- Trainer Richard Violette is off to a rousing start at Belmont, and with two more winners in as many starters on Wednesday, he now has a scary nine winners out of 19 starters. He had a two-year old filly, A Wonder She Is, graduate on the grass in her first try on the surface. She's by the relatively obscure Storm Cat sire, Three Wonders, who stands for $5,000 in Florida. This stallion won just 4 times in 30 starts, however one of those coming in the G3 Kent, and, well, he's a son of Storm Cat.
But Three Wonders has already has 12 winners from 74 in his first crop, including a stakes winner in Gal Wonder, who took the recent Brave Raj at Calder.
A Wonder She Is is out of a winless Devil's Bag mare who is a half-sister to the wonderful race mare Videogenic, a multiple-multiple stakes winner on the grass who won 20 times in 73 career starts.
Violette has been particularly effective of late at Belmont. While his overall winning percentage over the last year is 18%, at Belmont, he's won 24 of 99, or nearly a quarter of his races.
- While I was under the impression that the expected short field for the Jockey Club Gold Cup would be considered a detriment to the late running Dylan Thomas, his trainer Aiden O'Brien told the Form that he considers it an advantage.
"We're running on the dirt for the first time and obviously there might be a chance to keep him out of the kickback a little bit. Maybe he'll be too slow away and never get into the position that he'll want, but maybe he'll break and he might be able to keep in touch somewhere and might have some kind of a shot in this race." [Daily Racing Form]Man, you can just taste how much Coolmore would like to beat the Sheikh's Bernardini. The rivalry is playing out at the Tattersalls auction in Ireland, as related by the UK's Times Online:
Predictably, neither concern raised a bid for the progeny of each other’s stallions. It seems the sport’s two superpowers are locked on a collision course that can only undermine a relationship disintegrating by the day.And via the Pedigree Guru, Bill Oppenheim of the Thoroughbred Daily News notes the below average prices for Coolmore or Darley-sired yearlings purchased by their respective stallion owner and writes:
Considering the price of a good colt yesterday was plus-or-minus 200,000gns, breeders could be forgiven for wondering whether they should be breeding to either camp's stallions. If you had a nice colt by one of them, and the camp bought the colt, there was a distinct shortage of competition for it; for good colts by "neutral" stallions, everybody was in. It's pretty wacky.Sean Heffernan was cleared of charges of engaging in"team tactics" against Godolphin's Librettist while riding Ivan Desinovich in the QE II. But he received a six day suspension for careless riding nonetheless.