Weekend Action for A.P. Indy and Fappiano Bloodlines

In 1999, Stephen Got Even came into the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) as one of favorites, having won the last three of his four starts, including the Galleryfurniture.com Stakes (gr. II) at Turfway Park. Away well, Stephen Got Even was bumped at the first turn, and thereafter never reached contention, ultimately finishing fourteenth to Charismatic. Fourth in the Preakness and fifth in the Belmont (both gr. I), Stephen Got Even did gain a grade I triumph at 4, capturing the Donn Handicap (gr. I) from Golden Missile and Behrens on his only start at that age.

With his first crop, Stephen Got Even (TrueNicks,SRO) came up with a Derby contender in Don't Get Mad (TrueNicks A++), who flew through the lane to take fourth to Giacomo, beaten 3 1/2 lengths. Now Stephen Got Even may have another very serious classic candidate in I Want Revenge, who was making his debut on true dirt when running away with the Gotham Stakes (gr. III). I Want Revenge is out of the Argentine-raced Meguial (ARG), a listed winner and three-time grade I-placed in her native country, and also black-type placed in the U.S. Meguial is by the Fappiano horse Roy, a sensation at stud in South America, but a disappointment when he shuttled to the U.S. We note that Aptitude, another son of Stephen Got Even's sire, A.P. Indy (TrueNicks,SRO), is responsible for 2-year-old grade I winner Great Hunter out of a mare by Roy.
Stephen Got Even's strike rate with Mr. Prospector has improved this year, with I Want Revenge being one of two new stakes winners on the cross, and the Stephen Got Even/Mr. Prospector cross now rates a very solid B. The second dam of I Want Revenge is by Fitzcarraldo (ARG), an Argentine horse with an European background. Roy provides a "melding" element here as he is an American-bred horse with a pedigree chock full of the Frizette family. Fitzcarraldo has the European stallion Sing Sing (GB), who is also from the Frizette family, along with inbreeding that ties into the background of Frizette. Of course, Stephen Got Even's grandsire, Seattle Slew, is from the Frizette family and his granddam has an additional cross of Frizette's daughter Frizeur.

It is hard to keep A.P. Indy and Fappiano -- either separately or in concert -- out of the picture at the moment. In fact, they were quite literally in the picture at the end of the Santa Anita Oaks (gr. I). That race saw champion 2-year-old filly Stardom Bound (an A.P. Indy/Fappiano cross) prevail by a nose over Third Dawn, who is by another Pulpit son, the resurgent Sky Mesa, out of a mare by Quiet American (by Fappiano). This is the same Sky Mesa/Fappiano cross that has supplied graded stakes winners Sky Diva and General Quarters, both from the same crop as Third Dawn.

Another A.P. Indy son to have a good weekend was [MalibuMoon]. His 6-year-old son Ah Day gained a first graded triumph with a win in the Toboggan Stakes (gr. III). On the same day, his 4-year-old daughter Sweet August Moon took her first black type event, the $100,000 Honest Lady Stakes at Santa Anita. What is important to remember about Malibu Moon is that his first four crops were sired inexpensively in Maryland (Ah Day is one of 24 stakes winners, six of them graded, to emerge from those crops). His fifth crop, 4-year-olds this year, was sired in Kentucky at a fee of $10,000. The first of his more expensive crops (sired at $30,000) are his 3-year-olds of 2009, and he already has four stakes winners from that crop.

Empire Maker -- a grandson of Fappiano -- also had a good weekend. His 4-year-old filly Acoma (out of Aurora by Danzig, and rated TrueNicks A++) romped in the Azeri Stakes (gr. III) at Oaklawn Park. In addition, his 3-year-old Imperial Council finished well for second -- albeit a somewhat distant one -- to I Want Revenge in the Gotham on his stakes debut. As he's by a Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner, out of a mare by a Belmont Stakes winner (Thunder Gulch), with a second dam by a Belmont Stakes winner (Risen Star), Imperial Council is going to get better as the distances stretch out, and we certainly wouldn't discount him as a classic candidate yet. Incidentally, he's another example of a horse by a stallion bred on the Mr. Prospector/Northern Dancer cross, out of a mare by stallion bred the same way. His third dam, Special Warmth, is also the third dam of The Pamplemousse, who is vying with another Empire Maker colt, Pioneerof the Nile, for leadership of the West Coast 3-year-olds.

A while ago in a story on the Pedigree Consultants blog we noted Tale of the Cat as a good bet for 2009, in part because of the quality of some horses that he would have to run this year. That hunch bet payed an early dividend at the weekend, when 4-year-old Gio Ponti took the Frank E. Kilroe Mile (gr. IT), thus gaining his first grade I event.

Like I Want Revenge, Gio Ponti comes from a South American family, and South America also supplied the winner of the Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I), the Brazilian-bred Einstein (BRZ_, who was making his all-weather debut. Einstein's sire, Spend a Buck , was generally a disappointment during his time at stud in the U.S., but was extremely good in South America, particularly with mares by the Lyphard horse Ghadeer (FR), this cross producing six grade I winners.

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