United Nations S. (gr. I)
(gr. IT , 11f ,)
Smart Strike Belva , by Theatrical (IRE)
BKeene Ridge Farm, KY.; OJames T. Scatuorchio; TTodd A. Pletcher
Lasting Approval Cuando Quiere , by Affirmed
BWimborne Farm, Inc., KY.; OGlencrest Farm LLC; TTodd A. Pletcher
Better Talk Now
(DK B/ g,
Talkin Man Bendita , by Baldski
BWimborne Farm, Inc., KY.; OBushwood Stables LLC; TH. Graham Motion
English Channel pushed his earnings past the $3 million mark when he defeated the 6-year-old mare Honey Ryder by a length in the United Nations Stakes (gr. IT) July 7 at Monmouth Park. The 5-year-old son of Smart Strike also won the United Nations in 2006, making him the first back-to-back winner of the race since Sandpit in 1995-96.
Todd Pletcher conditions English Channel for James Scatuorchio, and the chestnut horse has won 11 of 20 starts, including the 2006 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational and Woodford Reserve Turf Classic Stakes (both gr. IT). Scatuorchio purchased English Channel for $50,000 at the 2003 Keeneland September yearling sale from Eaton Sales, agent.
English Channel is not the only graded stakes winner campaigned by Scatuorchio this year. He also owns Icy Atlantic, winner of the April 7 Arcadia Handicap (gr. IIT), and campaigned Florida Derby (gr. I) winner Scat Daddy in partnership with Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith. Scat Daddy was retired in June due to a tendon injury.
Ann McBrayer’s Keene Ridge Farm bred English Channel in Kentucky out of the unraced Theatrical mare Belva. Out of the European champion Committed (by Hagley), Belva is a full sister to grade I winner Pharma and multiple grade II winner Hap. Committed also produced stakes winner Committed Dancer (by Nijinsky II).
Belva was offered by Keene Ridge Farm, agent, at the 2006 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky November mixed sale, but the mare, who was in foal to Ghostzapper, failed to sell when bidding stopped at $2 million.
English Channel is the first foal out of Belva. The mare’s second foal, Sedgefield, is a full brother to English Channel. Earlier this year, he finished second in both the Lane’s End Stakes (gr. II) and Tropical Park Derby (gr. IIIT) and then ran fifth in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I). Lura, Belva’s 2-year-old daughter by Street Cry, sold to John Ferguson for $725,000 at the 2006 Keeneland September yearling sale where she was consigned by Gainesway, agent for Keene Ridge Farm. She has since been sent to Great Britain.
Belva also has a yearling Aldebaran filly and delivered a Ghostzapper filly May 7. She was not bred for 2008.
Smart Strike is the sire of 48 stakes winners. Among his 11 2007 added-money winners are Curlin (gr. I), Fabulous Strike (gr. III), Super Freaky (gr. IIIT), Pleasant Strike (gr. IIIT), Strike Softly (Can-IIT), and Tungsten Strike (Eng-III). The 15-year-old son of Mr. Prospector stands at Will Farish’s Lane’s End Farm near Versailles, Ky., for a fee of $75,000.—A.H.D.