class in the dam from a century ago has been carried through the generations to hillaby and other top performers

Stonestreet Stable’s handsomely pedigreed filly Hillaby became a graded stakes winner with her victory in the Grade 2 Bessarabian Stakes at Woodbine on Sunday. By leading sire Distorted Humor (a son of top sire Forty Niner), Hillaby is out of Canadian champion Sealy Hill, one of the most distinguished racers by Point Given, winner of the Preakness and Belmont Stakes, as well as Horse of the Year and champion 3-year-old colt in 2001.

Those are salty-looking antecedents, and as such they marked Hillaby as one of the premium lots when she was brought to sale in July at Fasig-Tipton as part of the Melnyk dispersal. There, the good-looking bay fetched a half-million from Stonestreet as a racing and broodmare prospect.

The racing part is going so well that her later prospects as a producer look even brighter. Winner of a maiden and an allowance in her two starts immediately preceding the sale, Hillaby has won two of her three starts since, with the Bessarabian giving her the much-desired graded stakes credit.

It confirms the promise that Stonestreet owner Barbara Banke and her advisers saw in the powerful bay, and the generations of excellence provide a pleasing echo of some of the high-quality Thoroughbreds that the filly carries in her pedigree. In addition to famous parents and grandparents, there are some fascinating stars of yesterday among Hillaby’s more remote ancestors that were combined to produce future generations.

A century ago, one of the leading racehorse owners in America was W.R. Coe. William Robertson Coe had made himself a man of great wealth with holdings in railroads, oil, and insurance, and as a sportsman, he spent some of that money on racehorses.

In 1916, Coe’s contemporary Willis Sharpe Kilmer purchased the French-bred colt Sun Briar and imported him to the States, where he became the leading 2-year-old in America with victories in four stakes at Saratoga, including the 1917 Hopeful and Saratoga Special. At three, Sun Briar won the 1918 Travers at his favorite racetrack, and at four, the Champlain Handicap.

Sun Briar, leading 2yo colt and Travers Stakes winner, racing with Willie Knapp in the saddle.

Sun Briar, leading 2yo colt and Travers Stakes winner, racing with Willie Knapp in the saddle.

This was in the midst of the First World War, when prices were depressed, uncertainty was a new addition to the American psyche, and horse racing was about to enter a golden age in the Roaring Twenties.

At the same time, Coe was purchasing yearlings abroad, including an entire crop of yearlings from Sledmere Stud for 10,000 pounds, approximately $50,000.

In 1918, Coe went to the Saratoga sales, where he purchased a pretty filly by the English stallion Corcyra out of the English mare Gallice, who had been imported carrying the filly. Bred and presented at auction by Arthur B. Hancock, the grandfather of the present Arthur Hancock of Stone Farm, this filly sold for $4,100 to Coe, who named her Cleopatra.

And at the same Saratoga sale, another draft of yearlings from Kentucky included a big chestnut colt from the Nursery Stud of August Belmont II. Man o’ War sold for $5,000 to Samuel Riddle, then went on to establish himself as the best horse of his half-century and one of the best in racing history.

Coe’s filly was also an outstanding racehorse. At 2, Cleopatra ran second to Man o’ War in the Hopeful, beaten four lengths, and fourth to Big Red in the Futurity, beaten six and a half lengths.

The next year, in the absence of Man o’ War, Cleopatra raced for the Kentucky Derby. On a wretchedly slow track, Cleopatra started slowly and went nowhere, finishing 15th, one of only two unplaced finishes in her 20 career starts.

The rest of the filly’s season was smashing, as she won the Coaching Club American Oaks, Alabama, and Pimlico Oaks. She was regarded as the top 3-year-old filly of 1920 when she also won the Latonia Championship against all comers.

Retired by Coe and bred to Kilmer’s favorite horse, Sun Briar, Cleopatra produced another leading juvenile, Pompey, who was acclaimed the best racehorse since Man o’ War after his juvenile campaign in 1925. He was not quite that good, but Pompey won the Hopeful and Futurity, then became a good sire at Coe’s Shoshone Farm.

Pompey is a good enough sire that he shows up in Hillaby’s pedigree, as well as the pedigrees of a large number of good horses.

Among Pompey’s important offspring were Ladysman, a leading juvenile who won the Hopeful at 2, the Suburban Handicap at 4, and the Santa Anita Handicap at 5; Pompoon, the first formally elected champion juvenile colt in 1936; and Outdone, winner of the Sagamore Handicap, dam of three major stakes winners, and the second dam of 1957 Horse of the Year Bold Ruler.

Cleopatra and Pompey are two of Coe’s most famous horses, and they figure in Hillaby’s background, but the filly also traces in the female line to yet another of Coe’s successes, the Disguise mare Masked Dancer.

A filly who showed high speed in top company at 2 in 1919, Masked Dancer produced three stakes winners and a pair of stakes-placed runners, including the eighth dam of Hillaby.

Speed and high-level ability through the generations are still the hallmarks of the best bloodstock, and as we saw with the purchase of Hillaby earlier this year, those are the qualities that major breeders and racing stables pay large sums to acquire.

*The preceding post was first published earlier this week at Paulick Report.

the factor and hansen: contemporaries continue competition as sires

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Two competitors on the track, Hansen and The Factor, also have first-crop foals offered for sale at Keeneland November. The pair share some common traits, including a high turn of speed. Both are also gray, but more importantly, they are by two of the most important sires in America: Tapit and War Front.

True dominance in a sire attracts a host of breeders hoping to use him, but most of them cannot get a season, even in today’s exaggerated books. That reality pushes their interest toward the sons of highly favored stallions and makes those sons a stronger proposition for farms to stand.

In each stallion’s first season at stud in 2013, Hansen covered 147 mares who produced 102 foals, and The Factor covered 135 mares who produced 102 foals. In 2014, The Factor covered 151 mares as his second book, but we do not know the number of mares sent to Hansen because he was no longer available in Kentucky.

Both young sires had first-crop weanlings available in Book 1 at Keeneland November – but only a few — as well as a few at Fasig-Tipton. Hansen has two in Book 1, where The Factor has a trio.

Hansen was the first champion son of leading sire Tapit, winning the Eclipse Award as the top juvenile colt in 2011 after a game victory over Union Rags in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. Acquired by Coolmore and retired to stud at Ashford in Kentucky, Hansen served only one season in the Bluegrass before he was sold to the Korean Racing Authority as a stallion for their breeding program.

As a result, the Hansen foals are a bit like collector’s items because we won’t be seeing any more after this crop.

The Hansen filly out of Allencat (by Storm Cat), Hip 26, is a half-sister to a pair of stakes horses, and Hip 182 is also a filly, a March 2 foal out of the Vicar mare R Lady Joy. The latter was a classy racehorse, winning the G2 Delaware Oaks and finishing third in the G1 Alabama.

Among Hansen’s appeals to breeders were his early maturity and status as a champion son of a leading sire who is very hard to get to. Likewise, The Factor is by one of the hottest international sires in War Front, and the latter is probably the hardest stallion in the world in which to acquire a season

The Factor’s three hips in Book 1 are also all fillies: Hips 269, 374, and 398. The first is a March 8 foal out of the End Sweep mare Charismatic Lady, and this filly is a half-sister to stakes winner Dad’s Crazy (Langfuhr), winner of the Miss Grillo Stakes at Belmont. Hip 374 is out of stakes-placed Pastel Gal (Lemon Drop Kid), and Hip 398 is out of G2 winner Sayedah (Darshaan).

There were further foals by both stallions in later books, and the summary statistics for their first foal sales are below.

Hansen: indicating number through ring, sold, RNA, average, median, gross

Weanling 20 16 4 $45,438 $46,000 $727,000
KEENOV2014
Hip: 26
Weanling
Hansencat
f., 2014
Hansen-Allencat, by Storm Cat Valparaiso Enterprises Pope McLean $90,000 Sold
KEENOV2014
Hip: 182
Weanling
R Lady Hansen
f., 2014
Hansen-R Lady Joy, by Vicar Pope McLean ($140,000) RNA
KEENOV2014
Hip: 581
Weanling
UNNAMED
c., 2014
Hansen-Dixie Stamp, by Dixie Union Pope McLean ($55,000) RNA
KEENOV2014
Hip: 737
Weanling
UNNAMED
f., 2014
Hansen-Movie Star Magic, by The Cliff’s Edge Bobby Flay Pope McLean $65,000 Sold
KEENOV2014
Hip: 781
Weanling
Prince Hansen
c., 2014
Hansen-Quickandquietqueen, by Quiet American Walnut Hill Bloodstock Pope McLean $85,000 Sold
KEENOV2014
Hip: 1634
Weanling
UNNAMED
c., 2014
Hansen-S D P Greedisgood, by Gone West Amy Boulton Pope McLean $65,000 Sold
KEENOV2014
Hip: 1744
Weanling
UNNAMED
c., 2014
Hansen-Annie Goodtime, by Honour and Glory Michelle Redding Eaton Sales $50,000 Sold
KEENOV2014
Hip: 2250
Weanling
UNNAMED
f., 2014
Hansen-Elusive Royalty, by Elusive Quality J and R Bloodstock Select Sales $12,000 Sold
KEENOV2014
Hip: 2334
Weanling
UNNAMED
c., 2014
Hansen-La Riviera, by Affirmed Dr. Kendall Hansen Racing Millennium Farms $20,000 Sold
KEENOV2014
Hip: 2365
Weanling
UNNAMED
f., 2014
Hansen-Missing Miss, by Unaccounted For Turnley Farms LA Lane’s End $25,000 Sold
KEENOV2014
Hip: 2412
Weanling
UNNAMED
f., 2014
Hansen-Que Bonita, by Meadowlake Dr. Kendall Hansen Racing Lane’s End $45,000 Sold
KEENOV2014
Hip: 2454
Weanling
UNNAMED
c., 2014
Hansen-Slewville, by Petionville Jim Perrone Pope McLean $47,000 Sold
KEENOV2014
Hip: 2924
Weanling
UNNAMED
c., 2014
Hansen-Turf Club, by Trust N Luck Select Sales ($22,000) RNA
KEENOV2014
Hip: 2952
Weanling
Air Hansen
c., 2014
Hansen-Airizon, by Boston Harbor Dr. Kendall Hansen Racing Taylor Made Sales Agency $75,000 Sold
KEENOV2014
Hip: 3036
Weanling
UNNAMED
c., 2014
Hansen-Diamond Donna, by Silver Deputy Polo Green Stable & David Lashley Select Sales $5,000 Sold
KEENOV2014
Hip: 3051
Weanling
UNNAMED
f., 2014
Hansen-Enticing, by Service Stripe Academy Bloodstock Pope McLean $16,000 Sold
KEENOV2014
Hip: 3179
Weanling
UNNAMED
c., 2014
Hansen-Nault, by Woodman Pope McLean ($9,000) RNA
KEENOV2014
Hip: 3603
Weanling
UNNAMED
f., 2014
Hansen-Primetime Cat, by Tale of the Cat Bill & Corinne Heiligbrodt Equus Farm $37,000 Sold
FTKNOV2014
Hip: 36
Weanling
UNNAMED
c., 2014
Hansen-Palomanegra, by Grand Slam Wild Card Bloodstock Pope McLean $75,000 Sold
OBSOCT2014
Hip: 99
Weanling
UNNAMED
c., 2014
Hansen-Havelsee, by Tiznow Blue River Bloodstock Kaizen Sales $15,000 Sold

The Factor: indicating number through ring, sold, RNA, average, median, gross

Weanling 26 20 6 $87,150 $77,500 $1,743,000
KEENOV2014
Hip: 269
Weanling
UNNAMED
f., 2014
The Factor-Charismatic Lady, by End Sweep Fairwinter Farm William B. Harrigan $130,000 Sold
KEENOV2014
Hip: 374
Weanling
UNNAMED
f., 2014
The Factor-Pastel Gal, by Lemon Drop Kid Warrendale Sales ($140,000) RNA
KEENOV2014
Hip: 503
Weanling
UNNAMED
c., 2014
The Factor-Ba Ba’s Bunch, by El Corredor Nick de Meric Select Sales $130,000 Sold
KEENOV2014
Hip: 509
Weanling
UNNAMED
c., 2014
The Factor-Bet On the Blue, by E Dubai The Blind Tiger Taylor Made Sales Agency $70,000 Sold
KEENOV2014
Hip: 521
Weanling
UNNAMED
c., 2014
The Factor-Broadway Lullaby, by Songandaprayer JSM Equine St George Sales $85,000 Sold
KEENOV2014
Hip: 617
Weanling
UNNAMED
c., 2014
The Factor-Gowestforgold, by Java Gold Pope McLean ($65,000) RNA
KEENOV2014
Hip: 669
Weanling
UNNAMED
c., 2014
The Factor-Jive Talk, by Kingmambo Mayor Farm Hunter Valley Farm $27,000 Sold
KEENOV2014
Hip: 699
Weanling
UNNAMED
c., 2014
The Factor-Lucky Slevin, by Two Punch Nick de Meric Pope McLean $110,000 Sold
KEENOV2014
Hip: 802
Weanling
UNNAMED
c., 2014
The Factor-Salvar, by Eddington Springhouse Farm Lane’s End $115,000 Sold
KEENOV2014
Hip: 808
Weanling
UNNAMED
f., 2014
The Factor-Seeking Silence, by Seeking the Gold Bare Stables Hunter Valley Farm $67,000 Sold
KEENOV2014
Hip: 923
Weanling
UNNAMED
f., 2014
The Factor-At Risk, by Dixie Union Third Street Stable Clarkland Farm $65,000 Sold
KEENOV2014
Hip: 1027
Weanling
UNNAMED
c., 2014
The Factor-Fun Given, by Point Given Paramount Sales ($30,000) RNA
KEENOV2014
Hip: 1162
Weanling
UNNAMED
c., 2014
The Factor-Once Around, by You and I Cedar Hall Farm Warrendale Sales $200,000 Sold
KEENOV2014
Hip: 1186
Weanling
UNNAMED
f., 2014
The Factor-Prevention, by Aptitude Preston Stables Paramount Sales $90,000 Sold
KEENOV2014
Hip: 1390
Weanling
UNNAMED
f., 2014
The Factor-Dana Dew, by Fusaichi Pegasus Blandford Stud Lisa & Tim Turney $45,000 Sold
KEENOV2014
Hip: 1448
Weanling
UNNAMED
f., 2014
The Factor-Friona, by Allen’s Prospect Walter Bloodstock Lane’s End $75,000 Sold
KEENOV2014
Hip: 1529
Weanling
Smokin Hot Factor
c., 2014
The Factor-Love Me Twice, by Not For Love Sally Thomas ($57,000) RNA
KEENOV2014
Hip: 1560
Weanling
UNNAMED
f., 2014
The Factor-Motel Lass, by Bates Motel Baccari Bloodstock Hunter Valley Farm $70,000 Sold
KEENOV2014
Hip: 1694
Weanling
UNNAMED
c., 2014
The Factor-Trippi Street, by Trippi Walter Bloodstock Burleson Farms $62,000 Sold
KEENOV2014
Hip: 1787
Weanling
UNNAMED
c., 2014
The Factor-Cat Dance, by Forest Wildcat Taylor Made Sales Agency ($95,000) RNA
KEENOV2014
Hip: 1791
Weanling
UNNAMED
c., 2014
The Factor-Cedar Run’s Emblem, by Our Emblem Tim Hamlin James B. Keogh $80,000 Sold
KEENOV2014
Hip: 1897
Weanling
UNNAMED
c., 2014
The Factor-I Am Iron Woman, by Any Given Saturday Paramount Sales ($19,000) RNA
KEENOV2014
Hip: 2175
Weanling
UNNAMED
f., 2014
The Factor-Bertha Jo, by Banker’s Gold Falguieres Bloodstock Susan M. Forrester $42,000 Sold
FTKNOV2014
Hip: 30
Weanling
UNNAMED
f., 2014
The Factor-Mining My Business, by Mining Stonereath Stud Darby Dan Farm $130,000 Sold
FTKNOV2014
Hip: 53
Weanling
UNNAMED
f., 2014
The Factor-Super Cub, by Old Trieste American Equistock Romans Racing & Sales $85,000 Sold
FTNMIX2014
Hip: 298
Weanling
UNNAMED
f., 2014
The Factor-Divorce Settlement, by Stormin Fever Palermo Farm Sequel Stallions New York $65,000 Sold

 

the commercial markets are indicating that the prospects for tapit to breed on are strong

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One of the strong currents swirling within the sales in Kentucky this month is the selection and assessment of future stars. Those peak performers are found not only in the sessions at Fasig-Tipton’s one-day auction or in Book 1 of Keeneland’s November sale, which runs through six books — good horses are found throughout the sales, at all price levels, with premium pedigrees and without.

Good horsemen and lucky ones alike come upon jewels on four legs, but one of the great interests for those of us observing the sales and participating in them is watching how the market responds to particular sires and sire lines.

These go in and out of fashion for a reason. Performance on the racetrack is the underlying truth behind the success of a particular sire, and the consistent ability shown by the progeny of certain lines at the track pushes them to the top of list in demand at the sales.

There is no secret that Tapit (by Pulpit) is the hottest sire in the country. He’s the leading North American sire by gross progeny earnings, the sire of the top 3-year-old filly Untapable, and heir to the quality of the A.P. Indy/Seattle Slew/Bold Ruler line with performers like Belmont Stakes winner Tonalist and the versatile graded winner Ring Weekend.

Nobody knew that in 2006, when the first foals by Tapit came to the sales in November, but they made believers of many observant horsemen. Although no more than medium-sized youngsters, the first foals by Tapit were muscular and well-balanced, showed themselves nicely at a walk, and they had a ton of presence.

Overall, 18 weanlings by Tapit sold in 2006 for an average of $108,692 and for a median price of $87,000. Those were manly figures for a young sire who stood initially for $15,000. Among them were eventual graded stakes winner Hightap, graded stakes-placed Selective, stakes winner Endymion, and a couple more who earned six figures without getting black type.

The weanlings sold quite well for the progeny of a young and relatively unheralded sire. The market’s reception of the horse was encouraging because Tapit, at the time, was not a household name, and his greatest success had come in the Grade 1 Wood Memorial two and a half years before the 2006 November sale.

The 2006 foal buyers were right, and we had seen the first stock by a serious sire. Such a fair-minded assessment of a stallion’s first foals is important because, if well and legitimately received, the positive response will help to keep mares coming to a young horse in the third and fourth years of his start at stud.

Those are the hardest years for a stallion manager to fill a young sire’s book, and highly promising weanlings give breeders a peek into the future potential of a young stallion.

It is not surprising that two first-crop sons of Tapit have received some positive attention from buyers at the sales over the past week. In addition to their sire, Hansen and Tapizar also won Breeders’ Cup races (the Juvenile and the Dirt Mile, respectively).

Although his foals’ commercial appeal was dampened by the horse’s sale to Korea a year ago, Hansen’s first crop include seven sales foals who have sold for an average of $63,571 and for a median price of $65,000. These are among the only American foals by the juvenile champion, and they have been dispersed into the hands of good horsemen.

So far, Tapizar has had a dozen of his youngsters offered, and to date, his average and median figures are practically equal at $91,000. The high prices rose to $180,000 and $190,000 for nicely shaped and progressive young athletes.

The test case for the Tapit sons is Trappe Shot because his first foals are yearlings and will race next year. Trappe Shot’s second-crop weanlings found a good reception, with nine selling for an average of $59,722, with a median of $35,000. The leading lot by Trappe Shot at the November sale also was the high-priced lot at the Keeneland November sixth session on Sunday. The colt out of Irish Lullaby brought $200,000 from Baccari Bloodstock and sold out of the Four Star consignment for Glencrest Farm.

For these good prospects and all the others, the possibility seen at the sales will be tested at the racetrack, and we will be able to find out which horses are breeding on by siring significant athletes. We fans of the sport can watch it all develop, and oh, what fun it is!

*The preceding article was first posted at Paulick Report earlier this week.

breeders’ cup brought success to overseas bloodstock buyers

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In a weekend that included a number of wildly unexpected results, some of the biggest success stories from the Breeders’ Cup races on Friday and Saturday involved breeders and buyers overseas who purchased sires and dams closely connected to prominent players in the Breeders’ Cup races.

The biggest coup of them all was the purchase of the stallion Offlee Wild (by Wild Again), who is the sire of Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup Classic winner, Bayern. In a deal announced in mid-October, Tevfik Celikoglu purchased the stallion for export to Turkey, where he will stand the 2015 season at one of the stallion installations owned by the Jockey Club of Turkey.

The 14-year-old Offlee Wild won six races, including the Grade 1 Suburban Handicap at Belmont Park, earning $976,325, and he began his stallion career at Darley’s Jonabell Farm in 2006. With his first-crop racers in 2009, Offlee Wild became the country’s leading freshman sire, primarily due to She Be Wild, who won four of her five starts that season, including the G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, and was named champion 2-year-old filly at the 2009 Eclipse Awards.

Till this season, She Be Wild was the only major performer for the stallion, and his commercial appeal dwindled. In 2012, Offlee Wild was relocated to Pin Oak Lane Farm in Pennsylvania, and then Bayern, a foal of 2011, reignited some interest in the stallion because of the colt’s high speed and powerful front-running performances through the spring and summer.

Still, Offlee Wild has a half-dozen stakes winners this year, while standing for a $4,000 fee at Pin Oak Lane in Pennsylvania, and the stallion will enter stud in Turkey with a tremendous tailwind from Bayern’s successes this season.

In addition, Offlee Wild ranks 11th this year by progeny earnings with $7,142,239, including $4,389,680 from Bayern, and Offlee Wild is also represented by group stakes winner Hortensius in Argentina, where the colt won the G2 Polla de Potrillos de La Plata in August.

Earlier on the Saturday card, perhaps the most impressive winner on the day was the Afleet Alex colt Texas Red, who blew away his competition in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile by 6 1/2 lengths.

Showing an appreciation for distance similar to his Preakness and Belmont Stakes-winning sire, Texas Red is a colt with serious prospects for the premium races in 2015. Receiving miler speed from his dam, Texas Red is out of the Jeune Homme mare Ramatuelle. She was unbeaten in her first five races, then ran fourth in the G3 Yerba Buena, third in the G3 Desert Stormer, and fifth in the G2 A Gleam.

Retired to stud by Stonestreet, Ramatuelle did not immediately produce a stakes horse, although all were winners. Texas Red is his dam’s fifth foal, and Stonestreet sold the colt at the 2013 Keeneland September sale for $17,000. Two months later, they sold his stakes-placed dam for $20,000 to Korea Bloodstock in foal to Maclean’s Music.

Kentucky-based bloodstock consultant Jun Park said that “Korea Bloodstock is a Korean company that helps breeders purchase horses at the sales. Their main job is doing paperwork for actual buyers, like what KOID does.”

The Chilean-bred mare was shipped to Korea in December, but unfortunately, “Ramatuelle died in Korea last March,” Park said, along with the foal she was carrying.

Like most mares imported for their breeding program, Ramatuelle was purchased under the auspices of the Korean Racing Association, which operates like a bureau of the Korean government and oversees nearly every aspect of racing in South Korea. The KRA is the sole racing authority, overseeing Korea’s racing, wagering, and breeding. The KRA operates Korea’s two Thoroughbred racetracks at Seoul and Busan, which is Korea’s second-largest city. Both have sand tracks, which makes them relatively close to the surfaces in the States, and the pedigrees and physical types that thrive there seem to be similar.

The KRA operates Jeju stud farm and training center, and it stands Breeders’ Cup winner Volponi, champion juvenile Hansen, G1 winner Rock Hard Ten, and the major winner and significant sire Menifee. These and other sires will be joined next year by Any Given Saturday (Distorted Humor), who won the Haskell during his racing career and sired Hoppertunity, a well-regarded classic candidate earlier this year.

The racing and breeding programs in countries like Korea and Turkey can offer an important role to these and other horses who may not have a commercial profile in America that will allow them to remain at the highest level. That is how some of the best influences in U.S. breeding came to these shores, because they weren’t as highly valued elsewhere, and we can hope that these exports find eminent success in their new homes.

The preceding post was first published earlier this week at Paulick Report.

laminitis may result from several factors, but management and prompt treatment offer some hope for horses

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One of the most complex diseases that affects horses — laminitis — is caused by a number of triggers and causes pain, sometimes extreme pain, in a horse’s feet. The outcome of laminitis ranges widely, from death or limited mobility to minimal discomfort and considerable length of life.

One of the specialists in this disease is Scott Morrison, DVM, who is in the podiatry department at Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital. Morrison said he sees three levels of chronic laminitis, and graded worst to least, they are chronic unstable, chronic stable, and chronic low-grade.

The worst level is loads of trouble. It requires “special shoeing because the foot doesn’t grow sole and walls properly, and you need a specialist,” Morrison assessed. This is understandably the most deadly situation for a horse that is being managed.

In contrast, the stable version of laminitis presents problems, but it can be managed. Morrison said that this level of laminitic involvement is characterized by wide growth rings at the heel and narrow ones at the toe because of “uneven growth of the hoof, and there will typically be a stretched white line at the toe, as well.”

The low-grade laminitis is “common in mares, but sound management can keep them comfortable and stable” without as much intervention as the two higher-level sorts of laminitis.

Given the relative complexity of the disease and relative frequency that we see it, Morrison offered some things to look for in evaluating our own horses or in assessing horses at the sales.

He said, “First of all, I’d pick up and look at the bottom of the foot. The white line should be nice and tight. If it’s stretched, that could be a warning sign. I’d look at the growth rings on the hoof wall. At the sales, these are sometimes buffed off, but if a hoof wall was rasped down pretty hard or had another color showing through, I’d take a close look at it.

“I look at the contour of the hoof wall. Is it dished coming out to the toe? If I’ve seen that or a stretched white line, I wouldn’t hesitate to check the pulse in the hoof. And if I’m not reassured, I would take radiographs.”

Radiographs will show whether there is internal damage to the hoof. Rotation of the coffin bone is one of the clinical signs of laminitis, not foot soreness, which can occur for many reasons. Rotation, or even worse, sinking of the coffin bone is a source of great concern.

Horses with low-grade laminitis may have a slight degree of rotation, but the really bad occurrences of laminitis result in significant rotation and sinking.

Even among horses with horrific laminitis, such as sloughing of the hooves, there are some miraculous survivors, but Morrison said that “body type is a factor in that, too. The lighter horses will have a somewhat better prognosis for recovering” from even the worst-case situations with laminitis.

On the other hand, heavier horses have more problems. Morrison counseled that one of the additional physical traits to watch for in potentially laminitic animals is a heavy body, a cresty neck, especially in a mare, and fatty deposits on the body.

The reasons for concern about body type include the obvious pressure that a heavier horse puts on its feet, but also insulin resistance is one of the factors known to cause or predispose a horse to developing laminitis. And heavy-bodied easy-keepers are commonly found to have insulin resistance or equine metabolic disorder.

Other factors known to play a role in triggering this disease include stress, colitis, spring grass or other rich feed, and leg-support laminitis (such as befell Barbaro). Just from this list, a wide variety of things can precipitate laminitis, but all of these factors share the common traits of stressing the horse and creating inflammation.

Anti-inflammatories, such as bute, are among the medications used to combat laminitis. Morrison noted that “there are a range of exciting new treatments for laminitis, including stem-cell treatments, sole supports, and special shoes that help to stimulate blood flow while supporting the horse.”

The bad news is that laminitis is with us and will continue to be because it’s not caused by a pathogen like most diseases. It’s caused by multiple factors.

The good news is that research and development are making survival more likely for horses with laminitis and raising the quality of life for them.

*The preceding post was first published at Paulick Report earlier this week.

leading maryland stallion not for love shows his quality and consistency with a quartet of winners in maryland million series

Can you name the best son of Mr. Prospector still active as a stallion? If you said, “Smart Strike,” you win a gold star.

But can you name the second-best son of Mr. Prospector? Hint: He is also the broodmare sire of this year’s Kentucky Derby winner.

His name is Not for Love, and he stands in Maryland at Northview Stallion Station for a $15,000 stud fee. That makes him a very pricey regional stallion, but he has proven himself worth it.

The 24-year-old is the leading sire in Maryland, as well as one of prominence nationally. Not for Love has sired 137 stakes horses, with 78 of those being stakes winners. That adds up to 9 percent of the stallion’s 903 foals of racing age.

But even by Not for Love’s standards, the past weekend was outstanding. He sired the winners of four races in the Maryland Million series: the Maryland Million Classic, Sprint, Distaff, and Nursery.

The winner of the Classic was last year’s winner, Eighttofasttocatch, an 8-year-old who is also his sire’s leading earner with $997,970 to date. A $47,000 yearling at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic September yearling sale in 2008, Eighttofasttocatch was bred by Dark Hollow Farm and Herringswell Stable.

A good-looking chestnut gelding, Eighttofasttocatch has raced for seven seasons, and he has 16 victories in 48 starts, with seven seconds and four thirds. In aptitude a miler, Eighttofasttocatch has shown his best form going extended miles, and in the 2014 Classic, the gelding took the lead and refused to be caught in registering his 11th stakes victory.

The 2011 Maryland Million Classic was the first victory in the series for Eighttofasttocatch, who had placed third in the 2010 Maryland Million Turf. He has won the last two Classics for a trio of series triumphs, and he is the poster boy for many of his sire’s best qualities.

They are racehorses, first and foremost. They like their racing, show gameness, and are naturally athletic. They are also surprisingly tough, with 82 percent of his foals starting in a race and 65 percent winning.

Not for Love himself raced for four seasons, with six victories in 29 starts. As a full brother to champion Rhythm (by Mr. Prospector out of the Northern Dancer mare Dance Number), a great deal was expected of Not for Love.

As a racehorse, he did not fulfill much of it. He was pretty tough and reasonably competitive, but he earned black type only with a third in the minor Bob Harding Stakes, going a mile and a sixteenth on turf.

Still, it was black type, and with his grand pedigree, Not for Love found a place at stud in Maryland. There, he emphatically outperformed probability and expectations.

Not for Love has proven to be a bigger success at stud that his famous full brother. This is all the more surprising because Not for Love is something less than the perfect specimen, but perhaps overcoming that physical shortfall is an indication of greater ability that he was able to transmit genetically.

And Not for Love has bred his pedigree, with its speed and quality, with such consistency that he has become a leading sire.

In the Maryland Million this year, Not for Love stormed the heights with his proven competitors, which included D C Dancer, winner of the Sprint, and Classy Coco, winner of the Distaff.

Those two are 4-year-olds, presumably with plenty of racing left in them, but Not for Love also had the future on display with the Nursery winner Golden Years. The latter is a 2-year-old colt out of Sweet Annuity, by Oh Say, and the colt is unbeaten in two starts with earnings of $80,760.

Bred by O’Sullivan Farms, Golden Years is a bright prospect for his sire’s golden years. The colt sold at last year’s Fasig-Tipton Midlantic yearling sale for $120,000. He came out of Bill Reightler’s consignment and sold to Ellen Charles; Golden Years races in the name of Hillwood Stable LLC.

Just as Golden Years is a continuing advertisement for his sire during Not for Love’s latter years at stud, Maryland’s leading sire is also getting national recognition as a broodmare sire. Not for Love is the broodmare sire of Grade 1 winner Starship Truffles, but he earned greater renown and some measure of lasting fame as the broodmare sire of 2014 Kentucky Derby winner California Chrome.

*The preceding post was first published earlier this week at Paulick Report.

crown queen proves herself to be another jewel in her sparkling family with g1 victory at keeneland

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In one more example of how racehorses repay those who do the right thing for them, the seven-figure weanling Crown Queen became a Grade 1 winner in Keeneland’s Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup.

Besilu Stables had purchased the filly out of the Chanteclair Farm dispersal of the late Saud bin Khaled at the 2011 Keeneland November sale. The hammer price of $1.6 million was strong, but the dark brown filly was a half-sister to the top-class Royal Delta (by Empire Maker). It looks soft now.

Their dam is the wondrous producer Delta Princess (A.P. Indy), who has four black-type horses from five foals to race. A G3 stakes winner herself, Delta Princess was a talented racer out of a fine producer, Lyphard’s Delta, and this is a family that was cultivated at Chanteclair to produce an amazing proportion of stakes horses over the years.

A winner of the G2 Nassau Stakes at age three, Lyphard’s Delta, a daughter of champion older mare Proud Delta (Delta Judge), was a grand producer as well. Her two daughters by A.P. Indy, Delta Princess and her year-younger sister Indy Five Hundred, put their dam on the map as a serious producer. Delta Princess won three times at the G3 level, and her full sister won the G1 Garden City Breeders’ Cup Handicap.

As an older mare of 18, Lyphard’s Delta produced G1 winner Biondetti (by A.P. Indy’s champion son Bernardini), and the old mare was provided for by the estate and not sent through the ring at Keeneland like the production-age Delta Princess and her offspring.

In the dispersal at Keeneland November, Delta Princess brought $2.6 million with a March 20 cover to leading sire Distorted Humor. Her champion daughter Royal Delta brought $8.5 million as a racehorse and potential producer. She went on to become a multiple champion and winner of the Breeders’ Cup Distaff, as well as $4.8 million.

The foal now named Crown Queen went through the ring immediately following her dam and brought a million dollars less.

Following the filly’s accomplishments this year, her value is much greater, and fascinating prospects stretch out before her. Besilu Stables purchased both Royal Delta and her weanling half-sister. Besilu campaigned Royal Delta extensively, as the grand mare showed class, versatility, and soundness that led her to divisional championships in 2011, 2012, and 2013.

This is a family of racers, especially race fillies, that have shown a great deal of class and that have improved markedly with time. None have been exceptional juveniles, and the same proved true with Crown Queen.

From two starts last year, Crown Queen was third in each. But she has improved out of sight this season, stepping through maiden and allowance victories to win the G2 Lake Placid Stakes at Saratoga, and she reached a new level with a determined success in the G1 at Keeneland on Saturday.

Crown Queen is unbeaten in four starts this year, and there is every reason to expect she has some further improvement to come.

In the aftermath of the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup, trainer Bill Mott noted that owner Ben Leon of Besilu Stable “wanted to give her some time over the winter to mature and grow up a little bit. He made a good call.”

The skills of the trainer and the patience of the ownership have allowed Crown Queen to come to herself naturally, and Mott said, “It was a very special win for me since I trained her mother (Delta Princess) and her grandmother (Lyphard’s Delta) and a lot of the family (including Royal Delta). It’s a very meaningful win for me.”

This pinnacle of success also shows that Crown Queen is maturing and improving at a rate typical of this family and typical of the progeny of the filly’s sire, Smart Strike.

Twice the leading sire in the nation, Smart Strike is proving year after year that he is one of the most important sons of Mr. Prospector, whose other sons include leading stallions Fappiano, Forty Niner, Seeking the Gold, Kingmambo, and Woodman.

This year, Smart Strike has G1 winners Crown Queen and Minorette, as well as four G2 winners and a G3 winner. Five of the seven graded winners are fillies or mares, but Smart Strike made his name as a sire of top-class colts like Horse of the Year Curlin, champion turf horse English Channel, and top sprinter Fabulous Strike.

And Smart Strike is breeding on. Curlin, sire of 2012 Belmont Stakes and 2013 Metropolitan Handicap winner Palace Malice, and English Channel, sire of 2013 Travers winner V.E. Day, are both showing that there is a lot of stamina in this branch of Mr. Prospector.

Considering the stamina that Smart Strike can impart, the strength of Royal Delta’s G1 performances over 10 furlongs, and the emphatic way that Crown Queen battled out the finish of her G1 victory, a step up in trip might allow the filly to achieve an even higher ranking among her contemporaries.

*The preceding post was first published earlier this week at Paulick Report.

daredevil scaling the heights with victory in historic champagne stakes

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By making the big leap from maiden special winner to Grade 1 by winning the Champagne Stakes in his second start, Daredevil has placed himself squarely in the mix for the season’s top juvenile colt, and he is the son and grandson of racers who also figured prominently in the Champagne and in the assessment for leading 2-year-old colt of their years.

The outcomes for the sire and grandsire were quite different, however. Daredevil is by leading sire More Than Ready (by Southern Halo) and is out of a mare by Forty Niner.

A winner in five of his six preceding starts, More Than Ready would almost certainly have been champion 2-year-old of 1999 if he had won the Champagne. Instead, he finished fifth, tiring after three-quarters and appearing not to stay the mile.

In contrast, Forty Niner won the 1987 Champagne convincingly and was elected champion of his division by Eclipse Award voters. He was also one of the scant few champion 2-year-old colts who did not compete in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile since its institution in 1984. Others were last year’s champion Shared Belief, Declan’s Moon in 2004, and Maria’s Mon in 1995.

Both More Than Ready and Forty Niner returned at 3 to perform with high distinction. Forty Niner won the G1 Travers, as well as the Haskell and what was then called the NYRA Mile (now Cigar Mile), but Forty Niner missed his most sought-after goal as victory in the Kentucky eluded him when narrowly second to Winning Colors.

More Than Ready’s most important victory at 3 came in the G1 King’s Bishop at Saratoga, and although he was a very good racer, the son of Southern Halo was clearly a tick below the best of the crop. Even so, he ran a highly respectable fourth in the Kentucky Derby and in the Cigar Mile.

Put to stud, both More Than Ready and Forty Niner showed the ability to sire precocious individuals with speed and class. While leading sire Forty Niner also got classic winner Editor’s Note before the stallion’s export to Japan, More Than Ready is notable for his quick juveniles and performers at distances up to eight and nine furlongs.

The best Northern Hemisphere son of More Than Ready to this point has been Verrazano, who won both the G1 Wood Memorial and Haskell last year, and in addition to the good performances of his stock in the U.S., More Than Ready really sealed the deal on his stallion career with the exploits of his racers in Australia.

Standing Down Under, More Than Ready is the sire of three multi-millionaires – Sebring, More Joyous, and Phelan Ready – and his stud fee is higher in the Southern Hemisphere than in Kentucky, where he stood for $50,000 live foal in 2014.

If Daredevil progresses to win the Breeders’ Cup and the Eclipse Award, that may change.

One thing that will not change is the fact that Daredevil is the second G1 winner out of his dam, the Forty Niner mare Chasethewildwind.

One of the very best producing daughters of her champion sire, Chasethewildwind won three of her nine starts, earning $95,300 in two seasons of racing.

Put to stud by her breeders, Marianne and Brandon Chase, Chasethewildwind got a stakes horse in her first foal, the Touch Gold mare Chasethegold, who ran second in the G3 Ken Maddy Handicap and earned $154,945.

The mare got a really good horse in her third named foal, the Albert the Great horse Albertus Maximus. The latter won the G1 Donn Handicap and the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile before it was graded, earning more than $1.3 million.

With a pair of G1 winners and a graded-placed performer, Chasethewildwind is clearly a broodmare of high merit. She also possesses a produce record of the grittiest disappointment.

Between her first foal Chasethegold and Daredevil, who is the mare’s last reported offspring, the only foals to race that Chasethewildwind produced were Albertus Maximus and a useful winner by Malibu Moon.

There were three barren years, one year not bred, a dead foal, and an unnamed foal who presumably died. In addition, there were also three foals who were named but who have no starts.

Those mishaps must have been a grave disappointment to the breeders, who have a small but distinguished racing and breeding operation.

In 2013, Daredevil was consigned by Gainesway, agent, to the Keeneland September sale and sold for $260,000 to Let’s Go Stable. Daredevil brought the sixth-highest price for a Northern Hemisphere yearling by his sire last year, with 69 offered, and the average price for those yearlings was $118,883, with a median of $93,296.

The most important statistics, however, are those recording accomplishments on the racetrack, and to date, none of More Than Ready’s crop of 2012 has done better than Daredevil.

*The preceding post was first published at Paulick Report last week.

‘belle’ of the beldame proves a gallant representative of storm cat son after market

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Shakespeare wrote that “There is a tide in the affairs of men that, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune.” The Bard’s observation 400 years ago is still as true today, and it applies just as certainly to horses as to people.

If a stallion does not catch the rising tide to prominence with his early results at the racetrack, he is not going to last in most operations. And that proved to be the case with After Market (by Storm Cat), now exported but also the sire of the winner of the Grade 1 Beldame Stakes, Belle Gallantey, on Sept. 27.

The 5-year-old mare is from the first crop by her sire, who also got G1 winner Lady of Fifty (Vanity Handicap), but the stallion’s overall stats did not lift him high enough to maintain a commercial profile in Kentucky, and he was sold to overseas interests at the end of last year.

After Market now stands at the Jockey Club of Turkey stud farm near Izmet for a fee of 8,000 lira (approximately $4,000).

Bred and raced by Marty and Pam Wygod, After Market is a son of Storm Cat and G1 winner Tranquility Lake, by Rahy. This is the same cross of Storm Cat with a Rahy mare that produced international highweight and leading sire Giant’s Causeway. So much was expected of After Market.

He proved a good horse early in his career who bloomed magnificently at a 4-year-old and became a multiple G1 winner in 2007, winning the Eddie Read and Charlie Whittingham Memorial, as well as the G2 Del Mar Handicap and G3 Inglewood. After Market was retired to stud at Lane’s End for the following year’s breeding season, and he covered large books of well-bred and commercially appealing mares.

Perhaps After Market bred too much in the direction of the Rahy side of his pedigree because the commercial market never enthused over the stallion or his offspring. Belle Gallantey was originally named Collection Basket and sold both as a yearling and as a 2-year-old. Her first trip through the sales ring, she sold for $10,000 to Mike Puhich, agent, and the second time she sold as a juvenile for $30,000 to Stuart Carmichael and Peter Tom.

Whatever her shortcomings as a sales horse, she proved a thoroughly useful performer at the track, winning a maiden claiming race for $30,000 and earning more than $250,000 in her first three seasons on the track. That’s a lot of money for a claiming and allowance filly, but Belle Gallantey was very competitive, winning four times, with 19 more finishes in second or third from her first 36 starts.

Now owned by Michael Dubb, Bethlehem Stable, and Gary Aisquith, Belle Gallantey has been a revelation of class and consistency this year as she has climbed from a string of three allowance victories to win a pair of G1 stakes against some of the best mares in the country.

In between Belle Gallantey’s victories in the Delaware Handicap and the Beldame, she finished sixth in the G1 Personal Ensign at Saratoga, where she was tow-roped by divisional bear Close Hatches. That was one of only two losses this year in seven starts for Belle Gallantey, and she is the highest-profile descendant of a memorable champion.

Her third dam is the outstanding champion Meadow Star, a foal of 1988 by Meadowlake out of Inreality Star, by In Reality. Meadow Star was an exceptional champion at 2 when she was unbeaten in seven starts, including the G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, Frizette, Spinaway, and Matron. The spirited and athletic chestnut was unbeaten until she challenged colts in the Wood Memorial, where she finished fourth, and she won 11 of her first 12 starts, including a half-dozen G1s. Meadow Star’s last major victory was the Mother Goose, where she and Lite Light (Majestic Light) ran head-and-head to a dramatic finish that Meadow Star won narrowly.

Somewhat star-crossed as a broodmare, Meadow Star produced five foals, four winners, including the graded stakes-placed Grechelle, a daughter of Deputy Minister, like each of Meadow Star’s first three foals.

Field of Vision (Deputy Minister) was Meadow Star’s first foal, and she is the second dam of Belle Gallantey. Field of Vision’s third foal was Revealed (Old Trieste), and she won four races, earning $147,843.

Revealed produced Belle Gallantey as her second foal, and Belle Gallantey is her dam’s most accomplished performer, although all of Revealed’s first four foals are winners.

Belle Gallantey’s dam Revealed sold in 2010 for $70,000 at the Keeneland November sale. She was in foal to Candy Ride, and Larkin Armstrong, agent, signed the ticket for her. That foal is the 3-year-old Mr. Candy, a winner, and the mare has an unnamed 2-year-old filly by City Zip.

Revealed’s subsequent produce are View, a yearling filly by Birdstone, and an unnamed colt of 2014 by Gio Ponti.

With her ascension in class and consistency, Belle Gallantey has proven a worthy heir to the legacy of Meadow Star.

*The preceding post was first published earlier this week at Paulick Report.

juddmonte farm raises its profile at the september sale with purchases to enlarge racing division in california

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One of the many interesting notes from the recently concluded Keeneland September yearling sale was the purchase of a group of eight colts by Juddmonte Farms. The yearlings all possess American dirt pedigrees, and the eight colts were purchased from five consignors: Gainesway (2), Lane’s End (2), Four Star (2), Clearsky, and Dromoland.

All these are intended for trainer Bob Baffert, who trains a West Coast stable for Juddmonte, and “this is the third year we have purchased yearlings for this purpose,” noted Garrett O’Rourke, farm manager of Juddmonte Farm in Kentucky.

“Really this is an outgrowth of Juddmonte’s historical success of racing in California,” O’Rourke continued, cataloging a list of triumphs that go back into the 1980s. Nearly all were horses who came over from Europe to race, but in the late 1990s, Honest Lady became the first major racer for Juddmonte who was retained to stay in the States and race entirely in California under the handling of trainer Bobby Frankel.  Frankel also conditioned Honest Lady’s dam, the great mare Toussaud, during the latter part of her career. Being a daughter of Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew, whose offspring were not exceptional as European turf performers, Honest Lady was a logical selection for this approach, and she gave it a smashing start.

That athletic filly was a graded winner at 3 who challenged the colts in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby of 1999 and then won the G1 Santa Monica in 2000, when she was also second in the G1 Metropolitan Handicap and in Breeders’ Cup Sprint.

Honest Lady’s siblings like Chester House, by a more turf-friendly sire in Mr. Prospector, raced initially in England before coming to the U.S. to win G1 races, but her half-brother Empire Maker, by Kentucky Derby winner Unbridled, stayed in country, won the Florida Derby, ran second in the Kentucky Derby, and won the Belmont Stakes in 2003.

Over the years, however, the Juddmonte program has been to take their young stock to Europe for racing, then bring over those who seem suited to American racing for competition here as older horses. It is a program that has paid massive dividends with such winners as Toussaud (G1 Gamely), Skimming (G1 Pacific Classic twice), Tinners Way (G1 Pacific Classic twice and G1 Californian), and literally barns full of other outstanding horses.

In all, Juddmonte has had exceptional success as a breeder and owner, both in America and in Europe, where its operation so recently has lit all the torches of athletic stardom with the great Frankel, named for the farm’s legendary American trainer.

Frankel, the man, spent most of his life as a trainer in California, and he was the focus for Juddmonte’s development of older horses in the States. But clearly, Khalid Abdullah, Juddmonte’s owner, enjoys the variety of sport, and for an operation that focuses on breeding for Europe and the classics in general, producing stock for racing in California might require some supplements.

The first set of four yearlings purchased specifically for the California racing program are now three years old, and they include West Riding (Tapit), unbeaten and highly regarded filly who won an allowance at Del Mar at the end of July; Beach Hut (First Defence colt), stakes-placed in the San Pedro this season; Pimpernel (Elusive Quality colt out of Xtra Heat), winner of a maiden special and allowance; and the unraced Head Quarters (Curlin colt).

The second set of yearling purchases are a trio named Bassanio (Speightstown colt; $200,000), Lamu (Malibu Moon colt; $300,000), and Planet (Street Cry colt; $700,000). All are unraced 2-year-olds.

The group of eight this year represent a larger number and a great outlay of cash, which suggests an active appreciation for the success achieved and for the prospects ahead with Juddmonte in California.

As typical for this undertaking, the pedigrees suggest American speed and dirt performance, and they doubtless were selected with an eye toward the type of stock that Baffert has enjoyed success with in the past.

The group this year is exclusively colts, and they are: Speightstown x Union Waters, $400,000; Unbridled’s Song x Bubbler, $560,000; Candy Ride x Cat Charmer, $460,000; Harlan’s Holiday x True Addiction, $200,000; Scat Daddy x Unspoken Fur, $360,000; Trappe Shot x Winning Call, $600,000; Midnight Lute x Seeking the Ghost, $220,000; and Trappe Shot x Songfest, $380,000.

As was the general perception at the sales, Trappe Shot is a first-crop sire of great appeal, and Juddmonte bought two of them. Those were the only yearlings by an unproven sire that the international operation purchased, and there is a thought here that these yearlings have enough pedigree that any of them could go to stud if they do enough on the racetrack.

That is a long-term goal, not an immediate one, and any major breeder would have that consideration lingering in the back of his mind when making up a list of the most interesting prospects. The next couple of seasons will tell us which make the grade, and breeders and racing fans can while away the hours of fun at their sport by observing these and other young prospects as they develop.

* The preceding post was first published earlier this week at Paulick Report.

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