RSS Feed for this Blog

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Baby Day

- Saturday's card at Churchill is all two-year olds, and that's pretty cool. In addition to the Kentucky Jockey Club, there's the Golden Rod, a corresponding Grade 2 route for fillies. Steve Flint, the trainer of probable favorite Change Up, is 8 for 15 at the Churchill meeting. There's a good article by Jennie Rees in the Courier-Journal about the filly's breeders, the Kleins, a husband and wife and their son. They also have Get Ready Bertie (More Than Ready), who may be amongst the favorites in the G2 Demoiselle the same day at Aqueduct.

Four of the Churchill races are maiden affairs, and the third race is for the boys at seven furlongs. During the Saratoga meeting, I was following first time starters who were two-year old in training sales horses who sold for a price far in excess of their stud fees. Now, late in the year, these horses have apparently had some kind of setback that prevented them from getting to the races until now. Nonetheless, they still displayed talent in the under tack show, so I still take an interest in them when I come across them.

Codio goes first-time for Scott Blasi, who is 4 for 54 with debut juveniles since taking over for the suspended Steve Asmussen in July. Blasi has been knocking at the door of late, and has six in the money with his last 12, and he is hitting at 34% for the Churchill meeting. This colt is by Donerail Court, the Seattle Slew stallion who stands for $10,000 at Stonewall in Kentucky. There's not much to see in the distaff pedigree of Codio; he's out of a mare by Valid Wager, a moderately successful California sire.

Yet Codio drew a winning bid of $350,000 at the Barrett's sale in March, where he worked a quarter mile in 21 1/5; Bob Baffert was listed as the purchasing agent. And whatever it may have been that delayed his debut, he's turned in a steady string of solid works, most recently a bullet (of 24) half in 47 flat breezing.

Tenkiller Lake is by the first-year sire Red Bullet. The 2000 Preakness winner is an example of why owners rush their horses off to the breeder shed. A winner of four of six at three, including the Gotham, he went two for seven at ages four and five, with just an ungraded stakes win and earnings of around $180,000. He went to stud at $30,000, and his record at 4 and 5 certainly didn't help. He's off to a quiet start at stud with five winners, one of those in an ungraded stakes. His fee has been cut to $15,000 for 2007. Tenkiller Lake sold for $225,000 at Fasig-Tipton in February after working in 10.3, and 22 flat. He's out of a Storm Cat mare and has inbreeding to Caro 3x3.

Our Sacred Honor was 7-2 for his debut for Pletcher, and broke poorly and ran evenly thereafter for 7th. Pletcher had another winner on Thursday, and missed a second by a nose as he closes the meet strongly. In fact, if you throw out his 17 losers on Breeders Cup day, he has seven winners out of 32 starters, for 22%. This colt is by Honour and Glory out of a Storm Cat mare. His second dam is Miss Josh, a Grade 1 winner on the grass and a half-sister to Royal Mountain Inn and Highland Crystal, both graded winners on grass. So I'm going to watch for this one on the turf down the road.

Torini was bet to 3-1 for John Ward in his debut, and also suffered misfortune at the break before running evenly. A son of Ward/Oxley's Derby winner Monarchos, whose 2007 stud fee has been slashed 50% to $7500. He's out of stakes winner Darling My Darling (Deputy Minister), a half sister to the Japan Cup winner Zenno Rob Roy. His second dam is the Grade 1 (Ballerina) winner Roamin Rachel.