Monday, August 9, 2010

Long-distance Pick 3: Class of 2010 gets maiden-breakers from Woodbine, to Arlington, to Del Mar

Capping what was already a good weekend for my 2010 juvenile sales picks, on Sunday three horses from my list of 187 recommendations broke their maidens, two in their first starts and in impressive fashion.

The horses, two fillies and a colt, became the 11th, 12th and 13th to clear their maiden hurdle from my list of sales picks.

Sunday began with a smashing debut victory in Race 6 at Woodbine as the most expensive horse I tipped all winter and spring -- OBS April sales-topping Delightful Mary -- gunned from the far-outside post, forced the pace in a 10-horse race, and drew off to win by 3 3/4 lengths. The $500,000 daughter of Limehouse-Deputy's Delight, by French Deputy, was sent off as the favorite at slightly less than 2/1 odds. She delivered for her backers in real "racehorse time," covering six furlongs over Woodbine's synthetic surface in a rousing 1:09.57 under Corey Fraser.

I recommended the filly off her scalding 20 2/5 quarter at the OBS April under-tack show, and because of her status as a half-sister to Ohio Derby-G2 winner DELIGHTFUL KISS, who has surpassed $1 million in earnings, was G1-placed behind Quality Road in the Donn Handicap this year, and has also set a track record of 1:49 2/5 for a mile and an eighth in the All-American S.-G3 at Golden Gate Fields. Their dam didn't win until age 4, but at the time of the sale had produced four winners from five prior foals. Delightful Mary's second dam was G1-placed, and is also the granddam of G2 winner SHADOW CASTER.

Selling as Hip 949 at OBSAPR, Delightful Mary was part of the dispersal of Florida's historic Hobeau Farm. And while I didn't set out to tip sales-toppers, just racehorses, this one certainly looked the part of both.

She was "selling without reserve," I noted, "but you'll still have to break your piggy bank. And your spouse's. And your neighbor's."

Ultimately, it was trainer Mark Casse as agent for John Oxley who signed the half-million-dollar ticket. Casse was in position to see even more in Delightful Mary than did I.

"I watched (the breeze show) from over on the backside and I was there when she pulled up," Casse told Thoroughbred Times after the purchase. "As she was walking back, I walked beside her and she didn't take a deep breath. She was just remarkable how at ease she was with everything. That impressed me a lot."

While Delightful Mary has a long way to go in paying back a $500,000 purchase price, she got a $33,277 jump-start toward the black on Sunday. And her time for six furlongs as a firster suggests she could have more winning days ahead.

A short while later, roughly 500 miles southwest of Woodbine at Chicago's Arlington Park, a second debut horse from my 2010 sales tips likewise broke maiden impressively.

Rough Sailing, a colt by Mizzen Mast-Moussica, by Woodman, rated patiently in ninth place out of 10 going a mile on grass. Blocked in near the rail at the 3/16ths pole, jockey Michael Baze angled the chestnut colt six-wide in mid-stretch and thundered home. The 4/1 co-second-choice collared leader and 3/1 favorite Tiger Mike, then barreled past to win by a widening two lengths in 1:42.32 over soft turf.

Sold in May as Hip 250 at Fasig-Tipton's Midlantic sale of 2-year-olds in training at Timonium, Md., the colt wasn't on my original short list of possibilities for a buyer who hired my services as a bloodstock advisor. I liked the horse in the breeze show -- his 35 2/5 for three furlongs, one of few to run the distance, certainly helped -- but I wasn't that wild about him on the page, mostly due to his dam's slow start as a producer. (On the plus side, she's a half-sister to WILD ZONE, STRIKE ZONE and Snow Eagle.)

Urged to give him a look while visiting the barn of consignor True South, I was sold on him as a prospect upon up-close examination. But I didn't expect him to stay in my buyer's price range, and he didn't, selling for $40,000 to Jack Smith Thoroughbreds, though that price was still below the sale average.

The colt, bred in Kentucky by Palides Investments N.V. Inc., was perhaps ideally suited to win under Sunday's conditions. Mizzen Mast can get an early winner (31 percent of his raced 2-year-olds), while the late Woodman, the dam-sire of Rough Sailing, was one of few U.S.-based sires whose get (and whose daughters' foals) established an average winning distance of more than a mile.

Rough Sailing collected $16,800 for the victory. He is trained by Michael Stidham.

Later, almost 2,100 miles away from Chicago (and 2,600 from Woodbine), at the West Coast's marquee summer meeting, my Class of 2010 collected one maiden win and came close to another at Del Mar.

In the first race on the card, Lake Believe (Ford Every Stream-Learn to Hope, by Moment of Hope) finished second behind Cactus Jane in a $40,000 maiden-claimer. It was the second placing in as many starts for the Louisiana-bred filly, who debuted with a show finish at Hollywood Park in June. She was a $37,000 purchase at OBS April, and has earned $9,720.

Five races later, the Class of 2010's third winner of the day emerged from the pack in the late-going, as Rigoletta and David Flores scored at 12/1 among the maiden special weight ranks for Thor-Bred Stable LLC and trainer Dan Hendricks. Rigoletta showed some early speed in the five and a half-furlong test, but was hung out five- and then four-wide on the turn. She finished strong in this, her second start, winning by a length and a quarter in 1:05.06.

Collecting $30,000 for the win, Rigoletta runs her lifetime earnings to $30,820.

The bay filly by Concerto sold as Hip 726 at OBS April, bringing $35,000 for consignor and breeder Ocala Stud. I recommended her in no small part because her full brother, gelding Evening Concerto, is a stakes-placed winner (now with more than $59,500 earned), and her dam was half to a 10-win, G3-placed SEA OF GREEN ($651K) and LADY GIN ($227K).

"Pretty much a racehorse family," I wrote, "and this FL-bred breezed in racehorse time, 21-flat for a quarter."

The weekend got off to an early start on Thursday evening at Del Mar, when Gibson Home Run became the 10th of my 187 sales picks to break maiden, scoring in his first out. It improved on Saturday when my Class of 2010 notched its first stakes winner in GOURMET DINNER.

After the successful four days, my sales selections have won 14 of their 91 races (15.4 percent), with 12 places and 11 shows (40.7 percent OTB), for $463,288 in earnings, or $5,091 per start. One other horse has stamped her page with black type; Stopspendingmaria in July finished second in the Schuylerville S.-G3 at Saratoga.

Track the performance of my 187 selections here.


  1. I blew that race..... I knew one race does not make a career........ and Hendricks usually has them fit and ready first or second time out!

    Great job..... Boy need to follow your maiden picks special weight picks... LOL


  2. Well, this weekend you'd have cashed in nicely. It was a 4-for-5 weekend with a second (and an also-ran named Benecia in the same race with Lake Believe). ... On the whole, they're hitting at about 15 percent, which is good, I suppose, but not brilliant.

    But thanks!

  3. Michael, my one starter today was ninth of 10 at Saratoga. So much for that angle. ;-)

  4. 'She was "selling without reserve," I noted, "but you'll still have to break your piggy bank. And your spouse's. And your neighbor's." '

    Hahaha! Great line!

    I can only hope that's said about the yearlings I bred this year!


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