Nick Zito trainee War Pass, winner of the Oct. 6 Champagne Stakes (gr. I), has been installed as the 5-2 morning-line favorite in the $2- million Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) at Monmouth Park Oct. 27.
Steve Asmussen trainee Curlin, winner of this year's Preakness Stakes (gr. I), began his serious preparations for an expected engagement in the $5-million Breeders' Cup Classic - Powered by Dodge (gr. I) by working a half-mile on Keeneland's Polytrack surface in :51.80 Oct. 9.
BC Focus profiles a different Breeders' Cup contender every day between now and the Breeders' Cup.
- By Claire Novak
Ask Rick Porter and Vinery Farm manager Tom Ludt to comment on the sales histories of the 2-year-old Posse colt Kodiak Kowboy and his dam, Kokadrie, and the two men spin a circular tale.
Kodiak Kowboy has already established himself as the clear leader of the juvenile division. Now the son of Posse, out of the Coronado's Quest mare Kokadrie, will try to further cement that distinction as he headlines a field of six in the $250,000 Futurity Stakes (gr. II) Sept. 15 at Belmont Park.
With Belmont's fall meet set to open Sept. 7, a strong crop of top 2-year-olds will head into the East coast's final prep races for the Oct. 27-28 Breeders' Cup races at Monmouth Park.
Ginger Punch, prepping for the Sept. 8 Ruffian Handicap (gr. I), and Discreet Cat, who is returning off a long layoff, were among the horses that worked Sept. 2 at Saratoga.
If the 2007 racing season ended right now, it would be hard to argue against Kodiak Kowboy as the champion 2-year-old male. With four straight wins under his girth, he is the most accomplished colt to emerge so far this season. Kodiak Kowboy is by Posse, who has has five stakes winners so far from 59 named foals of racing age, 29 of which have started and 13 have won. Three of Posse's stakes winners are out of mares from the Mr. Prospector sire line. Another pattern that has been frequently tried with Posse is inbreeding to Northern Dancer.
- By Ron Mitchell
A filly purchased last November for $2,500 was sold for $77,000 as the top-priced offering during the Aug. 27 first day of the Fasig-Tipton Texas summer yearling sale at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie.
- By Ron Mitchell
As the Aug. 27 first session of the Fasig-Tipton Texas summer yearling sale neared its mid-point, top price of $70,000 had been paid by Leprechaun Racing for a Trust N Luck filly.
- By Ron Mitchell
Bolstered by the revival of racing in Oklahoma and the continued increases in purses in Louisiana, there is "guarded optimism" among Texas breeders and sales company officials on the eve of the Fasig-Tipton Texas summer yearling sale.
Kodiak Kowboy had more experience than any of his five rivals in the $150,000 Saratoga Special (gr. II). Jockey Shaun Bridgmohan used that to his advantage as he waited patiently to burst between horses en route to a convincing three-length victory in a main track test for 2-year-olds Aug. 16.
Kodiak Kowboy, unbeaten in his last three races, will attempt to add another black-type victory to his resume when he faces six other 2-year-olds in Aug. 16 Saratoga Special (gr. II) at 6 1/2 furlongs at Saratoga.
It would take a full blown posse to find the last freshman sire to be represented by as many as five stakes winners this early in the year.
Kodiak Kowboy earned a third career win when he took Saturday's $150,000 Bashford Manor (gr. III) at Churchill Downs.
Trainer Steve Asmussen will send out five 2-year-olds in two stakes races as Churchill Downs wraps up the spring meet in Louisville this weekend.
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