Another Weekend, Another Runaway Filly

Last week we wrote that Careless Jewel had put up a Rachel Alexandra-like effort in crushing the Alabama Stakes (gr. I) field. Fast forward a week, and we find four-year-old Icon Project, delivering her Personal Ensign Stakes (gr. I) rivals a 13½ lengths drubbing.

Icon Project (TrueNicks A++) is the second grade I winner and one of eight total stakes winners from the first crop of her sire, Empire Maker (TrueNicks,SRO). Incidentally, the most recent stakes winner from that crop is Dean Henry, who took the Saratoga Dew Stakes at Saratoga. Rated TrueNicks A+ she was a Pedigree Consultants recommended mating for owner/breeder Larry Goichman. There's no doubt that if you are a breeder aiming to produce a classic type runner, Empire Maker has to be on your radar.

Empire Maker also has three stakes winners from his second crop, headed by multiple grade I winner Pioneerof the Nile (A++). Returning to Icon Project for a moment: she is out of the Lord At War mare, La Gueriere, and quite remarkably Pioneerof the Nile is the only other starter on the cross.

On the subject of fast fillies, Malibu Moon was represented by a pair at the weekend in three-year-old Sara Louise and four-year-old Luna Vega (TrueNicks A). Sara Louise captured the Victory Ride Stakes (gr. III) at Saratoga, and Luna Vega, the Molly Pitcher (gr. II) at Monmouth Park. Malibu Moon now has 10 stakes winners, five graded in 2009, not bad when we recall that he only has two Kentucky crops.

Sara Louise is the first stakes winner by an A.P.Indy line stallion out of a Mt. Livermore mare, and A.P. Indy/Blushing Groom has generally been disappointing. The only two North American graded winners on the cross - the other is Rutherienne, by Pulpit - are by stallions with Nijinsky II (a great foil for Blushing Groom) in the pedigree.

The phenomenal first crop three-year-old sires were at it again on Saturday at Saratoga with Summer Bird (by Birdstone (TrueNicks,SRO)) taking the Travers Stakes (gr. I) and Capt. Candyman Can (by [Candy Ride]) landing the King's Bishop Stakes (gr. I), after the disqualification of Vineyard Haven. Capt. Candyman Can's victory means that Candy Ride joins Birdstone, Medaglia d'Oro (TrueNicks,SRO), Tapit (TrueNicks,SRO) , Speightstown (TrueNicks,SRO) and [Even the Score] as a second season sire who has a grade I winner. Rated A++ by TrueNicks, Capt. Candyman is out of a mare by Storm Creek, and along with Evita Argentina (dam by Forest Wildcat), is one of two graded winners by Candy Ride out of mares by sons of Storm Cat.

In addition to Travers winner Summer Bird, Birdstone had another weekend stakes winner when Bet Your Boots (like Summer Bird, rated A++ by TrueNicks), from his second crop, took the Northern Lights Futurity. What's interesting here is that Summer Bird is out of a mare by Summer Squall, and Bet Your Boots is out of a mare by Storm Boot, whose sire, Storm Cat is bred on an identical cross to Summer Squall. Of course what's particularly interesting is that both are sons of Storm Bird, and Birdstone is out of a Storm Bird mare.


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