The last time Winchell Thoroughbreds' Pyro raced at Churchill Downs, he finished a disappointing eighth, 15 lengths behind Big Brown, in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I). In the June 14 Northern Dancer Stakes (gr. III), trainer Steve Asmussen looks for a much-improved effort.
Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) starter Bsharpsonata may be the current stable star in the barn of John and Tim Salzman, but she is not the first filly to draw attention to the Maryland-based father-and-son training team.
Jockey Eric Camacho was in Louisville April 23 to work Cloverleaf Farm's Bsharpsonata, from the Tim Salzman stable, one of the favorites in the May 2 Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) at Churchill Downs. The daughter of Pulpit was sharp in her five-furlong breeze, stopping the clock in :59.80, the third fastest drill of the morning at the famed Kentucky oval.
Ike and Dawn Thrash's Dawn After Dawn was a solid performer in each of her four past starts, registering two wins -- one in the La Canada Stakes (gr. II) -- under jockey Garrett Gomez.
Winchell Thoroughbreds' Pyro, early favorite for the Toyota Blue Grass (gr. I), worked five furlongs in 1:02 2/5 the morning of March 24 over Keeneland's main Polytrack surface.
It's been said that special Thoroughbreds have a certain look and feel about them that is different than your average horse. Pyro is proof.
Winchell Thoroughbreds' Pyro, likely favorite for Keeneland's $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass (gr. I) April 12, stretched his legs in an easy mile gallop March 20 over the main Polytrack.
Trainer Mark Casse will enter the $150,000 Bourbonette Oaks (gr. III) at Turfway Park as the defending champion, having won the 2006 and 2007 editions with Top Notch Lady and Sealy Hill, respectively, and owning a total five victories in the race. This year he saddles the lightly-raced Clearly Foxy, whose last start was a solid sixth-place effort in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I).
A half-brother to classics contender Pyro was born March 12 at 10:15 p.m. at the Winchell family's Corinthia near Lexington.
PORTER ON PEDIGREES, by Alan Porter
Another Triple Crown contender by a son of A.P. Indy is hot on the Derby trail. A couple of weeks ago it was Pyro, a son of Pulpit. Now it is Cool Coal Man, a colt by Mineshaft who recently won the Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) against a field of top challengers. He is extending the success already seen when A.P. Indy is crossed with Fappiano-line mares.
Cloverleaf Farm's homebred Bsharpsonata, winner of the Feb. 9 Forward Gal Stakes (gr. II) at Gulfstream Park, heads a field of six talented fillies in the $150,000 Davona Dale Stakes (gr. II) there March 1. Other runners include Game Face, American County, Robbie's Gal, and J Z Warrior.
Colts by Sky Mesa and Pulpit post fastest workout times for Fasig-Tipton Calder sale.
Winchell Thoroughbreds' homebred Pyro will make his 3-year-old debut in the $300,000 Risen Star Stakes (gr. III) at Fair Grounds Feb. 9, but don't think the Steve Asmussen trainee lacks experience. Prior to a Feb. 5 move over the Louisiana oval, his last two works were impressive bullets fired in company with 2007 Horse of the Year Curlin.
Horse of the Year candidate Curlin continued his path toward an unrevealed destination when trainer Steve Asmussen sent him to an easy five-furlong work over the Fair Grounds surface Jan. 18. The 4-year-old Smart Strike colt went the distance in 1:04 flat on a fast track.
The top three finishers from Aqueduct's Nov. 23 Top Flight Handicap (gr. II), led by Edward P. Evans' Mini Sermon, will meet again in the $150,000 Sabin Handicap (gr. III) at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 6.
The Pulpit filly will have to defeat 11 rivals Jan. 1 in the Tropical Park Oaks at Calder Race Course.
The 3-year-old filly prevailed in a three-way photo Dec. 29 at Calder, winning for the fifth time this season.
A head bob determined the winner of the $150,000 Top Flight Handicap (gr.II) at Aqueduct on Nov. 23 when Mini Sermon prevailed by a nose over pacesetter Lady Marlboro in the one-mile race for fillies and mares.
- By Ron Mitchell
High demand put several weanlings at the high end of the Keeneland November market. The highest-priced weanling sold was a Pulpit filly that brought $1.7 million. The only two Kingmambo weanlings in the sale brought the second- and third-highest prices of $950,000 (the top weanling colt) and $850,000.
- By Ron Mitchell
Veteran stallions A.P. Indy, Kingmambo, and Smart Strike -- all of whom stand at Lane's End Farm -- top the list of covering sires by average during the first two sessions of the Keeneland November breeding stock sale.
The opening session of the 2007 Keeneland November mixed sale is still rolling along at a fast clip with high-class broodmares and broodmare prospects bringing top prices. Nineteen offerings have topped the seven-figure mark so far.
- By Claire Novak
Trainer Mark Casse took an unusual route to the Grey Goose Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) with Clearly Foxy, starting her twice on the Woodbine lawn, where she broke her maiden at first asking.
A Dynaformer colt whose second dam is Broodmare of the Year Glowing Tribute was sold for $190,000 to top the Oct. 23 session of the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky October yearling sale that concluded with double-digit increases in gross, average, and median prices.
Corinthian seemed to be on the fast track early, however, winning two of his first three races, including an allowance victory over Jazil to start his 3-year-old campaign. Bred in Kentucky by Gracefield Equine and Hargus Sexton, Corinthian then crossed the finish line first in the Fountain of Youth (gr. II), but was disqualified to third.
Claiborne Farm has announced its 2008 stud fees with no major changes to its roster of 14 stallions, which stand at the Hancock family's farm near Paris, Ky.
Gross and average both drop more than 20% at the opening session of the Keeneland September yearling sale. The top price was $2.9 million for a half-brother to Pulpit by Dynaformer.
Two days after the Travers Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga Race Course, the top four finishers in the $1-million race were all recovering well to the satisfaction of their trainers.
For the second time in three weeks, a Christophe Clement trainee shipped into Del Mar from New York to win a grade I event when Virginia Kraft-Payson's Rutherienne left favored Valbenny behind in the stretch for a two-length win in the Del Mar Oaks Aug. 18.
Virginia Kraft Payson's favored homebred Rutherienne continued her impressive 2007 season Friday thanks to a fearless hedge-skimming ride from jockey Garrett Gomez and a bit of luck in the $115,100 Lake George (gr. IIIT) for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/16 miles on the turf.
Horses attracting the attention of shoppers prior to the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July select yearling sale in Lexington included a strapping filly from the A.P. Indy line that might remind you of Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner Rags to Riches and a More Than Ready colt that was described by one of his owners as a "spitting image" of his sire.
Trainer Christophe Clement kept his perfect record at Monmouth intact Saturday with a little help from the stewards as Virginia Kraft Payson's Rutherienne was placed first after finishing second to Red Birkin in the $150,000 Boiling Spring Stakes (gr. IIIT) for 3-year-old fillies on the turf.
Joseph Allen's homebred Ecclesiastic ended a two-year graded stakes drought when he swept to a 24-1 shocker for trainer H. Allen Jerkens in Sunday's $113,800 Jaipur (gr. IIIT) at six furlongs on the Belmont Park inner turf course.
Sightseeing loves a good fight, but the 3-5 favorite in Sunday's $200,000 Peter Pan Stakes (gr. II) nearly cut it too close when he got up in the final stride to nose 14-1 outsider Prom Shoes at Belmont Park.
EMO Stable's Orison saved ground on the final turn and passed three horses in the stretch to win a contentious Carolina First Carolina Cup Saturday at Springdale Race Course.
Trainer Shug McGaughey is surveying the stakes landscape in order to find the right spot for Triple Crown nominee Sightseeing, the Phipps Stable's homebred son of Pulpit seeking his first win of the season.
Madcap Escapade, a millionaire and grade I winner for Bruce Lunsford, produced her first foal, a Pulpit filly, March 14.
Centennial Farms' Corinthian, disqualified from victory in the Fountain of Youth (gr. II) one year ago, tallied his first graded stakes win in Saturday's $350,000 Gulfstream Park Handicap (gr. II), holding off the relentless closer Hesanoldsalt by a neck as the even-money favorite.
Stakes winner Special Rate was represented by his first foal on Feb. 23. The foal, a colt, was produced from the stakes-winning and stakes-producing mare Noryanny.
Centennial Farm's 4-year-old Corinthian signaled he's back on the beam with an impressive 9 1/2-length win over Shadwell Stable's Jazil, winner of the 2006 Belmont Stakes (gr. I), in a Gulfstream Park allowance race Thursday.
When Paul Saylor purchased Fleet Indian at the 2006 Keeneland January mixed sale, he had modest expectations and plans for the then 5-year-old mare.
When pacesetter Bob's Proud Moment faltered in the final eighth of a mile of the off the turf $200,000 W.L. McKnight Handicap (gr. III) Saturday at sloppy Calder Race Course, Devil's Preacher was there to take full advantage, rallying late to win the 1 1/2-mile marathon.
Bruce Lunsford has nearly completed a deal with John Sikura of Hill 'n' Dale Farm near Lexington to buy back a half-interest in Madcap Escapade and the Pulpit foal she is carrying.
Grade I winner First Samurai will begin his stallion career at the Hancock family's Claiborne Farm near Paris, Ky., for a fee of $40,000 in 2007.
Keeneland set a world record for gross sales at a Thoroughbred auction on Thursday when 10-day totals reached $385,707,000. The sale surpassed the world record mark of $384,349,900 set at last year's 14-day September sale.
The fourth session of the massive 14-day Keeneland September yearling sale ended on a positive note Thursday with the Central Kentucky auction house realizing increases in gross, average and median. The sale company also reported across the board cumulative increases.
After losing its record-setting momentum a year ago, the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July select yearling auction rebounded significantly during its latest edition, which ended Tuesday.
The Fasig-Tipton Kentucky select yearling auction, scheduled for Monday and Tuesday in Lexington, should have more of a European flavor than usual.
Claiborne Farm's favored Wend made her return to her hometown track a successful one, making it look easy as she handled a solid field in the $200,000 Jenny Wiley (gr. IIT) for older fillies and mares on a dusty Keeneland turf course Saturday.
Claiborne Farm's 5-year-old mare Wend kicked off her 2006 season with an impressive win in the $100,000 Honey Fox Handicap (gr. IIIT) for fillies and mares on the Gulfstream Park turf Saturday.
Who will be the big horse at the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's select sale of 2-year-olds in training Tuesday? We don't have the answer, but based on the talk around Calder Race Course in South Florida, here are some horses that could sell very well.
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