Saturday, July 24, 2010

'Maria' scores first black type for my class of 2010

Fresh off a maiden score by open lengths at Belmont, Stopspendingmaria led for much of a sloppy, bumpy race, then held on for second in the Schuylerville S.-G3 on opening day Friday at Saratoga.

It is the first catalog-page black type scored by any of the 187 juveniles I recommended from the juvenile sales of 2010.

Le Mi Geaux closed into a sharp pace to win a contest in which none of the six starters had a clean trip, mud notwithstanding. Sent off at 9/1, Le Mi Geaux's running line reads "broke out, bumped, 3-4 wide," yet she managed to emerge victorious under Frederic Lenclud and pocket $60,000 of the race's $100,000 purse for owner Lansdon B. Robbins III and trainer Richard Dutrow Jr.

Stopspendingmaria and rider John Velazquez, the very narrow favorites at 2.05/1, were jostled on the back stretch and, despite the off-going, still set opening fractions of 21.81 for the quarter and 45.87 for a half. The field staggered home in the slop, with the victor's final time being 1:13.67. Le Mi Geaux won by a length and a half.

Third-favored Show Me the Bling (2.55/1) collected the show money, 2 3/4 lengths behind Stopspendingmaria, and Let's Get Fiscal (2.15/1) was fourth by another 6 1/2 after both pressured Stopspendingmaria on the pace. Every horse in the field, which included other also-rans Dos Lunas and Spa Sunrise, was "bumped," "jostled," "off slow," "ducked in" at the start or was hung out wide on the turn, most of them suffering more than one such fate.

Though she didn't win, Stopspendingmaria exacted a measure of revenge on Show Me the Bling, who was the victor when both met in their career debuts earlier this summer at Monmouth. Stopspendingmaria was third on that day.

A 2-year-old filly by Montbrook out of the Notebook mare Cutoffs, Stopspendingmaria was a $90,000 purchase at the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. February auction of 2-year-olds in training. She runs in the colors of Repole Stable for trainer Todd Pletcher. She now has a win, a place and a show in three lifetime efforts, for $57,500 in earnings.

She is the product of a wise mating by Ocala Stud of Florida and J. Michael O'Farrell Jr. Stopspendingmaria's dam was a full sister to stakes winner SPECIAL REPORT, and those two have three blacktype half-siblings by Montbrook. Sent to Montbrook twice herself, the solid race mare Cutoffs ($166K non-blacktype) has produced a multiple winner in More Drama (2-for-14, placed nine other times, for $60,480) and now a Grade 3-placed filly.

You can follow the performance of all my 2010 juvenile-sale picks and pans in the comprehensive list at the bottom of this past post.

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