Sunday, April 18, 2010

My picks to bloom from Adena Springs juvenile sale

Adena Springs' annual Florida sale of 2-year-olds in training takes place this afternoon at the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. facility, and the book of 46 juveniles has some interesting offerings on pedigree.

Since this sale is an Adena Springs showcase -- and Adena Springs typically doesn't deal in dirt-cheap stock -- many of the colts and fillies are fairly obvious prospects on pedigree, like the very first to be sold this afternoon, Hip 1, a chestnut colt named Peasant. He is a Kentucky-bred by Breeders' Cup Classic winner Awesome Again and out of the Meadowlake mare Abby Girl, a listed stakes winner at Santa Anita who was twice G1-placed. (Although I can give you a knock on this one: His dam has produced five foals of racing age, four to race, and only two winners.)

So I hope to apply my discerning eye to find those who might be a little less apparent, but still deserve consideration for "most likely to succeed" status among the 2010 graduating class of Adena Springs juveniles.

That process resulted in just a quartet of offerings, all fillies, from the 46-horse catalog.

The under-tack show was set to begin at 8 a.m., with resulting video to be posted at the Web site. But it's now nearly noon, and I still can't seem to access those videos. (Update, I can get to them now, at 1 p.m., though for me sometimes the links to Hips 2 and 11 don't work. Try hitting refresh in your browser if they don't download correctly and you get a dead-link page.)

The sale itself starts at 6 p.m.

Four to watch from the 2010 Adena Springs Sale of 2-year-olds in Training at OBS

Hip 2: Abrianna, chestnut filly by Lemon Drop Kid-Ain't She Awesome, by Awesome Again. Here's the first foal for which I'm going to offer observations without necessarily a recommendation. Her dam flashed brief talent, placing second in a quality race (earning $11,760) in her only lifetime start. But one start is never a good sign, and this mare has produced two other foals of racing age (by Golden Missile and Alphabet Soup) and neither has made it to the track. Adena Springs tried to move the mare at the 2009 Keeneland November sale in foal to Bernardini, and she was an RNA at $100,000 -- the advertised price of the stud fee alone. This filly was a $22,000 RNA as a September yearling at Keeneland last fall, just $2K more than this stallion's advertised fee. ... Now the pluses. The dam here is out of a stakes-winning Lord at War mare, Primarily, a Canadian broodmare of the year. Ain't She Awesome is a half-sister to a sick slate of stakes horses, including two Canadian 2-year-old filly champions, POETICALLY (Silver Deputy) and PRIMALY (Alydeed). Half-brother WHISKEY WISDOM (Wild Again) was a G3 winner. Most important, probably the best racehorse from this immediate female family is neither of the champions, but rather CITRONNADE, a brilliant turf filly (a G1 and four G2 wins) who was by the sire of this filly, Lemon Drop Kid. (And an ill-fated mare who retired with injury at 4 and died at age 6 following colic surgery, a month after delivering a stillborn Ghostzapper foal.) ... Being an Ontario-bred is an advantage for this one, as the purses are whoppers at Woodbine and she can find both grass and synthetic tracks, which I believe she'll prefer over traditional dirt. ... So if you can forgive her dam's one-and-done career and inability to produce thus far -- based primarily on the presence on the page of Primarily and her progeny, particularly Citronnade (by this sire) -- this one might not come too expensively (based on the $22K RNA in September) and might make a racehorse. (Under tack video: Works sometimes for me and sometimes doesn't; try hitting refresh if you get a dead Web page.)

Hip 11: Dark bay or brown filly by Holy Bull-Forever Land, by Badger Land. This KY-bred might qualify among the "obvious," and yet with eight Holy Bull juvenile fillies selling for an average price under $50,000 the last two seasons and for "only" $80K in 2008, before the recession, and since this filly was a $55K RNA as a yearling, she might be a comparative deal today. Holy Bull gets about 76 percent starters and 53 percent winners from all foals, with 110 lifetime juvenile winners. The mare was a G3 winner and unbeaten in two starts at 2, but was just 1-for-14 after. She's produced nine other foals of racing age, eight have raced and seven of those eight have been winners, including TOUCH DIAL (Phone Trick), who won the Canadian Oaks and earned $366K, G3-placed Forever Rush (Wild Rush), who has won 14 of 51 lifetime for more than $360K, and 11-race winner Snap Hook (Birdonthewire). Second dam Lullaby Song (T.V. Lark) was an eight-race winner (two stakes) and half-sister to Cal-bred hero RACING IS FUN (Hollywood Derby-G1, etc., $382K) and minor stakes winner THRU TH' FOREST. Lullaby Song also produced multiple-G3-placed Won Song (Air Forbes Won, 13 wins, $360K) and stakes-placed winner of 13 races Bunker Boy (Exceller). Her other daughters have produced at least seven additional stakes winners including TOLEDO (Stradbroke H.-G1, $1.23 million), T.V. OF CRYSTAL (G3, $224K), world record-setter SCOTTSBLUFF ($322K, 5.5f turf in 1:00 1/5 at Hollywood, 2006), MARIE SOLEIL ($210K), LESS THAN ZERO (14 wins), YOU ARE MY SWEETY, and OLY OGY ($150K). ... There is some reason to believe that foals born late in a mare's produce career don't fare as well as their earlier siblings, and this mare was 19 when the filly was foaled. But this sire produces runners and so does this female family. And because of both the sire's and dam's recent sales history (her 2007 El Prado colt sold for only $20K as a yearling, but is a winner in Russia) I believe the price on this one could be right. (Under tack video: Works sometimes for me and sometimes doesn't -- try hitting the refresh button on your browser and it might download -- but when it does, I think the filly looks nice.)

Hip 29: Love Money, dark bay or brown filly by Alphabet Soup-Pupil, by Unbridled. This Kentucky-bred was a $17K RNA as a yearling, and Alphabet Soup's juvenile fillies over the past three years haven't sold for a seasonal average higher than about $37K. Yet the sire gets around 77 percent runners and 53 percent winners, and the dam here was a listed stakes winner at Laurel and twice graded-placed for more than $204,000 in earnings. Plus, she's produced two winners from three foals of racing age, though both waited until age 3 to break their maidens and neither has earned more than about $42K. The dam is also half-sister to 12-win G3-titleist NAUGHTY NEW YORKER. An Unbridled-line mare with 10 lifetime starts could be a concern, but Alphabet Soup's get average about 17.5 starts apiece, higher than the breed average, so hopefully he adds durability. Based on the yearling RNA price and Alphabet Soup's recent sales activity, the price on this girl should be fair for a filly whose page and sire's track record suggest she stands as good a chance as most of winning races somewhere. (Under tack video: Gosh, she looks nice to me.)

Hip 30: Celidonia, bay filly by North Light-Quatrain, by Quiet American. This is one on whom you'll probably have to wait a year, but she might be worth it. Her Jerry Moss-bred dam won twice from 15 starts, but was not "early," with victories at age 3 and age 5, earning $128,660. This filly's dad, a son of the legendary sire of sires Danehill, won at 2, but came into his own at 3 when he captured the Epsom Derby-G1 and was English champion. His first crop of 2-year-olds in 2009 produced 25 starters from 67 foals (37.3 percent) and just four winners (5.9 percent), but one of them -- filly BODUA, whose dam was from the Mr. Prospector line, like this one -- did annex the Fanfreluche Stakes at Woodbine. This filly is the dam's first foal of racing age, but the female line has a history of production. Second dam Heaven for Bid (Spectacular Bid) was a winner at 2 and 3 and was G2-placed, and she produced eight winners from 10 foals to race, including minor stakes winner TALVERNA (Gilded Time). The third dam is Canadian dual stakes-winner Halo Reply, who produced eight winners, three stakes horses including FAVORABLE RULING, and is in the tail-female line of numerous blacktype horses (particularly through daughter Prayer Wheel), including STRATEGIC MANEUVER (G1), CAT FIGHTER (G2), DELOSVIENTOS (G2) and ISHIGURU (G3). ... This filly was a $30K RNA as a yearling, which was equal to the sire's fee at the time of cover, but significantly higher than the $11,611 average for all 24 North Light yearlings to sell last year, and the fifth-highest price offered among all 40 of his get who went through the ring as yearlings in 2009. ... I suspect you'll have to wait until she's 3 to have a real shot at that maiden-breaker. But her female family does suggest she'll be a runner, being a Florida-bred helps her earn over the winter in restricted races in a state where the grass is still green, and in this market, particularly with the North Light foals not performing much last year as juveniles (none to my surprise), she could be a very attractively priced gamble. (Under tack video: Looks decent.)

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