Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Maiden Breakers Shine on Stakes Loaded Weekend Racecards...

--Steve Sherack

With all of the focus on Breeders’ Cup preview races the past two weekends, and rightfully so, several maiden winners snuck in a bit under the radar with big-time performances.

COACH SICKIE (c, 2, Henny Hughes--Dixie Holiday, by Dixieland Band) looked like the real deal winning his Santa Anita debut for fun Oct. 1 (TDN Video).

Sent off at odds of 6-1, the Michael House colorbearer chased the early leaders in third through a sharp opening quarter in :21.45. With Alonso Quinonez aboard, the $90,000 FTMMAY juvenile graduate cruised up three wide to join the dueling pair entering the stretch and accelerated nicely down the lane to score by 5 1/4 lengths.

Coach Sickie, bred in Kentucky by Peter Blum, stopped the clock for 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:03.12 over the “fast” track, good for a 78 Beyer Speed Figure. Trained by Jeff Mullins, the bay has already gotten back to business in the a.m., posting a four-furlong breeze in :50.40 at Santa Anita Oct. 10. Coach Sickie is a half brother to GII Carry Back S. runner-up Smash (Smart Strike) and the multiple stakes winning mare Holiday Runner (Meadowlake), who went on to produce MGISW Seventh Street (Street Cry {Ire}).

GOLDEN HISTORY (f, 2, Medaglia d’Oro--User History, by Mr. Prospector) didn’t get much love from the Beyer boys, receiving only a 57 rating following her successful Woodbine unveiling Oct. 2 (TDN Video), but was visually impressive, nontheless.

Backed as the 8-5 favorite, the granddaughter of champion User Friendly (GB) (Slip Anchor {GB}) was outsprinted in seventh through fractions of :22.58 and :45.75. The dark bay began to roll while racing very wide on the turn for home and quickened impressively once switching over to her right lead in the stretch to score by 2 3/4 lengths, stopping the clock for seven furlongs in 1:24.74 over the Polytrack.

Golden History, bred in Kentucky by Stonewall Farm Stallions LLC, was the third highest-priced juvenile at the 2011 OBS March Sale, fetching $450,000 from trainer Mark Casse on behalf of owner John Oxley. She was also the most expensive 2-year-old filly to go through the ring for her leading sire in 2011.

The loaded Bob Baffert barn looks like it has a couple more future stars on its hands.

CONTESTED (f, 2, Ghostzapper--Gold Vault, by Arch), from the family of MGISW Pomeroy (Boundary), earned a “TDN Rising Star” tag with a sharp 6 1/2-length win at second asking at Santa Anita Oct. 2 (TDN Video). Breaking from post 11, the even-money favorite was away alertly and forced the early issue on the outside from third through a blazing opening quarter in :21.72. With Baffert’s go-to-guy Martin Garcia aboard, she revved up three wide on the far turn, took over in hand at the head of affairs and ran away and hid from ‘em in the stretch under mild urging.

Owned by Natalie J. Baffert, the $110,000 KEESEP yearling purchase covered six furlongs over the “fast” going in 1:08.95. She was awarded an 88 Beyer Speed Figure. Contested, bred in Kentucky by Cherry Valley Farm LLC, finished a good second behind the promising Egg Drop (Alphabet Soup) in her Del Mar unveiling Sept. 3. The latter failed to land a blow when finishing a disappointing 10th in the GI Darley Alcibiades S. at Keeneland Oct. 7.

FAST BULLET (c, 3, Speightstown--Renfro Valley Star, by Dayjur), a grandson of champion Brave Raj (Rajab), proved to be well worth the wait, airing by 6 1/4 lengths in his debut at the Great Race Place Oct. 9 (TDN Video).

Not much of a secret at 7-5 while sporting a typical flashy Baffert worktab, the blinkered chestnut was hustled to the front and raced under heavy pressure on the inside through fractions of :21.84 and :44.80. Seemingly unphased by his early efforts, the Zayat Stables representative found another gear when asked the question by Martin Garcia in the stretch and kept finding more to report home an eye-catching winner.

The final time for six was furlongs over the “fast” surface was 1:08.59. One race earlier on the card fillies and mares in the 6 1/2-furlong Louis R. Rowan S. covered the same distance in 1:08.86 before stopping the clock in 1:15.

The half-brother to GIII Hollywood Juvenile Championship S. runner-up Blairs Roarin Star (Roar), bred in Kentucky by Roy Gottlieb, earned a 92 Beyer. He was purchased for $230,000 as a KEESEP yearling.

No comments: