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.

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