Monday, August 16, 2010

'Seconditis' weekend extends to graded stakes, but two more sales tips are maidens no longer

After starting an active three-day stretch with a couple of near-misses -- horses getting beaten a neck and a nose in maiden special weight races -- my juvenile sales-tip Class of 2010 had a strong Sunday to cap the weekend.

The Sabbath saw a pair of fillies I selected from this year's sales clearing their maiden hurdles in their second and fourth starts, respectively, and a third filly moving forward from a first-out maiden score to place in a Grade 2 stakes race in her second lifetime effort.

Let's tout the blacktype first.

Alienation, a filly owned by Jill Baffert and trained by her hall-of-fame husband, Bob, broke her maiden in fleet fashion at first asking over the Hollywood Park grass on July 5. Baffert scratched his wife's filly from the recent Sorrento S.-G3 at Del Mar, which would have been run on synthetic, and shipped her east, where she posted a bullet work in the mud -- five furlongs in essentially a minute flat -- leading up to the Adirondack S.-G2 at Saratoga.

On Sunday at the Spa, Alienation was pressed on the pace by Miss Sarah Brown (who would finish last of 10) through fractions of 21.72 and 45.07 and disposed of everyone else in the field by at least five lengths; everyone but Position Limit, that is. The Bellamy Road filly overtook the tiring leader and drew off to win the $150,000 race by five lengths, the same margin Alienation finished ahead of third-place Coax Liberty.

Earning $30,000 for her efforts, Alienation (Rock Hard Ten-Alienated, by Gone West) has now banked $54,000. She was a $60,000 purchase, so has nearly earned that back in just two starts, but has likely elevated her potential commercial value above that purchase price with G2 blacktype on her own page, and certainly has every hope for an even more promising future.

In tipping her as Hip 719 at OBSAPR, I noted that in addition to her brisk, 21-flat quarter in the under-tack show, her dam was a minor stakes winner with multiple blacktype siblings, whose second dam was a half-sister to G1 winners JUDGE ANGELUCCI, WAR and PEACE.

"If this filly earns any blacktype of her own ... this price looks very reasonable down the road," I wrote. "In fact, it already does."

Well, there you go.

Also on Sunday, maiden-breakers No. 15 and No. 16 from my 187-horse list of sales tips collected their first lifetime victories in widely disparate environments; one at Hoosier Park and the other at Hipodromo Camarero in Puerto Rico.

Fiscal Policy scored first in Indiana, building upon a third-place debut to take the field practically gate to wire in a five-furlong maiden special weight. She drew off to win by four and a quarter lengths for jockey Leandro Goncalves, covering the distance in 58.40.

The filly by Wildcat Heir-Betty's Courage, by Montbrook was foaled in Florida, bred by Robert L. Dodd. She is owned by Klaravich Stables Inc. and W.H. Lawrence, and trained by Tom Amoss. Her $21,000 share of the purse bumps Fiscal Policy's earnings to $24,080.

Fiscal Policy sold for a whopping $140,000 as Hip 801 at OBSAPR. I noted that her unraced dam had produced a solid, non-blacktype winner from two foals, and this filly's 10-flat eighth was promising. Her second dam was the stakes-placed Copelan mare Grand Betty, who produced G3 winner POSITIVE ENERGY, and this is the female family of G1 winner FAMILY ENTERPRIZE, among other stakes horses. Fiscal Policy's fifth dam is reine de course Bramalea, dam of breed-shaping sire Roberto.

"I thought she might bring less than the average Wildcat Heir (around $74,000 at the time), but she brought much more," I wrote after the then-unnamed filly sold. She was nearly the session-topper on the third day of the sale.

Later in the afternoon, Concertos Pride broke through in her fourth start in Puerto Rico. The filly had placed second among winners at first asking, losing to a horse who has now won at least thrice already. Then, Concertos Pride disappointed in two straight races against maidens (won by another of my sales picks, Hold Still).

The race was a six-furlong maiden special weight, but since it takes a few days for full charts from Hipodromo Camarero to filter their way to Equibase -- and then to me -- I'm not sure yet of the margin, or what Concertos Pride has earned from the win.

Concertos Pride sold as Hip 1003 at OBSAPR, and brought only $5,000. Though her dam was only placed, never a winner, I like that she is a daughter of a top broodmare sire in Deputy Minister, and had already produced nine winners from 13 foals, four of them stakes horses. That's the resume of a filly who should win somewhere, and pretty soon, she did. I'll need to see the time for six furlongs to see whether it's a race that would have been competitive somewhere in the States, even if at a lower-tier track.

The weekend, which included a first-time starter in Korea (to be reported later), boasted 15 races for my sales tips, with three wins, three seconds and a third, plus the third horse to achieve at least a blacktype-placing.

From 107 races, my sales picks have logged 17 wins (15.9 percent) and, with 15 places and a dozen shows, an in-the-money rate of 41.1 percent. Total earnings now have reached $539,028, not including the win by Concertos Pride or the race in Korea, dollar-figures from which aren't yet accessible for me.

Follow the race results of all 187 of my sales tips (and a few horses I didn't like) here.

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