Monday, April 19, 2010

A quick look at OBS April, Day 1

Hips 1 through 306 will go through the ring today (provided they aren't withdrawn, as a few have been) at the April Ocala Breeders' Company sale of 2-year-olds in training. That show kicks off at 10:30 a.m., and it's 9:48 already, so I'm hustling here to try and make a few selections. I'll post a few now, and then update as I review the catalog and progress through the day.

OBSAPR, Day 1, Hips 1-306:

Hip 32: Dark bay or brown filly by Ford Every Stream-Learn to Hope, by Moment of Hope. This filly goes against just about every rule I've developed on selecting foals for the races. Let's count 'em off: Sophomore sire; no blacktype under the first three dams; second dam raced poorly. Even the seller doesn't instill a lot of confidence -- Hoppel's Horse & Cattle Co., Agent. But she'll be a racehorse. Her dam ran 67 times and won 14. She has produced six foals, all to race, and five winners. None of them have won more than twice nor earned more than $42K. But as an accredited Louisiana-bred, this filly gets to run in some comparatively light company for some pretty fair purses. And she absolutely blew through a quarter in 21-flat, really looking the part almost every step of the way. For what really should be a very inexpensive filly (unless that breeze drives the price up) she could be among Day 1's safest bets for a cheap buy that will race, win and maybe actually earn her keep when the feed and vet bills start coming in.

Hip 52: Dark bay or brown filly by Kafwain-Lil's Gate, by Gate Dancer. The sire hasn't quite set the world afire, but he's doing OK, with about 40 percent 2-year-old starters and around 16 percent of all foals breaking maiden at 2, and producing a trio of G3 winners in Don't Forget Gil, Massive Drama and The Pamplemousse from three crops, though average earnings per starter are only around $32K and median earnings about half that. This filly breezed a pretty average 10.3, but comes from good family. Her dam won five times, albeit in modest company, and has produced seven winners from nine to race, including stakes winners DREAM LADY (Old Trieste, also G3-placed) and ZETA (You and I). Second dam London Lil was a G3-winner who has produced two stakes winners, including LILLY CAPOTE (G3, multiple SP-producer) and BUBBA DULYAH (11 wins). She's a Kentucky-bred consigned by Randy Miles as agent, and was only an $11,000 yearling purchase, so her price might be right today.

Hip 89: Gray or roan filly by Two Punch-Magic Belle, by Gold Case. You won't buy this filly cheap. She shared the honors for co-fastest eighth of the sale with a blistering 9 4/5. Her dam won four times and earned $132K, but no blacktype; this is her first foal of racing age. Second dam Magical Thinking (Pirate's Bounty) was stakes-placed at Bay Meadows and a full sister to PIRATE'S OUTLOOK, a restricted stakes winner at Del Mar. It's really not all that spetacular a family -- a fair amount of blacktype under the fourth dam, but little of it graded -- yet that smokin' fast eighth caught my eye (though she was whipped pretty soundly in the early going to get it) and I'm sure it will capture the fancy of others, too. Plus, she's a New York-bred, which means great purses and perhaps summering at Saratoga.

Hip 97: Rockin Heat, dark bay or brown colt by Rock Hard Ten-Makin Heat, by Makin. Hard to believe you'll get much of a deal on this Kentucky-bred, by a G1 winner who has already sired multiple stakes winners from his freshman crop, and out of a stakes winner at Laurel and Delaware Park. Looks like he'll be a whopper, like his 17-hand daddy, yet he still rolled through a quarter in a pretty fair 21.3. His dam has produced three foals of racing age, including two winners by Repent (son Preachin Heat has eanred $164K non-blacktype) and a sophomore filly by Songandaprayer who has been placed at both 2 and 3. Second dam WarmedbytheSun, by Lobsang(IRE), won 15 times from ages 2 through 8. Third dam Tongario (Grey Dawn II) was a 2-year-old winner who bore eight winners, including foals with 17, 10, 10 and 8 wins.

Hip 113: Dr. Drewman, bay colt by Drewman-Medieval Fantasy, by Medieval Man. Hard to tout a son of Drewman, who is yet to sire a stakes winner, but this FL-bred should be a racehorse based on his female family. His dam won three times at 2 and 3, has produced 10 other foals of racing age, nine of them have raced and eight are winners. That group of winners includes: stakes-placed Sweet Fantasy (Alaskan Frost) who has earned $161K; Gadget Man (Friendly Lover) who has earned $170K and set the course record for a mile-seventy at Meadowlands in a flat 1:38; Colorful Character (Lil Fappi), earner of $156K; Monster Affair (Concerto), a winner at 2, 3 and 4 of $115K; and Petite Fantasy, a five-race winner of $97,124. The winners include a full brother by Drewman who won twice at age 3 last year, albeit in cheap races for $8,859. This colt breezed a quarter in a fair 22-flat. ... He will not be expensive, and he is among the most likely in this book to make the races and to win. I know most everybody is at these sales to buy stakes horses, but everybody is there to buy racehorses, which is Job 1, and this colt should be one.

Hip 136: Be That It May, bay filly by Proud Accolade-Miss Angel T., by Talc. Ill-fated sire was euthanized last summer at the young age 7 due to a neurological condition. But he already got two stakes winners in Proud Zoe and Gesu and three more blacktype-placers in Thank U Phillippe (G2), Enumerate (G2) and Mr. Green from his first crop. This filly isn't likely to come real cheap as she breezed a brisk 10-flat and is out of a stakes-winning dam who has produced nine winners from 14 other foals, including G2 winner PROFIT OPTION (Alleged). But this Florida-bred is one that I like.

Hip 139: Wrapped in Gold, dark bay or brown filly by Touch Gold-Miss Ginalie, by Skip Away. First foal out of a dam who won seven times from ages 2 through 4. Second dam won eight times from 3 to 5 and was stakes-placed twice. She's produced eight winners from 12 other foals, including stakes-placed Tilden (Darn That Alarm), 11-race winner Classmate (Jolie's Halo), and Nuniyajissive (Who's For Dinner), who won eight times in 32 starts at ages 2 and 3. Half-sister Van Nic (Sezyou) is the dam of stakes winner MIDTOWN MISS (Yes It's True) and G3-placed True and True (Is It True). ... Quarter-mile breeze was "only" 22.1, but that doesn't outright stink, and she looks decent. ... Sire's fee has plummeted to $10,000 over the past couple of seasons, but he still stands in Kentucky, yet this filly is a registered NY-bred and can race for nice purses in restricted company at Aqueduct, Belmont and Saratoga. Consigned by Journeyman Bloodstock, and Brent and Crystal Fernung know their horses.

Hip 169: Little Man M, dark bay or brown colt by Golden Missile-Ms. Copelan, by Copelan. ... Just looks like a bay to me. Oh well. ... Sire has underachieved, with a 1.09 AEI vs. 1.78 CI, which suggests his mares have done considerably better with others than with him. But in this case, the sales colt has a full brother, GARIBALDI, who is a Monmouth stakes winner of $100K. His dam was stakes-placed and won 10 times; she's produced six winners from nine of racing age. Sales colt's half-sisters Ms. Forum (Open Forum) and Catbird Creek (Storm Creek) were both 2-year-old winners who have produced stakes winners. Half-brother Dashing Deputy (Awesome Again) won seven times from ages 2 through 8. ... Colt breezed a decent 10.2 and the page suggests he'll run sooner, rather than later. Blacktype-winning full brother is a draw, as is his Florida-bred status.

Hip 218: Chestnut colt by Closing Argument-Oh Nyet, by Time for a Change. I'm trying not to let this colt's breathtaking breeze of 20.4 for a quarter overwhelm me, as it might some buyers today. His sire is an unproven sophomore (who ran his guts out for second in the Kentucky Derby behind upsetter Giacomo, beating Afleet Alex and others), though he did get a Woodbine stakes winner from his freshman crop last year. The dam was a modest winner at 4. But, she's produced seven winners from as many foals, including multiple Calder stakes-placed filly Prohibido Olividar (Mister Jolie), 11-race winner Dinner Withawinner (Formal Dinner), and others who have won seven, six and three times. So the odds are, this colt will run and win. That's reinforced by second dam Title Victory (Title Game) who won 17 times, including the Ballerina H., Vanity H., and the British Columbia Oaks. She produced four stakes horses who are half-sibs to the dam of this colt. ... Florida-bred, and it will be interesting to see what he brings.

Hip 224: Chestnut filly by Officer-Ontheqt, by Mazel Trick. Here's that speed again; co-fastest of the session at a blazing 9 4/5 for the eighth. I won't let that play all "Green Monkey" with my brain, however; I liked this one on the page before I saw her breeze. Officer's fee has fluctuated; I recall it as high as $30K and it's down to $10K. But he gets close to 75 percent runners and 50 percent winners from all foals, 5 percent stakes winners, and average progeny earnings over $50K. His AEI and CI are pretty comparable (1.43 vs. 1.54) so he isn't downgrading mares by any significant margin. That's good, because this mare was a sharp juvenile and Woodbine stakes winner herself of $285K, and she produced a 2-year-old Woodbine stakes-placer of 2009 in Noticin' You (Mr. Greeley). Her other foal of racing age was a Montbrook filly who was placed in Canada in 2009. Not a lot to speak of under the second and third dams, though second dam Confidential (Smarten) was stakes-placed as a juvenile at Woodbine, too. So, it's great news that this filly is an Ontario-bred; she can go right back to Woodbine where her dam, second dam and half-sister all have had stakes success.

Hip 228: Chestnut filly by Mizzen Mast-Ore Money, by Not For Love. Dam was unraced, but has produced four multiple-winners (no blacktype) from five foals of racing age. Noteworthy is that her dam is a half-sister to ridiculous blacktype and serious stakes-producers: SMOKE GLACKEN (Two Punch, 10 wins, champion sprinter, $759,560); SMOKEY GLACKEN (Forestry, 10 wins, G2 and 4xG3, $656,960); CAPOTE'S CROWN (Capote, G3-placed); Argyle Pink (Sky Mesa, winner at 2, G2-placed); Crowning Touch (dam of CROWN OF THORNS, G2, 2nd Breeders' Cup Sprint-G1, etc.); and Crouse Mill (dam of ROUSE THE CAT, G2-placed). The family is fast, and this KY-bred filly flashed a bit of that in a 21-flat quarter.

Hip 232: Off to Granny's, chestnut filly by Forest Camp-Our Lady's Wish, by Secret Claim. Dam couldn't run much, unplaced in two starts. But she overcomes that by being a proven producer, with nine winners from as many foals of racing age with roughly $1 million in progeny earnings, five of them stakes-placed at Meadowlands and in Canada. Second dam Northern Willow was half to two-time Canadian champion VICTORIAN PRINCE, and produced Canadian horse of the year and champion 2-year-old L'ALEZANE and stakes winner MAY COMBINATION. Ontario-bred filly breezed a dull 11.2 for an eighth, but her female family suggests you ignore it so long as the price stays low as a result. There's a first time for everything, but none of this dam's foals have failed to win yet.

Hip 233: Dark bay or brown filly by Forest Camp-Our Patty, by Personal Flag. Recommending both from a back-to-back pair by Forest Camp, sire of G2 winners Timber Reserve, Hello Liberty and South Central. Unlike the hip before her, this filly was fast, breezing 10-flat for an eighth. Her dam won five times from ages 2-4 for more than $150K, and has produced four out of four winning foals, including DEEP DISH PIE (Hennessy, two wins at 2, Prix des Sabionnets, etc., $96,692) and Pawnee (g. by Maria's Mon, $105K, NTR Del Mar 9fAW in 1:53.12). Second dam Axe Creek (Gulch) produced seven winners including three blacktype horses, CELTIC SKY (Sky Classic), CLOON (Lure) and Ambidaxtrous (Deputy Commander), plus 10-race winner Daredevil Adam (Devil's Bag). The filly is a Florida-bred consigned by Nick de Meric, agent III.

Hip 237: Gray or roan colt by El Prado-Oxford Scholar, by Seeking the Gold. OK, this one's obvious, but you gotta love him. Not too often do you see more blacktype on a page. His dam was a Belmont Park stakes winner and a full sister to G2 winner SEEKING REGINA. This colt's dam has already produced stakes winners in SMOKIN FOREST (Forestry, 11 wins, $137K, NTR at OSA, 5.5f in 1:02 1/5) and SCHOLASTIC GIANT (Giant's Causeway, $114K), and a Grade 3 stakes-placer in Turnbolt (Deputy Minister, $219K), from seven winners out of eight racing-age foals. Second dam Fulbright Scholar (Cox's Ridge) was an Aqueduct stakes winner who also produced TUTORIAL (Forty Niner, dam of G3 winner DIXIE BAND) and Liberty School (Pine Bluff, dam of G3 winner JUST JENDA). The colt breezed a solid 10.2 and looked good. Have to think he'll be expensive.

(Got back from an appointment in time to pick up the Hips at 250.)

Hip 255: Dark bay or brown colt by Montbrook-Pearly White, by Holy Bull. An honest sire who doesn't downgrade his mares (though he might not upgrade them, either) and who gets about 20 percent 2-year-old winners from all foals (a good figure). This colt's dam won five times at ages 3 and four and was stakes-placed at Aqueduct and Tampa for $177,684. She's produced one foal by Crypto Star, a dual (modest) winner at 2 and 3 in the U.S. before being sent to the Dominican Republican, where he won five more times at ages 4 and 5. Second dam Good Morning Smile (Morning Bob) won 14 races from 3 to 7 for $263K and was G-2 placed. She's produced nine other foals, eight to race and six winners, including WAKE UP KISS (Cure the Blues), a stakes winner at Saratoga and Aqueduct who has produced a Japanese stakes winner by Forest Wildcat. Second dam also produced two more stakes-placers. ... The colt is a Florida-bred who breezed a very serviceable 21.2 for a quarter.

Hip 268: Gray or roan filly by Gone West-Platinum Ballet, by Skip Away. Another I really like, so will mention, though I hardly think she'll go cheap. The sire of course has gotten three champions worldwide and sires dirt horses, turf horses, distance horses, sprinters -- you name it. The dam is a stakes winner of the Iowa Distaff at Prairie Meadows and was twice G3-placed, in the Sixty Sails H. at Hawthorne and the Azeri Breeders' Cup S. at Oaklawn. This is her first foal, and the KY-bred filly breezed a fair 10.3 in the under tack show, but looked super doing it. The dam here is also half to a minor stakes-placed Carson City filly, and her unraced dam, the Nureyev mare Main Edition, produced seven winners from 10 foals. Third dam Sexy Slew (Slew O' Gold) was a listed stakes winner at Santa Anita and thrice G3-placed. She produced seven winners from eight foals to race, including G3-placed Affairs of State. Not a ton of recent blacktype, just lots of winners and the dam herself was a capable stakes horse, which is the best sign of all for a first foal by an absolutely established (now late) sire.

Hip 277: Bay colt by Trippi-Potluck Dinner, by Pentelicus. This colt's dam was unplaced in one start, which would not be a good sign for a first foal. But he's the seventh foal of racing age from this mare, all six before him have raced, and four of them are winners who raced very well. Half-sister GASTON A. (Concorde's Tune) was a minor stakes winner at Calder for $60K, and she's the lowest-earner of the winners. Half-brother I'mroyallymecke'd (Mecke) won seven times through age 7, was stakes-placed at Calder, and earned $178,325. A pair of half-brothers by Montbrook -- On the Rail (nine wins through 6, still racing this year at 7, $219,166) and Crazybrook (16 wins through age 6, $167,831) -- were very serviceable racehorses. Second dam Romantic Dinner (Who's for Dinner) earned $67K and produced seven winners from eight foals including SEA OF GREEN (Seacliff), who won 10 races including five stakes and was G3-placed, and LADY GIN (Saint Ballado), a $227K thrice-stakes-winner and record-setter at Hawthorne (about 5f in 56-flat). ... This Florida-bred colt breezed a quarter in a reasonable 21.3.

Hip 282: Chestnut colt by Yes It's True-Presumed Innocent, by Shuailaan. A scintillating 33.3 breeze (despite running green in the stretch) for three-eighths makes this colt about as obvious on speed alone as any horse in the sale. But there's good reason to believe he won't go all "Green Monkey" on us and never win a race. His sire gets 2-year-old runners and winners; about half of all his juveniles race and roughly one in five of all his get will break their maidens before turning 3. On the female side, the dam here is a seven-race stakes winner of $315,190 and was G3-placed. She's produced two foals of racing age and both are winners, a Smart Strike filly who has won four times for $65K and is still active at 4, and a sophomore filly by Broken Vow who broke maiden at 2, placed in a non-blacktype stakes race as a juvenile and has won again this year at 3 for earnings of about $45K and counting. Second dam is stakes-placed Restless Julie (by Restless Restless) who was a 2-year-old winner and produced a Bates Motel stakes winner named RESTING MOTEL in addition to the blacktype dam of this foal. Not a lot of graded blacktype on the page and what is there, is frequently foreign. But this colt stands a pretty fair chance of scoring -- maybe more than once -- before his 2-year-old year is out.

(Final 5:56 p.m.)

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