2nd at 5RAZORBACK H.
(gr. III , 8.5f , to Magna Graduate, defeating Jonesboro, Chippewa Trail, Red Raymond, Kid Grindstone, Steppenwolfer, Mr. Pursuit ).
Make it three straight years with a graded stakes win for Magna Graduate, who won the Razorback Breeders’ Cup Handicap (gr. III) March 9 at Oaklawn Park. Under John Velazquez, Magna Graduate was able to sit on the pace in slow fractions and had plenty left for the stretch run in the 11/16 mile contest.
Magna Graduate, by Honor Grades, has been well spotted by trainer Todd Pletcher throughout his career, the Razorback his sixth stakes win and fifth graded victory in 21 starts. The 5-year-old horse won the Clark Handicap (gr. II), Pegasus Stakes (gr. III), and Discovery Handicap (gr. III) at 3 and the Queens County Handicap (gr. III) last year, a season in which he also shipped to Dubai and ran third in the Emirates Airline Dubai World Cup (UAE-I).
Bred in Kentucky by Nicole Zitani and Ramon Rangel, Magna Graduate was consigned to the 2003 Keeneland September yearling sale by Jeff Morris’ Highclere Sales, agent. He was purchased by trainer Garry Simms, agent, for $30,000. Magna Graduate made his first three starts for owner Burr Travis and Simms, and then was purchased privately by Elisabeth Alexander.
Alexander, who lives with her husband, Quentin, in Hunting Valley, Ohio, owns 175-acre Eutrophia Farm near Chagrin Falls, Ohio. Magna Graduate, named Ohio Horse of the Year in 2005, is the third Ohio champion for Alexander, the others being Floater and Lived It Up.
Magna Graduate is out of the Fast Play mare Peacock Alley, who is also the dam of stakes winner Gralley, by Mr. Greeley. Peacock Alley was consigned by Highclere as agent for Our Farm to the 2005 Fasig-Tipton November sale. In foal to Hennessy, she was purchased by Gaines-Gentry, agent, for $250,000. She produced a colt by Hennessy and is at Olin Gentry and Thomas Gaines farm near Lexington, Ky., where she is in foal to Vindication. She has not been booked yet for this year. Her juvenile is a filly by Holy Bull bred by Zitani and Rangel. The filly has not gone through a sale.
Magna Graduate is inbred, 4x4, to the great Buckpasser through two of his top producing daughters. Buckpasser is the sire of Lassie Dear, who produced Weekend Surprise, the dam of Honor Grades. Kentucky Broodmare of the Year Weekend Surprise is also the dam of Preakness (gr. I) winner Summer Squall and Horse of the Year and leading sire A.P. Indy. Buckpasser is also the sire of Con Game, who produced Fast Play as well as his half-brother, the very good sire Seeking the Gold.
Magna Graduate is one of 34 stakes winners by Honor Grades, who stood at Darby Dan Farm near Lexington until his death in 2002. He is also represented this year by grade II winner Ramazutti.—D.M.L.
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