Back on Track

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I'm back on track after a short absence. Two races featuring three horses for October 8 - Exclusive Scheme (Saarland) at Belmont, and Pearl of Valor (Medaglia d'Oro) and Verdant (Pleasantly Perfect) at Keeneland. I will also give results for the races that I didn't recap and/or preview. I didn't get a chance to watch all of these, so please chime in with your thoughts on any or all of the races.

Exclusive Scheme, She's Prime for a Jackpot, Julie

October 8, 2008
Belmont Race 2
Maiden Special Weight
6.5 furlongs
2-year Old Fillies
New York bred
Post Time: 1:32 PM HRTV/TVG

P Horse
1. She's Prime
2. Exclusive Scheme
3. Don't Forget Gil
4. Moon Drop
5. La Concerto
6. Jackpot Julie
7. Flying Tourbillon
8. Imthequeenofqueens

Exclusive Scheme (Saarland - Pyramid Scheme by Distant View) debuts against her fellow New Yorkers at Belmont Park. She has been working at Belmont regularly since the beginning of September. Exclusive Scheme is the 2nd foal out of the placed mare Pyramid Scheme, who is a half-sister to 5 winners. One of Pyramid Scheme's siblings is Complicity, 2nd in this year's running of the Kentucky Cup Juvenile Fillies. Saarland's 24 runners have made 59 starts, recording 7 wins, 3 seconds, 10 thirds, and $209,870.

La Concerto (Aptitude - Road to Mandalay by Sea of Secrets), who sold for $50,000 as a yearling and $110,000 as a 2-year old, has run once, finishing 6th at Saratoga on August 25. La Concerto is the first foal out of stakes winner Road to Mandalay, who was also a debut winner at 2. Road to Mandalay is a half-sister to 4 winners, including stakes winner Lune Rouge. Lune Rouge was also stakes-placed at 2.

Selling for $80,000 as a yearling was Imthequeenofqueens (More Than Ready - Solid Claim by Mining), who has made two starts. Imthequeenofqueens was 4th in her debut, July 24 at Saratoga, and then finished 2nd at Belmont on September 7. She is a half-sister to 6 winners, including 2 that won at 2.

Eighth in her only start, at Belmont on September 28, was Flying Tourbillon (Millenium Wind - At Ease Diablo by Diablo), who was a $33,000 2-year old. Flying Tourbillon is the first foal out of a winning mare, who is a half-sister to 7 winners.

She's Prime (Prime Timber - Mayicutin by Robyn Dancer) has run twice, finishing 5th at Belmont on July 4, and 3rd at that same track on September 17. A $25,000 2-year old, She's Prime is out of the winning mare, Mayicutin. Mayicutin is the dam of 2 winners, including Nordberg, a winner at 2, who was stakes-placed at 3.

The remaining fillies are unraced, including Don't Forget Gil (Kafwain - Livermore Leslie by Mt. Livermore), who sold for $43,000 as a yearling. Don't Forget Gil is out of stakes-placed Livermore Leslie, who earned $205,192 in her career. Livermore Leslie has produced 3 winners from 3 to run, but no 2-year old winners.

Shocking Dunn, dam of Moon Drop (Malibu Moon - Shocking Dunn by Wheaton), was a debut winner at 2, and a stakes winner in her next start that year. Moon Drop is her first foal. Shocking Dunn is a half- or full-sister to 5 winners, 4 of which won at 2.

Jackpot Julie (Western Expression - Nice Silver by Silver Buck) is out of a 2-year old winning mare who is a half-sister to 6 winners, 3 of which won at 2.

Pear of Valor and Verdant Seek True Bliss

October 8, 2008
Maiden Special Weight
1 1/16 miles
2-year Old Fillies
Post Time: 3:10 PM TVG

P Horse
1. Pearl of Valor
2. Acting Lady
3. Bluegrass Princess
4. The Best Day Ever
5. Verdant
6. Graphite Halo
7. Lustful
8. Nala's Pride
9. True Bliss
10. Ashapoo
11. State Treasure
12. With Touch

Pearl of Valor (Medaglia d'Oro - Madeira M'dear by Black Tie Affair (IRE)) makes her 4th start, and Verdant (Pleasantly Perfect - Rift Valley by Gulch) her third when they face off at Keeneland on October 8. Pearl of Valor's best race was her first, when she finished 2nd at Churchill Downs on June 22. Since then, she ran twice at Saratoga, finishing 6th on July 27, and 9th on August 31. She has had four works since her last start, including one at Keeneland. Pearl of Valor is a half-sister to 3 winners, 2 of which were stakes-placed as 2-year olds. Medaglia d'Oro's 37 runners have made 87 total starts, recording 17 wins, 9 seconds, 11 thirds, and $687,174.

Verdant finished 4th in both of her starts, at Ellis Park on August 2, and at Turfway Park on September 7. She has worked three times at Churchill Downs since her Turfway start. Rift Valley, dam of Verdant, was a winner of $118,718. Verdant is her 2nd foal. Her first foal, Marubutsu Center, is a winner in Japan, and has earned $418,225 through 2008. Rift Valley is a daughter of champion 2-year old filly, Meadow Star. Meadow Star was a perfect 7 for 7 as a 2-year old, including wins in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I), the Frizette (gr. I), the Matron (gr. I), the Spinaway (gr. I), the Schuylerville (gr. II), and the Astoria Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. III). In her career, she earned $1,445,740. Pleasantly Perfect's 10 runners have made 26 total starts with 4 wins, 3 seconds, and 4 thirds, and $209,315 in earnings.

Finishing 10th, behind Pearl of Valor, on August 31 at Saratoga was Bluegrass Princess (Dynaformer - America America by Mister Baileys (GB)). That was her only start. Bluegrass Princess sold for $285,000 as a weanling. America America, dam of Bluegrass Princess, was a stakes winner who earned $403,050. Bluegrass Princess is her 2nd foal.

Nala's Pride (Lion Heart - Erica's Dream by Two's a Plenty) and Ashapoo (Petionville - Royal Deception by Sovereign Dancer) met on September 13 at Arlington Park, finishing 3rd and 4th respectively. Erica's Dream, dam of Nala's Pride, was a grade III winner who earned $641,467. As a 2-year old, Erica's Dream was a debut winner and won the Discovery Stakes. Nala's Pride is by leading freshman sire Lion Heart, whose 59 runners have made 137 collective starts, recording 22 wins, 20 seconds, 11 thirds, and $993,877. Ashapoo was a $70,000 yearling and is a half-sister to 2 winners and a full-sister to 5 winners. One full-sibling, Island Escape, was a stakes winner and earned $325,010.

True Bliss (Yet It's True - Brief Bliss by Navarone), a $160,000 yearling, has run 4 times, recording two 6ths, one 3rd, and one 2nd. In her most recent start, she was 6th at Belmont Park on September 10. True Bliss is out of Brief Bliss who finished 2nd in the Arlington-Washington Lassie Stakes as a 2-year old. Brief Bliss has produced 2 winners, including Cherokee Triangle who was a stakes winner at 2 and 3, and has earned $238,075 through 2008.

Also running at Belmont on September 10, but in a different race, was State Treasure (Mineshaft - Private Status by Alydar), who was 7th in her race. Previously, State Treasure had finished 3rd at Saratoga on August 17. Private Status, dam of State Treasure, was a stakes winner who earned $146,337. As a broodmare, Private Status has produced 3 stakes winners, including Secret Status winner of the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I), the Mother Goose (gr. I), and the Florida Oaks (gr. III). Secret Status earned $1,053,705 and was also stakes-placed at 2. State Treasure is also a half-brother to grade III stakes winner Alumni Hall.

Acting Lady (Theatrical (IRE) - Lady Fairfax (GB) by Sharrood) is an interesting entrant. She finished 6th in her only start, the Sandgate Maiden Auction Stakes at Folkestone in England. She is trained by John Best, who brought us Square Eddie, winning of the Lane's End Breeders' Futurity October 4 at Keeneland. Acting Lady, who sold for $35,000 as a yearling, is out of stakes winner Lady Fairfax. Lady Fairfax has produced 3 winners.

The remaining entrants are making their debuts, including The Best Day Ever (Brahms - Added Asset by Lord At War (ARG)), who sold for $24,000 as a yearling. Added Asset, the dam of The Best Day Ever, won or placed in 8 stakes, including a victory in the Arlington Heights Oaks (gr. III). Added Asset has produced three winners.

Graphite Halo (Mizzen Mast - Belle Boyd by Jolie's Halo), who sold for $15,000 as a yearling, is out of a winning mare who has produced 2 winners, one of which won at 2.

Ornate, dam of Lustful (Yonaguska - Ornate by Gilded Time), was a stakes winner who earned $177,972. Ornate has produced 2 winners, including grade II stakes winner High Heels. High Heels was a winner at 2, and stakes-placed that same year. Overall, she earned $484,636. Ornate is also the dam of stakes-placed French Kiss, who won an allowance race at Keeneland on October 10.

With Touch (With Approval - Miss U Mama by Minshaanshu Amad) is out of a winning mare who has produced three winners, one of which won at 2.

Race Results:

October 4

Keeneland Race 7, Lane's End Breeders' Futurity (gr. I): Reynaldothewizard (Speightstown) - 10th, Square Eddie came in from England and blew everyone away.
Belmont Race 8, Frizette (gr. I): Gemswick Park (Speightstown) - 3rd, Collegiate (Saarland) - 8th. The winner Sky Diva was impressive and Persistently closed again for 2nd, but I thought Gemswick Park held well for third. I thought Collegiate looked great in the post parade, but she never looked comfortable in the race. Maybe the addition of blinkers was not a good idea.
Belmont Race 9, Champagne (gr. I):  Munnings (Speightstown) - 2nd. A repeat of the Hopeful, at least for Vineyard Haven. Cribnote was in tight at the rail, but I didn't see any real excuses for he or Munnings, just not fast enough to catch Vineyard Haven. These three do appear to be the best of the east, although Gone Astray redeemed himself a bit, finishing a closing 4th.
Keeneland Race 2, Allowance: Hug It Out (Medaglia d'Oro) - 2nd. Hut It Out took several runs at the favorite, Petty Things, but couldn't catch her. She was, however, well clear of the rest.
Calder Race  4, Maiden Special Weight: Frosty Diamond (Medaglia d'Oro) - 5th. Frosty Diamond led for most of the race before tiring late.
Keeneland Race 4, Allowance: Promise Me Merlot (Peace Rules) - 12th. Promise Me Merlot showed brief speed, before fading. This turned out to be a good race, with noses separating the top three (Casey's On Call, Troy G., and Beethoven.)
Delaware Race 6, Maiden Special Weight: Chattertown (Speightstown) - 4th. Chattertown broke slow and then made up some ground late.

October 5

Woodbine Race 6, Grey Stakes (Can-III): Mine That Bird (Birdstone) - 1st, Bear's Conductor (Congaree) - 2nd. Nice Maiden Watch exacta ($69.20). Bear's Conductor shows some grit, but he couldn't stop That Bird. That's 4 straight wins and 3 straight stakes wins for Mine That Bird. His connections don't seem keen on the Breeders' Cup, but maybe they'll change their minds.
Woodbine Race 8, Mazarine Stakes (Can-III): Livin Lovin (Birdstone) - 2nd, Retraceable (Medaglia d'Oro) - 4th, Bedtime Story (Pleasantly Perfect) - 5th, Mullins Beach (Speightstown) - 8th. Van Lear Rose ran down Livin Lovin in the stretch, but Livin Lovin showed a lot of tenacity. No apparent excuses for the other Maiden Watch horses.
Keeneland Race 6, Maiden Special Weight: Kelode (Saarland) - 7th
Hawthorne Race 2, Maiden Special Weight: Saarbright
(Saarland) - 10th
Golden Gate Race 5, Maiden Special Weight: Legacy and Lace (Saarland) - 2nd, flattened out a little after making a wide move, but a promising debut.
Mountaineer Race 1, Maiden Special Weight: River Saar (Saarland) - 4th.

October 6

Camarero Race 5, Maiden Claiming: Pretty Kitten (Saarland) - 1st, good to see this one get a victory in her 6th start. Saarland now has 5 winners.

October 7

Delaware Park Race 1, Claiming: Mostly Peace (Peace Rules) - 3rd
Delaware Park Race 8, Starter Allowance: Conga Gold (Congaree) - 4th

News and Notes

Anyone else catch Imperial Council's (Empire Maker - Jaramar Rain by Thunder Gulch) victory at Belmont on October 4? It certainly wasn't a surprise to anyone, as he paid a whopping $3.00 for the win, but still you had to be impressed with the ease of victory.

Curly Works

Curly went 5 furlongs in 1:03.80 at Hawthorne on October 6.

2-Year Old Works

New to this Blog

October 5

Working 3 furlongs in :41.00 at Remington Park was Bugle Ann (filly; Birdstone - Lady Taurus by Holy Bull). Bugle Ann is a half-sister to one winner, who did win at 2.

Miss Mary K (filly; Speightstown - Balancing Act by Spectacular Bid) worked 3 furlongs at Churchill Downs in :39.60. Miss Mary K, who sold for $160,000 as a yearling, is out of a winning mare who has produced 8 winners. Miss Mary K's siblings include group II stakes winner Eleusis, who has earned $165,801.

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