Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanks, Holy Kuga, for winner No. 42

On America's day of gratitude (and gratuitous grub) I had something to be thankful for even before lunch was on the table.

Holy Kuga broke her maiden in Churchill Downs Race 1, sent off at 11:31 a.m.

The 2-year-old Orientate filly grabbed the lead right out of the gate, jockey Rosemary Homeister Jr. got away with moderate fractions of 23.63 and 47.19 on the way to a 1:20.60 final time for six furlongs in the slop, and the duo defeated 5/2 favorite Sarah Douglas and Miguel Mena by two lengths. Holy Kuga paid $8.60 to win in the $15,000 maiden-claimer.

Chuck Peery trained the winner for owners James M. Connors, Jim Hawkins and Kevin Jacobsen. The dark bay or brown filly was bred in Kentucky by Liberation Farm & Oratis, and sold for $40,000 as Hip 116 at the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. February auction of 2-year-olds in training.

I tabbed Holy Kuga as a prospect despite her modest 10.4 eighth-mile drill in the under-tack show. I thought she moved well enough, regardless of what the stopwatch said. I also liked that her dam, Ed's Holy Cow (by Bet Big) was a 2-year-old winner, and that Holy Kuga's second dam was Sharon Brown (Al Hattab), best known as the dam of hall-of-famer and 1994 Horse of the Year HOLY BULL. Also in the filly's favor was her status as a full sister to Allude, who was a winner at 2 and twice stakes-placed at 3 for $88,219. Half-brother Cardinal Ryan (Hennessy) won 10 of 38 starts.

Holy Kuga was unplaced in her first three starts. With the victory, she has earned $10,795.

She becomes the 42nd horse to break maiden from the 187 selections I made on this blog out of several juvenile sales this spring. That's 22.5 percent winners so far from all selections, and 38.5 percent winners from the 109 who have made at least one start.

The sales class has 56 wins from 366 starts (15.3 percent), with 69 seconds and 39 thirds for an in-the-money rate of 44.8 percent. The group has earned a collective $3,032,352, which averages to $8,285 per start, and $27,820 per starter.

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