Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Maiden-breaker No. 25 is third in Puerto Rico

Perhaps it's unsurprising that so many of my 2010 juvenile sales tips were shipped overseas.

One of my goals was to seek bargains among the thousands of horses offered. And cheap horses tend to wind up at second-tier venues, even if they might have more talent than the price that was paid. (Then again, they might not.)

On Wednesday, the third of my horses to break maiden at Puerto Rico's Hipodromo Camarero (and 25th winner overall) did so in fair fashion, wiring a small field by covering five and a half furlongs in about 1:06 4/5.

Goldenrod Road (Montbrook-Special Report, by Notebook) acquitted himself well by finishing second, beaten less than a length, in an August debut at the allowance level. Dropped back among maidens, he was sent off as the 1/9 favorite, and ran like it. Bug boy Edwin Gonzalez basically stuck with a hand-ride until he saw C.A. Pizarro and Quality Dancer gaining in the final strides, then Gonzalez whacked the winner a couple of times to get a victory surge. Goldenrod Road won by a length and a quarter for Gonzalez, trainer Julio Diaz Jr., and owner Carlos Oyola. It was seven more lengths back to third-place Way to Bet.

I recommended Goldenrod Road as Hip 473 at the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. April auction of 2-year-olds in training. The bay colt brought only $23,000 from Oyola, causing me to scratch my head.

"Somebody call the Florida Bureau of Investigation, because this colt just got stolen," I wrote afterward.

Admittedly, I don't know how he vetted, and something about his action on the gallop-out in the Camarero video today caught my eye as perhaps imperfect. But as I noted during the sale, "he's by a sire who gets 20 percent juvenile winners, out of a mare who won at first asking at 2 and collected two stakes wins at 3, and the dam has three -- count 'em, three -- stakes-placed half-siblings who've earned a combined $300,000 and are by this very stallion." ... Goldenrod Road breezed a credible 21 4/5 quarter, to boot.

The dam has a full sister who earned $166,000 non-blacktype. The second dam also was a stakes winner at Calder. Third dam a multiple stakes-producer. Fourth dam a stakes winner and the granddam of $8.4 million-earning, two-time Japanese Horse of the Year SYMBOLI KRIS S.

"A swell prospect," I called this colt.

For Camarero, certainly, where he landed since nobody else wanted him very badly. And there, I think bigger things await him.

Considering it takes a few days for full charts to migrate from Puerto Rico to Equibase, I haven't updated this horse's record and earnings at the link below. I'll do that in the coming days. His win does make my sales picks 30-for-166 from all starts, a strike rate of 18.1 percent.

Goldenrod Road's victory starts out what could be a potent week for my sales picks in the maiden ranks, and potentially higher. Nine more sales-tip maidens are already scheduled to go to post on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, including pre-race favorites or second-favorites at Fairplex, Penn National and Philadelphia Park.

Thus far, the headliner for the weekend would be Rough Sailing, a $40K purchase identified as a top bargain prospect by me at Fasig-Tipton's Midlantic sale of 2-year-olds in training. The Mizzen Mast colt broke his maiden drawing off despite a poor start and tough trip at a mile on grass at Arlington Park Aug. 7. On Saturday, he is nominated to try Polytrack for the first time against seven rivals in the Arlington-Washington Futurity-G3. We know Rough Sailing can get the mile. Will his turf form translate to synthetic?

Check out the progress of all 187 sales tips (and a few horses whose prices or credentials I didn't like) in the list at this former post.

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