Thursday, August 26, 2010

A blog too soon: Wed. adds winner, stakes-placer

In my relative haste to tout the Puerto Rican allowance win of Hold Still, the second of my 187 juvenile sales tips of 2010 to become a two-time winner, I forgot that there was still racing action on Wednesday in which other sales tips of mine were scheduled to take part.

Those races went pretty well.

In Race 5 at Charles Town, Sultry Gibson, a filly who had placed at Calder Race Course in Florida before banishment to West Virginia, wired a field of maiden special weights for her first career victory. She'd lost by a neck in her first start at CT.

Sultry Gibson becomes the 21st horse among my sales picks to break her maiden.

Travis Dunkelberger hustled Sultry Gibson out of the gate and established a five-length lead with an opening quarter of 22.22. Her margin shrank to three lengths at the top of the stretch as Dunkelberger slowed the half-mile pace to 47.34, leaving gas in the tank for Sultry Gibson to stretch out her advantage and ultimately win by four and a quarter lengths in a time of 54.13 for five furlongs.

Sultry Gibson (Gibson County-Sultry Peg Cee, by Sultry Song) was bred in Florida by North Star Equine Inc., is owned by Jocelyn Dickey McKathan, and is trained by Melissa Hunt. The filly was withdrawn from Fasig-Tipton's Midlantic Sale of 2-year-olds in training, where I had labeled her a Priority 3 offering in compiling a list of likely to be affordable horses for a client in my first stint as a contracted bloodstock advisor. She was catalogued as Hip 347.

I touted her as "another of those precocious and fleet Gibson Countys" after she posted a 10.3 breeze at EASMAY, which was reasonably fast for that sale. Her dam, a modest winner, has borne six to race and five fairly modest winners. But among that group is a full sibling of Sultry Gibson who set a track record at Woodbine in her debut at 2, covering the Quarter Horse-like distance of two furlongs over an all-weather surface in 20.4 seconds.

I maintain a bit of concern over durability for any foal by the late Gibson County. That sister of this one, County Lass, only raced twice again in her life after that debut win at Woodbine. But Sultry Gibson has already made five starts, so hopefully she's showing durability that her sister lacked. Durability concerns and the generally modest nature of her winning siblings (though one had 11 wins and six-figure earnings) led me to categorize Sultry Gibson as a Priority 3 on the four-level scale I established for my client.

Sultry Gibson does have a bit more family worth mention, however. Second dam Hasty Lass (Three Martinis-Cuban Lass, by This Evening) was a six-time stakes winner, including on grass, for $233,464. She was also a half-sister to stakes winners DOTS HOT FLASH and DOTTIE T. Those three blacktype sisters raced a total of 159 times between them, so perhaps there's the durability we need to offset Gibson County, though the female line's toughness didn't extend to County Lass.

Since Sultry Gibson has slipped to Charles Town, where the purses are good but there's no turf racing, I have doubts she'll ever get a shot on grass. But she should. Her sire has winners on synthetic surfaces (including the aforementioned full sister of this one), and artificial-surface form sometimes translates quite well to grass. And Gibson County's sire, In Excess, was Irish-bred and has gotten a few top-notch grass horses such as multiple-G1 turf winner Musical Chimes. With a dam by Sultry Song (sire of Breeders' Cup Mile winner Singletary) and a dirt/turf stakes winning second dam, it couldn't hurt to see if Sultry Gibson can outrun grass-bred babies in some 2-year-old turf races this year, before the lawn turns brown. (Or when she perhaps goes back to Florida for the winter.)

At any rate, in earning $15,600 for the win, Sultry Gibson bumps her earnings to $23,190 from five starts.

Also Wednesday, another horse that I'd like to see tried on grass and synthetic followed up his maiden win on dirt with a minor stakes-placing in Canada.

Blue 'em Away (Bluegrass Cat-Alcina, by Kingmambo) persevered to finish a clear second behind heavy favorite Little Widow Maker in the Osiris Stakes at Assiniboia Downs. The race, carrying a purse of only $30,000 Canadian, does not qualify for catalog blacktype. It doesn't exactly qualify as "fast," either, as Little Widow Maker closed from last of six to win in 1:13.60 for six furlongs. Blue 'em Away was second by 2 1/2, and finished another length and a half ahead of third-place Kommando Kate.

I'd still like to see this colt tried on grass and synthetic, and don't fully understand his banishment to dirt-track-only Assiniboia after two disappointing efforts on dirt in Kentucky. He's from the Storm Cat sireline, which has plenty of turf horses to boast, his dam was by a noted grass sire in Kingmambo, and his second dam was by a grass-getting sire in Roberto. Blue 'em Away has breezed his best on synthetic at Keeneland and posted a credible 10.2 breeze on fake dirt at the Ocala April sale. I remain confident he would be at least as good a horse, probably better, on synthetic or turf.

Though not blacktype-qualifying, the effort is the fourth stakes-placing for the Class of 2010. GOURMET DINNER broke maiden at first asking, was a restricted stakes-winner in his second start at Calder, and is one of six entered for the Florida Stallion Affirmed Stakes on Calder's "juvenile showcase" day Saturday. Sales-tipped fillies Alienation (Adirondack S.-G2) and Stopspendingmaria (Schuylerville S.-G3) are both graded-placed at Saratoga.

Blue 'em Away earned $5,772 from the start, bringing his lifetime total to $14,574 in A-meri-can dollars.

I'm not keeping the stats fully updated while on the road this week (ending in Saratoga Saturday and Sunday), but will catch them all up when I get home to the master database on my desktop Mac. But, you can follow along with the performance of my 187 sales tips at the bottom of this former post.

1 comment:

  1. Ah, Sultry Gibson finally got it done. She's proven she's good enough to compete well at Charles Town and Colonial (and if they want or need to, Laurel/Pimlico and Mountaineer). She should be steady income for the owners, I imagine.

    I wonder if we'll go against her sometime with our runner :)

    David H.


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