Not even a No. 1 ranking on this year's leading sires list and 23 stakes winners could keep Giant's Causeway's fee from going down for 2010.
MAHUBAH'S CORNER, by Avalyn Hunter
It seems appropriate that the once-perennial leading commercial sire, Storm Cat, bow out while the Thoroughbred market redefines itself.
In a brief ceremony Sept. 18, representatives of Castleton Lyons presented a check for $29,400 to the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund.
Multiple grade I winner and millionaire Tale of Ekati will stand the 2010 breeding season at Darby Dan Farm near Lexington for his owner and breeder Charles Fipke, it was announced Sept. 15.
Golden Act, a 4-year-old Tale of the Cat filly, brought Aust$52,000 (approximately $42,526) to top the Magic Millions Perth winter Thoroughbred sale July 26 in Australia. Glenn Martin purchased Golden Act from the Peters Investments reduction.
Undefeated Cat Moves became a grade I winner in her stakes debut, outfighting Light Green to capture the $300,000 Prioress Stakes (gr. IT) as a pair of Edward P. Evans Virginia homebreds took first and second at Belmont Park July 4.
Belmont track announcer Tom Durkin made note of Gio Ponti being at the back of the pack as the field turned down the backside in the $400,000 Woodford Reserve Manhattan (gr. IT), but the colt came from last to first to win the race in dramatic fashion.
A Choisir-Strawberry Mirn colt brought Aust$68,000 (approximately $51,893 in U.S. funds) to top the 60th annual HTBA William Inglis & Son Scone yearling sale in Australia May 14. Trainer Paul Perry purchased the colt from Broad Crossing.
Tale of Ekati, winner last year of the Wood Memorial Stakes (gr. I), has been sent to John Phillips' Darby Dan Farm near Lexington.
Four horses tied for the fastest work at a quarter mile during the March 12 first session of the under tack show for the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. March select sale of 2-year-olds in training in Central Florida.
Gio Ponti, driving for the wire under a frantic Ramon Dominguez, got up just in time to nose the outstanding mare Ventura in the $300,000 Frank E. Kilroe Mile Handicap (gr. IT) on the Santa Anita turf March 7.
A Tale of the Cat-Eyes Light Up colt sold for the top price of NZ$205,000 ($106,342) Jan. 30 as New Zealand Bloodstock's select yearling auction ended its three-day run in Karaka. Australian trainer Lindsey Smith purchased the colt from Hallmark Stud.
She may be named Alpha Kitten, but she ran like Alpha Cougar or Alpha Cheetah, taking charge down the lane and winning the Santa Ynez Stakes (gr. II) for her first stakes win Jan. 17 at Santa Anita.
Favored Gio Ponti waited for room under a patient Garrett Gomez and blasted through the pack mid-stretch to win the $100,000 Sir Beaufort Stakes going away in a race taken off the Santa Anita Park turf course and transferred to the Pro-Ride main surface Dec. 26.
Tale of Ekati earned his first victory since taking the Wood Memorial (gr. I) on the Triple Crown trail this spring when he captured the $159,500 Jerome Handicap (gr. II) on a sloppy track at Belmont Park Oct. 5.
Queen Ofthe Catsle earned her first win in a graded stakes race when she ran down pacesetter La Tee in deep stretch to capture Oak Tree's $111,600 Senator Ken Maddy Handicap (gr. IIIT) over Santa Anita's downhill turf course Oct. 4.
Castleton Lyons' Gio Ponti, who has established himself as one of the top 3-year-old turf runners in the nation this year, looks to return to his winning ways when he takes on six sophomores in the $250,000 Jamaica Handicap (gr. IIT) Oct. 4 at Belmont Park.
With the second week of the Keeneland September yearling sale drawing to a close, numbers continue to be down, though buyers and consignors are still claiming it's a strong market for a quality horse.
Gio Ponti got the nose decision over Court Vision in the $772,500 Virginia Derby (gr. IIT) in a tremendous stretch run over the Colonial Downs turf course July 19, spoiling favored Sailor's Cap's shot at a $5 million bonus.
PORTER ON PEDIGREES, by Alan Porter
Lion Heart, currently the freshman sire leader, and Friends Lake, who is ranked eighth, got big boosts from their recent graded stakes winners Azul Leon and Screen Your Friends, respectively. The talent both of these sires showed as juveniles appears to be passing along to their offspring.
Gio Ponti, off for more than seven months and making his 3-year-old debut, rallied from last to take the $100,000 Hill Prince Stakes (gr. IIIT) by two lengths under Garrett Gomez June 6 on the Belmont turf.
It's difficult to characterize the rise to greatness for a horse like Tale of Ekati, who was born already virtually flawless, according to John Phillips, managing partner of Darby Dan near Lexington, where the colt was foaled.
Front-running Meal Penalty found himself on a lonely lead and made the best of it, holding on for a three-quarters of a length win in the $150,000 Arlington Classic for 3-year-olds on the Arlington Park turf May 24.
It is little wonder the Australian-bred galloper is gaining credibility all over the world. This fact was confirmed yet again by Coolmore announcing its stunning roster of stallions to stand down under in 2008.
Tale of Ekati turned in a super-sharp work for the June 7 Belmont Stakes (gr.I) when he sped four furlongs in 46.84 seconds over Belmont Park's main track May 20. The move was the fastest of 37 works at the distance, on a track listed as fast before a steady rain began falling later in the morning.
Racecar Rhapsody is looking to earn the first graded stakes victory of his career when he runs in the May 17 Preakness Stakes (gr. I).
Charles Fipke's homebred Tale of Ekati may have turned in a sub-par effort in the Louisiana Derby (gr. II), but he sparkled at Aqueduct when he ran down War Pass in the final strides of the $750,000 Wood Memorial (gr. I) April 5.
War Pass, undefeated winner of the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I), received the high weight assignment of 127 pounds on the 2007 Experimental Free Handicap.
The four ungraded $100,000 stakes races at Fair Grounds' "Road to the Derby Kickoff Day" were all about gate-to-wire wins and solid payoffs, as all but one of the winners paid more than $10 while setting or contesting the pace to do so at the Louisiana track Jan. 12.
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.
Breeders' Cup prospects Tale of Ekati and Benny the Bull both breezed on the fast Monmouth Park track Oct. 16 in preparation for their respective races, the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) and the TVG Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I).
Storm Cat, the leader of American commercial sires for most of the last decade, is still strong commercially and is slated to continue in stud service in 2008. But for the second consecutive year, Storm Cat finished second rather than first among leading sires by average at the Keeneland September select yearling sale, and this year, Storm Cat averaged less than half what he did in 2006 ($559,773 vs. $1,270,208). As a result, speculation as to who will assume the old king's mantle is off and running.
Juvenile racing in New York treated us to Tale of Ekati and Proud Spell, a pair of 2-year-old stakes winners Sept. 15, with intriguing, and somewhat linked, pedigrees.
Reeling already from having eight of their best stallions stranded in quarantine at New South Wales' government controlled Eastern Creek facility, Coolmore Australia has decided to send three of its star stallions home to Ashford Stud.
First-crop yearling sires always add an element of intrigue to any sale, but the class of 2007 adds an extra amount of interest to the Keeneland September sale due to fewer stallions sporting top-racing credentials and pedigrees with commercial appeal compared to the 2006 class.
- By Ryan Conley
Led by the efforts of Eldon Farm Equine, the majority of horses previously sold at auction that passed through the sales ring during the Aug. 7 session of the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga yearling sale realized significant gains.
Ashley's Kitty, a 17-1 outsider, gained the lead from Sindy With An S nearing the sixteenth pole and held on to beat hard-charging favorite Silver Swallow by a nose as apprentice jockey Joe Talamo completed a hat trick in Sunday's $111,000 Railbird (gr. III) for 3-year-old fillies at Hollywood Park.
Taletobetold, a 27-1 risk ridden by Brian Hernandez Jr., fought off a swarm of challengers in upper stretch and then held off a late charge by Simply Divine to win Saturday's $114,700 Open Mind Stakes for 3-year-old fillies on turf by one length at Churchill Downs.
Encosta De Lago's service fee for the 2007 season has been increased, as anticipated, to $220,000 by Coolmore Australia.
Trainers and bloodstock agents from across the country converged on the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's grounds March 25 to inspect the 520 horses catalogued for the annual selected 2-year-olds in training sale March 27-28 in Central Florida. Here's a look at some of the leading prospects.
A filly by Menifee consigned by O & H Bloodstock (Terry Oliver and Bo Hunt) zipped an eighth in :10 flat to post the fastest time at the distance at the second session of the Under Tack Preview Sunday for the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's 2007 March Sale of Selected 2-Year-Olds in Training.
Robert Bone's 11-1 shot Relato Del Gato set a sizzling pace under regular jockey Glen Corbett but kept to his task in the stretch to register a 2 3/4-length upset win over 9-10 choice Sailors Sunset in the $100,000 Phoenix Gold Cup at Turf Paradise Saturday.
In Australia on Monday, the Inglis Classic Yearling sale ended reaching new heights - just like every other yearling sale in the world so far this year.
OffSpring of Smoke Glacken, Tale of the Cat, and Stormy Atlantic are popular with shoppers heading into the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. February select sale of 2-year-olds in training Tuesday in Central Florida.
Champion horse trainer Gai Waterhouse completely stunned everyone in the packed auditorium when she opened and closed the bidding on a Sadler's Wells colt at Aust$2million (U.S. $1,560,000) as session two of the Conrad Jupiters Magic Millions yearling sale in Australia ended on Friday.
Mr. and Mrs. Jerry Moss' heavily favored Spellbinder dug in for the final strides to hold off the surging Sharp Writer and win the $150,000 Berkeley Handicap (gr. III) in gate-to-wire fashion at Golden Gate Fields Monday.
Offspring of Tale of the Cat, Distorted Humor, and Songandaprayer were among the standouts at Timonium during the under tack shows Wednesday and Thursday for the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic preferred sale of 2-year-olds in training.
The first under tack show for Keeneland's select sale of 2-year-olds in training provided more excitement than South Carolina pinhooker Kip Elser wanted on Monday. But everything turned out for the best.
What should be the biggest juvenile auction of 2006 in terms of prices is scheduled for Tuesday in South Florida.
A yearling filly by Songandaprayer consigned by Beth Bayer, agent, went to Memory of Song Stable for $170,000 to top Thursday's third and final consignor preferred session of the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's Winter Mixed Sale.
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