Pyro, one of the favorites in last year's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), captured his first stakes in more than a year when he came from off the pace and out-finished Kodiak Kowboy in the $300,000 Forego (gr. I) Sept. 5 at Saratoga.
Meteore was in last place coming off the far turn with seemingly nowhere to go. But once jockey Alex Solis found room with a sweeping four-wide move it was clear sailing from there, as the son of Pulpit picked up all eight of his rivals en route to a 1 1/2-length victory in the $150,000 La Jolla Handicap (gr. IIT) Aug. 15 on the Del Mar turf course.
The first foal out of millionaire Madcap Escapade won a graded stakes in her third start Aug. 7 in the grade III Sorrento Stakes at Del Mar. The filly by Pulpit was sold as a weanling in 2007 for $1.7 million.
Purge got his initial winner when Perfect Drive won the first race at Arlington Park July 30 by nine lengths.
Parading, winner of the Dixie Stakes (gr. IIT) on the Pimlico turf May 16, is expected to run next July 11 in the $700,000 Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I).
Grade I winner Rutherienne returned to her winning ways with a three-length triumph in the $276,326 Nassau Stakes (Can-IIT) on the Woodbine turf May 30, going over the $1 million mark in career earnings in the process.
Parading made it consecutive graded stakes victories when he held off Just as Well in the $150,000 Dixie Stakes (gr. IIT) at Pimlico May 16.
Kim and John Glenney's homebred Orthodox pulled off a shocker in the American Turf (gr. IIIT) May 1 at Churchill Downs, taking over in the stretch and holding off Battle of Hastings in the final yards to score at odds of 45-1 under Jon Court.
Stuck wide on the backstretch of the $150,000 Ben Ali Stakes (gr. III), jockey Kent Desormeaux took a chance when he encouraged Parading to take control over his pace rivals heading into the final turn. The decision paid off when Parading ran away in upper stretch on the way to his first graded stakes victory April 19 at wet and windy Keeneland.
A talented group of eight fillies and mares will line up against last year's female turf champion Forever Together when she makes her 5-year-old debut April 11 in the $200,000 Jenny Wiley Stakes (gr. IIT) at Keeneland.
Frank Brothers, who has won more than 280 stakes in his career and is best known for training dual-classic winner Hansel, will be retiring at the end of March.
PORTER ON PEDIGREES, by Alan Porter
One generally doesn't expect to find Kentucky Derby hopefuls hurtling down 4 1/2 furlongs at Churchill Downs in May of their juvenile season. Even less expected would be for that debut to be in a $20,000 maiden claiming event. That, however, was the launching point for the career of General Quarters.
Sky Mesa, the 9-year-old stallion who underwent colic surgery Feb. 15, is being kept at Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital where an additional operation was performed Feb. 19 to correct an impaction, according to Three Chimneys farm president Case Clay.
MAHUBAH'S CORNER, by Avalyn Hunter
Laragh's victories, most recently in the grade I Hollywood Starlet Stakes Dec. 13, have helped seal her sire Tapit's position as the leading freshman sire and juvenile sire of 2008. Laragh has won on synthetic surfaces and turf and could be equally dangerous as a sophomore on dirt in 2009.
Grade I winner Madcap Escapade, in foal to A.P. Indy, sold for $3.1 million Nov. 2 to kick off the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky November select mixed auction in Lexington. Cataloged as Hip No. 2, Madcap Escapade was the first horse in the sale ring because Hip No. 1, grade I winner Great Hunter, was scratched.
Claiborne Farm has announced its stud fees for the upcoming 2009 breeding season, which will be payable when the foal stands and nurses.
Bsharpsonata, a multiple stakes-winning homebred for John Sykes' CloverLeaf Farm II, has been transferred to the barn of trainer Todd Pletcher.
Virginia Kraft Payson's Rutherienne will top a quality field of turf distaffers including Valbenny, Lady Digby,and J'ray, in the $200,000 All Along Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Colonial Downs June 21.
Pyro's form of old returned June 14 at Churchill Downs as the son of Pulpit powered to a 1 3/4-length win over five fellow 3-year-olds in the Northern Dancer Stakes (gr. III). The Steve Asmussen-trained colt covered the 1 1/16 miles of the $190,925 race in 1:43.53.
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.
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