Saturday, April 9, 2011

Unstoppable Mick splashes to sales tips' 100th win

A 3-year-old gelding that I tabbed as a "steal" of last year's Keeneland April sale, where he was bought for $10,000, sloshed his way to a second career victory Friday night in allowance company at Mountaineer Park.

In the process, Unstoppable Mick scored the 100th victory by my 187-member sales-tip Class of 2010.

Unstoppable Mick broke his maiden for KEEAPR buyer Connie Apostelos by a wide margin of 10 1/4 lengths at Turfway Park on March 18, for a $15,000 tag. The gelding had hit the board in four of five starts to that point, but earned only $9,429 in the process due to Turfway's second-rate purse structure.

He was claimed from that easy, all-weather-track win by trainer Rodney C. Faulkner for new owner Frank Irvin, who wheeled him back 20 days later in allowance company at the West Virginia track not too far away, and for a bigger total purse of $20,200. Twelve days short of his actual third birthday (he was foaled April 20 in Kentucky) and in a nine-horse field that included seven 4-year-olds, Unstoppable Mick was sent off as the roughly 3/2 favorite at Mountaineer Friday. He proved worthy of the bettors' confidence, circling the field five-wide on the turn and slogging home 7 1/2 lengths the best under urging by Ernesto Oro. The win was worth $11,918, bumping Unstoppable Mick's career earnings to $21,347.

The gelding covered six furlongs over a sloppy, sealed track in 1:12.21.

I considered the son of Silver Deputy-Flower Canyon, by Gulch the first of 11 "steals" of Keeneland's April sale a year ago when he sold for $10,000 as Hip 17 on the day. I liked that while the then-colt's page wasn't blotted with black type, his dam was a winner at 2 who had borne five winners from seven prior foals, three of them full siblings to this one who had already won 10 times between them.

Unstoppable Mick nearly lost out on the honors of posting the sales class' 100th win. A couple of hours earlier at Penn National, Bibblesman, who broke his maiden on March 16 at Penn two days before Unstoppable Mick's maiden win, was the beaten favorite at 6/5 odds in an allowance race. Bibblesman was caught at the wire by 4-year-old second-favorite Rascal Flatter, and lost by a neck. I selected the colt by Sharp Humor-Sparkling Forest, by Forest Wildcat as a potential bargain for a client at last year's Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Sale in May. He sold for $22,000 at Timonium, and now has a win and two seconds from four starts, for $46,660.

Follow all 187 sales picks, and a handful of pans, throughout their careers, at this link.

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