True North Breeders' Cup H. (gr. II)
(gr. II , 6f ,)
Gone West Silken Cat , by Storm Cat
BMarie D. Jones, KY.; OMelnyk, Eugene and Laura; TTodd A. Pletcher
(DK B/ h,
Western Cat Vidaca , by Strawberry Road (AUS)
BGeorge De Benedicty, FL.; OJohn R. Parker; TThomas M. Amoss
Holy Bull Trail Robbery , by Alydar
BT. J. Pabst, KY.; OKagele Brothers, Inc., Leatherman, Ty and Leib, Mark A.; TDoug F. O'Neill
Margins: 1½, 1¾, neck. Others: Sing Me Back Home 114($5,570) , Canadian Frontier 115($6,342) , First Blush 113($1,057) , Maybry's Boy 111($1,057) , Buzzy's Gold 114($1,057) , Key Deputy 114($1,057) . Winning Jockey, John R. Velazquez.
Speightstown is doing his best to live up to his $2-million price tag as a yearling. The son of Gone West has three consecutive stakes wins on the year, with his most recent coming in the June 5 True North Breeders’ Cup Handicap (gr. II) at Belmont Park. His streak began with a 41/2-length score in the March 27 Artax Handicap and was followed by a 31/2-length win in the May 1 Churchill Downs Handicap (gr. II).
Todd Pletcher conditions Speightstown, who bears the name of a port city on the island of Barbados where his owners, Eugene and Laura Melnyk, reside.
Eugene Melnyk purchased Speightstown for $2 million at the 1999 Keeneland July yearling sale from the consignment of Taylor Made Sales Agency, which sold the colt on behalf of his breeders, Aaron U. and Marie Jones.
That year Speightstown, who was produced from the Canadian champion Storm Cat mare Silken Cat, tied for the third-highest priced colt of the sale. The sale topper that year, Norway (Storm Cat—Weekend Surprise), was purchased for $3 million by bloodstock agent Demi O’Byrne for international racing and breeding operation Coolmore. The second-highest price belonged to Partners Choice (Gone West—Market Booster), who was bought by the partnership of B. Wayne Hughes and The Thoroughbred Corp. Gala Performance (Theatrical—Claxton’s Slew) was also purchased for $2 million by O’Byrne.
Of the top end of the 1999 Keeneland July yearling market, Speightstown is the most accomplished on the racetrack.
Norway, who ended his career with a record of 6-0-1-1 while racing in Ireland and England for Michael Tabor and Susan Magnier, earned $2,714. Norway was last reported standing at Double LL Farm in New Mexico. Partners Choice earned $32,160 and hasn’t raced since early 2003. He has a record of 3-1-0-0. Gala Performance began his career racing for Tabor but finished with owner Russell McAllister. He earned $1,148 while compiling a record of 6-0-0-1 while racing in England.
Speightstown has a career record of 13-8-2-1. He has earned $537,056.
Gone West is the sire of Speightstown and 74 other added-money winners, including additional 2004 stakes winners Canadian Frontier (gr. III), Foregone, and Conroy (UAE-III). Gone West stands at Dr. John and Alice Chandler’s Mill Ridge Farm near Lexington. His 2004 fee is $125,000.—L.D.