Friday, June 26, 2009

Rock Hard Ten gets first winner in a big way

Freshman U.S. sire Rock Hard Ten scored his first winner Friday, and in a foreign stakes race, at that.

Filly Long Lashes, out of the unraced Boundary mare Border Dispute, stalked the pace and took control to win impressively in the Ballygallon Stud Stakes at The Curragh in Ireland. Time for the 6-furlong turf test was 1:15.24.

Fans of Rock Hard Ten -- namely this one -- will recall that the son of Kris S. was a big ol' boy (17 hands) who didn't race at 2, was pretty good at 3, but really came into his own at age 4. That he sends out a freshman "firster" to win, among stakes company, and on grass abroad (though certainly Kris S./Roberto is also a noted turf line), is a noteworthy accomplishment.

Long Lashes was bred by Robert V. LaPenta and Nick Zito, but owned by McElroy Syndicate, which paid $95,000 for her as a Keeneland September yearling, and trained by Jessica Harrington. She is a half-sister to the Group 2-placed filly Mythical Border (Johannesburg), who also won on her debut at 2 in Europe. Long Lashes' next effort, according to Harrington, who calls her "smart" in the U.K. "sharp, precocious and fast" sort of way, might come in the Moyglare Stud S.-G1 at The Curragh on Aug. 30, though she would have to be supplemented to the nominations in order to run.

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