This time one year ago, Robert Yagos' Spotsgone was sent off at odds of 81-1 in the $100,000 Hanshin Cup Handicap (gr. III). In the 2008 edition to be held May 24 at Arlington Park, the son of Bright Launch was installed as the 5-2 morning-line favorite. Of course, the drastic change in odds may have a little something to do with Spotsgone lighting up the toteboard with a $165 mutual in last year's edition.
I have long been intrigued by the potential upgrading effects of inbreeding through brothers, sisters, three-parts brothers and sisters, and other close relatives.
PORTER ON PEDIGREES, by Alan Porter
Alan Porter has been intrigued for a long time by the potential upgrading effects of inbreeding through brothers, sisters, three-parts brothers and sisters, and other close relatives. Naturally, the top international group I winners Ramonti and Good Ba Ba attracted his attention because they are two interesting examples of inbreeding via siblings.
Laying just off the pace for three-quarters, 5-year-old Istan exploded at the top of the stretch and pulled away to win by 8 resounding lengths in the $200,000 Ack Ack Handicap (gr. III) at Churchill Downs Nov. 3.
Looking for his third consecutive victory and fourth stakes win of the year, 4-year-old Off Duty hopes to keep the momentum going in the $200,000 Ack Ack Handicap (gr. III) Nov. 3 at Churchill Downs.
Sent off at odds of 9-10 by the home town crowd, Frank Calabrese's Lewis Michael did not disappoint his many backers by drawing off to a 4 3/4-length victory in the $300,000 Washington Park Handicap (gr. II) Saturday on the Arlington Park Polytrack.
Puglisi Stables and Steve Klesaris' Cat Criminal will get his first stakes test in the $300,000 Leonard Richards (gr. III) for 3-year-olds at Delaware Park Sunday.
Centaur Farms' Gotcha Gold, who "freaked" in the Coronado's Quest Stakes June 25, returns to action Saturday in the $150,000 Long Branch Breeders' Cup (gr. III) for 3-year-olds at Monmouth Park.
Malakoff is Queen's Plate bound after dominating four rivals in Saturday's $150,000 Marine Stakes (Can-III) Saturday at Woodbine.
Bear Character, one of Woodbine's top American-bred 3-year-olds, takes on four rivals in Saturday's $150,000 Marine Stakes (Can-III) on the Toronto track.
Saturday's 127th renewal of the $150,000 Withers Stakes (gr. III) for 3-year-olds at a mile drew only four horses, so it will be carded as race three of 10 on the Aqueduct card.
The California Derby is not known as a spawning ground for Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winners, and if the expected rain hits the San Francisco area and Racketeer is scratched, that likely will leave only Cause to Believe who has a legitimate shot at the Run for the Roses.
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