(Edited press release)
Midshipman , winner of the Bessemer Trust Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I), received the high weight assignment of 126 pounds on the 2008 Experimental Free Handicap, released Jan. 29 by The Jockey Club and available at http://www.jockeyclub.com.
The filly division is headed by Bessemer Trust Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) winner Stardom Bound at 124 pounds.
The Experimental Free Handicap, published annually by The Jockey Club since 1935, is a weight-based assessment of the previous year’s leading 2-year-olds, with the weights compiled for a hypothetical race at 1 1/16 miles on dirt. This year’s weighting committee of racing secretaries was composed of Ben Huffman of Churchill Downs, P.J. Campo of the New York Racing Association, and Thomas S. Robbins of the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club.
The committee weighted a total of 104 males and 87 fillies. Eligible for weighting were all 2-year-olds of 2008 that finished among the top four in graded or other unrestricted races with an added value of at least $75,000, run in the continental United States.
Darley Stable’s Midshipman (Unbridled's Song --Fleet Lady, by Avenue of Flags) won three of his four starts last year for earnings of $1,380,200. In addition to his 1 1/4-length victory in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, he also won the Del Mar Futurity (gr. I) and finished a close second in the Norfolk Stakes (gr. I). He was bred in Kentucky by Stonerside Stable.
The 126 pounds assigned to Midshipman is a pound less than the weight assigned to last year’s high weight, War Pass, and is the standard impost for top Experimental colts.
Midshipman is weighted two pounds higher than Vineyard Haven (Lido Palace--Princess Aloha, by Aloha Prospector), also a winner of three of his four starts in 2008, including the Champagne Stakes and Hopeful Stakes, both grade I. He earned $419,000 for owners Robert Frankel, Louis Lazzinnaro, and Diamond Pride. Frankel trained him.
At 123 pounds is J. Paul Reddam’s Square Eddie (Smart Strike --Forty Gran, by El Gran Senor), winner of the Lane’s End Breeders’ Futurity (gr. I) and runner-up in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. He won two of his six starts on the year and earned $767,366.
Myung Kwon Cho’s Street Hero (Street Cry--Squall Linda, by Summer Squall) is weighted at 122 pounds. Street Hero’s lone victory from his six starts came in the Norfolk Stakes (gr. I). He also finished third in both the Del Mar Futurity and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and earned $419,360.
In the filly division, the 124 pounds assigned to Stardom Bound (Tapit --My White Corvette, by Tarr Road) is a pound above the assignment awarded to last year’s high weight, Indian Blessing.
Bred in Kentucky by Fletcher Gray, Carolyn Gray, and John Youngblood, Stardom Bound’s three victories from five starts all came in grade I stakes--the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, Oak Leaf Stakes, and Del Mar Debutante. She earned $1,420,600 for owner Charles Cono.
Stardom Bound is weighted four pounds higher than Livin the Dream Racing’s Dream Empress (Bernstein--Chinese Empress, by Nijinsky II). Dream Empress won the Darley Alcibiades Stakes (gr. I) and was runner-up in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies. She won two of her five starts on the year and banked $756,914.
At 117 pounds is the trio of Laragh (Tapit--Rose of Summer, by El Prado), Sky Diva (Sky Mesa --Swift Girl, by Unbridled), and Springside (Awesome Again --Folly Dollar, by Digression).
Laragh won three of her six starts, including the Hollywood Starlet (gr. I) and the JPMorgan Chase Jessamine Stakes, and earned $509,465 for owners IEAH Stables, Gary Tolchin, and Pegasus Holding Group Stables.
Puglisi Racing’s Sky Diva won two of her four starts in 2008, including the Frizette Stakes (gr. I), and earned $484,000.
James and Alice Sapara’s Springside was a 9 1/2-length winner of the Demoiselle Stakes (gr. II) in her final start of 2008. She won three of her five races and earned $190,163.
Among sires of Experimental horses, A.P. Indy, Lion Heart, More Than Ready , Sky Mesa, and Sligo Bay top the list of colts and geldings with three representatives each, while Smoke Glacken and Tapit head the fillies’ list with four representatives each. Combining the two lists, Sky Mesa is the leading sire with six representatives. Of the 191 juveniles weighted, 118 were bred in Kentucky, 27 in Florida, and nine in California and New York.
The Jockey Club, founded in 1894 and dedicated to the improvement of Thoroughbred breeding and racing, is the breed registry for North American Thoroughbreds. The Jockey Club fulfills that longstanding commitment by serving many segments of the industry through its subsidiary companies and by providing support and leadership on a wide range of important industry initiatives.