic, this newcomer looks quite talented.
Other Woodbine winners to watch include Sweet Dreams, a filly by Candy Ride for Gail Cox, and speedy Unhindered, a gray filly by Stormy Atlantic for Ralph Biamonte.
Jerry Hollendorfer is leading the way with his 2-year-olds on the West Coast. Heart of Paradise, a daughter of More Than Ready, tops the list after her five-furlong jog in :57.76 under Corey Nakatani at Santa Anita. She boasts the perfect pedigree for middle distances and could be a multi-surface talent.
Calhoun continues to deliver with promising 2-year-olds on the Texas circuit, including Vivian da Bling. The gray daughter of Too Much Bling won by more than nine lengths going five furlongs in her debut at Lone Star.
Also at Lone Star, Unbridled Kid, a son of Songandaprayer trained by Karl Broberg, romped by more than seven lengths in his debut.
One of the top 2-year-old performances by a colt in Florida belongs to Tizcano. a son of Tiznow trained by Michael Yates. In his first start at Gulfstream, facing challengers with experience, he proved much the best and finished the 4 1/2-furlongs in :51.52.
The record holder for this distance is Dekabrist, a son of Street Boss trained by Gennadi Dorochenko, who won by 15 lengths in his debut and finished in :51.31. He is now 2 for 2 at Gulfstream after a victory in the Kodiak Island Stakes.