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Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Weekend Studs

- Out of the nine stakes races run at Gulfstream and Santa Anita this past weekend, only two were won by horses with sires from the usually dominant Mr. Prospector (Madallena[Good and Tough/Carson City]) or Northern Dancer (Medallist[Touch Gold]) lines. Represented was the Halo line (Saint Liam [Saint Ballado]), Turn-to (Rock Hard Ten [Kris S.], Raja Baba/Bold Ruler (Proud Accolade [Yes It’s True]), In Reality (Closing Argument [Successful Appeal]), Blushing Groom (Lundy’s Liability [Candy Stripes]), and Seattle Slew twice (Sis City [Slew City Slew]) and Going Wild (Golden Missile [AP Indy]).

AP Indy had a second stakes winning grandson over the weekend in Malibu Moonshine (Malibu Moon), winner of the Miracle Wood Stakes for 3 yo’s at Laurel. Malibu Moon is also the sire of 2 year old champ Declan’s Moon, and this was his 5th stakes winner and first in 2005. He was 5th on the second crop sire list for 2004. With AP Indy’s Pulpit on the leading sire list, and with promising sires Mineshaft, Aptitude and Stephen Got Even producing away, we may have to refer to an “AP Indy” line rather than “Seattle Slew” in the near future. Malibu Moonshine has an interesting pedigree himself; his broodmare sire is Belmont Stakes winner Coastal, who you don’t see in pedigrees much, and he’s inbred 4x4 to Raise a Native, and 5x4 to Bold Ruler and Buckpasser. I’ve been seeing a lot of inbreeding to the latter in stakes winners of late.

Back to the top paragaraph, Successful Appeal(Valid Appeal) and Yes It’s True (Raja Baba) were 1-2 on the 2004 freshman sires list. Both sires achieved their success on the track mainly as sprinters. Successful Appeal won the Withers at a mile, but no other stakes beyond 7 furlongs, and all of Yes It’s True’s stakes wins were at 7 furlongs or less, including a Grade 1 win in the DeFrancis Memorial, in which he defeated Good and Tough, sire of Madallena. Successful Appeal had 15 winners from only 37 foals for a remarkable 41% winning percentage and despite the small crop, thanks in large part to Closing Argument, who as we’ve noted a couple of times has a nose for big purse money (and is in fact now being mentioned for a trip to Dubai), he still led the field in earnings despite having 100 less foals than Giant’s Causeway. He’s graduated from being a $6000 sire in Florida to standing in Kentucky for $25,000 this year. Yes It’s True is off to a quick start in 2005 with five more winners to bring his total to 21; he also stands in Kentucky for $25,000.

Three time champion Skip Away (Bailjumper), descending from the Damascus line, is another non-Mr. P/ND sire to achieve success over the weekend, with two minor stakes winners.

- I liked Vic Stauffer's line during his call of the Holy Bull when he noted that "High Fly will have to be the goods to win off this trip!" With a trip that wide, he had as much of a chance to pass horses as President Bush's social security plan has to pass the Senate. And Trevor Denman was in his usual top form in the Strub, picking up Imperialism's near-winning move early as they rounded the final turn.

- WHEN HE'S 64 - Reader Green Mtn Punter wrote to complain about my dissing of Paul McCartney the other day, writing, "It was the coolest, greatest ever half-time performance at a Super Bowl with the ratings to prove it! It was absolutely a grand slam [Gone West] home run." OK, so I must admit it was a bit harsh calling him an embarrassing shell; after all, he's a good guy who has always supported worthy causes, even if I do cringe at most of the songs he's written in the last 25 years or so. But in limiting himself to four Beatles' classics, and looking and sounding great, hitting all the high notes in style, he made us forget that after just two more of his birthdays, hearing "When I'm Sixty Four" will make us all feel like we're 164.