Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Top 25 Stallion Values

Top Stallion Values
Location / Fee / Farm / Sire and Damsire

1. Candy Ride
KY $12,500 Hill 'n' Dale Ride the Rails/Candy Stripes
2. Benchmark
CA $4,000 River's Edge Farm Alydar/Danzig
3. Hat Trick
KY $12,500 Walmac Sunday Silence/Lost Code
4. Hurrican Run
IRE $25,963 Coolmore Montjeu/Serumu
5. Dehere
KY $20,000 Coolmore Deputy Minister/Secretariat
6. Louis Quatorze
MD $6,000 Murmur Farm Sovereign Dancer/On To Glory
7. Doneraile Court
KY $7,500 Stonewall Seattle Slew/Stop the Music
8. Skimming
CAN $3,253 Pacific Stud Nureyev/Lyphard
9. Discreet Cat
KY $25,000 Darley Forestry/Private Account
10. Cougar Cat
KY $5,000 Richland Hills Storm Cat/General Meeting
11. Easing Along
KY $10,000 Claiborne Storm Cat/Alydar
12. War Front
KY $12,500 Claiborne Danzig/Rubiano
13. Repent
KY $7,500 Vinery Louis Quatorze/Cipayo
14. Ivan Denisovich
IRE $5,193 Coolmore Danehill/Kris S.
15. Eavesdropper
PA $5,000 Walmac PA Kingmambo/Secretariat
16. Mingun
KY $5,000 Lane's End A.P. Indy/Nureyev
17. Lion Hearted
MD $5,000 Northview S.S. Storm Cat/Alydar
18. Stephen Got Even
KY $7,500 Lane's End A.P. Indy/Cox's Ridge
19. Seeking the Dia
KY $10,000 Hill 'n' Dale Storm Cat/Seeking the Gold
20. Political Force
KY $12,500 Claiborne Unbridled's Song/Glitterman
21. Astronomer Royal
FR $10,385 Reboursiere/Montaigu Danzig/Easy Goer
22. Jeremy
IRE $10,385 Irish National Stud Danehill Dancer/Arazi
23. Good Reward
KY $10,000 Three Chimneys Storm Cat/Seeking the Gold
24. Invasor
KY $28,000 Shadwell Candy Stripes/Interprete*ARG
25. Macho Uno
KY $25,000 Adena Springs Holy Bull/Blushing Groom

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Kentucky Quatorze : Kentucky Derby Top 14, as of 1/26/09

1. Break Water Edison
2. Theregoesjojo
3. Old Fashioned
4. I Want Revenge
5. Musket Man
6. Quality Road
7. Poltergeist
8. Flying Pegasus
9. Indygo Mountain
10. Silver City
11. Hello Broadway
12. Dunkirk
13. Shafted
14. Friesan Fire

Knocking on the Door
Chocolate Candy
Trinity Magic
Square Eddie
Tranquil Manner
Pioneerof the Nile
Cliffy's Future
The Pamplemousse
Keep Thinking

Break Water Edison inherits the top spot this week, as his half brother Charitable Man has disappeared from the work-tab since October due to injury. The Pamplemousse normally would not get a nod from me (given how everything went his way at Santa Anita), but I respect anything that hits the track from the Julio Canani barn. He is one of the top five trainers in the United States and must be respected.

Chocolate Candy ran exactly like everyone expected in northern California. He is a talented colt who needs to run faster than he has. His pedigree screams natural dirt, so it is nice to see that he can perform well on the rubber carpet. Patena being purchased by IEAH is a smart move on their behalf. This colt is extremely well-bred, and has a great deal of room for improvement.

The horse who needs to be respected right now is Silver City. This colt ran away with the Dixieland Stakes, making it look like a $30,000 public workout. This colt is no doubt a serious racehorse with a fantastic cruising rate, as well as closing kick. His connections and his critics doubt his stamina, but my gut says he not only will get two turns, but could possibly get 10 furlongs. He is raw talent, and we have only seen a few as impressive as he has been. On the note of his pedigree, he is by Unbridled's Song, the sire of Old Fashioned, out of a Mt. Livermore mare. Mt. Livermore was a sprinter whose progeny were best as milers (Eliza) and sprinters (Housebuster), but Silver City's granddam is bred very similarly to Storm Cat. In this, we see a Storm Bird mare out of a Secretariat-sired full-sister to brilliant turf router Academy Award. Throw in classy Mr. Prospector Blood farther back, and this pedigree is stacked in every direction. This horse is Derby material until I am proven wrong. I would love to see him thrown into the Fountain of Youth at a mile (a nice step up from 5.5 furlongs) and then a two-turn race.

A maiden to be watched intently is Keep Thinking. This colt has raced (very greenly) twice, and has always come running at the end. He has finished second and fourth in his two races (at Belmont and Hollywood). If he puts two and two together, he will be one of the best of his generation. He is by A.P. Indy out of the beautiful Denebola (Storm Cat-Coup de Genie), and was purchased for a session-topping $2.4 Million. Speaking of big sale toppers...

The big movers are $3.7 Million purchase Dunkirk, Theregoesjojo, Musket Man, Poltergeist, and Cliffy's Future. Dunkirk proved to be a colt worth every penny when easily winning his 7 furlong debut at Gulfstream, this week. He is a strapping son of Unbridled's Song out of the galloping Kentucky Oaks winner, Secret Status.

, despite his questionable name, looks like a very talented horse with a very strong finish. He also seems to have much more available than his races have shown us, and I look forward to his tangle with my #5, Musket Man. The latter is undefeated and runs in a very push-button fashion. His sire, Yonaguska, was very much the same way, but this colt looks to be able to outrun his pedigree. The 7 furlongs of the Pasco Stakes win (1/17/09) looked well within his range, as he galloped past the leaders and easily turned back a challenge from the outside.

looked like he finally had a chance to stretch his legs in his first attempt at two turns. He pulled out a huge win and a 95 Beyer, tied for the best two-turn speed figure this year by a sophomore. He is a gorgeous gray colt who looks like a cross between his red-hot sire, Tapit, and his damsire, Relaunch. His running style is much more like the former, but the way he lowers his head and stretches his stride is much more like the Relaunch side of his family. Watch out for this colt trained by Donnie Von Hemel. He has never been off the board in 5 starts and is on the improve. Also, I love his name. (There, I said it.)

Cliffy's Future ran a very unlucky second in an allowance at Aqueduct to a very classy and speedy colt, Pitched Perfectly, who had previously finished fourth to Haynesfield in an uncharacteristically dull performance. Pitched Perfectly is talented, but must show he is more than a speed horse to be genuinely considered. Cliffy's Future, on the other hand, darted from the tail end of the field, went through an opening at the rail and nearly ran down a tough counterpart. He seems to be putting it all together and, as expected with offspring of The Cliff's Edge, is excelling around two turns. Watch out for him in the Gotham.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

There Goes Jojo / Indygo Still a Go

A quick reaction to the big races this past weekend:

Indygo Mountain had to have everything his way in order to show how good he was in the LeCompte Stakes, but instead he slammed the gait, was left behind, and was defeated by another son of A.P. Indy. That colt, Friesan Fire, ran a superb race, thanks to a handy ride by Gabriel Saez. The runner up, Patena, ran a really great race, as well. He is one to watch, as he was gaining late on the winner, and is by Seeking the Gold out of an A.P. Indy mare whose dam was a full sister to Touch Gold. This all screams late-running grinder, as well as a huge amount of stamina. I really liked Indygo Mountain's mid-race move, where he was stuck in last and decided to go between horses and move toward the leaders before the final turn. He was a short horse for the race (not quite as fit as his connections wanted), so such a move after a traumatic start was destined to fail. Yet, the move, itself, makes me really like the colt. I will keep him in my top contenders until he throws a bad race. Friesan Fire moves up, especially after showing push-button ability with the new blinkers. Obviously, in his game first-time dirt performance, so too does Canadian stakes winner Patena.

At Gulfstream, one of the highest regarded sophomores in the land, Quality Road, failed in his first attempt in open company. This was a bit of a surprise, but the horse who beat him ran a huge race, and must be talked about. His name is Theregoesjojo, and he ran a really professional seven panel race. He sat mid-pack, approached the leaders (two highly regarded horses: the aforementioned along with Obligingly, a Pletcher/WinStar colt). Af the eighth pole, these three talented colts lined up, and it was a sprint to the wire. Quality Road and Obligingly were both visually being asked by their jockeys, but Kent Desormeaux merely shook the reigns of Theregoesjojo, and he went by them with ease and trotted under the wire 2 lengths ahead. This horse catapults to the top, as he is well-bred, comes from an able barn, and ran like a talented horse. His winning Beyer speed figure, along with the way in which he earned it, make me think that he can reproduce this performance around two turns.

I get excited once in a while, but I will point out pretty quickly, that this colt is special. I have seen all three of his races, and the only time he lost is when he had a hole shut off at the 1/8 pole in the Bashford Manor. His maiden win before that, where he ran down a fast horse (Mine All Mine) in a five furlong race, as well as his push-button win in the allowance this weekend, show me that he is something worth watching. More interestingly, is the fact that he finishes his races with a very high, easy, and quick action. This to me means that he's simply running down what is in front of him, and is not even close to reaching his potential. His action reminds me of Street Sense.

His sire, Brahms, was meant to be a dirt horse, but only got the chance once and ran a huge race (and speed figure) when placing in the Stephen Foster. He, himself, is out of a champion mare (Queena), who won big races on both turf and dirt. Theregoesjojo's dam, Slewie Blues, and bred for two-turn speed. By Seattle Slew, who needs no introduction, and out of a Cure the Blues mare, one can expect her to produce very fast animals. If you look farther back in his pedigree, you'll see that his great grand-dam is be Le Fabuleux out of the Phipps Stable black-type mare, Her Prerogative (a daughter of Buckpasser and Queen of the Stage, a champion juvenile filly). One interesting thing to note is the cross of Blushing Groom (through Queena's dam Too Chic), Northern Dancer (through Danzig, Brahms' sire), and Le Fabuleux. There are not many horses with that combination, and the last one I can think of is Arazi, whom I consider to be the greatest horse never to show us his full potential. He, too, had an explosive finish. Exciting!

In other news, Bob Baffert proved he is a thumbs-up waving weapon, no matter his odds at Santa Anita with Century Park in the Santa Ysabel. Also, Todd Pletcher's Cowboy Cal ran the race we thought he could on a synthetic course, in the San Pasqual. The more intriguing story, to me, is the bang-up closing race that the runner up to Cowboy Cal, Informed (owned by the Bob & Beverly Lewis Trust), as well as classy comebacker Magnum running a huge race to be third. I expect another good race from both, but I especially warn bettors to really consider Magnum in any upcoming race, especially from 9-10 furlongs. He, when healthy, can run up to 109-112 on the Beyer scale, and that is faster than any horse currently stabled in California has shown.

Friday, January 9, 2009

It's a Free Country

A few horses really caught my attention this week, and are worth the in-depth look.

Kenny McPeek sent out two colts this weekend that ran well to win nine-furlong allowances and both remain undefeated. The first, Free Country, ran a gutsy race to win his allowance. He ran his last 1/8 about a length faster than Danger to Society won his race, but the latter was throttled down in the process. Free Country is a son of Big Country, a colt that I once met up-close-and-personal while working barn crew at Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital. He was a giant horse who was built like a class act. This was no surprise, considering his father was A.P. Indy and his mother was Flanders. I had, a few months prior on Thanksgiving Day weekend, seen him fail to break his maiden at Churchill, despite being bet odds-on. Something was amiss while racing, so he was retired after a record of 13-2-1-2. Then, for one reason or another (a mistake), Overbrook Farm sold him at the 2004 Keeneland Sale, where he was purchased for $120,000 and now stands at Bona Terra Farms in Georgetown, Kentucky.

Free Country has the scope and stride of his sire, but he has the dark look of his mother's side. Smyrna, his dam, is by Wild Again out of Baldski mare, Baldski's Holiday. The latter was a four-time Canadian stakes winner, winning 10 of 30 starts and nearly $300,000. She also is a really smart cross of Baldski, Nijinsky II's speediest son, out of a Ribot/Pia Star cross. Ribot is the epitome of staying class, on top of a world-record setting miler in Pia Star (also the grandsire of brilliant stakes winners Matty G and Star of Cozzene, who both excelled at 8-10 furlongs). This female side is perfectly balanced with speed and staying power. It also has very little, if any, tendency toward sprinting. This horse is a real player, if he is brilliant enough. Perhaps my favorite thing about him is the way he made a way to win in both his races. At Churchill he veered through horses with a great deal of steam, and was not afraid to be maneuvered throw traffic in the mud. At Gulfstream (while making a giant jump from six to nine furlongs), he sat behind horses and darted through a hole on the rail. He has the Wild Again "bulldog" mentality, it seems, with a stride-out that reminds me of Seeking the Gold (Flanders' sire, who was no slouch in a fight, himself).

Kenny McPeek's other colt, Danger to Society, appeared a more impressive winner, but the feeling here is that his field was slightly less accomplished. I believe he is equally as talented, though, and runs like a horse with a lot of room for improvement. Danger to Society also has a fantastic pedigree. He was bred by Starlight Stables that later sold his mother, Elrose, for $1,250,000 at Keeneland November, in 2007. Starlight also campaigned his multiple Grade 1-winning sire, Harlan's Holiday, who was originally trained by the talented McPeek. Danger to Society seems to have more natural speed, or is simply more comfortable sitting closer to the pace, than his stablemate. He is also a half to the gritty turf mare, Super Freaky, who won two turf stakes and $400,000 in the process. The gritty most likely part comes from the fact that their dam, Elrose, is a half sister to the toughest horse of my time, Silver Charm, who was nearly impossible to beat eye-to-eye.

A third horse that caught my eye this week was the Fair Grounds filly, Flying Spur. By Giant's Causeway, out of four-time Grade 1-winner Lakeway, this filly looks like a true runner. Bill Mott has definitely been taking his time with this one, and I loved they way she lowered her head and ran away from her field, recording a winning Beyer of 94 for the mile event. That is the same number Stardom Bound recorded in her Breeders' Cup score two months ago. Interesting. Do not be surprised if this Mike G. Rutherford homebred has something to say about the end of year champions of 2009.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Lemons Anyone? - Kentucky Quatorze

As we get ready for the first two substantial sophomore races, let us review my current Kentucky Quatorze: Michael's Top 14 Derby Horses. I have also taken the liberty of tacking on the remainder of my Top 30, in order.

1. Charitable Man - I hope he gets on the work-tab soon; still the classiest of the '08 juveniles, despite my juggling of the top 10.
2. Break Water Edison - The 2nd half of my Lemon Drop Duo.
3. Quality Road - The most auspicious debut of 2008, while out of a full sister to Ajina.
4. Old Fashioned - Beautiful finish, but after a :50 half.
5. I Want Revenge - The best finish of any juvenile this year, in defeat.
6. Indygo Mountain - Beautiful colt should win the LeCompte, despite the class jump.
7. Flying Pegasus - I am this horse's one-man fan club, especially after this race against #1.
8. Hello Broadway - Tagg will get rid of his greenness.
9. Trinity Magic - Something was amiss with this special colt at DeD; do not forget him.
10. Shafted - Brilliant allowance winner by Mineshaft out of Twist Afleet, with a great kick.
11. Silver City - Easily won a one-turn allowance with class; if he stretches with the same ease, he will catapult to the top.
12. Chocolate Candy - I believe he will improve by leaps on regular dirt.
13. Square Eddie - Still could be better on real dirt, and has a great trainer in his corner.
14. Vineyard Haven - Dubai is his worst enemy.

Worth the Look

15. Midshipman - Ran well in the BC, but didn't blow me away; Dubai works against him.
16. Haynesfield - Runs like a miler.
17. Fiddler's Afleet - Tough NY-bred colt has been running really well against the best.
18. Unionize - The maiden I think will be known in the next month or two.
19. Tranquil Manner - A.P. Indy son of Composure who is figuring it out.
20. Point Encounter - Gaines-trainee ran a 1:14.87 6.5 furlong debut; unheard of by a Point Given.
21. Pioneer of the Nile - I fail to be impressed by him, despite the hub-bub.
22. Capt Candyman Can - A gritty, well-trained, feisty, fast and classy MILER.
23. Giant Oak - Loafed along to run well in the KYJC; should improve.
24. Beethoven - Perfect trip worked out in his favor; must show that special something to be taken seriously.

Respected, But I Would Be Surprised:
25. Azul Leon - Had a bad trip in the CashCall, but this miler still closed well.
26. Royal Vindication - Runs big numbers in defeat; needs to finish.
27. West Side Bernie - A genuine two-turn horse who can run on real or synthetic.
28. Notonthesamepage - HUGE #'s and a relaxed stride with a miler's pedigree still make you a miler.
29. Atomic Rain - May have the most room for improvement of any here.
30. Toulouse Lautrec - A maiden with a hot head who will be tough up to nine furlongs.

Adolphson Thoroughbred Consulting

Washington, D.C.