Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Stable Mail Alert: 2yo Maiden Watch

--Steve Sherack

TDN’s Racing Editor Steve Sherack reveals a group of four well-bred 2-year-old maidens to keep an eye on this fall. You can follow Steve on Twitter at @SteveSherackTDN.

PRETENTIOUS (c, 2, Super Saver--Turkappeal {MSW & MGSP, $280,440}, by Turkoman) Lifetime Record: 1-0-0-1, $9,000. O-DP Racing LLC; B-Farfellow Farms Ltd. (KY); T-James Cassidy. *$200,000 2yo ‘14 OBSAPR. **1/2 to Pink Champagne (Awesome Again), GSW, $145,957; and Z Appeal (Ghostzapper), SW.
   Hailing from the first crop of red-hot leading freshman sire Super Saver, Pretentious stamped himself as a very promising prospect with an impressive stretch rally to finish third going 5 1/2 furlongs over the Del Mar Polytrack Sept. 3 (video). Not given much respect at the windows at 15-1 in his unveiling despite sporting a flashy win-early pedigree (mare was a 2yo stakes winner and has also produced two debut winners), Pretentious was outsprinted early in ninth through fractions of :22.14 and :45.37. Still with plenty to do as they straightened for home, the dark bay found another gear when finally switching over to his right lead in the stretch and finished like a rocket on the outside to come within five lengths of smart wire-to-wire winner All Indians (Latent Heat). The $200,000 OBSAPR graduate continued to run on impressively after the wire as well, galloping out past the top two finishers on the clubhouse turn. Pretentious returned to the worktab with an easy five-furlong move in 1:02 2/5 at Santa Anita Sept. 17 and has been entered in a 6 1/2-furlong dirt test in Arcadia Saturday. Would love to see him eventually stretch out over grass down the line.

PROVEN COMMODITY (c, 2, Bernardini--Sahara Gold {GSW, $248,742}, by Seeking the Gold) Lifetime Record: 1-0-0-0, $4,150. O/B-Darley (KY); T-Tom Albertrani. *1/2 to Better Lucky (Ghostzapper), MGISW, $1,018,950; 3/4 to Sahara Heat (A.P. Indy), GSW, $170,858.
   Overlooked at 28-1 in his Aug. 9 Saratoga debut (video), Proven Commodity certainly gave his backers a good run for their money. Flashing some decent early speed from third for a barn not known for cranking up its firsters, the Darley homebred was hung out four wide on the far turn and gave the well-meant firster Requite (Warrior’s Reward) (subsequently a well-beaten fourth in the GI Hopeful S.) a brief challenge in the stretch before tiring to finish fourth, beaten 7 1/2 lengths. Should move forwardly nicely with that one under his belt for his patient barn.

RED GUARD (c, 2, Bernardini--Rose of Summer, by El Prado {Ire}) Lifetime Record: 1-0-0-0, $3,750. O-Lane’s End Racing; B-Graceville Breeding (KY); T-Shug McGaughey. *1/2 to Laragh (Tapit), GISW, $581,877; and Summer Front (War Front), MGSW & MGISP, $874,140.
   The well-bred Red Guard--a half-brother to GI Hollywood Starlet heroine Laragh and classy turfer Summer Front--caught the eye with a debut fourth for Hall of Famer Shug McGaughey going seven furlongs over the Belmont turf Sept. 13 (video). Void of any early speed, the 14-1 shot was out of the picture for most of the way through somewhat easy early fractions of :22.92 and :46.58 over the firm going. Swung out to the center of the course at the top of the lane, Red Guard finally got going in mid-stretch and finished up with huge strides while racing on his incorrect lead to come within 2 1/2 lengths of the winner. Red Guard has worked once since, firing a three-furlong bullet in :35.74 at Belmont Park Sept. 24. Couldn't be in better hands.

WAGING WAR (c, 2, War Front--Sidle, by Seeking the Gold) Lifetime Record: 2-0-0-0, $7,840. O-Columbine Stable LLC; B-Claiborne Farm (KY); T-Al Stall Jr. *$350,000 yrl ‘13 KEESEP.
    After making a flashy five-wide move on the far turn when a debut fourth at Saratoga Aug. 2 (video), Waging War certainly looked like he’d be on his way to graduating at second asking. The Aug. 23 (video) crowd at Saratoga agreed and he was well-backed as the 9-5 chalk, but he failed to deliver, reporting home a well-beaten fifth behind the GI Champagne S.-bound Bayerd (Speightstown) (he was already in deep water before altering course to avoid an ill-fated foe in the stretch). Produced by a winning half-sister to GI Woodford Reserve Turf Classic S. hero Stroll (Pulpit), a switch to grass should help this son of War Front reach his full potential. He’s been training up a storm over the Churchill Downs main track since, most recently firing a best-of-36 five-furlong bullet in 1:00 2/5 Sept. 22.

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