Smart Strike's pedigree indicates he was born to greatness. And though he didn't have greatness thrust upon him as a racehorse, he has certainly achieved greatness as a sire. As evidence is the rare feat he enjoyed Sept. 30 when he had three grade I winners in one day.
Smart Strike's big day as a stallion--three grade I stakes winners at the same racetrack--has Lane's End Farm really looking forward to the Breeders' Cup World Championships.
In a race reminiscent of Rags to Riches beating Curlin by a head in this year's Belmont Stakes, the Sept. 30 Jockey Club Gold Cup Invitational (gr. I) at Belmont Park featured Curlin catching favored Lawyer Ron in the final yards for a neck win.
English Channel won the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational (gr. IT) on Sept. 30 at Belmont Park.
Undefeated Smarty Deb could be headed to the $2 million Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) after she defeated her male rivals in the $90,000 Gottstein Futurity at Emerald Downs Sept. 29 for her fourth consecutive victory.
A striking chestnut son of Smart Strike sold for $700,000 to top the early portion of the Keeneland September yearling sale. That was quickly followed by a $600,000 son of Mr. Greeley.
Todd Pletcher trainee Pleasant Strike, coming off consecutive victories in the Arlington Classic and an allowance optional claimer at Arlington Park, looks to extend his winning streak when a field of nine sophomores goes postward in Saturday's reneweal of the $250,000 American Derby (gr. IIT).
Jim Scatuorchio's English Channel broke his own course record at Monmouth Park Saturday as he powered his way to a one-length victory in the 54th running of the $750,000 United Nations Stakes Presented by TVG (gr. IT).
G. Watts Humphrey Jr.'s Communique, a closing fourth in the Regret Stakes (gr. IIIT) on the Churchill Downs turf June 16, has accepted an invitation from Hollywood Park racing secretary Martin Panza to compete in the $750,000 American Oaks (gr. IT) on July 7, trainer Rusty Arnold said Friday from Kentucky.
William J. Gallion and Shirley Cunningham Jr., the suspended lawyers and 20% owners of Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner Curlin, along with suspended attorney Melbourne Mills Jr. pled not guilty June 21 in U.S. District Court to charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud against more than 400 plaintiffs in a lawsuit over the diet drug fen-phen.
Edward P. Evans' homebred Pleasant Strike was angled out mid-stretch by jockey Rene Douglas and finished with aplomb to win the $150,000 Arlington Classic (gr. IIIT) for 3-year-olds going away at Arlington Park on Saturday.
A.P. Indy, the sire of Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner Rags to Riches, and Smart Strike, the sire of runner-up Curlin, both stand at Lane's End Farm along with Pleasant Tap, the sire of third finisher Tiago, and Came Home, the sire of fifth finisher C P West.
Farm has five stud horses ranked among the top 11 leading sires of 2007.
Tea Party Stable's heavily favored Fabulous Strike, having posted some impressive speed figures while facing lesser company since last summer, rose to the occasion Saturday with a gate-to-wire victory in the $159,600 Aristides Breeders' Cup (gr. III) at Churchill Downs.
Sam-Son Farm's Strike Softly won her third consecutive race while taking the CAN$336,700 Nassau Stakes (Can-II) Saturday at Woodbine over a firm E.P. Taylor Turf Course.
Street Sense, winner of the Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), worked a half-mile May 30 at Churchill Downs as his owner, Jim Tafel, and trainer, Carl Nafzger, consider a possible start in the June 9 Belmont Stakes (gr. I), the final jewel of racing's Triple Crown.
Fresh off his nose victory over Derby winner Street Sense in the Preakness (gr. I) on May 19, Curlin tuned up for the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) June 9 with an easy five-furlong work on Monday at Churchill Downs.
- By Dan Liebman
By Dan Liebman - Never having been in such a position, Gallion had trouble putting a value on Curlin...
Curlin, who suffered his first defeat in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), kept gaining down the stretch and got past Street Sense in the final strides to win the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) Saturday at Pimlico.
After a terrible journey chasing roses May 5, inexperienced Curlin has every right to improve in Saturday's Preakness Stakes (gr. I), says assistant Scott Blasi, who is handling the colt for trainer Steve Asmussen this week.
Sam-Son Farm homebred Strike Softly capitalized on fast fractions to win Sunday's CAN$186,700 Hendrie Stakes (Can-III) by four lengths at Woodbine.
Trainer Steve Asmussen sent Arkansas Derby (gr. II) winner Curlin and stablemates Zanjero and Reporting for Duty for a final Kentucky Derby prep over the Polytrack surface at Lexington's Keeneland Racecourse on Monday, April 23.
Undefeated Curlin made like Smarty Jones in winning Saturday's $1 million Arkansas Derby (gr. II) and heads into next month's Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) as the potential favorite following his record 10 1/2-length demolition job at Oaklawn Park.
Stalking Super Freaky surged to the lead leaving the eighth pole and dug in gamely under jockey Jon Court for her first graded stakes victory in the $112,600 Providencia Stakes (gr. IIIT) for 3-year-old fillies on the Santa Anita grass Saturday.
Curlin, coming off a dazzling maiden debut victory by nearly 13 lengths six weeks ago, was equally impressive Saturday, leaving his field behind while capturing the $300,000 Rebel Stakes (gr. II) for 3-year-olds at Oaklawn Park in his first start for trainer Steve Asmussen.
Trainer Doug O'Neill capped a huge weekend at Santa Anita on Sunday when his Super Freaky captured the the $113,400 La Habra Stakes for 3-year-old fillies on the hillside turf course.
Peachtree Stable's Twilight Meteor rallied through the stretch for a hard-fought half-length victory over Sedgefield in Saturday's $77,250 Hallandale Beach Stakes at Gulfstream Park, a 1 1/16-mile turf test for 3-year-olds.
The impressive 3-year-old maiden winner Curlin left trainer Helen Pitts' Gulfstream Park barn Thursday for trainer Steve Asmussen's at Fair Grounds in New Orleans following the completion of a private sale by Midnight Cry Stable to Satish Sanan, Jess Jackson and George Bolton.
Favored Strike Softly swept past the leaders approaching the eighth pole and drew away for an easy victory in the (US)$133,646 Jammed Lovely for 3-year-old Canadian-bred fillies at Woodbine Sunday.
A.P. Indy, the year's leading sire by progeny earnings and sire of leading 3-year-old Bernardini, will stand for the same $300,000 fee in 2007 that he stood for in 2006 at William S. Farish's Lane's End Farm near Versailles, Ky.
English Channel got a dream trip behind slow fractions set by his stablemate and easily won the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational (gr. IT) Saturday, completing Todd Pletcher's assault on Belmont Park's "Super Saturday" card with the trainer's third grade I win.
In her first start, Bel Air Beauty was boxed in at the quarter pole and came flying to finish second. In her second, she angled out, had clear sailing, and won the $400,000 Darley Alcibiades (gr. II) to highlight Keeneland's opening day.
A Smart Strike filly was purchased by agent Joe Brocklebank for $410,000 to top the early portion of Tuesday's session of the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July yearling sale.
Kentucky-bred Tungsten Strike, narrowly beaten in back-to-back group III efforts, found the soft going at Sandown Park to his liking Monday and rolled to a five-length win in the more prestigious Henry II Stakes (Eng-II).
English Channel, a top turf horse last year as a 3-year-old, may be even better this year, now two-for-two in 2006 after a win Saturday at Churchill Downs in the $454,900 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (gr. IT).
Neil Pessin is from Lexington and has stabled at Keeneland for years. On the opening day of the spring meeting Friday, his Chin High pulled a major upset in the $150,000 Central Bank Transylvania Stakes (gr. IIIT) for 3-year-olds.
James Scatourchio's 4-year-old English Channel, making his first start since finishing fifth in the John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT), drove to a three-quarters of a length victory in the $100,000 Canadian Turf Handicap Saturday at Gulfsteam Park.
Ford Every Stream, a stakes-placed son of Seeking the Gold, will stand in 2006 at Val Murrell's Clear Creek Stud near Folson, La. His fee will be $2,500.
Dance With Ravens, a Sovereign Award finalist from the family of prominent sire Smart Strike, has been retired from racing and will stand at Northview Stallion Station near Chesapeake City, Md.
A.P. Indy, second on this year's leading sires list, will stand once again for $300,000 at William S. Farish's Lane's End Farm near Versailles, Ky.
John Velazquez mirrored tactics used in his Colonial Turf Cup win three weeks ago in Saturday's $750,000 Virginia Derby (gr. IIIT) and produced the same result. With a 3 1/4-length romp, trainer Todd Pletcher's turf standout now has captured two legs of the $5 million Grand Slam of Grass.
Roseland Farm Stable's New Jersey-bred Smart N Classy rallied on the outside to get up in the final stride for a nose victory over Lentil in the $150,000 Eatontown Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Monmouth Park on Sunday.
Sam-Son Farm's 8-year-old Soaring Free, Canada's reigning Horse of the Year, not only successfully defend his title in the Scott Highlander Stakes Handicap (Can-III) at Woodbine on Sunday, but also surpassed the $2 million mark in career earnings in the process.
A dawdling pace in Saturday's $500,000 Colonial Turf Cup couldn't stop prohibitive favorite English Channel, whose devastating late kick produced an easy 3 1/2-length at Colonial Downs.
Gold Strike, bred and owned by Harlequin Ranches, drew off in the stretch to take Sunday's $280,400 Selene Stakes (Can-III) for 3-year-old fillies at Woodbine in impressive fashion.
Shadow Cast, who had a three-race win streak broken in her last start, rebounded to win the $336,300 Louisville Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) Friday at Churchill Downs.
High Strike Zone held off even-money favorite Supah Blitz to win his first graded stakes race, the $300,000 Texas Mile (gr. III) at Lone Star Park Saturday.
Soaring Free, away from the races since last year's Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT), showed that he has lost none of his grit Saturday when he held off Mighty Beau by a neck for victory in the $113,300 Shakertown (gr. IIIT) on the Keeneland lawn.
A colt by Yes It's True posted the fastest work for a quarter-mile under beautiful conditions during the March 19 Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's Selected 2-year-olds in training sale under tack show opener.
With a wide move on the far turn, jockey Luis Quinonez and Added Edge closed stoutly to just get up for a neck victory over 23-1 shot Mauk Four in the $125,000 Razorback Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. III) Sunday at Oaklawn Park.
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