Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A KEEAPR tip has early case of seconditis

It's early in this filly's career, and I'm not discouraged yet. But one of my tips of 2010 has raced again at Belmont, and again come home second.

Evangelical (Speightstown-Evangelizer, by Saint Ballado) was a $100,000 RNA when consigned by Kiaran Dunne's Wavertree Stables at the Keeneland April Sale of 2-year-olds in training. I tabbed her as a potential "second-chance deal," should she go through another sale later (she did not), or be available privately. Since, Evangelical has raced two times in the colors of North Shore Racing, trained by the noteworthy Barclay Tagg, coming home with two seconds and earning a combined $20,000.

I identified her as a better prospect than her RNA price -- which was nearly $70,000 less than the sale's average price and considerably below the median of $135,000 -- because she was "co-speed-demon of the under-tack show, blazing a 10-flat eighth." I noted that she was a filly who looked like she was running fast in her breeze video (you'd like to see her look more fluid), but at least she actually was fast. "So she's quick, but maybe not smooth, and she didn't look like she had a lot of size, though she appeared compact and muscular," I wrote.

Speed wasn't the only reason I took note of this filly, who was unnamed at the time of the April sale, although my endorsement came with a caveat.

"On the plus side -- and a big plus -- her female family says she should run (although soundness could be an issue)," I continued.

Her dam was a winner, but only raced three times. Evangelical does have a 3-year-old sister named Worship the Moon (Malibu Moon) who has won two of eight, placed in the Matron S.-G2 and was fourth in the Adirondack S.-G2 as a juvenile, and has hit the board in another stakes race at 3, for $130,500 so far. Second dam RELIGIOSITY (Irish Tower-Winter Sleep, by Rising Market) was a G3 winner who only raced 10 times, but produced three stakes winners (all fillies), including: Canadian 2-year-old champ KNIGHTS TEMPLAR (who died at 3 of lymphoma); DIAL A SONG (raced just eight times, but never worse than second); and FOR ALL SEASONS. The third and fourth dams here were unraced, but this is also the close female family of multiple G2-winning sprinter EATON'S GIFT.

There are runners with numbers of starts in the 20s and 30s in this recent family, including For All Seasons, who went to post 28 times. And I believe Tagg is better than most at looking out for the best interests of the horse and keeping his charges sound.

He should get this one to the winner's circle soon.

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