Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Circumstance a maiden-breaker by clear margin

Under different circumstances, the filly might have broken maiden as a 2-year-old. As it is, Circumstance cleared that hurdle Tuesday at Parx Racing in Philadelphia, booted home by apprentice Kennel Pellott in her second lifetime start and the first of her 3-year-old season.

Circumstance becomes the 83rd winner from my 187-horse Sales-Tip Class of 2010; that's 44.4 percent. She's now earned $36,900 from two lifetime starts.

Finishing third in the same race and also making her 3-year-old bow was another of my sale selections from last year, Hard Rock Candy, who was 4-for-5 as a runner-up last year at 2. She would have played the bridesmaid again in this race were it not for a late surge by 4/5 favorite Deflate the Bubble, who got up for second by a neck but was still beaten a widening 3 3/4 by Circumstance in 1:10.32 for six furlongs.

Circumstance debuted at Philadelphia Park on Sept. 18 last year, stumbling at the break, being rushed into contention and getting hung wide on the turn, but still hanging on for the show. Second in that race was none other than Hard Rock Candy in a race won by that day's 3/1 favorite, Floating Dream. That race would be Circumstance's only start at 2.

Much like upon my initial recommendation, when I tipped Circumstance as Hip 388 in the 2010 Ocala April sale (from which she was withdrawn before selling), I'll quickly confess that I have soundness concerns for this talented filly. Her sire, 2-year-old champion Vindication, only raced four times in his life. Her dam, Scapegoat (Forty Niner-Old Goat, by Olden Times), was unraced. It instills no newfound confidence that Circumstance only made the single start at 2, has had breaks in her work tab of a month or two here and there, and has been scratched twice at age 3 before finally making her first sophomore start.

Still, I thought (and continue to think) that she'd have been worth a shot at the sale due to some strong female family and what I had expected would be a lower-than-normal price for a talented daughter of short-lived Vindication (a victim of fatal colic at age 8). She had failed to meet reserve at $55,000 as a September Keeneland yearling, and if breeder Gaines-Gentry Thoroughbreds really wanted to sell her at Ocala last year, I suspect they might have had to settle for something short of a triple-digit price. Either Gaines-Gentry decided not to sell her, or possibly a physical issue came up after her 10.2 breeze at the under-tack show; either way, she was withdrawn from OBSAPR 2010.

The dark bay filly clearly has some get-up-and-go, though, and it's consistent with her female family. Her dam is a half-sister to G2 winner HIGHLAND PARK, listed winner ALL ABOUT STYLE and G3-placed Old Bid. Despite not racing herself, Scapegoat has produced eight winners from 12 prior foals. That band of foals includes stakes winners TRES CORONAS and DESCAPATE and stakes-placed Brocco Bry.

Still, the soundness questions do persist. Circmumstance has two full sisters, a 2005 named Whitefield who never raced and a 2007 named Savemyspotimbeting who debuted a winner in January of her 3-year-old season and has only raced twice since. Descapate (Dehere) raced seven times; maidens Erin's Song (Unbridled's Song) and Fearless Wildcat (Forest Wildcat) just twice and once, respectively. Half-brother Giantscape (Giant's Causeway) broke down in training after winning two of his first three lifetime.

A few siblings have trained on, notably the aforementioned Brocco Bry (Brocco), who finished up with 65 starts. Tres Coronas (Chief's Crown), Ignition (Tale of the Cat), Processor (Forestry) and Subscriber (Deputy Minister) all made between 20 and 37 starts.

But early circumstantial evidence (since I'm not privy to her vet bills) suggest that trainer Ronny Werner might have his hands full in keeping Circumstance sound.

Here's hoping that he does, and that if Circumstance does someday enter the Gaines-Gentry broodmare band -- or anyone else's, for that matter -- she, for the love of Round Table, is bred only to sires who were practically bulletproof.

Follow the progress of Circumstance and the other 186 sales-picks in the list at the end of this prior post.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Stakes-winning Signal Alert third in graded debut

SIGNAL ALERT -- fastest 2-year-old in Trinidad and a track record-setter already at age 3 -- came up short in his graded-stakes debut May 21 in the Santa Rosa Dash-G2 at Santa Rosa Park.

The 1,200-meter race was won by two-time reigning Trinidad Horse of the Year Bruceontheloose in a Santa Rosa track record of 1:09.2. Bruceontheloose is a Jamaican-bred 6-year-old son of Wheelaway. He has now won 14 of 18 lifetime starts in Trinidad according to the Trinidad & Tobago Racing Authority.

Signal Alert was the buzz-horse leading up to the race, blamed for scaring away competition after going 4-for-4 to start his career, including a record-smashing 1:15.90 for 1,300 meters at Santa Rosa Park. But on this day, he lost out not only to the experienced champion, but to a fellow 3-year-old in second-place stablemate Readbetweendlines (Consolidator).

I recommended the son of Omega Code-Southern Alert, by Southern Halo, before he sold for $35,000 as Hip 465 at the 2010 Ocala April sale. He was immediately sent to Trinidad, where he has fared quite well. The colt's 10.1 breeze was attention-getting, and I expected him to be not only fast, but fast early, as his sire was a track record-setter at 2 and his dam set a track record going 4 1/2 furlongs at Prairie Meadows.

You can follow my entire 187-horse Sales-Tip Class of 2010 -- even those racing in Korea, Trinidad and elsewhere abroad -- in the list at the bottom of this link.

Bessie M stamps her page with black type

Coming in on a two-race win-streak and making her stakes debut, Bessie M made her move on the turn for home but flattened out in the stretch, settling for third place Saturday in the Regal Gal Stakes at Calder Race Course.

Prize Informant led from gate to wire in the $55,000 event, setting sensible fractions of 23.92 and 48.15 on her way to a 2 1/4-length victory at better than 15/1 odds. Dual Calder stakes-winner Blue Eyed Sweetie came on for second. The final time for a mile over a fast Calder track was 1:42.72.

Jockey Jose Alvarez positioned Bessie M perfectly, stalking the long-shot on the rail and swinging out one lane on the turn for home. It looked like Bessie M would go right on by, but she hung, then began losing ground on the eventual winner, and was passed by Blue Eyed Sweetie in the final sixteenth. Bessie M did hang on for third ahead of the favorite, three-time stakes-winner Devilish Lady, thus earning her first catalog black type for owners Platinum Equestrian Corporation, which claimed the filly for $25,000 at Gulfstream in January.

Bessie M is now 3-for-10 lifetime with two seconds and three thirds for $63,024. Though she was competitive prior, she has really caught fire after the claim and the switch to the barn of trainer Antonio Sano.

I tabbed Bessie M as a "Priority 2" prospect on a 48-horse shortlist of potential bargains at the 2010 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Sale of 2-year-olds in Training a year ago. She sold as Hip 59 for $35,000 to William H. Harris, for whom she broke maiden at 2 in a dead-heat at Delaware Park. Harris lost her to Platinum Equestrian on the claim in January.

The filly, then named Carolita, was one of the tallest I inspected at the sale, breezed well (22 2/5 for a quarter) and on the whole was pretty fair conformationally. I liked that her dam, Catalita (Mountain Cat-Carmelita, by Mogambo) had earned $111,226 from 18 starts, albeit not in stakes company, was half to minor black-type herself, and had already produced a winner from two prior foals. Really, the only factor knocking the filly from Priority 1 status to Priority 2 was her young sire, who was off to a slow start.

Seems he's done OK with this one, as are the connections at Platinum Equestrian.

Bessie M becomes the 18th stakes horse stakes-placed or better from my 187-member Sales-Tip Class of 2010. Seven of those stakes horses are black-type winners, led by GOURMET DINNER ($989,660), his fellow Florida-bred and close cousin, G1 winning 2-year-old RIGOLETTA (Oak Leaf S., etc.), and Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies-placed DELIGHTFUL MARY (372,377).

Follow all of my 2010 juvenile sales picks, and a handful of pans, in the list at the bottom of this prior post.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Yes He's Innocent breaks maiden at Calder

Yes He's Innocent was one of the first horses to debut from my 187-selection Sales-Tip Class of 2010, making his first lifetime start on June 18, 2010, at Calder Race Course. On that day, he nearly became one of the class' first winners, as well, losing a hard-fought battle by just a head to a son of Peace Rules named I'm A Playboy.

But injury must have intervened in the young career of Yes He's Innocent. He disappeared from the work tab at Florida's racetracks and training centers. It would be April 8, 2011, before he reappeared in a starting gate.

Four starts later -- in his fifth lifetime try, with two seconds and a third to his credit -- Yes He's Innocent finally grabbed that first win, which had eluded him so narrowly in June the year before. On Friday at Calder, Yes He's Innocent and rider Luis Saez prevailed by a length and a quarter over Urban Tiger and Isaias Enriquez.

Thus, Yes He's Innocent becomes the 82nd horse from my sales-tip class to break his maiden; that's 43.9 percent of all selections. With the win, he lifted his lifetime earnings to $19,446 for owner and trainer Steve Dwoskin, who bought him for $50,000 as Hip 282 at last year's Ocala April sale.

Yes He's Innocent (Yes It's True-Presumed Innocent, by Shuailaan) was bred in Florida by Luis de Hechavarria.

I liked the chestnut colt for more than just his "scintillating" 33.3 breeze, which was logged despite running green in the stretch. I noted that his sire gets 2-year-old runners and winners, with about half of all Yes It's True juveniles racing at 2 (check) and about 20 percent winning at 2 (almost check). On the dam's side, Presumed Innocent was a seven-race stakes winner of $315,190 and was G3-placed. Both her prior foals were already winners, and her dam was also a stakes-placer.

Dwoskin has a ways to go before getting his $50,000 back, perhaps in no small part because of this horse's 2-year-old setback. But Yes He's Innocent still has room to improve.

I thought the class might have another maiden-breaker today as Admitit -- with five seconds and three thirds in eight prior starts -- went to post once again among maiden company at Woodbine. Unfortunately, the $20,000 daughter of E. Dubai, who has already earned over $50,000 without winning, fell back on the turn, had no kick in the stretch, and finished unplaced for the first time in her career. I hope she isn't injured.

Though the link still requires updating, you can follow the sales class here.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Bibblesman makes good in the mud

On what was roughly the first anniversary of his purchase as a 2-year-old, Bibblesman slogged home well in front of an allowance field on Monday in a muddy race at Parx Racing.

Bibblesman was bought for $22,000 as Hip 337 at the 2010 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Sale in Timonium, Md., which held its 2011 edition on Monday. In the 12 months since, Bibblesman has made five starts, won twice and placed twice, and has earned $74,860.

On Monday, in a field scratched-down to five runners due to the weather, Bibblesman was sent off as the third-favorite at 7/2 odds. But he won like he should have been 3/5, stalking 4/5 favorite Fersmiley (who bore out and carried Bibblesman wide in the late-going), then Bibblesman drew off to win by 4 1/2 lengths. Final time for six furlongs in the mud was a fast-track-like 1:09.80, which certainly could bode well for Bibblesman's future.

I was surprised Bibblesman was sent off at comparatively long odds in the field. He had a win and two placings from three starts prior this year, was beaten in his last-out when caught at the wire by a 4-year-old in a field of open (i.e., not statebred) NW2L runners, and his last drill was a bullet 48-flat, fastest of 55 on the day.

I short-listed the intact son of Sharp Humor-Sparkling Forest, by Forest Wildcat, for a client seeking a bargain runner out of that 2010 EASMAY sale. He was unplaced in one start at 2, but is 2-2-0 from four starts at 3. A Pennsylvania-bred, I think the colt has a ton of up-side. He is nominated to the Danzig Stakes for statebreds at Parx, but that race goes off Friday and he almost certainly won't be wheeled-back so quickly. Still, it appears that Bibblesman fits well in PA-bred stakes-company in the future.

The link still needs updating, but you can follow the 187-member sales class here.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Seriously, he did it -- Kid You Not wins in seventh try

Finding mid-race traffic despite running in a five-horse field, Terry Thompson and Kid You Not bided their time on the rail, then angled into the three-path in the stretch and came storming home for a two-length victory Tuesday at Iowa's Prairie Meadows.

In the process, Kid You Not became the 81st member of my 187-horse Sales-Tip Class of 2010 to break his maiden. He did so in his seventh start, after previously placing four times at Prairie Meadows (last out) and Oaklawn Park. He has earned $28,188 after failing to meet reserve at a mere $12,000 at last year's Keeneland April sale of 2-year-olds in training. That RNA prompted me to name him a potential "Second-Chance Deal" through private sale or should he reappear at a later auction.

Now gelded, the chestnut son of Lemon Drop Kid-Eliza's Time, by Barathea, races for Poindexter Thoroughbreds LLC, trained by Allen Milligan. Kid You Not paid $11.60 to win as the third-favored horse among the five entrants, after the scratch of one horse. His final time for a mile, closing into a modest early pace of 23.26/47.17, was 1:39.92.

While the horse has raced for a tag (and lost among maidens), and while you have to go back to the fifth generation of his tail-female line to find a dam who actually won a race (French-born stakes winner SKYLARKING II), I think Kid You Not still has huge up-side (seriously), and that the connections are quite possibly not racing him on his best surface(s), though, distance-wise, with this closer, I think the connections are making the effort. At least he did get a mile to travel here, but frankly, with this pedigree, the horse is just getting started at eight furlongs.

Sire Lemon Drop Kid was a Belmont Stakes winner (despite being a late-May foal) and his progeny-average winning distance is a lengthy 8.14 furlongs while standing in an American market increasingly dominated by speed. He also gets plenty of turf and synthetic-track horses, including the likes of G1 winners CITRONNADE (grass), RICHARD'S KID (synth) and SANTA TERESITA (synth). Nearly 44 percent of the lifetime earnings of Lemon Drop Kid foals have come on turf, and this season, 13 percent of his progeny's total earnings so far have come on synthetics.

On the other side of the family, Kid You Not's dam-sire, Barathea, was a European Horse of the Year, and while being a miler himself, he was sired by Sadler's Wells, whose progeny average winning distance (per Racingpost.com) is 11.3 furlongs. Second dam Meadow Spirit (dam of 14f San Juan Capistrano-G1 winner SUNSHINE STREET) was by Chief's Crown, now installed as an "Intermediate/Solid" chef de race. Third dam Liberty Spirit (dam of 10f Flower Bowl H.-G1 winner DAWN'S CURTSEY and European turf vagabond Roger de Berksted) was by Classic/Solid chef Graustark. Fourth dam Soaring was the dam of G1 route winners MEHMET and MISS SWAPSCO, the granddam of BALLADE, and is in the tail-female line of the likes of GLORIOUS SONG, SINGSPIEL, SLIGO BAY, DEVIL'S BAG, RAHY, SAINT BALLADO and many others.

That's a lot of two-turn horses and a lot of turf on the female side of the family. I would ship this boy to Arlington at least long enough to see how well he fits on Polytrack and turf at a facility that doesn't have traditional dirt to offer.

At any rate, with the 81st winner, the class now boasts 43.3 percent winners from all selections. You can follow their exploits here.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

So now it's important: Vital Victory arrives in Start 16

One could be forgiven for thinking that the filly's registered name was a misnomer. After 15 starts without graduating, it appeared that Vital Victory thought winning was anything but essential.

But on Sunday at Calder, she broke through.

Despite being steadied on the backstretch and hung out four-wide on the turn, Vital Victory took command at the top of the stretch and drew to defeat a field of $12,500 maiden-claimers. Her margin of victory was 6 1/2 lengths over second-favored One More For Britt, with Mia Rose a grand total of 14 lengths behind in third. So what if the final time for six furlongs over a sealed track (1:14.80) was about 25 lengths off a track record? At least Vital Victory was off the schneid.

The filly was active yet fruitless as a 2-year-old, failing to hit the board in eight starts. But she began figuring out the game at 3, with three runner-up finishes in seven prior tries this year before scoring in her eighth effort of 2011.

In case you stopped counting, that's 1-for-16 with three seconds. Her total earnings have reached $18,002.

The chestnut filly by Bwana Charlie-Victory Chime, by Polish Numbers, was bred in Florida by Thomas-Narlinger LLC & A.R. Properties. She is campaigned by James W. Steil and was ridden to victory by Jose Alvarez for trainer Joseph Calascibetta.

I recommended Vital Victory at last year's Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. April auction of 2-year-olds in training, where she sold for $20,000 to Mr. Steil as Hip 634. I still think that was a decent price, as the chestnut filly becomes the sixth winner out of seven foals of racing age from the Grade 3-winning Victory Chime. That group includes minor stakes winner GLORIFICATION (Buddha). And, Vital Victory's second dam was Uruguayan champion older mare TOPACIO.

Another item of note is that Vital Victory has shown some of her best efforts in the off-going, which doesn't surprise me much with a Polish Numbers mare as her dam. I can recall, well, a number of Polish Numbers runners splashing home to victory in the past, like Play Bingo's win in the Sussex Handicap at Suffolk and Who Did It And Run's victory long ago in the Garden State Stakes, both in races washed off the turf, and journeyman Toddler's slogging home in front in Aqueduct's King's Point Handicap a decade ago, one of two lifetime stakes victories from his 19 wins in 75 starts. Of course, Polish Numbers offspring also did quite well on grass, so while Bwana Charlie thus far hasn't had a ton of turf winners, it might be worth trying Vital Victory a few more times on the lawn, too.

Also of note: Vital Victory, who was one of the first members of this class of 187 sales selections to make her debut (on July 2, 2010) becomes winner No. 80 from the class; that's 42.8 percent of all selections.

Two more maidens broken, another horse second again, for the seventh time

Two maidens broke through with their first career victories Saturday, while a third kept knocking on the door to the Winners' Club without being let inside.

Abrianna, a filly I recommended but who failed to sell at last year's Adena Springs sale in Ocala, Fla., looped the field on the turn for home and swept to victory Saturday at Woodbine in her fourth career start. Also collecting his first win in his fourth start, later in the day, was Back Alley Deal, a gelding I tabbed while serving as a hired bloodstock agent at the May 2010 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Sale of 2-year-olds in Training, in Timonium, Md.

And, late Saturday night, another Fasig-Tipton May graduate I recommended, Mugsy Dehere, finished second. Again. For the seventh time in nine career starts, all in maiden special weight company at Charles Town.

Abrianna was sent off as the 1/2 favorite at Woodbine as part of an entry with fellow sales-tip Celidonia, both of whom are racing for Stronach Stables after owner/breeder/racing magnate Frank Stronach's Adena Springs was unable to sell them at the farm's Ocala auction last April. That sale took place at Ocala Breeders' Sales Company a day prior to the kickoff of the massive annual OBS April sale. The Ontario-bred Abrianna (Lemon Drop Kid-Ain't She Awesome, by Awesome Again) failed to sell at a bid of $25,000, while Florida-bred Celidonia (North Light-Quatrain, by Quiet American) was a $40,000 RNA. Adena Springs had tried to unload both as yearlings at Keeneland September, as well, with offers of $22,000 for Abrianna and $30,000 for Celidonia also failing to meet reserves.

I waffled a bit on Abrianna, but found it difficult not to like that her dam was a half-sister to "a sick slate of stakes horses," including a pair of Canadian 2-year-old filly champs (POETICALLY and PRIMALY), and G3 winner WHISKEY WISDOM. Chief among those half-siblings to Ain't She Awesome is G1 winner CITRONNADE, who was by Lemon Drop Kid, sire of Abrianna herself.

The filly has panned out rather nicely, with a win and two second-place finishes from four lifetime starts for $63,140. Celidonia, who consistently brought higher bids at auction than Abrianna, remains unplaced from four starts, for $2,188.

Shortly after Abrianna's win at Woodbine Saturday, Back Alley Deal -- a horse I thought was a bit overpriced at EASMAY 2010 -- reached the winner's circle for the first time in a race at Philadelphia Park. I shortlisted the horse, who was Hip 270 at that sale, on a sheet of 48 animals recommended to a client who was seeking an inexpensive prospect. I evaluated the horse after consigner True South touted him as a potential bargain, and while I liked him -- noting his dam was a half-sister to SHARP HUMOR and that he breezed a decent-for-that-sale 10.4 "with a low-to-the-ground action that seemed very efficient" -- I also couldn't help but notice that he was the first foal of a winless dam whose own dam had no real produce record, with only three foals total, none earning over $61K.

I was expecting the horse to be out of our bargain-basement price range (and he'd have been a good buy if he did stay that cheap), but probably not more than $25K to $30K. So, I wrote later, "I swallowed hard when I saw $60,000 on the board for him, and it wasn't even my money." The money belonged to Commonwealth Stable, who no longer owns the chestnut gelding, who was bred in Kentucky by Machmer Hall, Haymarket Farms and Dearborn Stable. He's now the property of American Dreamer Stable, trained by Allen Iwinski, and those connections got their pictures snapped at Parx on Saturday.

Back Alley Deal has now earned $14,607.

As the last race of the day for my sales tips (several others, unmentioned here, also went to post), Mugsy Dehere continued beating his head against a door that just won't open. The $40,000 EASMAY purchase (Hip 323, by Dehere-Shadowy Waters, by Wild Again) was a Priority 2 horse on the list for my client. He's now earned $35,880 from nine starts, after once again being out-finished, this time by Hunter Hill.

Nevertheless, the two new winners become maiden-breakers 78 and 79 from my 187-member Sales-Tip Class of 2010. That's 42.3 percent of all selections.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Silver Jo wins easily over elders

Bettors clearly thought Silver Jo the best horse in the field of modest claimers at Delaware Park on Wednesday, sending her off at 1/2 odds, and she didn't make 'em sweat for even a second.

Another owner and trainer thought she was worth the taking at a $7,500 price. Time will tell if they were right.

Silver Jo, a 3-year-old facing seven elders in the field of nine, bolted to a one-length lead immediately out of the gate, got away with pedestrian fractions of 24.11 and 49.08 under superb handling by Victor Lebron, rebuffed mild challenges on the turn for home, then slowly drew off in the stretch to win by 3 3/4 lengths over 4-year-old Government Bailout, a 12/1 shot running for a $5K tag among non-winners of two lifetime. Six-year-old Just Money, second-favored at a little more than 3/1, was third. Final time for the mile-seventy was 1:44.78, well off Distinct Vision's 2003 track record of 1:39.20, but Silver Jo was barely asked.

I tipped Silver Jo out of 2010's OBS April sale, where she went for a mere $12,000 to Midwest Thoroughbreds. Midwest lost her for $7,500 on Wednesday and were maybe a bit surprised, as despite her odds this time she only finished second to a long-shot as essentially the co-favorite at this same level her last time out, while going unclaimed from that April 30 race. Trainer Michael V. Simone dropped the claim ticket this time on behalf of Silver Jo's new owner, Raul Arriagada. Midwest Thoroughbreds have made out all right with Silver Jo, however, getting their pictures taken at Oaklawn Park earlier this year (at the MCL $15K level) and now at Delaware Park, and watching the filly earn her keep by banking $27,030.

I thought the dark bay filly by Silver Train-Bolsa, by Mr. Prospector was a good bet at the juvenile sale, despite her dam's winless 10 lifetime starts and modest produce record so far. At least Bolsa's four prior foals all were winners at some level, her son Bold Vindication has run 41 times and managed to earn nearly $94,000 while only winning twice (and overcoming his sire's four-race fragility), and Silver Jo's second dam was stakes-winning and G1-placed MOCHILA, dam of G1 winner SERAPE. Silver Jo (who was already named at sale-time) also drilled a credible 21 4/5 in the under-tack show.

So, $12,000 looked like a bargain at the time, and two win-photos later, I'd have to say it was. After all, people have been known to spend millions and not even come away with a winning $7,500 "plater," and just five races into her career Silver Jo could still move forward from here. We'll see how the barn change affects her.

Meanwhile, you can follow along with the career of Silver Jo and the remainder of my 187-horse juvenile Class of 2010 in the list at the bottom of this prior post.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Two in a row for Bessie M

Bessie M on Saturday scored her second straight win and third in nine starts, taking a seven-furlong $25K starter allowance at Calder.

Sent off at about 9/2 in the six-horse field, Bessie M and Orlando Bocachica tracked Luis Saez and Bella Moneta through early fractions of 22.87 and 46.17. Bessie M pounced in the stretch and began edging away from that 4/5 favorite to win by a comfortable 2 1/2 lengths in a final time of 1:25.65 over a strip rated as "fast." It was another five lengths back to second-favored Gorgeous Melody.

Bessie M was bred in Maryland by Mr. & Mrs. Charles McGinnes and now races in the colors of Platinum Equestrian Corporation, which claimed her from William H. Harris. She was trained for the win by Antonio Sano.

The $10,500 paycheck for the victory brings Bessie M's career earnings to $57,524. She has failed to hit the board just twice in nine lifetime starts.

I shortlisted the bay filly by Medallist-Catalita, by Mountain Cat, as a Priority 2 animal on a 48-horse list of bargain prospects at last year's Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Sale at Timonium, Md. I would likely have considered her a Priority 1 horse but for the slow start at stud by her sire, who at the time had only 10 winners from 59 foals in his first crop. She's certainly flashing the talent that was previewed in her 22 2/5 quarter-mile breeze at a sale where the Timonium fairgrounds track was playing quite slow. Harris bought the filly, then named Carolita, for $35,000, and earlier this year lost her for $25,000 on the claim at Gulfstream.

To follow my 187-horse juvenile tip-list from 2010, check out the complete list at the bottom of this link.

Named for ancient ruins, Volubilis is newest winner

Coming out sharp after two unplaced efforts in the maiden-claiming ranks and overcoming a difficult post position and wide trip, Volubilis on Friday became the 77th winner from my sales-tip Class of 2010.

Volubilis is an archaeological marvel in Morocco, the site of what are considered the most well-preserved Roman ruins in that part of North Africa. This Volubilis is a chestnut son of Songandaprayer out of the graded stakes-winning Corporate Report mare Queen of Money.

The gelding was fifth in his debut at the maiden-claiming $10K-$9,500 level in April, then was bumped way up to MCL $25K-$23K, where he finished next-to-last. Back down among his original friends, he broke from the 9-hole in a 10-horse race, was four- to five-wide on the turn, and still charged on to cover six furlongs on Polytrack in 1:11.59 and score by a length and a quarter under Jesse Campbell. Sent off at a bit of a price, Volubilis paid $19.60 to win.

Volubilis was bred in Kentucky by Mueller Farms Inc., and is trained by Arthur Silvera. He becomes the eighth winner from nine foals of racing age out of his dam (including two stakes winners, a stakes-placer, and a fourth foal who became a stakes-producer) and Volubilis has now earned $9,787 from three starts.

Off his familial strength and a 10-flat eighth, I recommended Volubilis out of the 2010 OBS April sale, where he went to David Rowbotham for $28,000 as Hip 307. Rowbotham campaigns the horse in an ownership group with several other principals.

With Volubilis' victory, the 187 member sales-tip class now boasts 41.2 percent winners from all selections. While the link still requires some updating, you can follow the sales class here.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

There Goes Molly, splashing to another victory

Biding her time behind the front-runners and taking a wide berth around the final turn, There Goes Molly splashed to an easy victory Wednesday afternoon over a sloppy track at Belmont.

Though sent off at 7/1 and paying $16 to win, There Goes Molly won like a 4/5 shot in the field of $10,000 claimers. In a hand-ride by Eddie Castro, she overhauled the early leaders despite their benefiting from sensible early fractions (23.33, 47.24) and scored by an easy 6 3/4 lengths over 3/1 second-favored Red to Positive. Third-place Sweethearts Kiss was nearly 20 lengths behind the winner in a final time of 1:39.51.

It was the second lifetime win for There Goes Molly, who has earned $43,836 from 12 lifetime starts. The bay filly by Chief Seattle-Hey Darla, by Evansville Slew, was bred in New York by Pegasus Farms Inc. She is now owned and trained by Randi Persaud.

I shortlisted There Goes Molly as a Priority 1 animal on a list of 48 recommendations at last year's Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Sale of 2-year-olds in training, where she failed to sell on a mere $6,000 bid as Hip 176. Though quite closely inbred (2x3) to Seattle Slew, she was relatively clean and straight, and breezed 11-flat, which was a fair time at EASMAY over a slow track. All three of her older siblings had started, two were already winners (now all three are), and I admitted later on this blog being shocked that this half-sister to stakes-winning R BETTY GRAYBULL (who has now earned nearly $430K) couldn't bring more than a $6,000 bid.

On Wednesday, I liked Molly's chances in the group she faced, despite her 10/1 morning-line odds. And I thought she should move up in the slop, as she'd placed over off-tracks prior. Clearly, she loved the conditions, and won for fun despite running on the wrong lead until deep in the stretch.

It's fair to say that Molly has come alive under the training of Persaud, as well, with a second-place finish and now two consecutive wins since apparently being sold to Persaud privately by prior owners and coming over from the barn of Leo O'Brien. Molly has scratched-out of a couple of races since her mid-April maiden-breaker, but usually because she was entered "main-track-only" in turf events that stayed on the grass. Clearly Persaud has the filly dialed-in pretty well and was working very hard to find her another race.

To follow the exploits of There Goes Molly and the 186 other horses I selected from several of last year's juvenile sales, check out the complete list at the bottom of this prior post.