- It’s official; according to Wayne Lukas, we can just throw the Blue Grass completely out.
"I don't think the Blue Grass ever equates to anything…You see horses all the time who do well in the Blue Grass, or even in the third or fourth race on the card, come over here and you can't find them. And then you see some horses run bad (at Keeneland) and come over here and win. I don't put any stock in the Blue Grass. It's a great race, a nice purse, and a fun day, but let's leave it at that." [Bloodhorse]I’m a bit confused – does this apply only to Blue Grass day? Or to any race over the Keeneland surface? If the latter, then I guess we can also throw out last fall's Breeders Futurity, in which Consolidator won and beat Bellamy Road (if you haven't already). Oh, and yeah, you can also, according to D Wayne, discard the time of Consolidator’s workout this morning, the only Churchill Derby work of the day. He went 5f in 1:01 2/5, with fractions of :12 2/5, :24 2/5, :36 2/5, and :48 4/5 while galloping out six furlongs in 1:15 4/5, but because the track was "a little bit like peanut butter," trainer D. Wayne Lukas said the time of the work was not that important. Remember, this is a guy who has also discarded Going Wild's last two disastrous efforts. Perhaps we can get him to have the last two presidential elections thrown out as well.
- Word has it that Churchill has now begun soliciting and receiving developers' offers for Hollywood Park, though one of the options is building a smaller racetrack elsewhere on the site. [Bloodhorse]
- Big Cap winner Rock Hard Ten is hurting a bit, and though trainer Richard Mandella says that " he went sound in four days,” he added, “But what this means towards the Met Mile [May 30] or [Hollywood] Gold Cup [July 9], I don't know today." [Daily Racing Form]
- Nice piece in the Form by Lauren Stitch on last weekend’s Bed O’Roses winner Pleasant Home (Seeking the Gold), the continued success of the Phipps breeding juggernaut, and the way in which they’ve been able to make timely purchases that have had profound implications for generations to follow:
In the early 1970's, Ogden Phipps bought a South American champion, Dorine, and her first foal for Phipps was the stakes-winning sprinter Our Hero (Bold Ruler). Bred to Hoist the Flag, Dorine produced her most important foal, Grecian Banner, the dam of undefeated champion Personal Ensign (Private Account) and her full brother, stakes winner Personal Flag.The dam of Pleasant Home was also a Phipps purchase:
Our Country Place (Pleasant Colony) was cataloged for the 1993 Saratoga yearling sale, but was bought privately by Ogden Phipps shortly before the sale. While Phipps rarely bred to Pleasant Colony, it was clearly Our Country Place's tail-female family he was after. Our Country Place was not only a half-sister to champion Sky Beauty (Blushing Groom), she was out of an Alabama Stakes and Monmouth Oaks winner, Maplejinsky, one of the best fillies of a special crop, which included Winning Colors and Goodbye Halo. Maplejinsky was also a half-sister to a European champion, Dayjur, as both were out of Gold Beauty, the 1982 champion sprinter. [Daily Racing Form]Our Country Place has also produced Pleasant Home's full sister Our Country Hideaway, also a winner of the Bed O'Roses. This is also the family from which another of the 2 year-olds in my pinhooking partnership descends from; our Real Quiet filly has Gold Beauty as her third dam, as does Pleasant Home. We received word today that she has progressed to the point that she has now been accepted for the Timonium sale in June; previously they were trying to sell her privately.
Meanwhile, the Ocala sale plods on to its third day, with the average sale price up from last year. The reserve has been set on our Tactical Cat colt, who is scheduled to sell tomorrow. I guess I shouldn’t print exactly what it is here, but it’s a modest figure that seems predicated on us breaking about even on him. We still have a cushion from the profit on the Deputy Minister colt sold privately, and have the Real Quiet and Vicar fillies to sell in June. Vicar is having a good year thus far in his second crop year, which hopefully should help her prospects.