Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Viva Ace trumps field at Busan

Maiden-breaker No. 37 for my sales-tip Class of 2010 also earns the distinction of being the first winner from a contingent of a dozen that were sent to Korea.

Viva Ace (Macho Uno-Dancing Lake, by Meadowlake) bested a field of nine rivals at BusanKyeongnam race course on Sunday, winning his first lifetime race in his second career start. He had placed second in his debut.

The gelding was ridden to victory by You Hyun Myung, and trained by Kang Hyoung Gon for owner Hong Kyung Pyo. He covered 1,200 meters in 1:13.9, and has earned $23,937 from his two starts. (Provided this currency converter is correct.)

The race is not officially a "maiden's only" race, as those don't exist in Korea, where horses can continue to race among "Class 4" competition (the lowest available), even after they've won, until they earn enough money to advance to Class 3. But there were no winners in against Viva Ace on this day, and six of his nine opponents in the race for imported horses were also 2-year-olds. (Second went to an Australian-bred 4-year-old named Seonggong Bulpae, and third to a U.S.-bred Trippi colt named Suhosin).

Tasked by a client to find the best values among the bargain-priced offerings at Fasig-Tipton's Midlantic Sale of 2-year-old in Training this May, I shortlisted Viva Ace as a "Priority 2" animal. He sold for $20,000 as Hip 90, but I had decided to pass on him when we reached his number in the sale order due to lengthy pasterns that I thought might make him tougher to keep sound. (Photo above from the Korean Stud Book Web site.) I felt there were still a number of horses on our list later in the sale, at least one of which we would end up getting, and about which I wouldn't have that particular concern.

Consigned by Harris Training Center, the youngster posted a 10.3 breeze -- quick for this sale -- and I still did believe that he has some up-side, including blacktype second and third dams.

He's obviously looked pretty good in his first two starts.

With all available statistics tabulated through Tuesday's results (minus a Puerto Rican stakes race I'll report soon), the 187-member sales class has sent 105 horses to post (56.2 percent), with 37 winners (19.8 percent of all selections, 35.2 percent of those to race).

The class has made 326 starts, winning 49 (15 percent), placing in 65 (35 percent in the exacta) and finishing third in another 30 (44.2 percent in the money). Class earnings now total $2,285,851, which is $7,012 per start and $21,770 average per runner.

Follow the class in its entirety in the list at this former post.

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