Sunday, April 17, 2011

Say 'Hi' to winner No. 73

Sand Hi outran his odds of nearly 14/1 Friday at Busan in Korea Friday to nab a half-length victory over second-favored Book Seven (13/2), in the process becoming the 73rd horse to break maiden worldwide from my Sales Tip Class of 2010.

I shortlisted the gelding by Stormy Atlantic-Hay Lauren, by Hay Halo, for a client at last May's Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Sale of 2-year-olds in training at Timonium, Md., where I considered him a "Priority 3" priority on my 48-horse list. The Murray Smith consignee sold for $20,000 at EASMAY, and was shipped to Korea, as were a number of my selected bargain hopefuls from several of last year's sales.

His first win came in his sixth start, with two prior third-place efforts to his credit. He has now earned $27,265. Sand Hi becomes the fifth of 12 sales selections sent to Korea to break maiden there, in a jurisdiction where 2-year-olds routinely race against older horses and maidens sometimes run against winners until those winners have banked enough bucks to move up out of "Class 4."

Sand Hi's win could have been just the first of many over the weekend for my sales-tip class, but fate wasn't on their side in races all over the United States and Canada. The class had seconditis this Saturday and Sunday, with five maidens finishing second in their respective races over the two dates: Abrianna by a length and a half among special weights at Keeneland; Vital Victory by a half-length for a tag at Gulfstream; Admitit by a length for a $50K tag at Woodbine, her fifth "place" to go with three "shows" from eight lifetime starts; Mugsy Dehere losing by two lengths among special weights at Charles Town (his sixth time in eight starts); and Uncle Carm being beaten a neck among special weights at Keeneland on Sunday.

Admitit, a $20,000 OBSAPR purchase, has earned $51,460 and Mugsy Dehere, who went for $40K at EASMAY, has banked $30,680, each without winning a race.

The seconditis this weekend extended to races among winners, as well, with Black Tulip being beaten a half-length among $50K claimers on turf Sunday at Keeneland.

Meanwhile, at Oaklawn Park Saturday, a late-running Alstom had his momentum stemmed coming off the turn for home, and by the time he angled out to find running room, he ran out of ground before grabbing a piece of the pie in the $100,000 Northern Spur Stakes. The $7,000 EASMAY purchase broke maiden at first asking earlier in the Oaklawn meeting among special weights, collected a fast-closing third beaten less than a length for first in allowance company next-out, and finished just a nose and a neck out of third in a stakes field in his third-ever start. I'm none-too-secretly hoping his owners, TBS Farms LLC, will send the son of Silver Train to Belmont and Saratoga for the rest of spring, summer and fall, so he can compete among his NY-bred brethren, as he's done well already in open company and there should be money to be banked in his home state.

With its 73rd winner, the Class of 2010 now boasts 39 percent winners from all 187 selections.

While the link does need some updating, you can follow the Class of 2010 here.


  1. Stormy Atlantic has made quite a name for himself with the recent stakes winners including multiple G1 victor Get Stormy. What do you think of him as a potential "sire of sires?"
    He has Indian Ocean standing for 2.5K in FL, and from what I remember, IO was very athletic in his heyday, even getting two turns successfully and in good time. Indian Ocean also hails from the Halo line from his damside.
    One might think there's nothing wrong with Storm Cat/Seattle Slew blood on the sireline, but in terms of Stormy Atlantic's sons at stud (there are a few, minus the recent death of probably his no. 1, Stormello), what crosses would you think may be successful with regional sons of Stormy Atlantic (if you believe $35K plus is a bit steep for a stud fee in KY these days..)?

  2. I'm really fond of Stormy Atlantic as a sire. He's probably my second-favorite son of Storm Cat, behind the sneaky Catienus.

    I guess it could be argued that neither are all that spectacular -- the AEI for each at present is only narrowly better than the CI of their mares. But considering pricey Storm Cat-line sires like Forestry (who has now fallen to $12,500), Giant's Causeway and Tale of the Cat have AEIs significantly below their mares' CIs (Giant's Causeway 1.96 AEI vs. 3.08 CI, for example), it also could be argued they're doing more with less than many from this fashionable, widespread and occasionally overrated line.

    Stormy Atlantic does have a couple of sons at stud, but none yet making a big impact. The loss of Stormello, a G1 winner himself with considerable speed, is significant.

    Stormy Atlantic's son Indian Ocean stands in Florida for a reasonable $2,500 and I've seen a few of his foals that I do like, including sales-tips Bestcasescenario (2-3-0 from nine starts for $39,970), and Banshee Indian (winner at Woodbine at 2, $27,889 so far).

    Son Gators N Bears won 10 of 32, longevity that many in the Storm Cat sireline seem to lack. He certainly hasn't hit it big yet, but at $1,500 in Maryland he's a reasonable bargain choice for someone who wishes to get a dose of Stormy Atlantic for their mares.

    I'm a big Get Stormy fan, and he'll get a chance at stud, being a G1 winner. His opportunity could be limited, however, by his status as a turf horse in the U.S., which can be a tougher sell, and the fact that his dam-line actually isn't very strong at all. His dam, Foolish Gal, is a four-race-maiden daughter of a fairly obscure sire in Kiri's Clown (a son of Foolish Pleasure, who won $1 million the hard way, from 16 wins in 62 starts). Second dam Galaxy North was unraced and likewise the daughter of a less-heralded (though still effective) descendant of a famous sire, Northern Dancer's son Far North. Get Stormy's third dam was a non-winning daughter of Apalachee, so in his first three dams the horse has six total starts and not even a third-place finish at the racetrack. None was much of a producer, either; professional racehorses who made starts and won races, but not stellar, blacktype-earning progeny. Even fourth dam Amerigo's Fancy, a 9f-turf track record-holder at Del Mar, did rather little in the breeding shed, with more unplaced and unraced foals than winners, despite G3 heroine Trillionaire.

    Get Stormy, then, is the outlier -- a stellar runner from a female family that is for generations is otherwise professional, but usually unspectacular. That makes it more of a gamble that he can bequeath his own talent on foal crops, because his overall genetic strength simply isn't that impressive.

  3. (Part 2)

    As for good crosses for Stormy Atlantic's regional sons, I think the no-brainer choice would be Mr. Prospector-line mares, the nick everybody tries at one time or another. (Northern Dancer/Mr. Prospector) Crossing back to Northern Dancer is a workable plan, and Stormello provided both of these breeding strategies, being out of a Carson City mare (Mr. Prospector-line) and 4x4 Northern Dancer as his only five-generation inbreeding.

    I like that Stormy Atlantic carries two lines of Bold Ruler, as I'm quite enamored of crossing back to that very potent stallion. Whether it speaks to the reason for his ability is impossible to know, but Get Stormy is out of a Bold Ruler-line mare, making him 5Sx6Sx5D to Bold Ruler. Gators N Bears is also 5x6x5 Bold Ruler (plus inbreedings to Somethingroyal and Majestic Prince). Hot Storm is 5x6x6x5 Bold Ruler, plus 3x3 Seattle Slew. And $1.9 million 2-year-old Atlantic Ocean (later a stakes winner, though hardly of millions) is 5x6x5x5 Bold Ruler, plus a super-close 3x2 Seattle Slew.

    Superior Storm, a real standout among LA-breds, is 4x5x4 Northern Dancer and 5x6x5 Bold Ruler.

    Near-millionaire Icy Atlantic, however, is a five-generation outcross, suggesting that Stormy Atlantic can work with many different mares.

    Of note, though, Icy Atlantic has Sir Ivor on his dam's side, a half-brother to Secretariat on his sire's side. And a number of Stormy Atlantic's better foals -- including Icy Atlantic, Gators N Bears and Superior Storm -- likewise have the Secretariat/Sir Gaylord cross (which brings with it inbreeding to their dam, Somethingroyal), a cross that can also be found in otherwise very dissimilar-bred standouts like Smarty Jones. ... So finding Sir Gaylord in a prospective mare's pedigree might be a positive trait.

    I'd suggest that among the better mares for Stormy Atlantic's regional sons would be from the Mr. Prospector line and/or carry significant doses of Bold Ruler, potentially Northern Dancer, and Sir Gaylord if you can find him.

    Thanks for reading and for the thought-provoking comments and questions. I'll probably answer the Hawkster-related question later, as it's getting late and bed beckons. Must be up for work in six hours.


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