Saturday, November 27, 2010

Number of stakes horses reaches 15

As noted in a prior blog post, a Thanksgiving Day Grade 1 race in Puerto Rico provided this blog's Sales-Tip Class of 2010 with two new stakes horses as Concertos Pride and Hold Still finished second and third behind multiple graded-stakes winner La Glamorosa.

Those three formed the trifecta in the Clasica Dia de Accion de Gracias S.-G1 at Hipodromo Camarero.

I had hoped Hold Still could win the race, and she was favored on the morning line (albeit quite narrowly) over La Glamorosa, who had already won a G2 race going a shorter distance at Camarero. Hold Still's prior start was an allowance at Thursday's seven-furlong distance, a race in which she aired by six lengths (beating another stakes horse, La Kamikaze, by nearly 12 in the process), closing into a relatively brisk pace to win in a sharp time of 1:25.67.

Had Hold Still duplicated that effort on Thursday, she might have won by open lengths, as La Glamorosa scored the Grade 1 win in 1:26.71 over a fast strip. But this time, Hold Still came up a bit empty in the stretch, able to overtake the early leader, 5/1 Hjerdish, but not catch up to La Glomorosa, nor able to hold off fellow sales-tip Concertos Pride, who closed from last to grab second.

I recommended both Concertos Pride and Hold Still out of the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. April auction of 2-year-olds in training.

Concertos Pride (Concerto-Epistolary, by Deputy Minister) was bred in Florida by Ocala Stud, and sold for only $5,000 as Hip 1003 at OBSAPR. She is conditioned by Raul Perez for owners Establo Rio Canas, and now has two wins and four second-place finishes from eight starts, for $29,954.

I wasn't put off by the filly's 22.2 breeze, which was slower than many at the sale but could hardly be considered poor for an April 2-year-old. And I liked the fact that her dam, from the excellent broodmare-sire line as a daughter of Deputy Minister, had already produced nine winners from 13 older foals, including four stakes horses by four different sires: G3-placed TEXTURIZER (On to Glory); 11-time winner and G2-placed Deputy Lad (Mecke); eight-race winner Valid Chance (Valid Appeal); and Epistola (Buckaroo). Concertos Pride also has major-earning half-siblings of $100K by Forest Wildcat and $97K by Robyn Dancer, plus multiple-winning sibs by Pentelicus and Notebook.

As I noted about Epistolary in the past: "One sign of a good broodmare is her ability to do solid work with almost any sire."

Now Epistolary has produced her fifth stakes horse, none by the same sire. And Concertos Pride's owners have gotten good early returns on their $5,000 investment.

Hold Still (Include-Zitlaly, by Emancipator) sold for more -- $18,000 -- earlier in the sale, as Hip 696. She was bred in Kentucky by Charles H. Deters and is owned by Wanda Iris Inc. and trained by Samuel Diaz. She has now won three times with a second and a graded-stakes third from seven starts, for $32,963.

Her eighth-mile breeze of 10.3 was fair for OBSAPR, and I couldn't look past the fact that her female family simply wins. Her dam ran 46 times, winning six and placing in another 15 including some Illinois-bred stakes races, for $212,327. Hold Still's winning second dam also produced $199,981 stakes winner LA JOYERIA (42 starts). Stakes-winning third dam RAPID RAJA was a half-sister to Cowdin S.-G2 winner NATIVE RAJA and to 24-win stakes-placer Naroctive.

The stakes-placings by Concertos Pride and Hold Still runs the number of stakes horses to 15, or 8 percent of my 187 recommended horses this year, and 13.8 percent of the 109 that have started at least one race.

The class has five stakes winners: RIGOLETTA (Oak Leaf S.-G1, $180,820); GOURMET DINNER (Delta Downs Jackpot S.-G3, Florida Stallion Dr. Fager S., Florida Stallion Affirmed S., $809,660); REPRIZED HALO (Florida Stallion In Reality S., only horse to defeat Gourmet Dinner, $254,016); PULGARCITO (Governor's Cup S., $61,170); and FISCAL POLICY (Bassinet S., $59,080).

There are eight stakes-placers in addition to the new two from Puerto Rico: Delightful Mary (2nd Mazarine S.-G3A, 3rd Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies S.-G1, $310,377); Alienation (2nd Spinaway S.-G1, Adirondack S.-G2, $104,000); Rockin Heat (2nd Summer S.-G3T, Grey S.-G3A, $148,496); Stopspendingmaria (2nd Schuylerville S.-G3, $59,167); Rough Sailing (2nd Arlington-Washington Futurity-G2A, euthanized after a spill in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf S.-G1, $37,534); Spring Jump (2nd White Clay Creek S., $50,160); Goldenrod Road (3rd Clasico Fanatico Hipico-G3(PR), $14,412); and non-blacktype-placed Blue 'Em Away (2nd Osiris S.-N, $16,833).

Of the sales-tip stakes horses, only two cost more than $90,000 at the sales: Delightful Mary was the $500,000 sale-topper at OBSAPR, while Fiscal Policy brought (a surprising to me) $140,000 at the same sale.

And out of 15 stakes-winners or -placers I recommended, 10 of them -- that's fully two-thirds of the 15 -- cost $40,000 or less: Rigoletta; Gourmet Dinner; Reprized Halo; Pulgarcito; Rough Sailing; Spring Jump; Concertos Pride; Hold Still; Goldenrod Road; and Blue 'Em Away.

Those comparative bargains cost a total of $263,000 to buy -- an average of just $26,300 per horse -- and have earned a combined $1,487,522, or $148,752 apiece.

Follow all 187 sales-picks, and a few pans, at this former post.

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