Monday, November 22, 2010

Two new winners for Class of 2010

If juvenile colt Rockin Heat had a theme song, his name would suggest the genre, and the tune might be Ringo Starr's "It Don't Come Easy."

But on Saturday at Woodbine, "it" -- that being a maiden-breaking victory -- finally came, as Rockin Heat, who finished second in each of his first four lifetime starts, twice in Grade 3 stakes company, managed to score when dropped back in among maidens. Even so, the fella still had to fight for it, as the Smart Strike colt Breaking Ball was closing in the final strides and wound up only beaten a neck.

Rockin Heat's victory was one of two in the maiden ranks Saturday as Starship Success broke through later in the day in her fifth lifetime start at Calder.

Eurico Da Silva and Rockin Heat were sent off as the odds-on favorite in the 8.5-furlong all-weather test at Woodbine. After rating in fifth, they struck the lead in the stretch, but were never much clear as Breaking Ball, who had gotten away a little slow from the gate, was game to the finish.

The winner crossed the wire in 1:45.16.

Rockin Heat was trained bred in Kentucky by Y-Lo Racing Stables Inc., and is now owned by Bear Stables Ltd. He was trained for the win by Reade Baker.

I recommended Rockin Heat before he sold for $85,000 as Hip 97 at the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. April auction of 2-year-olds in training. I'm enamored of his young sire, Rock Hard Ten, and his dam, Makin Heat (Makin-Warmedbythesun, by Lobsang(IRE)) was twice a minor stakes winner from 15 starts, for $154,682. Rockin Heat's second dam was the sturdiest of mares, winning 15 times form 93 starts from ages 2 through 8, and his third dam, Tongario (Grey Dawn II-Inge, by Post Card) among her nine winners also bore the additional victors of 17, 10, 10 and eight career races.

The colt who would later be named Rockin Heat breezed a sharp 21.3 for a quarter-mile, despite obviously being a boy with a lot of growing left to do.

And even before winning, he's proven his worth. He was twice second in maiden races before being thrown into stakes company on two occasions. There, he continued to battle his way to second place finishes, the first time by just a length in the Summer S.-G3 on turf to Pluck (who went on to win the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf-G2), and then by only a half-length on Woodbine's all-weather main track in the Grey S.-G3 to Blue Laser.

With his breakthrough win, Rockin Heat is now 1-4-0 from five starts, with two G3-placings, for $148,496.

Elsewhere on Saturday, while Rockin Heat was winning in Ontario, an Ontario-bred filly from the sales-tip class was breaking her maiden much further south, at Calder Race Course in Florida.

Starship Success was unplaced in four prior starts. Dropped to maiden-claiming $12,500, she staked out a spot on the rail and pressed the pace set by heavily favored Princess Aragorn to her outside, took command entering the stretch, and won by a widening four lengths.

Starship Success covered seven furlongs on dirt in 1:29.03 for winning jockey Juan Delgado. She was trained for the win by Steve Dwoskin, and is owned by Starship Stables. The chestnut filly by Forest Camp-Our Lady's Wish, by Secret Claim, was bred in Ontario by James A. Everatt, Janeane A. Everatt and J. Arika Everatt-Meeuse.

I tipped Starship Success when she was catalogued for sale as Hip 232 (and then-named Off to Granny's) at OBSAPR. She breezed only a dull 11.2 for an eighth, and perhaps that contributed to her rock-bottom price of $6,700 to Starship Stables. But there was plenty of reason on the page to want this filly.

Though her dam only raced twice, and was unplaced, she had already produced nine winners from as many foals of racing age, and those older siblings to Starship Success had already banked about $1 million before their little sister ever sold. Five of those siblings were stakes-placed at Meadowlands or in Canada. Second dam Northern Willow was a half-sister to two-time Canadian champion VICTORIAN PRINCE, and produced Canadian Horse of the Year L'ALEZANE.

I noted that the 11.2 breeze should keep the price down, "but none of this dam's foals have failed to win yet." And that still holds true.

With the two winners, the number of maiden-breakers from the 187-member sales class (as noted above) has reached 41, or 21.9 percent of all selections. With 107 selections now to make at least one start, the number of maiden-breakers from raced foals is 38.3 percent.

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