Saturday, October 15, 2011

Spring Jump collects second stakes placing

Spring Jump and Fredy Peltroche chased short-price favorite and eventual winner Moonlit Malibu and Travis Dunkelberger all the way around the track but could never quite catch her Friday night as the pair comprised the exacta in the $50,000 HBPA Municipalities Handicap at Charles Town.

Moonlit Malibu won the two-turn, seven furlong test by a length and a half in 1:25.62, her first stakes victory despite hitting the board four times in stakes company at Aqueduct, Belmont, Monmouth and Charles Town. The place-finish was the second among stakes company for Spring Jump, who was second to Red's Round Table in Delaware Park's White Clay Creek Stakes at 2.

I shortlisted Spring Jump, a dark bay filly by Jump Start-Meg's Answer, by West Acre, on a 48-horse list of prospects for a bargain-minded client at the 2010 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Sale of 2-year-olds in Training. She sold there for just $19,000 as Hip 234 and now has three wins and four other on-the-board finishes from a dozen starts for $90,843.

Spring Jump was bred in Florida by Jeanne H. and Jerry M. Cutrona Sr., is owned by Dorado Circle Stables LLC, and is trained by Flint Stites.

You can follow those 48 (28 of whom now are winners, including four stakes-placers), plus the remainder of my 187-horse list of 2-year-old prospects of 2010, by clicking here.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Notice Served: Signal Alert is back with stakes win

After several races in a row of settling for minor shares behind a stablemate, SIGNAL ALERT turned the tables on Readbetweendlines on Sept. 24 at Santa Rosa Park in Trinidad, winning the Gallery Diamond Stakes by a short head.

Signal Alert covered 1,350 meters in 1:20.2 for his fifth win in eight lifetime starts. A track record-holder at Santa Rosa (1,300m in 1:15.90), Signal Alert has now banked about $49,332 in U.S. equivalent.

I recommended the horse as Hip 465 at the 2010 Ocala April sale, where he brought $35,000 from Glenn Mendez, trainer for Junior Sammy's Errol Stable. Signal Alert won a juvenile trophy race named in honor of Sammy as a 2-year-old and was third behind multiple-Trinidad and Tobago champion Bruceontheloose and Readbetweendlines in the G2 Santa Rosa Dash earlier this year.

Click here to follow the worldwide exploits of my 187-member juvenile sales-selection class of 2010.

List of wins declines by one; another post-race DQ

So, just this evening I learn that one of my 187-member sales-tip class of 2010 has lost his maiden-breaking victory -- although unlike the last time, I didn't drop him to the ranks of the non-winners.

I'm First (Soto-Ladies First, by El Ragaas) broke maiden on July 7 in the lower claiming ranks on turf at Colonial Downs. He backed up that victory win a win in his next start on July 20, again for a tag at Colonial.

Today I find -- after a last-place finish on grass in allowance company at Laurel -- that the horse's record has just one win from 10 starts, rather than two, and his lifetime earnings have been reduced to $8,652. The chart from his formerly maiden-breaking win now states that he was disqualified to 10th and last due to failing a post-race test.

I'm First is owned by B and B Racing Stable LLC and is trained by Susan S. Cooney.

The same thing happened a year ago to Benecia, who broke maiden in September 2010 at Fairplex only to have that win stripped many weeks later, after she'd already run (and placed) among winners. A year later almost to the day, Benecia (re)-cleared that maiden hurdle, right back at the Fairplex meet.

When this test came back positive for I'm First, I couldn't exactly say, but he's run three more times among winners after his (apparent) NW2L win July 20 and this is the first I've noticed it.

I do understand that testing "A" and "B" samples takes time, but it seems the turnaround on these matters isn't altogether speedy.

Makes me wonder if another month from now I'm going to see the horse's other "First" changed to last.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

No great shock: Surprise Strike wins at 7/5 odds

It took him seven starts to break through to the winner's circle, but Surprise Strike has now had his picture snapped after two races in a row after winning handily Saturday in allowance company at Finger Lakes.

The Jeremiah Englehart trainee nearly broke his maiden at first asking last year at Presque Isle Downs, then was sent to Woodbine and Saratoga several times before winning his last out back among maiden special weight company at PID. On Saturday, he covered six furlongs in 1:11.34 under the guidance of Wilfredo Rohena to win by an easy 5 3/4 lengths over 6/5 favorite Il Vagabondo in a non-winners of two lifetime test at Finger Lakes. It was another 6 1/4 back to third-place Suave Fox.

Surprise Strike was bred in Kentucky by Duzee Stable. He has now earned $68,029 for owner Orlando Dirienzo from eight lifetime starts.

I shortlisted the bay gelding by Stormy Atlantic-Unbridled Femme, by Unbridled, as a Priority 2 prospect for a client seeking a bargain runner out of the 2010 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Sale in Timonium, Md. The horse failed to sell at a top bid of $34,000 as Hip 380, but he has the look of one that's worth having.

Thursday winners at Laurel, Remington for my 2010 sales-tip class and the same Kentucky breeder

The margins were slight, but it's the winning that counts, and a pair of my selected graduates from 2010 juvenile sales made it a 2-for-2 day with victories Thursday at Maryland's Laurel Park and Oklahoma's Remington Park.

Captain My Captain -- a first-out maiden-special winner at Keeneland earlier this year -- finally garnered his second lifetime win from five starts with a gutsy effort Thursday afternoon for a $25,000 tag at Laurel. After sundown, Dangerous Ghost collected her third win from 11 starts in a turf-claimer at Remington for that same tag, $25,000.

The winners also were both bred wholly or in part by Kentucky's White Fox Farm.

Sent off as the slight favorite at about 6/5, Captain My Captain and rider J.D. Acosta stalked second-favored Leap of Will (3/2) and Kendrick Carmouche through early fractions of 22.52 and 45.91. Captain My Captain was briefly relegated to third place as Houston Bull under Forest Boyce stuck his head in front of the eventual winner in the stretch, but Captain My Captain rallied to beat that rival by a nose, with Leap of Will fading to third in the shadow of the wire.

Owned by Dogwood Stable and trained by George Weaver, Captain My Captain was bred in Kentucky by White Fox Farm, Louis Brooks Ranch, and Serengeti Stable LC, et. al. He's now earned $44,980.

I tipped the now-gelded son of Officer-Purer Than Pure, by Turkoman, as Hip 7 at the 2010 OBS February sale, where Dogwood purchased him for $85,000. He still has some work to do in earning that back.

Thursday night, a much less expensive filly continued rewarding the owners who invested in her at two different sales last year.

Dangerous Ghost and Dean Butler stalked 5/2 favorite Red Lion Heart and Lindey Wade through sharp early fractions of 21.55 and 44.73 on a speed-favoring Remington turf course. The lead pair was briefly joined by Miss Silver Ridge and David Cardoso in mid-stretch, but that one couldn't keep pace. Then Cliff Berry and Just Maid tried to close on the outside, but couldn't quite get there.

It was Dangerous Ghost who prevailed between Red Lion Heart and Just Maid, who finished a neck and a head back for the trifecta. Miss Silver Ridge was only another neck back in fourth, with White Chiffon a length back in fifth.

Final time for five furlongs on the turf was 57.17.

Dangerous Ghost was also bred in Kentucky by White Fox Farm, giving that breeder a bit of a sales-tip double, as well. She is owned by Al and Bill Ulwelling, the later of whom came down from Minnesota with his wife and kids to see this win and a couple of others at Remington over the weekend. She is trained by Michael Biehler.

The Ulwellings bought Dangerous Ghost for $28,000 out of the OBS June sale in 2010, after she was pinhooked back into that auction by Nickajack Farms, which bought her for a mere $12,000 as Hip 1205 at OBS April. I tipped her from that April sale and have to say that she's worked out well for all involved. The April buyer flipped her for $28,000 two months after buying her for $12,000, and the Ulwellings have three win photos (races on fast dirt, mud and turf), three seconds and a third with $41,115 in earnings from 11 starts.

Click here and scroll to view the updated statistics of all 187 sales selections I made from 2010.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Code Dancer hustles to third lifetime win

Under pressure almost throughout, Code Dancer didn't wilt in the shadow of the wire at Presque Isle Downs Friday night, hanging on for a neck victory that was his third lifetime win from eight starts.

Sent off as the narrow 7/2 favorite under Arienne Cox, Code Dancer set opening fractions of 22.84 and 45.94 with essentially the co-favorite Indian Empire and Scott Spieth (also about 7/2) running right at his throat latch. As 7.5/1 longer-shot Young Troubador closed under Ronald Allen Jr., Indian Empire was steadied between his rivals and settled for third with the closer missing by a neck to Code Dancer.

The winner was bred in Florida by Brambly Lane Farm. He is owned and trained by Clyde D. Rice. The horse scored for a $40,000 tag in his debut at Presque Isle at 2 and has won two of his last three starts as a 3-year-old, this time for a $7,500 tag, earning a total of $38,332.

I tipped the bay gelding by Omega Code-Jocey's Dance, by Seattle Dancer, out of last year's Ocala April sale, where he failed to meet reserve as Hip 1187 on a meager bid of $13,000. The horse breezed a fleet 21.1 and came "pre-gelded to save you the trouble," I wrote. His female family has shown the kind of durability the breed could use these days, with his dam being half-sister to 21-victory millionaire GRECIAN FLIGHT (Acorn S.-G1), 16-race winner GRECIAN COMEDY (granddam of BULLSBAY-G1) and 16-time winner EVZONE.

"Businesslike racetrack family," I concluded.

Maiden has last word at Monmouth

After Words didn't disappoint as the favorite in the mud at Monmouth Saturday, assuming the lead after a half run in 46.32 and holding off second-favored Delicate Genius in the stretch to break her maiden by a length and a quarter.

Final time for a muddy six furlongs by $10,000 maiden-claimers was 1:12.78. Pedro Cotto Jr. was the winning pilot for owner Nick of Time Stable and trainer Teresa Pompay. The filly has a win and three other in-the-money finishes from six lifetime starts for $23,410.

After Words was bred in Maryland by Bowman & Higgins Stable, Thomas Sutton and Anthony W. Dutrow. I pegged the dark bay daughter of Kafwain-Potomac Bend, by Polish Numbers as a Priority 3 prospect on a 48-horse shortlist for a bargain-minded client at the 2010 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Sale of 2-Year-Olds in Training. She failed to sell there as Hip 281 when the $30,000 top bid failed to meet consignor Cary Frommer's reserve price.

I liked that the filly breezed a fairly quick (for this sale) 10.4 and showed good extension in her stride. She also had two multiple-winners and a juvenile stakes-placer (who never broke maiden) among her elder siblings -- another has broken maiden since -- and her dam was a G3 winner. I was less pleased by what I thought were longer and more upright pasterns, hence the relative downgrade to Priority 3.

With the victory, After Words becomes the 28th maiden-breaker from that 48-horse EASMAY shortlist; that's 58.3 percent winners from a group of prospects that sold for an average of less than $24,000 -- a price about half of the sale average.

She is the 113th to break maiden from my overall list of 187 juvenile sales prospects of 2010. That pushes the maiden-breaker mark above 60 percent overall.