Strive, a grade II stakes-placed son of Deputy Minister, has been bought by Patricia Youngman for stallion duty at her Pepper Oaks Farm near Santa Ynez, Calif.
The eighth day of trading at Keeneland's November breeding stock sale ended Monday evening with the Lexington auction house gaining slightly in most categories when compared to the same session last year. Up were the gross, average, and number of horses sold, with only a dip in the median keeping gains from reaching across the board.
With handicap division leader Harlan's Holiday several thousand miles away in Dubai, John Oxley's favored Hero's Tribute took full advantage to tally an easy victory in Saturday's $300,000 Gulfstream Park Handicap (gr. II).
Trainer Neil Howard cooks up a rich New Orleans Handicap victory with Mineshaft.
The bird has flown, leaving us instead with the Aventura Stakes, Gulfstream Park's $250,000 replacement for Hialeah's signature Flamingo Stakes that served as a springboard to the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) for the likes of Citation and Seattle Slew. Based upon the returns of the inaugural Aventura, run on April 6, none of the nine 3-year-olds are likely to follow that path.
Is there still time for an unknown, late-developing 3-year-old to play catch-up and make it to the Derby with a legitimate shot? The answer is yes. And if you think some of the big-name trainers have already emptied all their barrels you're in for a big surprise.
This is it, the final report for 2001. Starting next week, we'll officially be on the 2002 Kentucky Derby trail, as the major scenes shift to Gulfstream and Santa Anita, joining the already-in-progress Fair Grounds and Aqueduct meets. We close the year with the Hollywood Futurity and several more impressive maiden and allowance victories.
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