Thursday, October 21, 2010

Lost Webos helps Class of 2010 relocate maiden mojo

It had been 16 days since this blog's Sales-Tip Class of 2010 celebrated a maiden-breaker.

R Canadian Academy was a winner in maiden special weight company on Oct. 4 at Beulah Park. The drought since then was the longest my slate of 187 recommended horses had gone without getting a new first-time winner since it took a month -- from May 15 to June 16 -- between maiden-breakers 1 and 2 (Code Dancer and Lime Rock Revenge), at a time of the season when 2-year-old races are only just beginning to appear on the cards at American tracks. (Though seven horses from the class had finished second in maiden company worldwide in the interim.)

Lost Webos put an emphatic end to the skein Wednesday at Penn National, dropping all the way down to maiden-claiming $10,000 and winning like he didn't belong there. (But escaping unclaimed.)

The Formal Dinner colt debuted with a respectable fourth in maiden special weight company, but finished fourth again when dropped to maiden $32K. So the connections -- owner Sylmar Farm and trainer T. Bernard Houghton -- obviously went for the aggressive drop to get that first victory and a check for $12,240, running the Lost Webos bankroll to $15,480 from three starts.

He was sent off as the 8/5 favorite in a field of nine. David Cora positioned the eventual winner just a length or so off the brisk fractions of 22.27, 45.88 and 58.62 set by eventual place-finisher Safe Back. Lost Webos took over in the final sixteenth to win by a widening three and three-quarters lengths, covering five furlongs on dirt in 1:05.30. It was another six lengths back to third-place R H Centenario.

Lost Webos was bred in Pennsylvania by Norman and Peggy Dellheim, the later of whom was the consignor when he failed to sell both as a yearling at the OBS August sale ($1,500 RNA) and at age 2 at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Sale of 2-year-olds in training, where the unsuccessful top bid was $19,000.

I recommended Lost Webos to a client as Hip 141 at EASMAY. In fulfilling the client's request for a bidding list of bargain-priced horses who still should be useful at the track, I liked the Formal Dinner colt because his sire pretty consistently produces horses that will stand up to training and give their auction-buyers a chance for a win (or a few) without breaking the bank when acquired at the sale. I was also pleased that while his dam, the Proud and True mare Fountain of Truth, was only a modest winner, his minor stakes-winning second dam (Noble Pardner) was a 100 percent producer of winners from foals. Many didn't run out for a lot of money, but they raced and they won, and you can't be a great racehorse or even a good one without first being a winning one.

We were already out of the bidding when the hammer fell just a grand shy of $20,000, without the colt selling. But his RNA price was still well below the sale's nearly $50,000 average and -- though dropped aggressively to do it -- Lost Webos has accomplished something few from that sale yet can say.

He's a winner.

Lost Webos is the 34th maiden-breaker from the 187-member sales-tip class; that's 18.2 percent of all selected horses and 35.4 percent of the 96 selections to have made at least one start. (With 96 runners, the class now has eclipsed the 50-percent-starters mark, as well, with 51.3 percent to race.)

Lost Webos is the seventh horse from my 48-horse bargain list at EASMAY to become a winner; that's 14.6 percent. Of those seven winners, even the highest-priced to go through the ring brought less than the sale average, and that horse -- $40,000 Rough Sailing -- is Grade 3-placed in the Arlington-Washington Futurity.

The victory is the 44th for the class out of 274 starts, for a strike rate of 16.1 percent. The group also has finished second a combined 53 times (35.4 percent in the exacta) and third another 27 (45.3 percent on the board). Their earnings have reached $1,899,426, for $6,932 per start.

You can follow the progress of all 187 sales-picks -- and a few pans (including $350,000-purchase Jaeger, who was fifth beaten nearly 40 lengths on a wet track at Delaware Park Wednesday) -- in the list at the bottom of this former post.

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