Thursday, November 25, 2010

Bestcasescenario picks up second victory

The best-case scenario for a racehorse when sent off as a favorite?

Win like a favorite should.

Bestcasescenario collected his second lifetime victory from six starts Wednesday night at Charles Town, being "kept to task" by jockey Joshua Navarro and scoring by three lengths at odds of 3/2 in $12,500 claiming company.

One of 187 selections I made on this blog from several spring juvenile sales, Bestcasescenario sat a length and a half off a blistering pace set by second-favored Round Em Up Will (5/2), who covered the first quarter of a 4 1/2-furlong race in 21.91. Bestcasescenario inherited the lead in the stretch when Round Em Up Will faded to fourth, readily holding off 21/1 Song for Nicole, a filly in amongst colts, and Saint Good Luck, who both did their best running too late.

Final time for 4 1/2 furlongs over the fast dirt at the Charles Town bullring was 52.92.

Bestcasescenario (Indian Ocean-Stacie's Halo, by Halo) was bred in Florida by Bridlewood Farm. He was a $47,000 RNA at the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. April auction of 2-year-olds in training, where he was catalogued as Hip 482. After failing to meet his reserve price at the sale, Bridlewood Farm and J. Contessa became the owners of record as the horse tried to earn his keep at the racetrack. He scored his maiden-breaking win in his third lifetime start on Aug. 20, taking a field of $20,000 maiden-claimers gate-to-wire at Monmouth.

He was claimed from those connections and trainer Gary Contessa in his next effort, a neck-loss in a Laurel Park claimer. The colt was again second when running for a tag at Laurel in his first start off the claim for new owners East Coast Thoroughbreds LLC and trainer Henry Walters. Now, those connections collect the $10,800 paycheck for the colt's victory Wednesday night at Charles Town.

I was perhaps a bit surprised he didn't sell for $47,000, being by Bridlewood's own, modestly priced and unproven sire in sophomore Indian Ocean ($4,000 live-foal). But I suspect his blistering 9 4/5 eighth-mile drill, tied with several others for second-fastest at the OBSAPR under-tack show, had the sellers hoping for an even bigger payday.

There were reasons to recommend the colt beyond his fast breeze. His dam won five races herself, and was already 7-for-7 at foaling winners in her broodmare career. Her offspring include Grade 2-winning juvenile WORSTCASESCENARIO (Forbidden Apple), who won the Adirondack Stakes on dirt at the Spa last year and has hit the board in three stakes races at 3 (two on grass, one on the Woodbine Polytrack) for $144,474 at this writing. Second dam STACIE'S TOY (Baldski-Butter Fat, by Prince Taj) won five stakes races and earned $450,753, and her full-sister, MISSY BALDSKI, and half-sister, BUTTERFLY ROSE, were both champion juveniles in Norway.

"This one has a chance," I wrote in recommending Bestcasescenario. And if he was going to be any good at all, his family suggested that he was bred to be early.

Two wins and two seconds from six starts at 2, with $35,530 banked, isn't a bad juvenile season so far. And I think the colt has a lot of winning ahead, as both his all-weather-running sire (a G3 winner and G2-placed on synthetic in California) and his three-surface stakes-performing sister suggest Bestcasescenario might be able to take his game onto any surface.

Pedigree enthusiasts would quickly note his terribly close, 3x2 inbreeding to dam-sire Halo, who also was the dam-sire of Bestcasescenario's own sire, Indian Ocean. Bestcasescenario is also inbred 5x5x5 to Northern Dancer. (And Indian Ocean is inbred 5x5 to both Northern Dancer and the superior race- and broodmare South Ocean, as Indian Ocean's great-grandsire, Storm Bird, and his third dam, Oceana, were full siblings.)

Bestcasescenario's win gives the 187-member Sales-Tip Class of 2010 a 55-for-361 mark from all races; a strike rate of 15.2 percent. The 41 maiden-breakers represent 21.9 percent of all selections and 38 percent of the 108 who have started. The class has now earned $3,020,013, for $8,366 per start and an average of $27,963 per starter.

Follow the full sales class at this former post.

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