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Kentucky Juvenile Stakes Offers Graded Black Type to 2-Year-Olds

The Kentucky Juvenile Stakes (gr. III) to be run April 30 at Churchill Downs offers the first shot at serious black-type for 2-year-olds, and as such we thought it interesting to have a look at the TrueNick ratings for a field of stakes contenders that have yet to earn black type.

Topping the likely runners with an A++ rating is Mission Impazible, a son of Unbridled's Song (TrueNicks,SRO) , and the Hold Your Peace mare La Paz. A half-brother to graded winners Forest Camp and Spanish Empire, Mission Impazible is bred on a similar cross to recently-retired one-time Kentucky Derby prospect Old Fashioned. His dam, a multiple stakes winner, scored over 4 1/2 furlongs, and the granddam was a 2-year-old stakes winner at five furlongs, so this is a pedigree that has both speed and class.

Gator Prowl, who is rated A+, is by Roar of the Tiger (TrueNicks,SRO), a brother to Giant's Causeway (TrueNicks,SRO) and New York sire Freud. The dam, a winner at 4 1/2 furlongs, is by Notebook. The granddam is by the very good 2-year-old Copelan, and is a sister to the dam of Free Handicap co-highweight Rulers Court, and half-sister to multiple graded stakes winner Whata Brainstorm.

Another from the Storm Cat line is B+-rated Seattle Court. He is from the first crop of Consolidator (TrueNicks,SRO) , a fast early-season 2-year-old who lasted through the year to end up taking the Lane’s End Breeders’ Futurity (gr. I), and then won the San Felipe Stakes (gr. II) over Giacomo at 3. The dam is by Seattle Slew, out of a graded stakes-placed half-sister to multiple grade I winner Vicar.

The 11 1/2-length debut winner Jealous Again is rated B. She is by one speed influence -- Trippi (by End Sweep, a son of Forty Niner) -- out of a mare by another -- Bold Ruckus -- and has a double of Raise a Native. The granddam was a stakes winner at up to 8 1/2 furlongs in Canada. Similarly-rated at B is Kitty in the Bag, who is from the first crop of Forest Wildcat’s grade I-winning son Wildcat Heir (TrueNicks,SRO) . The dam is by top-notch sprinter Friendly Lover, out of Bag Lady Jane, winner of Canada’s top juvenile event for 2-year-old fillies, the Princess Elizabeth Stakes. Bag Lady Jane is half-sister to juvenile stakes winner Deputy Storm (by another Storm Cat line horse, Forestry (TrueNicks,SRO) ), and out of Canadian champion 2-year-old filly Deputy Jane West.

From the first crop of Offlee Wild (TrueNicks,SRO) (by Wild Again, from the family of Dynaformer (TrueNicks,SRO) ), Heavenville weighs in at a C. He is out of 2-year-old sprint stakes winner Seeking Heaven, a daughter of Petionville. Another rated C is Western Smoke. He’s certainly bred to be precocious and fast, as he’s by champion sprinter Smoke Glacken (TrueNicks,SRO) , out of a mare by champion 2-year-old Boston Harbor. The dam is half-sister to graded winner Letgomyecho, and is out of stakes-placed Echo Echo Echo, daughter of juvenile grade I winner Eastern Echo.

Kinsolving is an example of a horse who doesn’t have a great nick rating -- he’s a D -- but whose clever pedigree redeems him. A son of Posse (TrueNicks,SRO) , who had seven first-crop 2-year-old stakes winners, Kinsolving is out of a mare by the Saint Ballado stallion Straight Man. What makes this interesting is that Posse is out of a mare by Rahy, whose dam, champion Glorious Song, is a sister to Saint Ballado, so Kinsolving has the sister and brother 4 x 3. Also rated D is Aegean, who is by the underrated Northern Afleet (TrueNicks,SRO) out of a mare by the A.P. Indy (TrueNicks,SRO) son Aptitude (TrueNicks,SRO). Northern Afleet has not seen a lot of A.P Indy blood in his career to date, yet he has sired a stakes winner on the cross and the granddam, Sweeping, by End Sweep, took the Florida Stallion/Desert Vixen Stakes at 2.

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