Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Bargain Blacktype: Spring Jump sloshes her way to stakes status with photo for place at Delaware Park

A buyer can spend millions at the sales trying to buy a stakes-class racehorse, and maybe the more he spends, the better his chances.

But at Delaware Park Wednesday, there was proof that a bargain-buyer with a good eye can find remarkable value at the sales in a horse that increases her own value by later winning or placing in stakes company.

One of the fillies who fit that bill Wednesday was Spring Jump (Jump Start-Meg's Answer, by West Acre), who overcame her own issues in the stretch to salvage second by the whiskers of her muzzle over Mis Vizcaya in the White Clay Creek Stakes. Spring Jump was a $19,000 purchase at Fasig-Tipton's Midlantic Sale of 2-year-olds in training this may -- a short-listed horse of mine in my first assignment as a hired bloodstock advisor. And the race was won by the Arnold A. Heft-owned filly Red's Round Table, who was picked up for a mere $5,000 as a sales yearling.

Mis Vizcaya, for the record, was sold for $50,000 both as a yearling and as a 2-year-old.

Red's Round Table proved much the best on this day, breaking like a shot from the first post and holding court on the rail all the way around the sloppy six furlongs, run in 1:11.25. Spring Jump went right with her until veering into the center of the track coming off the turn, lugging out and seemingly struggling to change leads.

Jockey Gabriel Saez -- aboard Spring Jump in place of her usual pilot, Luis Belmonte, who was named to ride at time of entry -- got the filly back on task and she dug in gamely for a stretch run against Mis Vizcaya, who was charging up the inside. The head-bob went to Spring Jump in one of the closest photos imaginable.

I didn't just tout Spring Jump at the sales, I was plugging her among my wagering friends on Wednesday. I couldn't believe that she was available at such a price (8/1 on the morning line became 14/1 at post time), since her career-best Equibase Speed figure of 90 was second-best in the field to short-priced favorite Juanita's prior-best 96. The only time Spring Jump had faced any of these opponents in a race, she whipped 9/1 Sopchoppy (who was a heavy favorite that day) by 4 1/2 lengths gate-to-wire in allowance company at Penn National.

Juanita finished a well-beaten fourth, and Sopchoppy last of five.

Spring Jump, to me, was an obvious overlay at 14/1. I e-mailed a pal (who got his bets in on time) and tweeted my tip of Spring Jump to all my followers on Twitter as the minutes-to-post dwindled. I don't know whether any of the Twitter folks took my advice. But if they did -- and though Spring Jump didn't win -- they were rewarded with prices of $6.60 to place and $7.80 to show. (A fairly rare occurrence of getting more value on the show-bet.) Anyone who took her across-the-board came out $2.40 ahead for every dollar wagered.

Most important, Dorado Circle Stables LLC keeps coming out ahead in its acquisition of Spring Jump for $19,000 as Hip 234 at EASMAY. She's won two of five with a stakes-second and legit excuses in her other two races -- very fractious in the gate and five-wide for her debut, a bum run on Tapeta at Presque Isle Downs in her stakes debut last-out. She's banked $50,160, has increased her residual value by stamping her catalog page with individual blacktype, and looks like a filly who still has room to move forward.

To his credit, trainer Flint Stites has done an excellent job with Spring Jump.

In my hired role as bloodstock advisor, and with instructions to find the least-expensive "good" horses at EASMAY, I short-listed Hip 234, now known as Spring Jump, as a "Priority 2" in a four-tiered ranking of horses on which we planned to bid. Knocking her out of "Priority 1" status was mostly her status as the first foal from an unraced dam, Meg's Answer, who is by a fairly modest sire in West Acre.

I did like that her second dam, Spring Hill Answer, was a durable mare who won 11 times in modest company and later produced three stakes horses, including MAGNUS ONE and SNAPPY ANSWER.

For her own part, Spring Jump breezed 11-flat -- which was decent over a slow Timonium, Md., fair grounds track -- and caught my eye as "among the tallest I screened (with) a nice head and eye (and) a good shoulder."

I thought she looked great on streaming video from Delaware Park in the White Clay Creek Stakes post-parade Wednesday, and she made a pretty decent run despite her stretch troubles to become the 12th of my 187 juvenile sales tips of 2010 to become stakes-placed-or-better.

Through Wednesday's action, the sales-tip class has won 45 of 290 starts (15.5 percent), placed another 58 times (35.5 percent in the exacta) and finished third another 28 times (45.2 percent on the board). They have earned $1,983,672, which is $6,840 per start.

Follow their performance in the list at this former post.

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