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Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Tagg On A Strategic Mission

- Showing Up is a son of Strategic Mission (Mr. Prospector), a New York stallion who stands for $3500 at Liberty Stud in Ghent, NY. He’s part of his first crop which numbered, according to, 19 foals; but the same report says that he has just one two-year old, and three yearlings this year. Not a lot of action for Strategic Mission; must have been some cold and lonely days up there in Ghent. But he didn’t get too out of practice, and covered 29 mares last year.

Out of the stakes-winning mare Sultry Sun (Buckfinder), Strategic Mission is a half-brother to the major turf stakes winner Solar Splendor, as well as Sultry Song; and to the dam of Mass Media. He wasn’t a stakes winner until the age of six, when he took the grassy Fort Marcy Stakes; and though he got a piece in four other graded stakes, that was his only stakes win. That win was at a mile and a sixteenth, and he never won over nine furlongs. Showing Up is out of a mare by TV Commercial, a son of turf champion TV Lark; perhaps he has a future on the grass.

His immediate future is on the dirt, however, and despite a puncture wound in his right foreleg, Tagg seems more determined to run in the Derby than he did in his immediate post-race comments. "I'd like to go.....It'd be a career-builder. I'm too old to be worried about building a career, but if you have a shot at winning the Derby, you'd like to win it." [Daily Racing Form] I seem to remember Tagg being kinda laid back about the Derby back in 2003, but I guess winning it with Funny Cide has given him a taste that he wants to have again.

Showing Up got a Beyer of 99 for the Lexington, actually a point below his prior race. Watchmaker points out that the final fractions were slow.

The fourth quarter-mile of the Lexington was run in 26.96 seconds, and the last sixteenth was run in 7.38, resulting in a final five-sixteenths in 34.34. [DRF]
- More on probably Derby favorite Brother Derek’s workout on Monday.
Working in company with stablemate Littlebitofzip, Brother Derek was clocked in fractions of :28.40, :52.20, 1:03.80 and 1:16.40.

"The work was fine. He broke off nice and easy and then picked it up and cruised on home," trainer Dan Hendricks said. "Alex was happy with the work. He never looks like he is doing anything because he does it so easy." [Bloodhorse]
- Todd Pletcher told Haskin of Sunriver’s workout on Sunday, “..he and Harlington went around there head and head the whole way.” And he once again dismissed concerns about his five week layoff.
“This horse has had a series of mile and an eighth races and he has a tremendous foundation under him. He's not going to lose that foundation in five weeks, especially training the way he is right now."
With this guy, I’m not worried about the five weeks; his horses run well no matter how long they’ve been away. He also reiterated how much he liked Keyed Entry’s workout, and perhaps he'll get me to buy back into him.

- Several tracks have already contributed around $250,000 to aid permanently disabled riders even before the formal solicitation process has begun.