(T 8.5f ,)
Smart Strike Belva , by Theatrical (IRE)
BKeene Ridge Farm, KY.; OJames T. Scatuorchio; TTodd A. Pletcher
(DK B/ h,
Dixie Union Robyns Tune , by Robyn Dancer
BKnockmuira Stud, PA.; ODogwood Stable; TGeorge Weaver
Saint Ballado La Ville Rouge , by Carson City
BMr. & Mrs. M. Roy Jackson, KY.; OLael Stables; TMichael R. Matz
James Scatuorchio’s English Channel crossed the wire a winner at Pimlico May 21, drawing away with the $100,000 Woodlawn Stakes by four lengths. Sent out on the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) undercard at 1-2 odds, the 3-year-old son of Smart Strike responded with his first added-money win.
The effort, over 11/16 miles of good turf, was English Channel’s third win in a four-race career for Scatuorchio and trainer Todd Pletcher that began with a maiden-breaking effort at first asking last summer at Saratoga.
English Channel was bred in Kentucky by Ann McBrayer’s Keene Ridge Farm near Lexington. The colt was consigned to the 2003 Keeneland September yearling sale by Eaton Sales, agent, and sold to Scatuorchio for $50,000. Scatuorchio is notable for racing multiple graded stakes winner and current Vinery stallion More Than Ready—also conditioned by Pletcher—as well as this year’s Dave Feldman Stakes winner at Gulfstream, Dubleo, in partnership with Jake Pletcher and Pete Wetterman.
English Channel was produced from the unraced Theatrical mare Belva, who was bred in Kentucky by the late Allen Paulson. The Allen E. Paulson Living Trust consigned her in foal with the Woodlawn winner to the 2001 Keeneland November mixed sale where her reserve was not met and she was bought back for $100,000. Narvick International acted as agent.
Keene Ridge purchased Belva privately and sold a full brother to English Channel for $100,000 at the 2004 Keeneland November mixed sale. Neville Collins, through his Greenwich Cattle Co., went to that figure.
“That colt was a lot bigger and a lot prettier than English Channel,” said Keene Ridge manager Charlie McKinlay. “He is very refined, scopier, and a bit more balanced.”
McKinlay said Belva produced “an absolutely huge foal” by Street Cry March 1 and was bred to Aldebaran.
“We like the Mr. Prospector cross and wanted to put some speed with her given that she’s by Theatrical,” McKinlay said.
English Channel’s second dam, Committed, by Hagley, was a champion sprinter in England and a champion miler and two-time champion older mare in France, twice a winner in the group I Prix de l’Abbaye de Longchamp. Committed produced two stakes-winning full siblings to Belva, Hap, a millionaire and multiple grade II winner, and Pharma, winner of the 1996 Santa Ana Handicap (gr. IT).
Smart Strike is the sire of 30 additional added-money winners. He is represented in 2005 by stakes winners Shadow Cast (gr. II), Added Edge (gr. III), High Strike Zone (gr. III), Soaring Free (gr. IIIT), Gold Strike, winner of the Selene Stakes (Can-III) on May 22, and Brett’s Favrette. A 13-year-old son of Mr. Prospector, Smart Strike stands at Will Farish’s Lane’s End Farm near Versailles, Ky., for a fee of $35,000.—P.S.