RSS Feed for this Blog

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Notes - Feb 8

- A sire I’ve been keeping an eye on with interest is Freud (Storm Cat), a full brother to Giant’s Causeway who stands in New York. For just $10,000, one can get the same genes for which his brother commands 30 times as much. Of course, while Giant’s Causeway was a European champion and a six-time Grade 1 winner, his little brother had a somewhat more modest record – one win and $44K earned in 12 starts.

Still, he’s the centerpiece of Lakland North, the stud farm venture by renowned pinhooker Becky Thomas (part of her Sequel Stallions), and she’s done a great job of marketing him – he was bred to 133 mares in 2005. His first crop yearlings averaged over $113K last year at sale last year, and despite a less than overwhelming performance on the racetrack by his first crop – just nine winners and no stakes winners – that success continued at Calder on Tuesday. Freud's three juveniles brought a total of $595,000, including the 5th highest sales price at $400K.

That colt is out of stakes winner Tricky Move (Tricky Creek), and is a half to NY-bred stakes winner Multiplication. Thomas sold him for $195,000 as a yearling last July, and he was pinhooked for a nice profit here. Everybody’s a winner! Another Freud colt, this one out of Erv’s Duck (Hagley), sold for $140,000 to Dogwood; he’s a half to Erv’s Line, a champ in Puerto Rico.

- The highest seller by a first year sire was a colt by Johannesburg out of a Sultry Song mare who's a full sister to multiple stakes winner Kirby’s Song. Two Buddha colts sold for $65,000 (out of a Phone Trick half to Value Plus) and $135,000. I have a nice Excel spreadsheet of all the sale results; drop me a line if you’d like a copy.

- New York State’s Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has finally named his three appointees to the Ad Hoc Committee on the Future of Racing, and I’m sure that the folks in Saratoga, who have been clamoring for a voice on the future of their treasured racetrack, were delighted to learn that their mayor Valerie Keehn was one of the three people named. She’s a Democrat, as are Silver’s other two nominees, who are members of his Assembly caucus. Ms. Keehn contended that the committee’s lack of racing experience – Funny Cide’s owner Jack Knowlton is the only horseman – is not a bad thing.

'Sometimes you can be too close to a subject, to not be able to pull yourself back and not let your emotions affect your judgment….We need to lay it all out on the table, every option we can possibly think of, listen to people who are responding to the RFP process and in the end put together the best package we can that responds to the needs of racing in New York state.' [Saratogian]
While there may be a certain logic to that, with Friends of New York Racing wrapping up their operations later this month, there doesn’t seem to be an organized front to provide any input at all from the standpoint of horsemen and bettors, without whom all you’d have is three racetracks sitting on land that no one can agree who owns. That doesn’t seem very logical at all.

- Nick Zito, who speaks elegantly in this article about the importance of keeping Saratoga just the way it is (“Everything in racing has stayed stagnant but Saratoga has always marched on. It is a gift from God and we can't allow it to be tarnished”) [Albany Times Union], has no timetable for the return of Bellamy Road.
"I think George [Steinbrenner] wants to go backwards. He wants to have him running at the end of the year….He has been jogging on the farm and he looks beautiful."

Zito said Bellamy Road could run at Saratoga this summer, perhaps in the Sept. 2 Woodward, which has been moved from Belmont to the Spa.
- Barbaro’s speed fig for the Holy Bull was 95. [Hat tip to Jessica at Railbird.]

- Another one bites the dust: Arl-Wash Futuity winner (and my crummy BC Juvenile pick) Sorcerer's Stone is off the Yum! Trail with an injury to the same ankle that was operated on last year, though trainer Pat Byrne says it's unrelated. "I thought we had a legitimate shot to go to the Derby with a live horse." [Louisville Courier-Journal] So did those who bet him (45-1) in the futures pool.

1 Comment:

Green Mtn Punter said...

Alan, thanks for keeping the NY racing franchise issue front and center on your blog. You again emphasize the key points- where are the spokesmen for owners and bettors now that Friends are disbanding? And why are the Friends disbanding just as we are reaching this critical stage of the political process in Albany? Horsemen, breeders, and bettors all need to speak with a common voice, loudly and often.Why should we settle for another half-baked political compromise that fails to solve the underlying problems? I'm glad to see the Saratoga folks starting to pipe up and show opposition to Magna. The Valerie Keehn appointment should insure at least one voice for Saratoga's interests on the 9 member Ad Hoc panel. My theory is, if the new franchisee doesn't make the folks in Saratoga happy, then it will be doomed to fail. I still think Bernadette Castro should be, and may well be, in our corner. Instead of dissing her, we ought to be finding a way to get her on board. She is a Pataki fave so is well worth courting.Ya gotta love Nick Zito's comments- hope he can mobilize his fellow horsemen in the cause- NY Racing run by and for NY Horsemen!