Thursday, December 30, 2010

Kiss that maiden goodbye

As we're about to kiss their juvenile season goodbye, my sales-tip Class of 2010 -- slowed by weather and other scratches the past few weeks -- collected its 47th maiden-breaker Thursday in Aqueduct victor Kisses From Karen.

Maylan Studart hustled the filly away from the gate, taking advantage of their rail post, and got away with moderate fractions of 23.79 and 48.61 on their way to a 1:14.97 time for six furlongs, winning in gate-to-wire fashion among a field of fillies entered for maiden-claiming $16,000.

Kisses From Karen broke maiden in her fifth start, and has earned $13,852. She is owned by Engel Stable, Darlene Bilinski and Jennifer Contessa, and was trained for the win by Gary Contessa. The daughter of Chief Seattle-Senita Lane, by Ascot Knight, was bred in New York by Tom Dushas.

I shortlisted the dark bay filly when tasked by a client to find the most promising, but least expensive prospects at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Sale at Timonium, Md., in May. She sold for $15,000 as Hip 322. I liked that her modest stakes-winning dam (at Hastings Park in Canada) had produced 100 percent starters and six winners from seven older foals, including G2-placed Zip Quik, and that her stakes-placed second dam Kalispera (Golden Reserve-Juana Del Mar, by Fortino) also produced seven winners. It hasn't always been a brilliant family, but it has been a consistently winning one. Her 11-flat breeze was decent for the sale, and though she had a few minor conformational quirks, she showed good bone and was a decent mover.

As noted, Kisses From Karen becomes the 47th winner from the horses I selected on this blog from several of 2010's juvenile sales catalogs. That's 25.1 percent of all selections and 41.2 percent of the 114 to have made at least one start worldwide. The class has won 65 of 437 starts (14.9 percent) and finished in the money in 44.4 percent of all starts. Collective earnings have reached $3,324,960, which is $7,609 per start and an average of $29,166 per starter.

Of the 48 selections I shortlisted at EASMAY, where the horses I recommended on average cost less than half the sales average, Kisses From Karen is one of 26 to race (54.2 percent) and becomes the 11th to win (22.9 percent).

Follow the exploits of the entire sales class in the list at this former post.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Fiscal Policy salvages something from the week

A week that began so promising -- with a victory from the first of 21 entries worldwide, including 13 potential maiden-breakers -- has ended in pretty disappointing fashion.

A stakes-placing by a filly who was already a stakes-winner becomes the end-of-week news of note.

FISCAL POLICY, who already earned catalog blacktype with a win this summer in the Bassinet Stakes at River Downs, bounced back from a poor finish in the Delta Downs Princess S.-G3 to finish a clear second in the Letellier Memorial Stakes on Saturday at Fair Grounds. Fastation, the favorite at a little less than 3/2 odds, won by 3 1/2 lengths, but Fiscal Policy, sent off at 5/1, was 2 3/4 lengths clear of third-place Street Storm (5/2).

Final time for six furlongs was 1:11.19.

Robert L. Dodd bred the bay filly in Florida. I recommended Fiscal Policy (Wildcat Heir-Betty's Courage, by Montbrook) as Hip 801 at the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. April auction of 2-year-olds in training. She comes from decent family, though her dam was unraced, and I liked her 10-flat eighth-mile drill. But I'd hoped she would be available for maybe a few dollars less than the average Wildcat Heir foal, and she ended up selling for much more -- $140,000.

In five starts, she's collected two wins, a stakes win and stakes-placing, and has earned $71,080. So Fiscal Policy is halfway toward recouping that initial investment for Klaravich Stables and W.H. Lawrence.

I think trainer Tom Amoss might be back on track with this one after she flopped in the mile-and-a-sixteenth Delta Princess, a race that I believe is beyond what might be a sprinter's pedigree.

Also Saturday, Grade 3 winner GOURMET DINNER took a shot at G1 company, shipping to Hollywood Park for the CashCall Futurity. He came up short (in a race delayed more than 30 minutes by the winner's requiring re-shod); beaten by five lengths by Comma to the Top and finishing a head behind Clubhouse Ride for third. J P's Gusto was second. Gourmet Dinner did add $60,000 to his bankroll, running his juvenile-season earnings to $869,660, by far tops among the 187 2-year-olds I recommended from this year's sales.

On the subject of the class in general, it was a rough week. A pair of winners picked up second-place finishes, and a maiden also finished second. But several others disappointed, even a couple of favorites, and the class suffered three scratches, two in maiden races.

For the season the 187-member sales class has sent 113 of its number to post at least once (60.4 percent starters), with 46 winners, or 24.6 percent of all selections and 40.7 percent of those to race. They've won 64 of 428 starts (15 percent), and hit he board in 43.9 percent of all starts. Collective earnings are $3,295,506, which averages to $7,700 per start and $29,164 per starter.

Follow the class in its entirety at this former post.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Hold Still wins fourth, changes barns

The chart is in from Hipodromo Camarero, where on Monday Hold Still won her fourth race from eight starts, this time a $24,000 claimer.

The 2-year-old filly was among 187 sales-tips I made on this blog during the spring juvenile auction season. She was purchased by Guillermo Berrias for $18,000 as Hip 696 at the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. April auction of 2-year-olds in training, and made her first eight lifetime starts for Wanda Iris Inc., trained by Samuel Diaz.

In those starts, the bay filly by Include-Zitlaly, by Emancipator, won four times, placed second once, and was third in the Clasico Dia de Accion de Gracias S., a Puerto Rico Grade 1. She earned $37,463.

Hold Still was claimed from Monday's race by trainer Juan Diaz for Carlos Oyola Stable, which already owns another stakes-placed sales-tip from my 187 selections, the G3(PR)-placed Montbrook colt Goldenrod Road.

If her dam's record is any reflection, Oyola should get many more starts from Hold Still. Zitlaly raced 46 times and was twice stakes-placed among Illinois-breds at Fairmount Park and Hawthorne, earning $212,327. Hold Still is her first foal.

As of this writing, the sales-tips have 113 of their number to the starting gate, or 60.4 percent of all selections. There have been 46 maiden-breakers, which amounts to 24.6 percent of all selections and 40.7 percent of those to race. Fifteen of the class are at least stakes-placed (8 percent of all choices, 13.3 percent of those to race) and five are stakes winners (2.7 percent of all selections, 4.4 percent of raced foals).

The group has won 64 of 420 starts worldwide, a strike rate of 15.2 percent. They have placed 78 times and finished third on 45 occasions, for an in-the-money rate of 44.5 percent.

Total earnings are now $3,222,486, for an average of $7,673 per start, and $28,518 per starter. The class' median earnings are $9,100. Both average earnings and median earnings are higher, for example, than the average and median earnings of leading freshman sire Congrats, whose foals have posted figures of $26,820/$6,926 thus far in their juvenile seasons.

Follow the entire class of sales-picks, and a few pans, at this former post.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Pair of 'pans' debut, finish sixth and 10th

Two horses whose purchases I panned from this year's juvenile sales made their debuts on Sunday at Aqueduct in New York and Fair Grounds in New Orleans, with neither finishing on the board.

Frothy Market and Billy Smart finished sixth and 10th in their races, respectively, beaten roughly a combined 30 lengths.

In the process of putting together a 187-horse list of recommended picks from several juvenile sales this spring, I also took a stand against a handful of horses, often based more on their eventual prices at auction than their lack of any promise as race prospects.

Most of those -- eight of nine, to be exact -- were detailed in an installment of a three-part series I blogged following Keeneland's April sale. I picked the "steals" of the auction, I also listed horses that didn't sell but might be worth acquiring later, privately or at another sale ("second-chance deals"), and I named the ones whose prices (or in one case, huge price that was refused) made me gag a bit even though it wasn't my money being spent ("the surreal"). The ninth horse whose price, in my opinion, exceeded her promise, was Frothy Market, who was the only horse out of the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. April auction to be insulted by my upturned nose.

It was obvious that Frothy Market would bring big bucks as Hip 1194 at OBSAPR. She'd just blasted a breeze-show-best 9 3/5 seconds for an eighth-mile. Speed sells, in her case to agent Buzz Chace for a whopping $175,000. She races for Klaravich Stables Inc. and W.H. Lawrence.

But I declined to be swayed by her freakish breeze, believing the dark bay daughter of High Fly-Jovetta, by Elusive Quality was a bad bet. For starters, her young sire has done very little at stud. On the female side, her dam raced just once, and I have something of an aversion to the dam's sire, Elusive Quality, whose results on the track (with the exception of a few huge names) don't remotely match his stud fee. Frothy Market's second dam was a stakes-placer who won 17 times and produced G3 winner HAWKS LANDING -- that's nice -- but there's very little blacktype on the page.

On Sunday at Aqueduct, Frothy Market made her debut for the training barn of Chad Brown, with David Cohen in the irons. She didn't keep up with the 22.55/46.19 pace -- trailing by five lengths after a quarter and four lengths after a half -- nor did she have a finishing kick, finishing sixth of eight behind Backslash (who won in 1:12.94), beaten 14 1/4 lengths. Frothy Market, who was 5/1 on the morning-line but was sent off at over 15/1, earned $300.

Late in the afternoon at Fair Grounds, Billy Smart made his debut for the barn of trainer Mike Maker, coming home last of 10 at about 8/1 on the tote board, beaten 15 1/4. He ran a bit green, a bit wide, and was never really in contention. Fair Grounds paid no money past fifth place. The six-furlong event was won by Prime Cut in 1:12.47.

Billy Smart (Rockport Harbor-Limestone Landing, by Red Ryder) was one of several expensive purchases by a new and then somewhat mysterious concern that was very active at KEEAPR; a France-based group known as Prime Equestrian S.A.R.L. That organization bought three of the eight horses that made it on my list of pans from the auction, certainly a dubious honor.

This colt was handsome, with a bald face and stockings. But that can't account for his selling at a price of $310,000, as Hip 52. Especially since his blacktype-dotted catalog page and other credentials were good, but not phenomenal.

Billy Smart did breeze a very credible 21.4 over a quarter and is a half-brother to both Remington Park stakes winner and Louisiana Derby G2-placed IT'SALLINTHECHASE, and to G3-placed Upscaled. But I couldn't ignore that even those two relative standouts (pun not intended) were only a combined 3-for-29 lifetime. Billy Smart's dam was an 0-for-8 maiden and her sire was unraced (albeit a full brother to the great Mr. Prospector), and this colt's sire, Rockport Harbor, is an unproven freshman who made just eight starts himself, another example of the Unbridled line's tendency for brilliance coupled with retiring early and unsound. Back to the good, Billy Smart's second dam, ALVARADA, was a G3-placer, produced a couple of stakes horses, and is the tail-female line of many more.

So as I wrote at the time, "it isn't that I wouldn't want this horse at all; I might. But I wouldn't want him at $310,000. Not when I feel like I could buy four to six horses for that money who all would, in my mind and at this stage, be equally likely as this one to succeed at the track."

And honestly, that "four to six" horses for $310,000 would still be pretty generous in your spending.

With the two debuts, the nine-member "pan" list has now sent four horses to the track; Isaac Newton (another out of an Elusive Quality mare) is unplaced in one start, while Jaeger managed to dead-heat for third in his debut, but was beaten nearly 40 lengths when sent out around two turns in the mud in his second lifetime race.

The combined record of the pans is now one third-place dead-heat from five starts, for $5,822 in combined earnings. Granted, it's a very small sample (only nine horses) and still very early (December of their juvenile seasons). They all have time to come on and be world-beaters. But considering $1,175,000 was bid just on the four to have raced so far, you have to figure 0-for-5 and barely hitting the board once isn't the sort of early performance for which their connections would have hoped.

Among the pans, I say look out for Akkadian, a son of Tiznow who is breezing very briskly in California. I did find things to like about that horse, and he's absolutely gorgeous. But still, to pay back the $270,000 shelled out for him at KEEAPR, he'll have to do an awful lot of running.

You can follow all 187 of my picks and the nine panned horses in the list at the bottom of this former post.

Note: I'm not rooting against any of these horses nor their connections, even though I've spoken out against them as lacking value at the sales. But just as with the 187 horses I recommended, their performance merits consistent reporting to detail my own performance in handicapping the sales.

Exotic Korea: Trio of sales-tips combine for exacta in one race, plus a daily double, at Busan

How do you spell "daily double" and "exacta" in Korean? And do they offer the same sorts of exotics as American racetracks among the betting options there?

Those two questions crossed my mind this morning when I awoke to see that two of my juvenile sales tips of 2010 won back-to-back races at BusanKeyongnam racetrack, the first of them heading a "sales-tip exacta."

Fleeting Joy came home the winner by a length and a half in Race 2 at Busan Sunday, the 5/1 third choice in a field where the three top betting interests all came off my tip-list. He was followed home in second by fellow sales-tip and 9/2 Sniper King. The betting favorite, sales-tip Sand Hi at about 7/2, finished sixth, but beaten a grand total of about three and a quarter lengths. Since the online race charts at the Korean Racing Association's Web site don't include running lines or comments, I don't know whether he could make any excuses.

About 30 minutes later, two more sales-tips went to post in Busan's Race 3. In this one, Kidari Joe was the winner by a length and a half at about 11/2 odds over race-favorite Dave's Train, who was sent off at about 3/2. The fifth sales-tip to run in Korea on this day, Myeongpumtansaeng, finished last as the longest-shot on the board in Race 2, nearly 59/1. She was one of two fillies racing against nine colts and geldings.

Both races were Class 4 events for foreign-bred horses. Korean racing has no maiden races. Rather, a horse races among Class 4 company (either foreign-bred or domestic) until he has earned enough money to advance him to Class 3; sometimes it takes more than one win to accomplish, as it did for sales-tip Viva Ace, who finished second, first and first in three Class 4 efforts before promoting.

I recommended all five horses who ran on this day among 187 juveniles I selected on this blog from several of this year's 2-year-olds in training sales.

Fleeting Joy (Kitten's Joy-Speedy Sunrise, by Cherokee Run) is a dark bay or brown colt bred in Kentucky by Kenneth L. and Sarah K. Ramsey. He sold for only $7,500 to the Korean interests as Hip 476 at the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. April auction of 2-year-olds in training. I recommended the colt out of the same female family as G1 winner SIBERIAN SUMMER, English champ juvenile filly PLAYFUL ACT and others, then was a bit stunned by the price he commanded. Perhaps something on the vet report troubled buyers?

"A $15K RNA as a yearling, he's by a pretty good sophomore sire, out of a $102K-earning dam, breezed a respectable 10.2, and still didn't bring any money," I wrote following the sales session.

He's done OK so far in Korea, winning in his fourth start and hitting the board in two others for $25,763. (Runner-up Sniper King has two seconds and a third from four starts for $15,187.)

Kidari Joe, a dark bay or brown colt by Tiznow-Trickle of Gold, by Formal Gold, sold later in the same auction, as Hip 595, for a lot more money -- and still only $20,000. That price surprised me a little, as well, considering he's the first registered foal out of a Grade 3-winning dam who was victorious in 10 of her 20 lifetime starts for $467,709.

He also breezed 10.2 His dam sold in November 2009 in foal to Henny Hughes for $40,000. He struck me as on the short side, but he's solid as a side of beef and has acquitted himself well among the sort of horses that populate foreign Class 4 in Korea -- a group that might be limited in talent vs. maiden special weights at a premier American track, but which also often includes 3- and 4-year-olds, leaving the juveniles at some disadvantage.

"About as cheap as you can imagine getting a Tiznow, especially from a dam who could run," I previously said of this one.

His earnings from three starts, including a second place, have reached $22,780.

The two maiden-breakers bring the total number of winners to 46. That's 24.6 percent of all selections and a pretty fair 41.1 percent of the 112 to have made at least one start thus far.

The group has won 63 of 409 combined starts, a strike rate of 15.4 percent, and with 75 seconds and 45 thirds, their in-the-money rate is 44.7 percent.

Combined earnings have reached $3,192,809. That's an average of $7,806 per start and $28,507 per starter.

Follow all 187 sales-picks -- and a few pans, two of whom are set to make their racing debuts today -- in the list at the end of this former post.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Winner 44 was 'Lookin' better by the race

Consistent improvement and persistent effort finally paid off for Lookin At Options, as the 2-year-old colt wore down the leader and won by a head Saturday at Philadelphia Park, becoming the 44th of my 187 juvenile sales picks of 2010 to break his maiden.

After a rough debut effort among maiden special weight competition, Lookin At Options was dropped to maiden-claiming $25,000 by trainer Uriah St. Lewis, and progressively improved from fourth, to an impeded third, to second, and now the winner's circle. On this day, the colt who had previously shown his best run late, was ridden along early by jockey Gary Wales to stay closer to a blistering pace of 21.86/45.57, then was forced to loop the field wide on the turn. Just when it looked as though front-runner Sharp Pick and Eriluis Vaz might coast home with the win, Lookin At Options rallied down the center of the track, just getting up at the wire.

The chestnut colt covered six furlongs in 1:11.73.

Lookin At Options (Soto-Good Forecast, by Caveat) was bred in Kentucky by Highclere, and is owned by Trin-Brook Stables Inc. and Bleu Max Stable.

I shortlisted him for a client at Fasig-Tipton's Midlantic Sale of 2-year-olds in Training this May, where I was tasked to identify bargain runners with promise. Consigned by agent Randy Miles and catalogued as Hip 163, Lookin At Options sold to St. Lewis for just $8,500.

I considered the horse a "Priority 4" option, among a trio who were the lowest-rated on our bidding list. I actually liked a lot about him, including an 11-flat breeze that was fair for the sale. But I detracted for evidence of a past shin problem (which Miles said was healed, and appears to be), some niggling conformation issues (including one crack in a hoof), and a spotty produce record by his minor stakes-placed dam (five of seven prior foals to race but only three modest winners).

Still, he was muscular, sleek and I was convinced he'd be in our price range if we hadn't already walked away with a horse when his number was called. It's tough to quibble with St. Lewis' buying the boy for $8,500, now that he has a win, place and show from five starts (and I still say he got screwed out of second-money last-out), and has earned $27,360. The 1:11.73 time for 6f isn't all that bad, either, and the colt's penchant for laying back and closing late -- coupled with a dam by Caveat, a Belmont Stakes winner -- suggests to me he might remain stay competitive or keep improving as he matures and the races get longer.

With winner No. 44, the sales-tip class now has 23.5 percent winners from all 187 selections, and 39.3 percent of the 112 to have made at least one start. Through early evening action worldwide Saturday, the group has won 61 of 402 starts, for a strike rate of 15.2 percent. They have placed 74 times and come in third 45 more, for an in-the-money rate of 44.8 percent.

Combined earnings have reached $3,156,676, which is $7,852 per start and $28,185 per starter.

Follow the 187 sales-picks, and a handful of pans (two of whom make their debuts Sunday) in at following link.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Winner 43 a Pretty Tune to my ears

She didn't take the most direct and decisive path to the winner's circle -- neither on this day nor so far in her career -- but 2010 sales-tip filly Pretty Tune broke maiden at Philadelphia Park Tuesday in her seventh lifetime start.

The filly debuted unsuccessfully on July 8 among maiden special weight company at Calder Race Course in Florida, the state of her foaling. She then was whisked all the way north to Saratoga, where she made two unplaced starts on grass in August during the East Coast's marquee race meeting of the summer. All three of those starts were with Timothy Ritvo as the trainer of record.

Shifted to the barn of Donald R. White, Pretty Tune next appeared at Delaware Park on Oct. 12. Thirteen days later, now part of the Michael P. Petro string and with Nicholas Petro in the irons, she ran against at Delaware Park. Start No. 6 also was under the care of Petro, this time with Richard Bracho up, in a race at Philadelphia Park.

Back in the hands of White as her trainer of record, and with apprentice rider Kristina McManigell now in the irons, Pretty Tune was sent off at about 9/2 on Tuesday in the field of nine $12,500 claimers. She broke on top from Post 9, but after three furlongs of the five-and-a-half-panel event, she'd slipped to a close third behind Under the Sea (3/1) and Ali Bint Dumaani(11/1).

McManigell and Pretty Tune were hung on the outside -- and drifted even wider on the turn, all the way out to the middle of the track as it appeared the filly was tiring and losing ground. But just when it looked as though she'd given up her chance to win, Under the Sea caved (eventually finishing fifth) and Pretty Tune dug down for McManigell, reeling-in a tiring Ali Bint Dumaani inch by inch. The two hit the wire together, and Pretty Tune was declared the winner by a head in a photo that seemed even closer than that.

The 5/2 favorite, Hope to Win, showed little and finished next-to-last.

As noted, Pretty Tune is a Florida-bred, the product of a mating by Ocala Stud and William V. Terrill. She is owned by Terrill's Our Sugar Bear Stable.

I tipped the daughter of Concorde's Tune-Uppa Hughie, by Secret Prince, prior to her going through the ring as Hip 620 at the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. April auction of 2-year-olds in training. Bruce Brown made the top bid of $37,000 on behalf of Terrill, essentially divesting Ocala Stud's share in the filly and giving her other co-breeder full ownership.

In a similar situation, Terrill gained sole ownership this season of a colt he co-bred with Ocala Stud, Pretty Tune's fellow sales-tip GOURMET DINNER, for whom he had to bid $40K, but who has now has won four of five lifetime starts, three stakes including the G3 Delta Downs Jackpot, and banked $809,660.

Terrill likely won't make out nearly so well with this filly as with Gourmet Dinner, but she becomes the third winner from five matings between Concorde's Tune and her dam, including stakes-winning full sister OUR TUNE. Uppa Hughie, who cracked $117K in earnings despite only one win from 30 starts and no stakes performances, also produced SECRET FLAG, a non-blacktype winner in the States, but champion miler, stayer and older horse once sent to the Dominican Republic, where he won 32 races between the ages of 4 and 7.

The win gives Pretty Tune $18,747 in earnings from seven starts, which include a pair of third-place finishes at Delaware and Philly.

It also makes her the 43rd to break maiden from the 187 juveniles I selected on this blog out of several 2-year-old sales this spring. With 112 starters so far, 59.9 percent of the tips have managed to make a start at age 2, with 23 percent winners from all selections and 38.4 percent winners from those to race.

The 43 winners have won 60 of 395 combined starts (15.2 percent) with another 73 places and 45 shows, for an in-the-money rate of 45.1 percent. They have earned $3,132,634, which averages to $7,931 per start, and $27,970 per starter.

Follow all the sales-picks (and a few pans) at this former post.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Z Breeze wafts winner list back to 42

Z Breeze blew to victory in gate-to-wire fashion Saturday at Calder Race Course in Florida, becoming the 42nd official winner from my 187 recommended horses out of selected juvenile sales of 2010.

The class already had reached 42 winners before Cal-based runner Benecia was disqualified weeks later from a Fairplex win in September for having failed a drug test.

The fifth-time starter was sent off as the favorite at slightly higher than even money. He broke on top from the 5-post, quickly secured the lead by setting sensible fractions of 23.37 and 47.70 while racing off the rail, and widened in the stretch. A pair of 10/1 shots finished second and third, Sorrowful Jones by 3 1/4 lengths and Trump Card beaten 10 1/4.

Z Breeze is owned by GZS Stable LLC and trained by William White. He was ridden to victory by Manoel Cruz.

The chestnut colt by Storm Boot-Raria, by Rahy, was bred in Kentucky by Mrs. James B. Moseley. I recommended him when he was catalogued as Hip 316 at the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. April auction of 2-year-olds in training. He sold for $48,000 after running a very brisk, 10-flat eighth-mile.

I liked him, beyond the breeze, because he has a pair of full brothers who have earned six-figures apiece, albeit without scoring blacktype. (And it's worth noting a full sister didn't race at all.) Still, he looked the part, breezed the part, and though it took a drop to maiden-claiming $25,000, he's now played the part of a winner.

With win and a placing from five starts, Z Breeze has earned $12,371. He runs the sales-tip class (through Saturday's action) to 42 winners of 59 races, from 390 starts. That's a strike rate of 15.1 percent, 22.5 percent winners from the total of 187 sales selections, and 37.8 percent winners from the 111 to have made at least one start.

Class earnings have reached $3,111,614, which rounds off to averages of $7,978 per start, and $28,033 per starter.

Follow the 187-member class in its entirety, plus a few purchases for which I didn't so much care, at this prior post.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Gibson Home Run connects again

Hustled to the front by Patrick Valenzuela, Gibson Home Run shook clear of favorite Sammy Choi soon out of the gate and touched every base in first place on his way to victory Friday at Hollywood Park.

Gibson Home Run set fractions of 22.45, 45.87 and 58.02 for five furlongs, leading by two and a half to three lengths at each point of call. Valenzeula lost the whip inside the eighth-pole, but certainly didn't need it, as Sammy Choi caved coming off the turn and Gibson Home Run had no difficulty holding off previously stakes-placed Edgewick Road by three and a quarter at the wire in a hand-ride.

Worth noting, Edgewick Road made his 10th lifetime start Friday, a busy juvenile campaign.

Gibson Home Run paid $4.40, $3 and $3.80 as the second choice at slightly higher than even money. Sammy Choi was sent off at a bit of a short price, while Edgewick Road was nearly 9/1 and third-place Leon Ayala, who edged the favorite by a neck, was nearly 17/1.

The $25,000 claiming win is the third circuit-clout in five at-bats for Gibson Home Run, who runs his career earnings to $42,500. He is owned by Gary Barber, Roger Birnbaum and Kevin Tsujihara, and was trained for the win by Peter Miller.

Gibson Home Run, a bay colt by Gibson County-Tanja, by Allen's Prospect, was bred in Florida by McKathan Bros. I tabbed him among the 187 horses I recommended from this year's juvenile sales when he was catalogued as Hip 546 at the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. April auction of 2-year-olds in training. But his connections were able to land him for just $30,000 at the sale despite a blazing 9 4/5 eighth-mile drill.

Having lost a winner (with the post-race disqualification of Benecia from a September win at Fairplex), the list of maiden-breakers from that 187-member sales class stands at 41.

They've won 58 of 384 starts (15.1 percent), with another 72 seconds and 43 thirds, for an in-the-money rate of 45 percent. Their combined earnings are $3,099,271, which averages to $8,071 per start.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Drat: Winners list now minus 1

I keep pretty close tabs on the 187 horses I selected at this year's 2-year-old sales. But I'd missed this development.

The sales-tip class' 30th winner, Benecia, who broke maiden by more than five lengths at Fairplex on Sept. 26, was subsequently disqualified from that victory due to a positive test for a banned medication.

This came to my attention when I received a final entry notification for the filly in a race at Hollywood Park on Friday; a maiden special weight.

A post-race urine sample tested by the University of California's Maddy Analytical Laboratory came back positive for Indomethacin, a Class 3 nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory. Her victory and earnings were stripped, and both trainer Mike Pender and jockey Martin Pedroza were ordered to return their earnings from the race to the Hollywood Park paymaster of purses by Dec. 13.

Benecia had already raced once among winners after her now-overturned maiden-breaker and before the disqualification, placing third in a $40,000 starter allowance on Oct. 15 at Hollywood Park.

Official winner of that September Fairplex race is now Sly Kitty.

Benecia's record (now 0-0-1 from three starts) and earnings ($3,920) have been adjusted in the comprehensive list of sales tips and their performance. I have neither energy nor inclination to go back and correct all calculations of the class' combined record and earnings in every post since the DQ.