2YO Stakes Racing Cranks Up Over Holiday Weekend

The first U.S. 2-year-old grade II winner of the year is Jack’s in the Deck (TrueNicks A+), who upset the Futurity Stakes (gr. II, video below), breaking his maiden in only his second start. Jack’s in the Deck is from the second crop of Love of Money (TrueNicks,SRO) (by Not For Love (TrueNicks,SRO), a brother to Rhythm, and three-parts-brother to Woodman, who has been a dominant sire in Maryland). Love Of Money was an impressive winner of the Pennsylvania Derby (gr. II), but never recaptured that form. Jack’s in the Deck is his third winner and second stakes horse from 20 runners. The dam, a half sister to Not For Love stakes winner Spirited Game, is by the Danzig son Partner's Hero (TrueNicks,SRO).

Not For Love’s dam, Dance Number, is a Northern Dancer mare whose dam has La Troienne inbreeding via the three-parts-sisters Busanda and Striking (who appear 2x3). Partner’s Hero is by a son of Northern Dancer, and his dam is by Winning Hit, a son of Nasrullah out of daughter of Striking, giving him a similar background to Dance Number. The fourth dam is by Hitting Away, a son of Striking and brother to the dam of Winning Hit.

On the same card, Millionreasonswhy took the Matron Stakes (gr. II, video below) for 2-year-old fillies. She is by the veteran Gone West horse Grand Slam (TrueNicks,SRO) out of the A.P. Indy mare In Secure, previously the dam of the stakes-winning and graded stakes-placed Saint Liam filly Beyondallboundarys. The granddam is the stakes-winning Deputy Minister mare Morelia, who in turn is out of Majestic Folly, a stakes-winning and graded stakes-placed daughter of Alydar. This is also the family of Thirty Six Red, Corrazona, and Olmodavor (TrueNicks,SRO). In general terms, Gone West hasn’t been spectacular with Seattle Slew, but Grand Slam was a half brother to the Seattle Slew horse Leestown, a stakes winner who was later a good sire in Louisiana, and Seattle Slew appears in at least seven Grand Slam stakes winners. Grand Slam’s third dam is a three-parts-sister to the dam of Alydar (who is in this pedigree), and at least five Grand Slam stakes winners have Alydar in the dam.

The first Kentucky crop of Exchange Rate (TrueNicks,SRO) are now 2-year-olds, and he was represented by the Bashford Manor Stakes (gr. III, video below) winner Exfactor (TrueNIcks A++). Exfactor is out of Bright Magic, a stakes-winning half sister to the graded stakes-winning and grade I-placed Take the Ribbon. The granddam is a half sister to grade I winner Magical Maiden, who bred the Del Mar Debutante Stakes (gr. I) winner Miss Houdini (subsequently dam of graded winner Papa Clem (TrueNicks,SRO)) to Belong to Me (TrueNicks,SRO), like Exchange Rate, a son of Danzig.

Bright Magic is a daughter of Prized, and there are already seven stakes winners from 36 starters by Danzig line stallions out of mares by Prized, four graded. Exfactor’s second dam is by Miswaki, a Mr. Prospector/Buckpasser cross, like Exchange Rate’s broodmare sire Seeking the Gold. Exchange Rate has already sired another stakes winner out of a mare by Miswaki, and a stakes winner out of a mare by Woodman, another Mr. Prospector/Buckpasser cross.

In Canada, the Clarendon Stakes was won by first-time starter Making Amends (TrueNicks A++), a son of Repent (TrueNicks,SRO) out of the Prime Timber mare Primary Motive. Making Amends was bred on a mating devised by Pedigree Consultants and Colleen Simeone (of the breeders’ Sienna Farms), out of a mare that cost only $7,500 to acquire. After stints in Florida and Kentucky, the sire, Repent, now stands in New York and looks a very smart horse for the region.

In Florida, Awesome of Course (TrueNicks,SRO), sire of last year's champion 2-year-old filly Awesome Feather, had the first and second in the J J'sdream Stakes at Calder, with Redbud Road (out of a Tactical Advantage mare), scoring from Awesome Belle.

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