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Saturday, September 29, 2007

Saturday Morning Belmont Notes

- First-time starter Noble Fire breezed by almost seven lengths in the 4th at Belmont on Friday, a NY-bred juvenile affair. He's trained by Linda Rice and sired by Hook and Ladder, and we've been seeing those names a lot lately. Rice, who had that six race winning streak at Saratoga, has now won with seven out of her last 12 two-year old first-timers...nice. However, nobody is getting too rich following these, or maybe some are, but not the way I bet. The highest price amongst her winners was 9-2; but the second highest was only 8-5! Four of them, including Noble Fire (#3.60), paid even money or less. No secrets here.

Noble Fire is out of a stakes winning mare by Melodisk, a deceased son of Alydar who stood in West Virginia. Not much else on the catalog page. But he sold for $115,000 this year, which far exceeds his stallion's $6,000 fee. Hook and Ladder (Dixieland Band) is also the sire of Big Truck, a state-bred stakes winner last weekend for Barclay Tagg, who speaks quite highly of him indeed. He's also the sire of stakes placed I Promise and Spanky Fischbein, has six winners overall and stands 8th on the first-year sire list.

Nick Zito ran one-two with two first-timers in the sixth, at odds of 16-1. Yet another instance of both halves of a longshot entry running one-two. The winner, Anak Nakal, was ridden by Eibar Coa, one of five winners of the day for him. This was quite an improbable late rally; no way did he look like he had a shot at the sixteenth pole, but he rolled late, and even got up over a riderless horse at the wire.

Anak Nakal has some unusual breeding. He's by Victory Gallop, out of a Quiet American mare, which makes him inbred 3x3 to Fappiano. He also has a lot of Dr. Fager, 5x4x5. His second dam is a French stakes winner named Perlee...

Pletcher had a first-timer in the race; Storming Off was 8-1 morning line, but went off at 4-1 off some sharp works. However, he checked in 8th, stretching the Toddster's latest string of futility with first-time juveniles to 21, going back to August 3. But again, this is strictly a NY phenomenon. Out of town, he recently won four two-year old maiden races in a row, two each at the Meadowlands and Turfway.

- Darley has two well-bred first-timers starting in baby races at Belmont on Saturday. In the second, Tom Albertrani starts Splendid Bloom. She's a daughter of AP Indy, out of a Mr. Prospector mare. Her third dam is the prolific producer (and Grade 1 winner herself) Fall Aspen, the dam of the Grade 1 winners Timber Country, Hamas, Northern Aspen, and Fort Wood; and also of the dam of the late Dubai Millenium.

In the 5th, Kiaran McLaughlin starts Etched, a son of Forestry out of the Distaff winner Unbridled Elaine. Darley purchased the dam in foal to this colt for $4.4 million at the 2004 Keeneland November sale. Unbridled Elaine is also a half-sister to the Ashland winner Glitter Woman, who passed away last year; she was the dam of Political Force, who will be running in the Jockey Club Gold Cup tomorrow.


Anonymous said...

For good reason many resent the Sheikhs but you have to admit their new focus on American racing has had a positive impact for NY racing. Many of these babies would be running in Europe in years past.

I know some will counter that they retire their good colts too soon, but these colts have been going to stud too soon long before Team Dubai got involved.

As a New York breeder I am hoping they establish a stud farm in NY and bring some decent stallions here.

The NY Breeder organization has been a model for improving a state bred program, but none of them have stepped to the plate to bring decent stallions here.

Hook and Ladder looks legit, but now that his get are proving it he will likely be moving to KY next year.

Darley, not as focused on economics, can afford to leave a few proven stallion here. This market can support a 15-20k fee stallion if it is proven.

Holy Bull, Quiet American, their books would be full.

ljk said...

"The NY Breeder organization has been a model for improving a state bred program"

Yikes! Don't get me started. The NY Bred program is a subsidy, pure and simple. 40% of NY overnight purse money goes to these horses, yet a small percentage develop into horses that can eventually compete in open company, and a miniscule portion in open stakes.

Giving big money to mediocre horses, promotes more mediocre horses. It's as simple as that.

Anonymous said...

These mediocre horses fill the cards with large wager worthy fields.

NY is the model for state bred programs around the country.

Its purpose is not betterment of the breed as a whole, but rather betterment of NY Breds, conservation of green space, and promotion of employment in underemployed upstate NY.

It has achieved all three goals, but have failed to bring some decent stallions to the state, which is the point of my post.

Yes it is a subsidy, but a worthy one.